Five Essential Steps to Dealing With Depression
Depression is one of the most common disorders in the UK, with three million new cases reported every year.
What causes depression?
Depression is rooted in the brain, and it is caused by an imbalance in the brain. For some, hormones can throw off the balance of the brain, and this can result in depression, for others, chemicals can be too high or too low. Either way, the brain is going to respond in a different way than it should, and depression is a result. Every emotion that is in your mind is a result of chemicals that your brain is using. When these chemicals are off, you are going to experience different moods than when they are where they should be. These chemicals are responding to different emotions you are feeling. This is why you can slip into a depression after you feel sad, angry, or anxious.
What are the treatments for depression?
Treatments for depression are often a variety of pills that doctors prescribe. These dosages vary in length and intensity, but they all have one thing in common: they treat depression, they don’t cure it. Maybe this sounds like bad news right now, but don’t get discouraged. Depression is a condition you are experiencing in your mind, and it can be cured with the mind alone. Let’s help you cure your depression, and you have to walk away from it forever. No more relapses, no more days when you are feeling sad or worse. Let’s see how you can defeat this feeling forever. There is a cure for depression, and it is free. It doesn’t help that you have to schedule doctor appointments, and wait to go, then you have to go to the store and pay for your prescription. You have high hopes for the medication working this time, and for a while it helps, but it always wears off. No matter what you have tried, no matter how long you have tried, you are stuck in a cycle of depression, but you have to know how to break out of the cycle for good. This cure isn’t going to require any medication, and it isn’t going to cost you any money. The cure for depression is in your own mind, right now. May be it feels hopeless right now, but there is hope. The Solution Is Fixing The Problem, Not Just Treating It. For some people, the concept of depression is just that, a concept. For you, it is something that is real and true… and horrible. It is likely that you feel trapped and lonely, among other things. It is common for people with depression to feel as though they are alone in the world, like they have no one. You are not alone, and that you do have the help and support that you need… and it isn’t going to require that you take any medication. You need to forget about pills and treatments, and start focusing on the cure. We live in a society that is too dependent on doctors and medication. You have the power within yourself to beat this for good, and it isn’t going to take a single pill.
In this modern day it is used to treat anything and everything, whether it is going to cure you or not. If you have dealt with depression for any length of time, it is likely that you have dealt with doctors on the subject of anti-depressants. Doctors will prescribe anti-depressants pretty quickly these days. They will give you things that are going to shut off some parts of the brain, or they are going to give you things that are going to stimulate some other parts of your brain. You are going to go from doctor to doctor and receive prescription after prescription, but you aren’t going to really get to the bottom of your depression. You are going to spend your life treating it, but you have to realize that treating something and curing it are two different things. The key to breaking out of depression is in your own mind. You may feel frustrated with the doctors that you have seen. Every time you go you hope that you are going to get the relief that you have been seeking, but every time you leave, you are given medication that you are supposed to try. You are told that you are going to feel better, or that you may have to deal with side effects, but you are never given the hope that your depression is going to go away. This is because all the medications do is treat your symptoms.Depression is largely in your mind. You don’t have to have any outside things going on to be depressed, and there is no warning that it is going to strike. With this being the case, it isn’t going to do you any good putting something in your physical body that is going to cure what is in your mind. You can take pills to treat symptoms, but you can’t take pills to cure what you are going through.A problem that is in the mind, needs to be dealt with in the mind, and you can do it with your depression.
Let’s See How
You need to deal with depression in both of its forms.You already know that there is a battle when it comes to depression. You have to fight to feel good, but that isn’t where it ends. You have to fight to stay feeling good. It is like a double edged sword. No matter how hard you try, it seems like you are fighting your whole life, just to feel good. This may come as a shock to you where you are right now, or you may find relief in finding someone who can agree with the struggle. You are fighting every day to keep from going back into your depression, and when you are in it, you are fighting to get out of it. Most people don’t know how exhausting that struggle can be. You can’t share how hard it is to stay out of depression, but there is good news. Doctors around the world have been working to not only help people just like you break out of their depression, but they have been working to find a way for you to stay out of that depression.
