I cannot say I have overcome depression but I have made inroads. Those I will share with you. I do think that I will overcome depression, one day. When I do, I will come back and share that. For now, I will share some things that have helped me to take steps away from depression. First of all, I think depression is a symptom, rather than a root. In other words, depression gives us information about the root cause of our problem.
Depression is a symptom in the same way that a fever is a symptom. Modern medicine eradicates symptoms in lieu of ascertaining the REAL causal factor. This is dangerous in the opinions of those of us who have studied Chinese medicine. Eradicating any symptom allows the root cause to go deeper and become more insidious. This manner of thinking is foreign to Western ears because modern medicine is allopathic. By the nature of allopathic medicine, it seeks to eradicate the superficial symptoms.
Let me give some examples. If one has severe acne, modern medicine will try to eliminate the skin condition with medication( often very strong medication). The acne may well be eliminated but the cause of the acne is not. It is driven deeper.
Chinese medicine will never eliminate a skin condition through superficial means . The skin condition is a symptom of a deeper problem.The deeper problem may be a liver or kidney imbalance, for example. The liver or kidney imbalance would be addressed through acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs or other natural methods. The aforementioned example is simply an example of the differences between modern medicine( allopathic) and natural medicine( homeopathic, herbal or energetic medicine such as acupuncture)
I was fortunate to work in the field of natural medicine. Hence, I can apply it’s tenets to emotional issues. Actually, in Chinese medicine, the emotions are never treated as an independent issue. They are always related to the body because the body and mind are one holistic entity. One should never be treated without the other. However, I do not want to go too far afield of our subject.
Depression should not be treated with drugs, in my opinion. I say that as an educated layman, not a doctor. The person will not be helped, ultimately, if he eradicates the symptom, which is depression in this case. He may be put into a more functional state but he will never get to the root cause. At the level of the root cause, there is true healing, not simply symptomatic relief.
I think I have shown the background with which I approach depression, so I will move on. Let me start by saying that there is a root for depression. That root may vary from person to person but there are certain factors which would, most likely, be the root for many people. One is a childhood which impelled the native to jettison his true self. There is a deep soul depression when one is wearing a mask of perfection.
Another would be abuse, which is related. When one is abused as a child, one will blame oneself. One will try to change the parts of oneself that one believed were “bad”. These are often selfishness, anger, sexual feelings, jealousy or any number of primal feelings. Hence, the native is then cut off from parts of himself. This is another cause for depression. I will limit my article to the above mentioned roots. I am not saying that they are the only ones but they are the ones most familiar to me, personally, and do relate to many other people with whom I come in contact.
If one was abused as a child and has thrown away one’s core self, how does one get it back? This is really where I wanted to begin this article, but felt as if I should give some background. However, this is the real topic of the article and what I hope to address in a practical way. If one was abused, one will have sadness or what we call depression, in common parlance. Most people have tried many, many things to no avail. Many people give up and accept a life of inner sadness, from simply being unable to eradicate it.
There are several methods I have tried that have helped. I discovered a powerful healing modality in the book ‘Cure by Crying” by Thomas Stone. Stone discovered that if he spend a half and hour a day crying, many of his symptoms, such as headaches and depression, healed. He watched sad videos as one means of eliciting rears. This method is truly a gem. One feels clean as if one’s psyche has taken a long shower. It feel as one feels when a fever breaks after a long bout with the flu. It is very powerful. I watch dog rescue videos. I can relate to their innocence and their loving natures because this is the nature of the child.
I stumbled on two other powerful modalities foe healing depression. One is anger. It is a known adage that depression is anger turned inward. However, if one has been abused, one is, usually, terrified of one’s anger. One has repressed it, in many cases. Hence, one cannot simply command it to come out of the recesses of depression. One must ferret it out, slowly. Anger can be immensely scary for those of us who have been abused. We equate it with punishment and other traumas of our childhood. Hence, it is safely ensconced in our inner recesses.
I have forced myself to allow my anger to surface. In doing so, I have needed a best friend. One cannot undertake huge emotional change on one’s own. Pray for God to send you someone who will walk by your side and He will! Hence, I allowed myself to feel anger and act on it because I have someone next to me who is on my side. Alice Miller writes about an Enlightened Witness. This concept is to what I am referring. I have an article on the Enlightened Witness or you can find her website through a computer search.
The other pivotal factor in overcoming depression is assertion. The depressed/abused person will not be assertive, in most cases. Assertion, along with anger, has been relegated to the dungeons of one’s psyche. From here, it wields it’s power of negative energy and transforms into depression. Hence, one has reached a core reason for many cases of depression. It is a sense of powerlessness. It is called Learned Helplessness in Psychological terminology. In practical terms, it is a sense that one has little power to influence one’s life: that one’s life is in the hands of others and/or external circumstances. This feeling is very causal for depression. Hence, one method of overcoming is to simply force oneself to be assertive. I do this and it does become easier with time, as do most difficult actions.
I cannot leave this article without mentioning God. I could not do any of the above without the help of God and the knowledge that He is REALLY there and He REALLY, REALLY loves me. He loves you, too!