Depression can KILL. If it doesn’t kill the body it can kill the spirit. And so, it is highly important that everyone should know about DEPRESSION - what causes it, it’s potential dangers and how to cure it.
Depression is a mental health disorder that affects the whole being of a person - the way you think about yourself, the way you eat, drink and sleep, the way you relate to others, the way you work and the way you think about things.
Statistics show that mental health disorders particularly depression and anxiety is affecting every level of the society, from children to adults to old age. It is becoming a growing problem and a growing concern. A lot of people are affected by depression but are not fully aware of it and are often reluctant to admit it. Untreated, it can destroy your health. Proper treatment is extremely important to get a complete cure.
A SHOCKING TRUTH - it’s reported that antidepressant drugs are found in our drinking water. This reveals how widespread this silent sickness is. Antidepressant drugs are one of the most prescribed drugs which is also easily available over the counter. This drug has to be consumed in such huge quantity by the populace to be found in drinking water.
Antidepressant drugs come with many serious side effects. It can cause violent, suicidal and homicidal behaviour, an increased risk of diabetes and a whole host of other problems. Like all drugs, it is toxic to the body. But sometimes doctors have to prescribe it because the benefits outweigh the side effects. An alternative, the natural way, can be equally effective but seek consultation from the doctor first.
There are various causes of depression. Depression can be caused by an unfortunate event that happened in your life like loss of job, loss of a loved one, divorce, marriage problem, parenting problem, abuse and betrayal by others, injustice and other similar factors. Depression can also be caused by sicknesses especially long term illnesses, chronic diseases or killer diseases like cancer, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes etc. Depression can also be caused by too much worry. It is very important that depression must be treated because it may lead to a complete mental breakdown or even fatal if left untreated. I knew of several people who had a complete nervous breakdown. It doesn’t happen overnight, but slowly get there if left untreated.
I went through a fairly long period of depression due to loss of my job which I was very passionate about. I wasn’t prepared for it, so when it happened, my life was suddenly thrown out of balance. I just felt helpless, hopeless, sick and lethargic, discouraged and just lose interest in almost everything. It was a huge battle to fight my depression. It took great determination, iron will and bulldog faith. I knew I had to gain back control of my life, my confidence and my self esteem. The following are 12 EFFECTIVE NATURAL WAYS I did to beat my depression & came through well.
- Admit the problem; make a strong decision to fight it with absoulte determination and commitment until you gain full recovery.
This must be the first step which is the first and biggest hurdle to cross. For a while I live in denial that I was suffering from depression and my condition got worse. My daily life and my health were badly affected. It also affected everyone in my family. My journey to recovery only started when I admitted that I have a problem with depression and I wanted to be healed. This condition is going to break me or make me. So, I made a strong decision to fight it with absolute determination and commitment no matter what. This has to be the turning point in my life for the better. I want to come out a stronger person, more mature and wiser, better and not bitter, a victor and not a victim. I recognise that it was going to be a lonely journey because it is hard for people , even loved ones to understand. Many people suffering from depression may look well on the outside but a total mess on the inside which is so easy for people to misunderstand them. This just aggravates the problem. That can cause depressed people withdraw even more.
- Prayer and meditation.
According to research, prayer and meditation can prevent depression and offer benefits to those who are suffering from depression. As a Christian, that’s the first thing I knew I need to do. I need strength to pull through each day. There’s a divine strength I can draw from which helped to relax my mind. The Bible brought much encouragement and helped me not to hold resentment and unforgiveness. It helped me to have more control over my thoughts which tended to spiral out of control every second into the negative zone.
- Psychologist help
Help from a specialist is very important. I knew I need professional help so the GP referred me to a psychologist. He played such an important role in my recovery. The psychologist helped to find out what worked for me and my condition. Through talking and discussion, he discovered my strengths and weaknesses and my talents and passions. He suggested activities and routines for me to get involved and helped me to see things from a different perspective. As for me, my passion is cooking and I love reading, drawing and music. So I concentrated on those areas. I tried to spend time trying out new recipes and compiling them. I also signed up for a cartoon course and did a bit on that. I love reading but during such time, concentration is just beyond my grasp which caused added frustrations. So I read less and listened to podcast a lot. The psychologist also taught me how to do deep breathing which I found very helpful. And he suggested exercise programmes for me. He suggested writing which I did and found it very therapeutic. The psychologist has been a tremendous help to my recovery.