The Power of the Mind
In a quest to find a treatment that is going to keep you from slipping back into a depression, doctors have learned some incredible things about the mind. You may have experienced a time when you were depressed, then you broke out of it. You were doing great, then something happened that caused you to slip right back into your depression, and you were forced to start the cycle of trying to get out of it over again. Sound familiar? Don’t get discouraged. This is actually something that is very common when it comes to depression, and there is a reason for it. You need to know how to avoid it so you don’t have to keep going through this cycle. Depression has its trigger points, much the same as other disorders do. The mind is a very intricate place. It is filled with information, and it stores said information in remarkable ways. Your mind is designed to associate certain feelings or actions with emotions. Just like you can remember the smell of your favorite cookies growing up, and you associate that smell with certain feelings of happiness, so depression can be triggered by certain things in your life. You may feel sad when you are depressed. Of course you find that this is natural so you don’t give it another thought. Then, when you break out of the depression, you may run into something sad. Now, this sadness that has crept in, your mind doesn’t know how to handle it. You were happy, and that is what your mind was focused on, but since your mind associates sadness with depression, when you are faced with something sad, you are almost certain to slip back into a depression, simply because that is what your mind is used to doing. You can control your relapse into depression if you can control how your mind handles trigger points. Now, this isn’t to say that you can control when you are sad, or angry, or anything else, but you can control how that affects the rest of your mind. Doctors conducted a study on people that associated being sad with depression, and they studied people who had completely recovered from this depression. They found that when these people were exposed to sadness, they could begin to recall things that had to do with their depression. Now, here is where it gets interesting… and hopeful… for you. The people that passed through the sadness and didn’t dwell on it went on with their lives in a very normal way. It was the people that were prolonged with the sadness and who made a point of being exposed to the sadness that were experiencing relapses. By developing a new relationship to your trigger, you are going to be able to handle it when you are exposed to it. Sadness may not be your trigger, but let’s continue to use it as an example.
For starters, it is important to realize that there is no way to avoid your trigger completely. We live in a world where bad things happen. They happen to good people, they happen to innocent people, they could happen to you, and they could happen to me.It would be completely irrational to think that you would stay out of depression if you could erase your trigger, because there is no way for you to erase your trigger. You don’t have any control over when these things pop up in your life, or how long they are going to stay, but don’t worry, there is good news in all of this. You don’t want you to erase your trigger, you want you to learn a new way of dealing with your trigger. You are going to be able to live life with these things in your life a lot easier if you develop a new relationship with your trigger than if you are trying to avoid the trigger all together. But what is the difference? If I avoid the trigger aren’t I as good as I am if I am dealing with it? Not necessarily. When you are avoiding a trigger, you aren’t going to have any symptoms that are caused by having the trigger present. This is going to work great for you, as long as you never run into that trigger. Think about it. If you are allergic to bee stings, you can spend your entire life just fine so long as you never get stung by a bee. But you are outside, and you are doing things in tall grass, around flowers, anywhere that a bee could be. You may think that you are going to be fine as long as you don’t get stung, which may be true, but what are you going to do once you do get stung? As soon as that happens, everything you did to avoid getting stung goes out the window, and you find yourself in a world of hurt. Now, if you were to have a medication that was going to keep the bee sting from hurting you when it happened, you are going to be ok regardless of if you get stung or not. If you get stung, all you have to do is take some of your medication, and you are going to be fine. The same goes for depression. You can spend your whole life trying to stay away from your trigger, and this will work great for you, unless something happens that causes you to be exposed to your trigger. If that happens, all the months of hard work are going to go out the window as you crumble back into a state of depression. Learn how to live with and deal with your triggers, and you are going to learn how to keep out of relapse with your depression. It’s understandable that when you are in the thick of it, it feels impossible, but the bottom line is that you can deal with your depression without any medication whatsoever. It is a matter of the mind, and how you are relating to the world around you. Whether you are currently in a depression or if you are scared you are going to relapse back into one, it is important that you know how to deal with your triggers. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can avoid them your whole life, or that you are strong enough to just tough it out. There are real methods you can apply to the triggers you are facing, and keep them from pulling you back down
The Truth About Mindfulness
When we decide to stop trying to avoid triggers, and start putting into practice a way to deal with them, we are engaging in mindfulness. All the term mindfulness really means is that you have a level of awareness when you are thinking about something. This is an awareness that stops at a mere awareness. It is a level of focus that is directed toward a certain thought, feeling, or situation, and it is absorbing the facts of the situation. There is no judgement, and there is no emotion leaning one way or another, it is merely a state of awareness. You need to learn how to purposely pay attention to the present moment you are in, without judgement on what is going on. As soon as you are able to think about things this way, and focus your energy on situations in this way, you are going to realize that there is way more to a situation than you were giving it credit before. In our common way of life, we are so focused on action and reaction, that we miss so much of what is actually going on. When you allow yourself to view a situation unbiased and unattached to what is going on, you are going to open up areas of your mind that have always been shut down. This is something that is hard to grasp when you are reading it, because words don’t do the concept justice. Mindfulness is your New Medication. Let’s take a second and step away from the triggers, and focus on meditation. Meditation is a practice that is largely ignored in the medical circle, which is a major mistake on the part of the practitioners. The mind is so powerful, and so healing. You can help yourself or even heal yourself with nothing but your mind, if you know and understand how to use it effectively.
