Depression

Depression is suppression of truth

This is a free sample chapter from my book Are You Really Happy? You can also download a free PDF version of this depression chapter (2.08MB)

MY FIRST SYMPTOMS

During my teenage years I often found myself drowning in a black well of despair. My mother assured me that; ‘everyone got a bit down from time to time’ but I saw no evidence of that and felt that my down seemed a lot lower than what she meant. Put down to hormones or ‘that time of the month’, my father declared, ‘you are either high-high or low-low there is never ever any in-between!

By the time I had a nervous breakdown at the age of seventeen, I was glad to be put in a psychiatric ward for a rest! It was there that for the first time in my life, I felt truly safe.

I was put on various medications over a three month period, including anti-depressants.While the anti-depressants made me feel like the heaviness of the black well abated, I was flat lining in a non-feeling state – just a body walking around, not being able to laugh or cry. It wasn’t frightening like the highs and lows were, it was an empty existence that felt like it would have no end, I’d swapped one kind of despair for another.

During my search for self throughout my twenties and thirties, I came to realise that not only had I suppressed my inner child but also most of my emotions, memories and creative processes. I had internalised my mother and father’s parenting responses to me and I was still doing the same things to myself – I was stopping myself from doing, being and saying what was authentically me.

As I grew in personal development, I learned to be aware of my inner dialogue. That’s when I found that my internal parents would not let my inner child express herself freely.

It has taken me many years to understand myself and learn how to keep on an even kneel. As the years went by, I realised that I did have an in-between state, although it was something I had taken for granted until I started hitting one of my extreme states.

I was never medically diagnosed with manic depression. When I had difficulties with life and felt overwhelmed, I took myself off to therapy until I felt like I could cope again. I didn’t discover the cause of my depression (although I did make discoveries about myself that I later used in my self investigation process), in fact I wasn’t even looking for that – I was only looking for a hand out of the latest hole I’d found myself in. Hence every now and then, I would still go through periods of life that felt like I was dragging myself around – back inside my black well.

Finally, I realised that depression was a pattern in my life – I had to find another way.

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?

I found that my depression often arose from not following my inner pathway. From being coerced into doing things I didn’t really want to do. Looking back in my life, my earliest memories of deep sadness arose when my mother took me to physical education classes. I hated it and didn’t want to go. I was taken along because ‘all the other girls were going’ but it felt so wrong for me. I began to experience a feeling of deep dread. Fortunately, my mother stopped taking me when I kept complaining. (At that stage I was still speaking up for myself!)

Depression arises from suppression of our true self. If we don’t get encouraged be authentic while growing up, if we are bullied or coerced into suppressing our true natures, by the time we are going through puberty heading towards adulthood we tend to not know who we really are and how to respond to life in a way that feels real for us. We end up doing what everybody else does, which isn’t necessarily what we need to do, and in fact, doing what everybody else does can be totally detrimental to us.

WHERE DOES DEPRESSION COME FROM?

Becoming consciously aware of your internal dialogue gives you the power to catch the thoughts and change them before they take hold to cause depression. (If you have picked up this book, and are reading just this chapter; the rest of this book teaches you the tools that give you the steps to become consciously aware.)

Depression is caused by a seed, a thought that is negative about the self and is repeated over and over again in the subconscious mind. This thought can be as simple as, ‘I’m not good enough.’ This repeated mantra works in exactly the same way as a positive affirmation except it suppresses our good vibes, overwhelming us with the energy of negativity, filtering out all the good and blanketing us in the illusion of hopelessness. It is a mantra of madness.

THE FIRST SIGN OF DEPRESSION

The first sign of depression is a thought that arises from negative experience/s in the past. It is a decision you have made about yourself and how the world around you will interact with you. It is a reaction to a situation that is connected to a backlog of unaddressed feelings. The result is things like; waking up feeling dreadful and thinking, ‘I don’t want to go on living’. Sleeping a lot to avoid being in, and having a life. Dragging oneself through the days and feeling isolated – even in a group of friends. Using addictions to squash down the terrible feelings.

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

I have spoken to people who are on medication for depression, they believe they will have to be on anti-depressants for the rest of their lives! They have been given no hope, just a band-aid treatment for the feeling and no guidance to be proactive and get to the source of the depression. This is common medical practice and yes, I’m angry about it because if I can find my way out of hell, everyone else can.

Does it get any easier? Yes! Fun and well-being are birthrights, you can have them if you are willing to go on the journey of self discovery. You can have your joy! As you gain awareness of how to stay congruent with your authentic self, you will be making choices that make you happy. Be aware that you may have quite a backlog of things that make you feel depressed. By the time we are feeling clinically depressed there’s a huge backlog, and it may take a while to come to terms with all the things about ourselves that we didn’t know.

DEPRESSION IS NOT A LIFE

SENTENCE

What we smother underneath the feelings of depression are not only the other feelings that we have been educated not to feel, such as anger, sadness, resentment etc, but also our natural creative impulses. What surprised me, was the significant amount of rage I found I was suppressing and this was mainly to do with how far off my natural life course I had been pushed!

Being in touch with our feeling bodies can seem at first really tiring and it is, we are clearing out our cells of all the garbage. What we are doing is moving out of our heads and into our bodies and hearts. We are moving out of a small space into a big space that hasn’t been lived in for a long time, if ever. It’s comparable to moving house…it’s a big job, it takes time, all this stuff has to be moved. The process of that internal shift is very similar. Like moving house, every item needs to be reassessed; is it going to the new house with you or is it time you chucked it out?

