In my opinion, and through my experience, how depression is treated and managed through the health system is not conducive to really and fully healing someone who is depressed and suffering. Although depression is marked as a mental illness, don’t make the assumption the sufferer isn’t in physical pain, or that there is no effect on other parts of the body aside from just our mental state. Depression is an illness, it is debilitating, it is frustrating, confusing, painful, it is pain within your heart, body and soul and treatment for recovery should address all the areas of the body that have been affected. Treatment should be looking at realigning the deep rooted thought patterns, the physical toll that has been taken, stress on the heart and tension in the muscles and healing the soul. There needs to be more to recovery then just are you feeling happy or sad, but rather are you feeling content or are you feeling stagnant.
We all know of our basic needs, food water, shelter, love and protection but what we continually leave out is connection and progress. These two basic needs, I believe, are void from our fast paced lifestyles; we are running around feeling alone going about life on repeat. Remember the slogan eat, sleep, repeat, it resonates with so many of us because there is truth within it, we are not progressing, we are stagnant and like a stagnant pool of water, our health deteriorates, like the water goes bad. Our society and our lifestyles are making us sick, and our health care is treating, just the surface, we need to heal a little deeper to get a true recovery and we need to be open to alternatives and hard work.
I remember in the midst of some of my darkest days thinking, what’s the point of even seeking help, my depression is never going to go away, if the treatments were really effective why are we constantly hearing of people losing their battle to depression, depression being betrayed as a lifelong battle and illness or of people commonly relapsing, I truly believe this doesn’t have to be so. But unfortunately in this day and age, you are left alone for the most part to heal yourself, your health is your responsibility not your family’s or your health care provider, only you can heal yourself of depression, but with that will come not only the benefits of finally being free of this illness but the feeling of accomplishment and the strength to know that you are capable of so much more than you can ever imagine.
Here are some alternatives to help aid in depression, keep an open mind, and remember at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if it seems out there or embarrassing to admit to, it is far better than the alternative, which is pain and suffering. The one thing I can always say, and be proud to say is that I am trying, even when I am having a bad day, I am always trying the difference may be that you may not notice, but the days it seems like I am doing the least is when I’m fighting the hardest.
Salt lamps change the charge of positive Ions in the air to negative ions by neutralising electromagnetic radiation which are emitted by our much loved electronics which have a negative impact on our mood and energy levels. Among the many amazing benefits of salt lamps are the depression specific benefits of improved sleep, increased energy levels, improved breathing, reduced stress levels, and most importantly helps to improve mood by boosting serotonin levels. A natural example of positive ions being converted to negative ions can be seen, or felt, more like, during lightning storms. Have you ever known anyone, or you yourself to feel more energised around lighting storms well this is the reason why.
Sage has long been used as a way to purify the air, whether it’s been in cleansing rituals with the use of a smudge stick or simply through lighting a candle, the benefits focus on purifying the negative energy within your home brought about by the release of energy from our own negative emotions such as depression and anxiety. Although a bit more of an alternative therapy, it is not one to be discredited, as our emotions are physiologically speaking the accumulation of physiological symptoms that create energy, hence e-motion, energy in motion. Think of it as a detox for your environment helping to dissolve away ‘bad juju’ released by our negative emotions, with the added benefit of a calming fragrance (well it’s enough to win me over). And if you are spiritually inclined it is also said to help carry prayers to the spirit world, so I would be praying for peace and happiness, can’t hurt to try right?
Did you know there are antidepressant microbes in the soil? And that essentially Dirt makes you happy. A study has recently revealed that the microbe mycobacterium vaccae found in soil has a very similar effect on our neurons as certain antidepressants like Prozac have. Maybe there is some substance behind why kids enjoy getting down and dirty, and many gardeners too will attest to the ‘good feelings’ that come from gardening. These Antidepressant microbes have an effect like Prozac on our serotonin levels helping to create more feelings of relaxation and happiness, resulting in less stress and a better quality of life.
it puzzles me that nutrition and wellbeing are so far removed from medicine and hospital care, what would happen to your car if you fuelled it instead of petrol, its preferred and optimal fuel source, but instead used orange juice or sand? What would the outcome be? You cannot expect your body to run efficiently or heal if it is running on fumes, we are consuming nutrient poor foods, and pre-packaged processed foods more than ever, and sitting here scratching are sad heads with our sad fingers asking ourselves why we feel unwell. Juicing will benefit depression immensely, but it will also benefit your body as a whole, there are a multitude of recipes all over the internet including recipes catered towards depression with key ingredients that will improve brain and hormone functioning. Now I am completely okay with drinking a glass full of ‘green health’ ignoring the taste because I enjoy the benefits. But if taste is important, consider adding more fruit until your taste buds adjust, remembering what you consume today determines your cravings and preferences tomorrow (the more healthy food you eat the more you will crave it). Or there is also the option to make a health shot, basically a small serving of just the good stuff, that you can throw back, follow with a chaser if need be and get on with your day.
whether it be a gratitude journal, writing down positive affirmations, Morning Pages or simply just recording everyday on a scale of one to ten how you feel will help tremendously. By putting thought into the inner workings of our minds we enable ourselves to sieve through chaos and get in touch with what is really on our minds and on our hearts. There is huge benefit in the way we think and the positive or negative impact it has on our psyche. By writing three pages every morning of whatever is on your mind as you do with Morning Pages, it gives us insight into our thought patterns, and self-talk. It can be used as a tool of letting go of emotions and sorting through our feelings. Also don’t discredit the impact positive affirmations can have on our energy, if every day you say to yourself you are worthless you will start to act and feel worthless even if it just began as a thought stemmed from self-doubt and depression. Now reverse the scenario and image the impact and follow on that can stem from telling yourself every day that you are a capable and lovable person, worthy of good things.
Not everything will be beneficial, and not every day will be good, but that’s okay. You need to find acceptance and peace not only in the good days where it feels like you’re getting there but also in the bad days when you are lacking energy and motivation. It’s hard work, be kind to your body and your mind and acknowledge sometimes rest is just as important as progress.
I hope you find some helpful tips or even just some encouragement to try anything and everything that might help in YOUR journey to recovery.