Meditation for Medication
When many people hear the word meditation, a few stereotypical things come to their mind, which, at times, causes them to avoid the practice. This is a mistake on their part, because meditation is going to do wonders for their body and soul, and the stereotypes are completely false. You might think of monks, or of priests in robes. Or perhaps you are thinking of a yoga class or some African doctor sitting with his arms and legs crossed chanting some phrase. While all of these people may engage in meditation, you don’t have to do any of it if you want to meditate yourself. You can dress as you are right now, you can do it in the comfort of your own home, or you can do it when you are out and about during your day. In order for you to truly grasp and utilize this concept of meditation, you need to rid yourself of any baggage you have when it comes to the idea. This is going to help you learn how to meditate to help… and cure… your depression. This isn’t about having any out of body experiences, this isn’t about traveling with your mind to a different place than you are right now, and this isn’t about becoming one with anything. This is a medical practice that is going to be used to cure your depression. That’s it, plain and simple. You have to forget all of the things you think about mediation, and view it as your new form of medication. There are all kinds of exercises You have to practice in order to get a full grasp of this. Take some time, and think about a variety of things in the conceptual manner, then in the experiencing manner. You are going to see with each new situation that there is a vast difference between the two ways of thinking about it, and you are going to begin to pick up on how you can apply this to your emotions, and negative experiences. It is a hard thing to accept, the fact that we have a choice over our response in life. It is a lot easier, and a lot more fun to feel like life happens to us, and we are the victim of the outcome. You have got to reach the point in your brain where you can take life as it comes, but not let it cripple you, or even have an effect on your day. Life happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly happens, but it doesn’t have to define you or what you do. Using mindfulness and meditation to experience life is going to show you the options you have in response to the things that are going on around you. This is not about your outward response, but rather your inward response. For example, you can have an interaction with someone that is unpleasant, and you can choose to deal with it nicely on the outside, but spend the rest of the day torn up about the interaction on the inside. You have to reach the place in your own mind where you can deal with unpleasant situations and not be torn up about it on the inside or the outside. When you are able to experience life and the situations that arise, you are going to see that you have control over your reaction on both fronts. This is going to give you greater control over your mood in general, and you are going to feel like you have control of your life, which, in turn, is going to keep your from relapsing into depression.
Mindfulness Versus Medication
Of course there are always going to be those people that are skeptical about not using medication. We are raised in a society that teaches us to fix everything with a pill, no matter what it is we are dealing with or what the pill happens to be. If you are one of these people, you need to lay your fears aside. Meditation and mindfulness therapy has been something that has not only been around for centuries, but it has been tested and proven true by doctors around the world. In a study that involved more than one thousand patients in seven different countries worldwide, doctors and scientists found that the response to mindfulness therapy was just as strong as the response many experienced with anti-depressants, and that the relapse rate of those with mindfulness therapy was less than what those on anti-depressant medication were experiencing. And not only is the response to mindfulness therapy as strong as it is to medication, mindfulness therapy has other benefits as well. When you are on any kind of medication, or when you are considering medications, the first thing the doctors bring up to you is the fact that there are side effects. Side effects are in every kind of medication, and the harm that they can potentially cause has made some people opt out of using medication at all. If you take a moment to read the list of side effects that are on your own bottle of anti-depressants, you are going to find all kinds of bad things. They range from loss of appetite, lack of interest, loss of sleep, to increased thoughts of suicide. If you are dealing with any of these things already, you don’t want to take anything that could potentially make those worse! Anti-depressants are supposed to help you with your depression, but for some the risks that are involved with taking them makes them fear even trying it, and that is news that is depressing in and of itself. There are no negative side effects when you are practicing mindfulness, and it has been proven the practice leads to positive changes in your brain. People who practice mindfulness therapy not only avoid dealing with possible bad side effects, they are seeing actual improvements in their thought patterns. So think about it, not only are you saving money and avoiding all kinds of potential problems, but you are also causing an improvement to take place in your brain. So you are fixing the problem, you aren’t just treating it.
