In the last blog post (Depression Is Real, Part 2 of 3) I wrote about many of depressions qualities and what depression can teach us. Today, I want to piece together the last two blog posts and ultimately give hope, light, clarity and encouragement to anyone to work through depression.
I presented in the last blog post on depression of it being treated by something more than just mechanically and chemically by medications. That it should also be looked at from an emotional, spiritual, and physiological perspectives as well. That being said, let’s jump right in!
Depression is often looked at as a disease or illness to be treated (mechanically and chemically) from a medical stand point. Again, I’m not degrading this approach! This being said, a medication, drug, to address these two aspects of depression, and not any of the other approaches mentioned above seems to me as “falling short” of a standard in helping people with depression. Here’s my point; we were NEVER designed to become dependent on a supplement, drug, or medication for the rest of our lives to “treat” something.
This may offend you, but that’s not my intention in expressing this. I’m sharing this because it’s something that isn’t talked about freely, without being admonished for saying the outrageous statement, that quiet honestly needs to be addressed.
If we are relying on something everyday to “cure” us, we are NOT really curing it, we are band-aiding it and never getting to the root cause(s). And this is exactly where other aspects of depression should be brought into the mix. A depression medication to some extent actually inhibits us from experiencing our true emotions. Depression and anxiety tend to go hand-in-hand. Maybe you or a loved one was told to start taking a medication for anxiety or depression because you were “too emotional”. I’m not saying a person shouldn’t be put on a medication. What I’m saying is that we ARE supposed to experience emotions, both the ups and the downs that life brings. But if we want to be set free, we’ve got to work through our emotions, thoughts, experiences, pains, that are bringing us to this stage of life that’s heavy, depressing.
What do I mean, that depression is a stage in life? Am I telling you that everyone experiences depression? Am I saying depression is normal? The answers to these questions…
Yes, depression can be a stage in every life. Does it have to be? No. Why? Because we could choose to work through our emotional baggage, address nutritional deficiencies (DIRECTLY correlated to depression (check out Dr. Daniel Amen, the Brain Doctor), or an american standard to decrease stress(es) in our lives, or to eat foods that feed our brain (GOOD fats are necessary in order to truly overcome depression). We could also lighten dark gloomy times by cultivating gratitude, find a spiritual practice that’s right for you that brings you peace, expanding our mental capacity (AKA learning new things), and so much more can be experimented with. There’s many aspects of a person’s life that aren’t addressed in the standard treatment of depression. The point is, we need to be incorporating more healthy, brain boosting, healing aspects into our everyday lives to grow through what we go through in a depression.
For some people, they hit a place where one day they just can’t get out of bed. Well, in a situation like that, this has been building for years… and now, the person(s) are clinically depressed. Giving a simple medication probably isn’t going to fix the problem. But then again, maybe some people don’t know to or don’t want to fix the problem. Maybe they just want to band-aid it and keep living their life “like normal”. It’s not going to last though, because the brain just keeps deteriorating. And yes, that’s SCARY to think about!
Depression, for others, just kind of happens. They taper into it. It’s something they battle with here and there but doesn’t hit them like the plague. But without incorporating and getting the questions we all need to be asking ourselves, it won’t go away. Which brings us to the next question of, “does everyone experience depression?”. To some degree throughout the course of our lives, yes I believe we all do. “Does that mean depression is normal?” Yes, and no. To experience aspects of it, yes. To live being dependent on a medication, alcohol, drugs, coffee, sex, over-exercising, sugar, or some other form of a “high” to help get out of a funk isn’t normal, but it certainly common.
Depression makes us want a “high” in order to get out of our funk. The examples of highs above are just a few of MANY popular ones people gravitate towards. Can these be helpful, yes- temporarily. If we become dependent on them, just like a medication, then we are just covering, not curing depression. We should NOT have to exercise a certain amount per day so that we make sure we “feel good”. Yes, exercise helps boosts oxytocin (the happy hormone), but we can’t rely on that hormone to constantly bring us happiness to improve our mood. We need to get to our root issues to have sustainable good mental and emotional health.
