How Did I Get Here?
It took me a long time to figure out that the dark, lonely, constant in my life was really depression. I thought I was just under a lot of stress (which I was) and that it would pass. I’d have good days, then days when I literally felt like I was fighting my way up from the bottom of the sea.
I was fortunate in that I figured out that a change in diet and a consistent exercise regimen helped significantly. Then I involved myself in a number of years of personal growth programs to fight my way back. And, I did. Without drugs.
Do Drugs Help?
According to research done by Dr. Irving Kirsch, and explored in his book, The Emperor’s New Drugs, a lot of what we know about depression is wrong. He says that not only did Big Pharma invent the idea of a brain imbalance that causes depression and is fixed with a drug, but antidepressants only have a placebo effect. Dr. Kirsch also explains that the relapse rate for people on meds is much higher than for people who undergo psychotherapy.
So, if it isn’t a brain imbalance that causes depression, what is it?
According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride (author, Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and Dr. David Perlmutter, (author, Brain Maker), there are three major causes of depression.
1. Painful Life Situations
When life is very painful, depression is almost guaranteed. Situational depression is normal. Life events can cause great heartbreak, grief and feelings of helplessness. These feelings need to be felt with much compassion, and then released out of the body, rather than being numbed with meds.
Rather than suppressing extremely painful feelings, learn to lovingly manage and release the feelings from life situations such as the following:
- Loss of a loved one
- Loss of a job
- Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, or fire
- Marital and parental challenges
- Child abuse
- Violent situations such as rape, beatings, or theft
It’s important and necessary to grieve and compassionately embrace feelings of heartbreak, grief, and helplessness rather than suppress those feelings with drugs. Suppressing the feelings can cause them to get stuck in the body, and stuck feelings can cause illness.
I have used some of the following therapies with excellent results and would highly recommend them to release trauma energy that is “stuck” in the body. They help to release and reset the body’s energy without using drugs.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), SE (Somatic Experiencing), or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), in order to release and reset the “stuck” traumatic energy.
2. Physical Causes From The Gut
There is some literature (see Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and Brain Maker by Dr. David Perlmutter) indicating that certain imbalances in gut flora (leaky gut, for example) are linked to depression.
A gut imbalance and the resulting gut permeability could be caused by sugar, wheat, gluten, and processed chemical-laden foods, or by a lack of macro- and micronutrients from clean organic foods. Other factors include, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and lack of sunshine.
There is an abundance of information on the impact of diet and lifestyle on the gut that causes mental and emotional health issues. Be sure to check out natural ways of healing the gut. There is also a lot of information available on the gut-brain connection that is worth investigating. I’ll take a closer look at this connection in a future newsletter
Medication covers over the feelings that let you know you are abandoning yourself – emotionally, physically, financially, organizationally, spiritually, or relationally.
There are many ways you might have learned to abandon yourself, such as:
- Ignoring your feelings, rather than being present in your body
- Judging and shaming yourself
- Turning to various addictions as a way of numbing yourself out and avoiding responsibility for learning from and lovingly managing your feelings
- Making others responsible for your feelings of worth and safety
- Eating badly
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Under-spending (even when money is available)
- Being consistently late, disorganized, cluttered
- Lack of a spiritual practice
- Giving yourself up to others
- Not speaking up for yourself
- Using anger, blame, judgment, and/or violence to try to control others
This is certainly not a complete list. Anything we do that results in feeling depressed — as well as feeling anxious or shamed — may be a form of self-abandonment.
Thousands of people have healed their clinical depression by learning to love themselves rather than continuing to abandon themselves. People heal their depression when they:
- Get the psychotherapy and trauma therapy they need.
- Learn to take loving responsibility for their feelings.
- Learn to connect with a spiritual source of love and comfort to help them manage the pain of life.
- Eat cleanly, exercise, and get enough sleep.
- Learn to lovingly manage stress.
- Learn to take loving care of themselves in their relationships.
There is no quick fix for depression, but there is a way to heal!
As a professional in the field of health and wellness – mental, emotional and physical – I am fortunate to have access to some of the most cutting edge information available. It is both my responsibility and my pleasure to be able to bring some of what I learn to you in this newsletter. I want to acknowledge those whose wisdom, learning, and willingness to share with people like me spreads to people like you.