Depression Taught Me a Thing Or Two
Having depression has taught me many things. I've learned how very debilitating depression can be, but I've also learned how resilient people with depression are - myself included. I've learned about stigma but I've also learned about acceptance. I've learned about brain chemistry and depression medications, about cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, prayer, positivity and other treatments.
Depression Taught Me About Debilitation & Resilience
I've had three debilitating depressive episodes since I was first diagnosed in 2001. In between these episodes, and every day since the last one, I wage a daily war against depression. I read about, watch and listen to countless stories about people fighting their own battles. I hope, though I don't know for sure, that there are far more people winning their wars than losing them.
Depression Taught Me About Stigma & Acceptance
For years, the only stigma I felt about having depression was self-inflicted. Having said that, from 2001 to 2011, I hadn't told anybody about my depression (other than family and close friends). I was afraid to talk about my depression (still am), so I kept my mouth shut and kept my depression to myself. I'm very lucky insomuch as those few people I have told, particularly in the workplace, have not demonstrated any behaviors that I could attribute to prejudice or stigma.
Sadly though, I am in the minority. The stigma associated with mental illness is still so very prevalent in society that many suffer in complete silence. Thanks to websites like HealthyPlace.com, countless social media groups on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest (to name a few) and national campaigns like Bell Let's Talk, acceptance is on its way.
Depression Taught Me About Brain Chemistry, Medication & Other Therapies
There is still so much that isn't known about what causes and/or contributes to episodes of depression and other mental illnesses. Brain chemistry, heredity, environmental influences (pollution, hormone/genetically-enhanced foods, etc.), psychological influences (stress, abuse, etc.) and the list goes on.
The medications available to help treat symptoms of depression are getting better every day. I consider myself incredibly lucky because my depression has always been managed with just one medication. There are untold millions who need a veritable cocktail of medications to treat their mental illnesses. More research is needed to make them more effective, and accessible.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) continues to be a solid tool when dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Hypnosis, while it isn't for everyone, can help relax the mind and body if you're able/willing to surrender to it. Prayer, gratitude and positivity go almost hand-in-hand(-in-hand). They deal with divinity and aspects of quantum physics that, while I certainly can't explain them, can be intensely powerful.
Having depression has taught me many things. The more I learn, the more I want to spread the word - to share, to speak out, to be a small part of the solution to educate and end the stigma.
Photo by Stuart Miles, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Scott, L. (2014, February 16). Depression Taught Me a Thing Or Two, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, January 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/02/what-having-depression-has-taught-me
Author: Liana M Scott
Nice article on depression. The points that you have given for this topic are very helpful. I think it is very supportive .Thanks for all the great resources. PFF handles with all the depression with amazing videos. The benefits of active and creative treatment of depression would be incontrovertible. Keep it up with those ideas.
Nice article. The points that you have given are very helpful. I think it is very supportive .Thanks for all the great resources. PFF handles with all the depression with amazing videos. The benefits of active and creative treatment of depression would be incontrovertible. Keep it up with those ideas.
Depression as topic symbol of current humane pathology has got theirs light aspects. The first among them is the possibility of its successful treatment and management by comprehensive psychiatric treatment and management, as well. Through long time process of treatment, patient with depression strengthen and consolidate personal, professional and social performances. These features are crucial ingredients of healthy mental statement.Your personal experience. Ms. Scott, with process of overcoming the bio-psycho-social restrictions of depression confirms the above mention statement. Indeed, your veritable experience indicates of real chances to gain the battle against depression. Somewhat, the same is valid for other psychiatric entities. So, let's mobilize professional and non-professional factor to accept and practice the main principles of appropriate psychiatric treatment of depression and others mental disorders. The benefits of active and creative treatment of depression would be incontestable.
Hi yes ive been living with anxiety panic attacks and the big D for 20years. Not everyday but for a number of prolonged periods. I too have reasearched high and low pardon the punn :) ive come across a number of books and techniques that help including medication which helps too.
I think the biggest breakthru ive made was stumbling across two books.
"Unstuck" by James Gordon - brilliant piece of literature. Essentially saying there are numerous modalities hailed as the best treatment - so use them all at the same time!
" Depression is a choice" - excellent piece of work - saying you can purposefully cause your own mind to use its own functionality to " Switch off Depressive thoughts"
Ok so people with D have very intense highly draining thoughts. We all know this is the worst most difficult phase, its right at that point that this technique will give resounding relief you can "Switch those thoughts off" by using the technique. It works for me.
"The Brain that changes itself" Norman Doidge - says our brains are able to correct themselves and actually create new pathways upon new learning. Sort of cements the two above books home and the three combined will provide a "way out for you".
Yes exercise and diet are critical.
Is it all bullet proof - No - but its a combined tactic you may use sucessfully when you are at your very worst. Im reading a book on ACT. Right now - stay tuned for more updates:)
Hope the above points helps someone.
Thanks for all the great resources, Andrew.
Liana, having experienced my husband's anxiety - depression now for some 10 years i have grown to understand a lot about the ailments. This is coupled with muuch insight gained from wonderful natural therapists where i live which also encouraged me to train as a Reiki practitioner which has greatly assisted. I don't know I'd classify it as a complete illness but a series of ailments that arrive as a result of cumulative experiences which can also be exacerbated by diet, environment, occupation. The unravelling of this and potential damage that has been done is greatly assisted by the range of healing therapies that exist of which Reiki is one. This is where shamanic healing is also very good as looks holistically at the issues and a person's life experience. Yes cbt, hypnotherapy can all greatly assist too, as can some short term medications however only short term as these only mask the real symptoms & are also very strong and potentially addictive. Do look for healers, Reiki practitioners and shamanic healers in your area, it is so much about a journey of understanding the series of reasons for suffering depression. And from the above 2 posts self-esteem plays a critical role in this, low self esteem being the problem. Oh another point is to evaluate the support network you have around you as feeling supported in life is half the battle and counteracts stress also. I am thinking about writing a blog or similar on this so can let you know
Thanks for the insight, Jane.
I too am in the 'self inflicted' stigma category. I believe that people won't want me or they will get tired of me. But I think that is my own thoughts self projected which is something I am working on right now.
Hi Missy. Yah, that self-stigma is awful. I just try to remember that I am loved. And so are you. Thanks for posting.