The beauty of the Present Moment Pathway
There is a part of the brain that is largely ignored, and largely unused. In the life that we live, we are in such a rush we often go through life without ever really paying attention to it. Not many people take the time to experience the life that is around them. They breeze through their day, doing this and saying that, but they aren’t ever stopping to think about what they are actually doing or saying. The more we rush through life, the more we are skipping the conceptual working of the mind, and the less we use the part of the brain that is known as the Present Moment Pathway. Let’s go back to the foot exercise. When you are going through your life as so many people do, without ever analyzing the things you are doing or experiencing them, you are never using the part of your brain that is programmed to pay attention to these things. When you are using mindfulness and experiencing life, you are opening up the part of the brain that is in charge of these things. This is the Present Moment Pathway. This is the part of the brain that is in charge of what is going on in the present moment . Sure, you can think of things that are going on, and you can think of how you are going to handle things, but it is this part of the brain that focuses on where you are right now, what you are experiencing right now, how you feel about what you are experiencing right now, and what the best next move will be. At first, you might have the attitude that it doesn’t matter, but the more you experience the life that is around you, the more you are going to see value in the present moment, and how the brain deals with it. It is interesting to note that this part of the brain plays a major part in dealing with sadness specifically. The more this part of the brain is used, the better it is able to respond to sadness. Now, it does not mean that you aren’t going to ever feel sad, but when you develop this part of your brain, you are going to see that it deals with sadness in a way that you never have before. You are able to experience sadness, think about sadness, and even feel sadness, but the Present Moment Pathway in the brain is going to focus on where you are right now in relation to that sadness and the best way for you to deal with it.
To summarize, it is going to help you get through the sadness and experience the sadness as it happens, but it isn’t going to allow you to get consumed with the sadness. Depression behaves as though it has control of you. It appears to lie in wait and look for an opportune moment, then take control of you as soon as you are knocked down by something. When you are practicing mindfulness, you are going to see that you have control of these things that knock you down, and you have control over your response to these things. This is what is going to keep you from becoming consumed by emotions and situations like you used to, and keep you from that horrible relapse. It is of utmost importance that you understand you are going to still experience these things in life, but that you can control your response to them. The more you are in control of your mind and your emotions, the less depression is going to have control over you It’s understandable that that it is tempting to reach for your bottle of medication when you are having a bad day, but YOU want to challenge you to work through it, and to embrace this method of mindfulness. You are going to see a major, positive change in your life in a matter of days, and you are going to be able to effectively get off of your medication all together.
Five Important Lessons for Dealing with Depression
Mindfulness therapy is a treatment for your depression that is going to cure your depression for good. You aren’t going to have to worry about any more relapses sneaking up on you, or becoming stuck in any depression you are currently experiencing. There is one single drawback to mindfulness therapy, and while it is well worth it when it is working, it can be hard to stick with at first, and that drawback is the fact that it takes a little while to set into your life. When you are in the thick of depression, you want relief now. When every day feels like a challenge, when you are arguing with yourself about even getting out of bed, when everything in life feels like a chore, you will give anything for just a bit of relief. It is for that reason here are five lessons that are important when it comes to depression. Now, these aren’t going to cure you of your depression, but they are certainly going to help you in your battle, and they are going to see you through to when you can view everything with a mindful eye. Before seeing what these lessons are, know that it is important that you do your part. It is all too easy when it comes to depression to let yourself be stuck in it, and to give up on trying. Think of depression as a monster and your happiness as a knight. They are both struggling for dominion over you, and only one can win. You don’t want the depression to win, so you are going to have to fight it. Even when it is hard, fight. With every fiber you have in you, never give up the hope that you are going to get through it, and it is going to be gone for good. With that in mind, fight to maintain any level of happiness that you have. Now, below are five lessons that will help you where you are right now.
Lesson 1. Your perceptions of yourself are wrong. Stop telling yourself those things about you. Depression and self-loathing tend to go hand in hand, but you have to make a conscious effort to ignore those negative thoughts that crop up in your mind, and tell yourself that they are not true. It’s obvious that you feel like you are worthless. You feel like no one cares about you, and you feel like you should give up. You have to stop letting your mind tell you those things if you want to break out of this depression. Our brains are funny things. The more we tell ourselves something, the more we believe that it is true. This is why many self-help doctors tell people who are struggling with self-esteem to say out loud that they are beautiful and they are worthy. When your brain hears something enough times, it is going to believe that it is true, and this works both ways. Whenever you hear those negative things being said in your head, tell yourself that they are not true, out loud if you have to, and force your brain to think of something else. Your will power is ultimately what is in control of your mind, and if you make it think of positive and uplifting things, you are going to be amazed at how much that alone helps lessen your depression.
