It has been a cold, snowy winter here in Minnesota. And for some individuals they’ve had the winter blues. In today’s blog (and the next one, too) we are going to be talking about a subject that is VERY prevalent in today’s society; Depression.
Whether you have a slight case of winter blues, battle with Depression, or know someone that does, we encourage you to read this blog #1 in a series of 3 on “Depression”.
First off, what is depression? Depression is a mood disorder that causes sadness, irritation, tiredness, loss of interest, and having more of a negative outlook, gloomy. It affects people physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The severity of depression can vary between individuals. One might have a mild case of it while for another person it can stop their life- completely.
I want to share a story of when I was depressed (but wasn’t diagnosed by a Medical Doctor). If you have read my personal health story journey, starting with the first blog When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…, you know that I battled for my life to become healthy and well, despite nearly passing from this earth because of how ill I was. In the blog A Close Call and Fading In, Fading Out that day was a pivotal turning point for me. Why? I’d been wreathing in pain on the bathroom floor, life fading out of me, “One last red-hot electrical shock of pain seared through me. I yelled out, arching my body trying to free myself. My head is going to burst. I tried to open my eyes in a last attempt to stay conscious. I opened them, but all I saw was the color gray. I closed my eyes. I couldn’t hear anything.”
“Peace. Quiet. I had no oxygen left in me. There was utter silence. I felt, heard, and saw nothing. I was present in the gray. I’d lost consciousness, for a brief time. Somewhere deep inside my brain, I was still fighting for life and I was somehow aware of that. My body knew, even in my unconscious state, that I wasn’t giving in to death.”
In that quiet gray place there was still some light. In that moment, I made a subconscious decision that I’m forever grateful for. I wanted to be alive and well. I wanted to climb out of illness, disease, and to learn at a new level how to become “more healthy”. It was time to really dig deep and face into my emotions. All of them, starting with my “denial” that I was depressed. I was facing into the depression that I hadn’t admitted to up to that point in time. That day, as I came-to on the bathroom floor, that was the day my depression LIFTED. I knew in my heart of hearts I wanted to live in the light here on this earth, doing whatever my Papa God had in store for me. I wanted to be free from the blanket of darkness that was trying to envelope me and take me under any further.
As I’d came back to reality that day, I’d heard my Mom crying as she was holding onto me on the bathroom floor. I’d taken a huge gulp of air. In that moment, I knew something powerful had happened. I’d made a choice IN THE GRAY that had already begun to change my life for the better. It was as if true cleansing had taken place within my being. I had a “knowing” that I had just endured the worst of my time being sick… and from there on out, I would get better, slowly, but surely. I can’t explain it other than I just knew. To some this may sound completely crazy. And that’s fine. I’m not here to convince you one way or another as to what happened to me or what can happen to other people.
Depression is a like a “dark, heavy blanket” of which a person may or may not want to crawl out from underneath. Some days, maybe a depressed person ventures out… and other days they won’t.
What I want to share with you in the rest of today’s blog (and the next one too) is more about depression that doesn’t get talked about, and is going to be controversial.
What if depression was meant as a tool for us to dig deeper, to question, to grow, and to mature? Also, what if depression, at its core, is in part or wholly a nutritional deficiency? What if depression could be overcome without medication? What if depression has such a hold on our life, we can’t overcome it until perhaps something drastic happens, a REAL LOW which takes us spiraling down? What if depression is something that gives us reason(s) to address areas in our life that need our attention, our awareness, or some deeper “digesting” of life experience(s)? What if depression’s emptiness is a way for us to become at peace with self?
First, I want to say that NO, I’m not telling you (or anyone) what or how to deal with depression. What’s right for one might not be right for another. Secondly, what I’m suggesting is that we “consider” if there is something more going on with depression than what we’ve been told about depression from various avenues of healthcare.
Depression is at an all-time epidemic high right now. Why? I have my thoughts… and maybe you have yours, too, as to why? None the less, we can agree to disagree, still open to hear the other. Right? Since becoming a natural health minded person, and changing my life upside down and inside out, I’ve learned a lot about various ways of healing- naturally. That’s not to say I still don’t have a lot to learn. But I do want to share with you some things I’ve learned.
Depression affects not only the one experiencing it, but every person around them. What if depression was a by-product of not getting enough of something? I mean, think about it… not getting enough “encouraging affirmations”, not getting enough “sleep”, or not getting enough “of the right nutrients into our bodies”. Depression can stem from a chemical imbalance. Often times, if we are low in nutrients we gravitate towards alcohol, caffeine, and towards sugar to “off set” the imbalance, whether we know it or not… we subconsciously can do this.
When chemicals are imbalanced, there’s a real potential to wreak havoc in our lives. Just ask any woman that has her monthly menses. Her emotions can range widely and quickly. Why? When a woman loses blood during menses, it causes the chemicals and nutrients in her body to decrease. This, in turn, can make her have more or less symptoms with her cycle, making her more or less “moody”. If she can supplement in, or eat foods high in what she is losing, she can off-set some of the symptoms or the degree of the symptom(s), supporting the chemical reactions to stay “balanced”.
Depression as a nutrient and chemical imbalance, is a depiction of a woman’s cycle, but depression affects the brain instead of the ovaries.
The brain is the control system of our body. The hippocampus, centered underneath the basal ganglia in the brain, is what is directly affected from depression. This part of our brain helps with memory, forming emotions, and behaviors. These 3 areas of “helps” are all decreased and impaired when we have depression.
So, if this MAY be true that depression could possibly be telling a person “something more”, that we need to increase, get rid of, or change something(s) and we are not doing any of those things, will treatment of medication alone fix the issue? Willpower and trying to “stay positive” without doing anything else will, more often than not, not be enough help.
In my opinion, we’ve got to address the root problem of individual cases of depression. This could be done via addressing nutrient deficiencies, trying “talk therapy”, taking a depression medication for a time, or, getting other treatments needed to bring about positive change.
There are other options for people who incur bouts of depression, especially seasonally, which could improve a person’s overall outlook and experience of life.
There’s more to come in the next blog, Part 2 of 3, on Depression.
TO BE CONTINUED.