On average, a staggering 1:4 of us in the UK and hundreds of millions globally, will have repressed our emotions so much that we will be depressed at some point in their lives.
Hands up, I’ve been depressed so know what that dark, useless, sad, numbing, futile place can feel like and I know you’ve had a glimpse of it, or be in the grip of it right now, because you’re reading this article.
Depression affects so many of us….
As depression affects so many of us, it’s got to be a crucial topic to explore and in true fashion I’m rolling up my sleeves to get stuck in and I start by by sharing a short extract from my new book: Wakey Wakey Let’s Smell the Coffee, which is primarily about the amazing power we each have but in it I give my take on depression.
Before I share however, I have to give an important disclaimer that despite being an experienced Intuitive Counsellor who has successfully counselled many anxious and depressed folk, I offer this extract from my book based on my experience and intuitive understanding and knowledge all in an aim to offer a perspective.
I make no scientific or professionally qualified claims …that’s left to the folk who’ve studied hard and hold the certificates and you get to decide whether my words might be valid for you or not.
I affirm that I believe that we, as human beings, have many of the answers we’ve forgotten we know.
So on that note, let’s dive in.
Extract: ‘In the UK at least, have you noticed that barely a day goes by when we don’t hear about statistics and facts about the growing numbers of us suffering from anxiety and depression?
I have to say thank goodness high profile celebrities and even the UK Princes who’ve undoubtedly gone through their fair share of grief, are outing this silent torture that’s literally killing some of us.
But that’s the power of silence isn’t it?
When we choose, or feel forced to adopt silence, the problem remains locked in our emotional vault where it sits like a dead weight we know’s there, because we can always feel it. But despite the energy it takes, we may still be able to face the world with a smile and try to chivvy ourselves up as we bounce from one motivational encouragement to another, but the wretched weight will still be there like an unwelcome guest we invited to the party.
There’s only one way to get it to leave: Drag it out into the open by the scruff of its neck, work out why we invited it to the party in the first place, then tell it to piss off out of our life!
It’s what we need to do, but if it was that easy 1:4 of us wouldn’t be depressed, eh?
So let’s dig a little deeper and for this I want to share the official meaning of the word depression but before I type it, I declare that what I read irritated me!
The definition of depression is:
a mood disorder characterized by low mood and a wide range of other possible symptoms which will vary from person to person. It is an illness that can develop quickly or gradually and be brought on by life events and/or changes in body chemistry. It can strike anyone and is curable in very many cases.
Nothing wrong with any of that you might say it’s all a fact, so why was I irritated?
The reason for my irritation was contained in just one word: illness.
I anticipate frantic head scratching, slapping brows and rolling of eyes, so let me say why the word irritates me.
It’s because words are powerful and the words illness and mental convey important messages that aren’t always helpful. No matter how wrong the assumption and judgement attached to it is, the word ‘mental’ has had a bad connotation for many years with people automatically thinking, crazy and out of control.
The connotation of the word ‘ill’ is we’re in a weakened state …so let’s put together the message. It says that when we’re diagnosed with mental illness we’re weak and crazy.
Of course none of it is true, and there are many working hard to remove the stigma, but could we speed things up by going back to the drawing board and looking at this from a different perspective?
The first thing would be to acknowledge that some of us suffering with severe mental health problems because intervention was too late, will have become ill.
The second thing is as the majority of depressed people haven’t reached the place where body chemistry is altered, should we firstly change the mentally ill label that we’re so casually stamping everyone with?
Would it be more beneficial to tell a depressed person you aren’t ill and you aren’t alone because many in the world are also experiencing severe challenges and it’s a normal and necessary process of life?
Would it be better to tell them that they will overcome how they’re feeling and grow stronger than they could ever imagine?
Could we use the words mind health instead of mental health so historical connotations can be removed?
Could we help them to understand the great power they have, and the difficult challenges being faced that seem so insurmountable and wretchedly sad, once faced and overcome will release them to the unquestionable power?
I’ve spoken to many who work in the Mind Health sectors who say they agree. But as usual I’m going to take this further by proposing that our Mind health problems have at their root something that no amount of research or science can solve.
I say this, because I believe it’s based on a spiritual misunderstanding when we’ve forgotten our real power and why we’re here as Beings on Earth in the limited time we’ve got. I hope that reading this book and piecing together all the segments I’m presenting, that you’ll begin to remember what you may have forgotten, and gain an understanding of what I mean.’
