It is possible to get real depression help and to think and feel differently.
I have a confession to make. I was suffering from depression. It was bad. I felt terrible all the time and was losing control of my life. I tried everything I could think of to feel better. I even took suggestions from other people (not my strong suit!)
I was going to end my life.
Finally, I went to see a doctor. He prescribed pills, and lots of them! Anyone who has been this route knows about the side-effects from antidepressants.
The medical route out of depression is, well, depressing!
Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable physically, too, and didn't feel any particular improvement.
One day, on a trip to see the doctor, I received the formula (but I didn't know it at the time!) This was like magic! (I see that now, in hindsight). I must say that ever since I received this formula, things have been changing in my life in magical ways. I've gotten better and better at using this formula all the time. Keep reading- I will give you the formula in just a minute.
Today I am no longer medicated (and I haven't been for over 15 years!) I know other people who live successful lives without antidepressant medication- this works!
I no longer wake up in the morning feeling a heavy black cloud over my head.
I have a TON more energy than I did, while on medication or before it.
I work, I play, I have great relationships with friends and family.
I am free of the major depression that was so life-threatening.
It turns out that depression is a spiritual problem.
Now, before I go any further, I want to warn you:
If you are taking medication now, or are under the advice of a health-care professional for depression or any other mind-illness, do not change a single thing about your treatment plan as prescribed by that health-care professional.
Don't change a thing.
Keep taking your medications.
Keep going to counseling.
I give this warning for two reasons-
First, I am NOT a doctor and I don't want to play one on this web site. I am not qualified to give medical advice- and I am not giving medical or psychological advice.
The second reason for the warning given above is this: the formula I was given is more powerful than pills or any treatment.
You are a powerful human being. That is what human beings are. Read this phenomenal poem:
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
Max Ehrmann really hit the nail on the head for me. Of course you have the right to be here! If you only knew how powerful you are! I'm not a Bible scholar, but there is quite a message in the old and new testament that either says or paraphrases, "Ye are gods." This message can be found in numerous places in the Bible.
So- you want to know a secret? Feeling depressed, experiencing depression, is just an energy blockage. It's like you have little psychic beavers damming up your energy stream! (How's that for a visual?) That is why it's so hard to do anything.
Chances are pretty good that you are a very creative person, but your creativity got stuck somehow. Part of depression is just a manifestation of a blockage of energy.
I remember doing a meditation at a low point for me, and I saw in my mind's eye a stagnant body of water. I didn't understand the message at the time, but it is as if my psyche was telling me that I was stagnating! Very powerful.
So- how did I (and so many others) get so lucky as to not have this problem in my life anymore? I've been on this journey of living without depression for nearly 20 years. That isn't to say that every day has been rosy... certainly not! There were days when I found myself stuck in my house, unable to go anywhere. But it was days, not months or years. After a while, those days gave way to hours or minutes. Today, a whole day of depression is a rarity.
And I haven't taken any pills for depression in over 16 years! So- what to do:
First of all, I had people I could talk to. That is important. It can't be just anyone, though. You have to have people to talk to who won't leave you where you are! There are good counselors, religious workers, coaches, and 12-step programs to go to.
Remember, whatever you focus on multiplies. Focus on feeling lousy, and guess what you will feel more of?
So spend time with people who won't let you stay in that dark place alone. Moving the body actually creates energy (even though it feels like it expends energy). This does not mean you have to become an athlete. Do simple things. Go for a walk. Or better still, go for a walk with a friend.
Third, engage your mind. Much of depression is getting stuck in the same negative thinking, over and over.
Read a book, listen to an audio book (while walking!). Really pay attention to this input. Check out the reading list page (currently under construction) for ideas on books and audio books. These books and audios are all really good for getting a person going.
I'm really in favor of books and movies that move me to another place. For that reason I like science fiction books and movies and self development and spirituality books.
Fourth, have a project. Is there a project that would interest you that is bigger than you? I really enjoy the projects that I've taken on that are bigger than me, that force me to think beyond today, that are too big for me to handle alone.
Of course, we can only do in one day what we can do in one day, but having a big project gives me something to be excited about each day, and that gives me such good feelings that I want to keep moving forward.
Granted, if you are experiencing depression right now and can't leave the house, a big project may seem daunting.
You don't have to leave the house, though!
Fifth and finally- help someone else out of their dark place. Funny thing is by helping others it also helps me.Remember that formula I was telling you about at the top of this page? That formula I was given was "think differently". I didn't learn HOW to do that at the time- these 5 tools came after that instruction. You don't have to wait a long time, like I did to get the formula and the tools to implement it.
End depression. It doesn't have to be that way.
I really believe that we are here to be happy, joyous and free. So- let's be that way!