Depression is something that I think affects most people on some kind of level at some point in their lives. This can vary from days when you feel a little low, all the way up to years you spend locked away in deep despair.
However it has affected you in your life, I think it is fair to say life is pretty tough when you have an overwhelming, and what feels like an uncontrollable thing like depression taking charge.
I personally feel that depression is largely misunderstood by society. It is a signal telling you that you need to stop and reflect, but instead of being given this time to just feel the rhythm of life, you are made to feel guilty about feeling bad. This often leads to us feeling that there is something wrong with us, when in reality these feelings are experienced in more people than not.
The fact is that there is not anything wrong with anyone suffering with depression, it is just your mind signalling you that you need to change something or that you need a rest. The biggest battle when depressed is often the fight against it, when sometimes the best way to move forward is to work with it, to understand what the problem is.
This doesn’t mean working through it will be easy, but it still means you will need to work through or come to terms with whatever it is you are going through.
The system we currently have of drugging symptoms is deeply flawed and it is still quite possible that drugs are unnecessary. From a purely logical point of view drugging is clearly not working, because now more than ever people are suffering with mental health issues. Instead of the issues being worked through, they are being suppressed.
I have a story from my own life that shows how willing they are not only to hand out drugs to anyone but to try to convince you it is the best option.
Recently I accompanied a friend of mine to the doctors as she had been suffering from migraines. The doctor advised she should try anti-depressants, when she said she was not depressed the doctor tried to convince her she was. She made it very clear that she was not interested in taking anti-depressants, but the doctor persisted asking her if she was sure and telling her she should really think about it.
When you go into see a doctor with a headache and they try to convince you that you are depressed and shove drugs down your throat you know you have a serious societal problem. And to top it off the doctor said she would have to try it for 6 months and if there was no improvement she would have to try another one for 6 months. Prescribing a year’s’ worth of unnecessary drugs for an unrelated problem. I am not painting all doctors with this brush, but just showing an unacceptable example from my life.
There are plenty of unconventional and less damaging ways you can try to tackle your depression here are 11 unconventional
With art therapy you can sometimes say what you want to say without actually saying it as it allows you to speak in a language you don’t usually engage in.
A bit like when you have a problem in an area of your life (eg a work problem) you need to step outside of that area (eg read a book) for the solution to come to you. This can be the same with art, you are expressing that darkness you are feeling or lightness you are lacking through the expression of art.
Having an animal in your life can really help if you are an animal lover. Dogs are especially great as they can get you out of the house and give you a reason to connect with nature.
Human company is obviously a good thing to have also, but you have a different relationship with animals than you would with people and for this reason you can behave in a different way around an animal.
Having animals give you responsibility, connection and significance and can be great in helping along those who feel depressed.
When psychedelics are used responsibly they hold up the mirror and make you face your demons, this is something that a lot of people who are suffering with depression need to do, but are avoiding.
They take you out of the normal existence and take you on a transcendent journey. Up until recently there was little scientific data to back up the use of psychedelics for mental health issues, but science is starting to catch up. This recent study mapped out the effects psychedelics have on the brain, explaining the feelings of oneness and unity.
Depression is often caused by over thinking. Some forms of meditation are the opposite to that, sitting in silence. Meditation is not just for “spiritual people” if there is such a thing. It is not just a placebo either, although the placebo can be very powerful. Meditation is heavily backed up by scientific studies and can have a profound impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. It also changes the physical structure of your brain and when you look at the brain of someone who is depressed they have a very different make up from someone who is not.
Diet is not a one size fits all solution, so I am not going to give too much specific dietary advice. But if you are depressed look into different diets, herbs, supplements and lifestyle choices you can make that could contribute to a more balanced life. The saying we are what we eat rings true and if you are not eating enough live, nutritious foods it can contribute to you not feeling alive inside. I am not going to preach veganism or vegetarianism as it is a personal choice that needs to be made. But if you are consuming a lot of dead products it can leave you feeling dead inside. This doesn’t just apply to meat, but also to heavily processed foods that have had the life removed from them.
Like anything else these will not work for everyone. Just some ideas to get you going, would love to hear if anyone has managed to come out the other side of a bout of depression and how they managed to do so. Please leave a comment if this is you and don’t forget that you are amazing and should never give up on life! It has it’s swings, but the deeper you feel the darkness, the further you can adventure into the light. Much love, Luke
I am Luke Miller the author of this article and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here