In one way it’s been great to see so many articles on depression in the magazines and on television, it shows that it is no longer a taboo subject. On the other hand it’s frightening to see just how many people have felt depressed or had someone they love go through depression. Most people who haven’t experienced depression have no idea how low you can feel. They believe that there has to be a “reason” for someone to feel depressed and that if they just “get over it” they will be fine.
I have personally gone through depression and, in fact, hit my rock bottom just over 2 years ago when I took a handful of sleeping tablets. To most people, I was either fine or moody and emotional. To those that were close to me, they could see I was depressed but felt helpless to do anything. Anyone that I did open up to would respond much the same way, “What do you have to be depressed out?” I had a loving husband, 2 beautiful healthy kids, a fantastic job where I had much success and no major health issues. There was nothing in my life that could “explain” why I felt so depressed.
And there doesn’t need to be a reason for depression. There doesn’t need to be a marriage breakdown, illness or death in the family, financial crisis or any other crisis in a person's life to cause depression. Sometimes a person is just depressed and it’s usually related to a pattern of thinking that’s just become habit. To really overcome depression you need to recognise what the patterns of thinking are in your life. Are they that you don’t feel good enough, or don’t feel like you fit in, or that everyone hates you. Whatever it is, generally it comes down to not loving and valuing yourself enough.
Love always starts with loving and putting yourself first. If you are in a space of love then you can’t help but love those around you and in turn you will see that they love you back.
The first step to really helping yourself overcome depression once and for all is to acknowledge that you are depressed. If you can’t get out of bed in the morning, feel like crying all the time or want to harm yourself or if you have those constant negative thoughts on a feedback loop in your head, you really need to get some help. Help comes in different forms for different people. For me, as a Kinesiologist, I didn’t want to go down the path of medication. I wanted to see if I could work through it using all the tools I had learned over the years. But if you feel so down that you do want to cause yourself harm, please see a doctor. Sometimes medication is what you need so you can think clearly enough to go out and work on really healing yourself and, who knows, eventually the medication won’t be needed.
I have always been interested in natural health and had already learned many tools over the years but when I hit my rock bottom knew I couldn’t do it all by myself. I needed outside help. I started seeing a Kinesiologist regularly which helped me to release the emotions that had been stuck in my body. I would usually feel better after a session but it was something that took time and consistency. The best way to describe it is it’s like peeling an onion, you would clear one layer of emotions out and there below it was another layer. I was 38 years old at this time in my life and had accumulated quite a bit of baggage that I needed gone.
You also need to find a counsellor that you resonate with. This can be quite tricky as everyone is unique and therefore not every counsellor will resonate with you or have the tools you need to overcome depression. My councillor was a spiritualist but yours maybe someone with more of a traditional medical background. Either way, if you do start with someone and they are not right for you, don’t give up, find someone else, but then stick to it. My councillor took me through many guided meditations. By guiding me through what appeared to be something I just created in my imagination, she was able to interpret what I saw to help me understand why I was feeling so depressed. It was a way for me to get deep into my psyche bypassing my subconscious. My personal struggle was I had never felt like I fit in. I still remember in primary school being made fun of when I tried hard to fit in. Once I understood this I would go back to my Kinesiologist to help clear out the emotions that these meditations would trigger. By tackling it from both ends it seems to clear out much faster.
What we consume nutritionally also plays a big part in how we feel. I started to see a pattern when I would drink an energy drink such as “Mother” when I needed a boost. The day after I would see myself crash and be really angry towards my kids and husband for no apparent reason. Once I recognised this pattern I started to look for other patterns. If I didn’t eat chocolate I would start to feel depressed. This is because there are chemicals in chocolate that affect the neurotransmitters in our brain. It’s like being on a drug and then taking it away. The brain no longer has the happy boost it was getting and it now has to find the boost naturally. I had to wean myself off chocolate slowly so I wouldn’t feel so depressed and substituted it for Cacao nibs which I absolutely love. I would just have some plain or vanilla yoghurt with a banana and some cacao nibs and there was my chocolate fix.
There are many other tools you can use to help you overcome depression such as aromatherapy and physical exercise which for me would help, but it was getting to the real issue of why I was depressed that was so important. I can honestly say that now I feel really happy. I no longer have those bad days and when I do feel a bit off I’m straight off to my Kinesiologist (yes I see one even though I am one!) or my counsellor. I am now following my dream as a Kinesiologist seeing clients of all ages for many different issues and am on track to release my first book entitled Empowered Happiness in the middle of this year. It is possible to overcome depression and feel the happiness we all deserve in life if you are willing to get help and make changes.
Who knows, out of all your life changes you may just find what really makes your heart sing and suddenly you will be living the life you always dreamed of… that’s what happened to me!