My extract suggests an alternate root cause of depression even though it doesn’t go into the topic of depression to any great extent as it isn’t the focus of the book. Whilst a spiritual understanding of our lives isn’t a necessity to be considered, during my research for this blog I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in my viewpoint about depression even though the reality is, that primary treatment for depression is still prescribing anti-depressants.
Can taking anti-depressants cure depression?
My answer based on my intuitive spiritual understanding says, No. Current information, whilst naturally not obviously related to my spiritual understanding, also now says: No.
Regardless of either, it’s clear that anti-depressants are a valuable buffer if used as a very temporary measure in most cases, and medication most definitely a necessity, if someone is displaying suicidal or extreme behaviour that can harm themselves or others. Further more anyone on medication should always seek medical opinion before just stopping.
It is now however clear as a result of serious study that contrary to what was commonly believed that the cause of depression was attributed to low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, that this is now too narrow a view, and there is insufficient evidence to support it.
This automatic viewpoint that depression is the result of imbalance or lack of other chemicals in the brain has naturally been upheld by doctors worldwide and this has undoubtedly resulted in the widespread use of prescribing pills to treat the imbalance.
Johann Hari a New York Times best seller for the book: Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solution, was on anti-depressants for 14 years and in his book synopsis he says:
‘Depression and anxiety are now at epidemic levels.
Why? Across the world, scientists have uncovered evidence for nine different causes. Some are in our biology, but most are in the way we are living today.’
As my extract suggests, if you are depressed and anxious it doesn’t necessarily mean you are ill … there is going to be something real that’s happened in your life leaving you feeling unsupported, confused and desolate. We’re all different, and our confusion, challenges and sadness can range widely from a number of difficult experiences that could include physical, sexual or emotional abuse, bereavement or loss of significant relationships, trauma and dysfunctional family conditions.
Difficult experiences in childhood can severely affect self-esteem and confidence in later life and is where we form our perception of the world. Difficulty in learning to cope and understand these early emotions can lead to finding difficulty in dealing with the challenges and up and downs we will experience in life so I end this post with another relevant extract taken from my book.
Extract: To begin your claim of the gold bullion that’s called you, live in your truth no matter what it is and how ouchy that might feel at the start. I say that because our truth can sometimes make us feel guilty if it recognizes discrepancies in those we are loyal to. But here’s a Lauren shoot from the hip moment: Guilt, is a cop out from taking ownership, and no amount of it or no matter how much we justify it, the fact will unfortunately still remain. So let’s block any potential guilt if you decide to identify who the individual influencers were, or still are in your life.
The early influencers are likely to have been your parents whether absent or present, or your guardians or carers.
Did they encourage you to believe that the world is your oyster and you the pearl, or that life’s a bloody struggle and you have to fight to survive and achieve success?
Did they encourage you to believe that your life journey can be peaceful and happy most of the time, or that when things are too good, better watch out for the disaster because life is no Disney fairy tale, and good things never last?
Were you encouraged to discover and develop your own unique purpose in the world, or were you told that life is a question of taking each day as it comes with no particular reason other than to survive and live as long as you can?
Did they tell you to believe in the safety and the power of love, or that love brings pain and suffering?
Did they show you how to cope with life’s challenges or did they crumble and give up on their own?
Did they seem vacant and uninterested, or did they show you how uniquely special and interesting you are?
Whilst we will look at our relationships in more detail later, for now without me saying another word which as a self-confessed talkaholic requires loads of self-restraint, you’ll see for yourself how your answers to these questions identify the roots of your early and formative Earth experience.
It’s a crucial identification of where this incarnation started and should be embraced with a big imaginary hug whether negative or positive, because it’s a part of you that you should be proud to acknowledge.
If any of us deny the reality of our former years, we’re overlooking our early and perhaps lasting perception of life, which no matter how much we assume an ostrich position, we can’t change. It was built by the influence of those who cared for us or should have cared for us, and it existed just as surely as the ostrich’s rear-end, exists.
The realization doesn’t mean we’re now doomed to failure if our foundation wasn’t happy or strong; it’s quite the opposite and is the whole point of waking up and smelling the coffee. By doing this, we get the chance to examine our foundation for cracks, inconsistencies and the nice solid bits we can feel safe to continue building on.’
Talking Therapy Works to alleviate depression!
Whether your earlier experiences or other social factors are affecting your mental health or you know of someone in that position, it is important to talk about your experiences to resolve and remove the stigma surrounding it. Sofalive Counselling whether accessed online or in person, offers a private and confidential space to explore what’s worrying you and can offer ways to overcome a number of conditions including stress & anxiety and depression.