Tying everything together. Depression is a combination of things that we are either doing too much of, not enough of, or are completely unlearned about. In today’s society too often we are simply handed a prescription for medication to treat depression, but it’s not addressing the root cause. It’s not curing us. Each of us battles emotions in our lives. That’s the norm. But if we get to a serious enough degree of unmanageable stress and discomfort, we end up going to the doctor for help. And yes, sometimes that IS needed.
Again, depression is at an all time epidemic high, and isn’t being talked about in other ways that it could be addressed. Depression is more that taking pills. Depression should be working through our emotions, our history, our traumas; all the emotions bottled up inside of us that are just waiting to spout out IF we are brave enough to. We should also be addressing nutritional deficiencies.
I briefly touched on eating GOOD fats to help/feed our brain, which is DIRECTLY correlated with depression- a lack of essential fatty acids (EFAs). We can improve our brains with EFAs such as Olive oil, Coconut oil, Nut oils, nut Butters, Ghee and Fish Oils. Also, boosting our B Vitamins, Niacin, Glutathione, and others. We need to GROW our brain and the truth is, with the various medications people are handed these days, these do not enhance our brain health like all natural methods of “Food as Medicine” do. The good food we eat won’t give us enough of these important vitamins if we are eating sugar, refined carbohydrates, and drinking alcohol… further deteriorating our overall health and specifically our brain health.
Our society is both ignorant of and unwilling to look outside of the box of what we think is “normal”. We receive “labels” and live with those concerning illness/disease. We don’t have to settle with a label.
There is hope to overcome, but first we need to be willing to look in from outside of the box. We need to be willing to try new things for a season of time, which also doesn’t mean to live the rest of your life doing that one new thing but willing to try more and/or different things as time evolves and WE evolve. We need to change our perspective of taking the label of depression as a label we live with for years, a season of time, or for the rest of our lives. We need to look into our depression and find out WHY this is happening “for us”, not “to us”, and begin to work through our emotions, past trauma, anger, resentment, un-forgiveness, abandonment, condemnation, hurts, neglect, loneliness, our lack of or misconceptions of spirituality, look at reoccurring dreams, and pull back the heavy dark blankets that try to cover us.
Life wasn’t meant to live in unhealthy places in the mind as a life-long sentence of “depression”. By taking the first steps, entering into what depression is blanketing us with, what if by talking about our past (unhappy current job, resentments, emotions, all just mentioned in the last paragraph) we actually start to find freedom in our lives? What if we ate good, healthy and nourishing fats and our stinking thinking started to change to more positive outlooks? What if by addressing nutritional deficiencies we were able to slowly ease off depression medication?
Depression comes into our lives to teach us something, or more often than not, a lot of things. Are we willing to each look at, ponder, self reflect, start to dig deep and find answers to questions that come up? To begin to truly express ourselves and start the process of forgiving others and even ourselves? Is it REALLY possible to come out the other side more refined in being the beautiful person that you are by going through depression’s tunnel(s) to see the light? I not only think so,… I know so. I’ve lived through it, taking it day by day to slowly but surely come out the other side refined and not defined by depression, and you can too. There’s hope.
I hope that this series of blog posts has allowed you to look at depression in a different way than what’s “normal” to most of us. I hope that maybe you’ve learned a few things, that maybe just maybe you may want to research and look into to help yourself or a loved one. I hope that wherever you are in your journey, (whether it be currently experiencing depression, having overcome it, or are ready to throw in the towel and give up), I hope YOU find hope in knowing that YOU are not the problem. There are many things we can do to help ourselves, but we each need to take the steps to do so. We can’t expect nor ask anybody to do it for us. It’s our place to face into what our personal depression is teaching us. Can you and are you willing to enter in? The choice is only yours to make. I truly hope you choose to let depression refine you instead of define you, if this is your story right now.
Peace, love, and encouragement to YOU today and always! And thank you for hanging in here and tackling an enormously heavy subject that isn’t always easy to talk about. We hope you will walk away from this 3 part series of “Depression” with a greater understanding and knowledge of the subject.
Until next time, when we’ll talk about a less heavy subject 😉