Lesson 2. How you feel is valid. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Keeping the points from lesson one in mind, move on into lesson two, and sort of help balance in your mind what you read in lesson one. For some people who are trying to help, they will tell a person that is experiencing depression that they aren’t feeling what they are feeling. Or they will tell the person that they are choosing to be depressed. To snap out of it. These people may use different phrases, and they most certainly mean well, but what they are saying doesn’t help, and they are mistaken in their advice. When you read in lesson one that you can’t listen to the negative things your brain is telling you when you are depressed, it wasn’t implied that you didn’t struggle with actually feeling that way. As it was pointed out in lesson one, when you hear something enough times, you genuinely do begin to believe it. So it is fully obvious that you do feel worthless, and you do feel like nobody cares. Simply understand that just because you feel this way, it doesn’t make it so.
This is why let’s bring up two important points when it comes to your depression:
1.You have to ignore the negativity your brain is telling you: just because you hear your brain telling you these things and you feel them, it doesn’t make them true.
2.By making that deliberate effort to change the way your brain works, you are going to experience these thoughts a lot less, and you are going to feel like you have a greater control of your depression.
Thoughts and feelings are powerful experiences in your life, and while they largely go hand in hand, they don’t have to. You can break this cycle that you are in, you can. Make the deliberate effort to tell yourself that you are worth it, and you are going to notice a definite increase in how you feel about life.
Lesson 3. You need to have support from other people. Real people.
It is clear that you are looking for help with your depression. You may be going to a doctor of some kind in addition to reading this, or you might be scouring the internet for groups of people that are dealing with depression, too. While these things are important, and they are definitely going to help you, you have to urge you to find face to face support as well. Talk about how you are feeling with a close friend or a family member. Depression is a disorder that promotes loneliness. You feel as though you are the only one that can understand how you feel, you think that no one else cares, and you feel more comfortable alone. These are all very natural responses to depression, but they are harmful in the long run. The more you isolate yourself, the easier it is going to be to retreat from any help that is offered. As difficult as it is, you have got to put yourself out there, and at least talk to someone about it. Just knowing that someone else is there for you is going to help you so much in your fight with this disorder.
Lesson 4. It is ok to admit that you need help, and to ask for help.
A lot of people, especially men who are dealing with depression, don’t want to admit that they need help. They feel as though others are going to judge them or that they are less of a man if they feel depressed. No matter who you are, what your status is in life, or any outside factors, it is important that you admit that you need help, and that you get the help that you need. This help may be different depending on who has the depression. You might only need to talk to your friends and family, or you might have to go to a doctor or a specialist. There is no shame in needing help, and there is no shame in asking for help. It shows a great level of strength to be able to admit you need it and to ask for it, so be proud when you are able to do so. Never underestimate the power depression can have over you, or assume that you are strong enough to just tough it out. There are nights when it really does seem unbearable, and those are the nights when you are going to need somewhere to go, and someone to turn to. Don’t let another day go by without getting some form of support from a real life person that you can get a hold of any time of the day or night. You know how bad it can get, and you don’t have to deal with that all on your own.
Lesson 5. It doesn’t have to be like this, and it isn’t going to always be like this.
As you well know, when you are depressed, a shadow of depression is thrown on everything that you do. When you think, your thoughts are tainted with a negative tone, when you are alone, you feel alone in every sense of the word. No matter what you do, there is a gloom that is resting on you and holding you back from living your life. It’s obvious that that this gloom is there, and People don’t know how hard it is for you to live with it. What makes it even worse is the fact that you feel like it is always going to be this way. Sadly, this is the root of why so much depression leads to suicide. The depressed person feels like they are going to be depressed forever, and that death is the only way out of their unhappiness. No matter how hard it gets, no matter what you are facing or how badly you feel, you are going to get better. Depression is a disorder, it is not a way of life. It is an imbalance in your brain, it isn’t anything to do with you as a person. Break out of the feeling that you are going to be stuck in this forever, and stop thinking that there is something wrong with you that will keep you from ever getting well. You can get over this problem with nothing more than changing how you are thinking about things, and with that thought process, you can keep from slipping back into this depression again. Take a moment now, and close your eyes. Do the same exercise you did with your feet to read through each of these lessons, and experience them. You probably noticed that the list of items you were to practice this exercise on was a list of material items and physical senses. They were all things that you can see, touch, and feel. These things are easier to comprehend when it comes to thinking about something verses experiencing it, and many doctors consider you taking your mind to the next level when you apply this exercise to things that are not material. That is the point, however, of the entire exercise. You are supposed to practice on the physical things to deal with your mental triggers. When you think about the lessons that you just saw, and when you think about them again in an experiencing way, you are going to see what it means about taking the exercise from physical to mental. Read and apply the lessons to your life right now, as these are what are going to help you the most where you are, but also use your mindfulness to experience each of these lessons. There is a whole new realm of truth you are going to be able to tap in to when you read them in the light of experience, and you are going to feel a lot more in control over your depression.