HOW DO I CHANGE A LIFETIME OF NOT BEING ME?

From the inside out – one thought at a time, one action at a time, one step at a time, one day at a time. If we take one conditioned behaviour at a time and ask ourselves…‘is this what I truly want to do?’, then wait for the answer to arise from inside us. The answer may not come in the form of a thought, although it may; ‘Oh yuk I hate doing…this thing!’ The answer may come in the form of a feeling, such as a stomach reaction – the stomach saying, ‘Oh no, I’ve had a gutful!

REPLACING THE SPACE

Taking out the bad, putting in the good. It has been said that the universe abhors a vacuum. When dealing with addictions it is best to replace the unacceptable behaviour with an acceptable behaviour, a non nurturing action with a nurturing one. What you are looking for is the choice that gives you a sense of relief, a sense of excitement or a sense of peace. All these feelings will guide you back to the centre of your being and this is where your authenticity lives. This is how to lift the suppression behaviour and actualise living in your truth.

TO MEDICATE OR NOT TO MEDICATE

This is not a time for mass medication – this is a time to teach the masses meditation!

I’ve never gone back on antidepressants since my teenage years but as I was getting sick with CFS at least three doctors suggested antidepressants. I was resolute in my earlier decision but by the third diagnosis I took myself from denial to realisation and took steps to bring myself out of the depression. At that stage I realised I’d been fairly chronically depressed for two years and not known it. When it was first suggested to me by a doctor that I was depressed I couldn’t believe it because it did not feel the same as the depression I’d experienced in my teen years.

When I finally admitted to the third practitioner that she was right, I was depressed, I also surmised that there were different levels or kinds of depression. With a promise to the doctor that I would return for a script in a week if I was not feeling better, within three days of that diagnosis, I made the turnaround that was needed for me to be on the mend.

I came home and brewed up sage and rosemary tea. I drank three big mugs of that per day. I put myself on Executive Vitamin B Complex tablets and I took myself for walks by the ocean that I built up to 5 kilometres per day. I also put myself on L-tyrosine tablets, which is an amino acid. I’m not suggesting anyone go off their medication, especially not cold turkey, as I experienced myself, taking yourself off drugs too quickly can have very adverse effects. What I am saying is that to help the body gain it’s natural chemical balance there are natural alternatives to prescribed drugs that can assist in helping create the well-being that is lacking. Remember; when you suppress your emotions, you are also suppressing the body’s ability to maintain natural brain chemical balance. The rest is up to you…

SELF ENQUIRY IS THE PINNACLE OF LONG TERM CHANGE

You can choose to either live life as a depressed person, reliant on drugs, suppressing your true self, or choose a life of feeling happy and content, well adjusted to the ups and downs of life as all humans go through, without sliding down into that well of despair and blackness that is depression.

I still have my ups and downs, it’s human to have those days, but there is no longer that black well or those feelings of ongoing dread. I have my quiet times of solitude and I have my extrovert out there times as well but the thing that is different now, is that I listen to my inner dialogue. I am aware of the negative thoughts that still arise from time to time, and I now choose to alleviate them by addressing them before they become a mantra to madness and despair. Sometimes all that is needed is the awareness of the message and one response; think to yourself ‘cancel’, or ‘delete’, then stay on track with your positive processes.

………………………..

During my healing process I used different forms of creativity to assist me to find more of my authentic self. Creative writing became a life-line to health and sanity as well as providing me with clear insights into my patterns of dysfunction.

I became involved in a monthly community performance space at the local’s cafe in a small country town near where I lived. I joined a growing number of people who dared to feel the fear and do it anyway – to get up onstage and reveal personal inner landscapes through stand-up performance poetry. They were very special nights and I will always treasure the memory of them.

Here’s one that I thought was appropriate to share on this page…

THE FINE WHITE LINE


The days start ramping up
my adrenaline is climbing
I’m as happy as a lark
the inner temperature is rising

Three days later I am speeding
like a drug has left me bleeding
and my heart it’s beating faster
I am heading for disaster

The words they won’t stop coming
in the night my mind keeps roaming
and I struggle with the bed clothes
sleep won’t come and give me rest

By the fifth day I’m so high
they all think I’m on drugs
and I’m getting so very high
I’m petrified of the rearing drop

The ramping of my mind is closing in
on the fine white line
and once I’m over it
there’s not a thing I will remember
I’m praying that I come down
before I get that high

But I’m speeding ever faster
words flow out my mouth unbidden
and somewhere
in my body
the real me
is deeply hidden
waiting
for the fall

No-one knows how long
I am outside myself
I have no idea how long
I will stay
this side
of the fine white line

For days
for weeks
for years
the fine white line
has haunted me
when I arrive back
I don’t remember anything
no
nothing what-so-ever
not a thing at all

No-one tries to help me
even though they see it coming
they just stand
and shrug their shoulders
and say
‘there she goes again’

When I plunge into the hole
at least my mind
it gets a rest
but my heart
my very soul
is then
extremely
depressed

Won’t someone please
please help me?
Why do you just stand and stare?
Can’t you see my jail
of total despair?
My insides screaming
‘for god-sakes
get me out of here!’

I drag myself
through day’s lacklustre
can’t smile
can’t cry
can’t feel anything
except
the dankness
of my well

Slowly
I crawl out of it
for a time
I feel ordinary
as normal
as I can be

Manic depression?
Bipolar?
Just some other names
for Hell.

 (The author no longer suffers from this illness. She has healed herself using the techniques in her book Are You Really Happy? Understanding Ourselves.)

 

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