- Support from friends and loved ones
It’s very important not to isolate yourself. Support from family and friends are highly important. It’s important you hang out with people who are happy, positive, encouraging and who accept you as you are and understand your condition. I had to force myself out to have some fun with my friends for laughter, tea time or walks or just window shopping. It was always very uplifting and helped to break that feeling of loneliness and to distract and break up my saturated thoughts. To be able to share and talk about my situation with close friends helped to release much of my bottled-up anguish and frustrations.
- Vitamin B complex, flaxseed oil (rich in omega-3) and a healthy diet
Vitamin B and flaxseed oil are important and proven to help your mood and so is a healthy diet. Eat food that’s easy to digest. I had stomach ache and poor appetite most of the time. My whole body system seemed to have gone hay wired. So I had to be very selective of my food and eat those food which is easily digested, yet high in nutrients. In other words softer food and less meat. I find freshly made juice is a great help, high in nutients and easily absorbed by the body. This is because stomach ache and indigestion would add stress to your already stressed up body.
- Lots of activities that you love
No only will activities help you to relax but they also help to build back your confidence and help you to distract your mind from those constant nagging thoughts about the event. Keep doing things that you love to do. The psychologist may not be able to name and suggest all. You have to find out. As you do all these activities, try your best to stay positive and believe that something good will come out of this. I kept reminding myself of the many people who became successful after some misfortunes.
It’s a real mood booster. The psychologist suggested that I should go for exercise. After some discussion, I decided to go for badminton. This is one of the most effective methods in helping me distract and de-stress. The feeling of smashing the shuttlecock was just so awesome. It was really so good to hit out and sweat out during the 2-3 hours session each time. It was quite a struggle in the beginning but later I looked forward to it each time and played 3-4 times a week. Each time I went, my goal was to beat out my stress and beat my own potential in the game. I improved a lot which gave me much needed confidence. I was really thrilled when I was invited to play in a badminton competition. In between I would go to the gym to work out though I didn’t really enjoy it but it was needful if I wanted to recover.
- See a GP (General Practitioner)
It is important to see the GP or Dr whenever necessary in order to make sure that nothing serious is happening to you physically. On several occassions, I had to visit the doctor because of stomache, headache, sleeplessness and chest pain. Advice from your GP is very important. Sometimes dugs are necessary so that your body is not thrown into further stress.
- St John’s Wort
This is a herb which offers a natural cure. Only that it takes 2-3 weeks before you will feel the effect. I had headache, dizziness, heaviness and tightness in the head everyday. I couldn’t sleep well at night which really added onto the stress. So the GP prescribed a drug. Very reluctantly I took it. But it gave me splitting headache and nausea so the GP asked me to stop immediately. A natural type , St John’s Wort was then prescribed. I found it helped, not overnight but after a while. After taking for more than a month, I decided to stop because I was coping much better and didn’t want to be dependent on it.
- Help others
It is always said,’you reap what you sow’. I find this is very true. On several occassions I reached out to help someone in need…..people who were stressed up and depressed! Each time I felt reluctant because I felt I had nothing to give but nevertheless I did. To my surprise, I actually felt very good each time because I felt very encouraged after encouraging others. To see someone smile again just brings tremendous joy.
You may find this absurd. I understand it is difficult but it is very important. Laughing helps to relax your whole body. I would find every opportunity to laugh. I would spend more time with friends who are happy and comical. I would also read comic books, watch hilarious movies and read jokes. If I laughing is too much a burden at that moment, at least it put a smile on my face.
- Plenty of sunshine
It is proven that sunshine causes our bodies to produce happy hormones. So get out into the sun and bast in the warmth and enjoy the beauty and life it brings.
The journey back to recovery is not easy. It is a very tough, lonely journey. You need a lot of determination and bull dog tenacity and will. It is a battle and a battle that you need to fight and fight it fiercely if you want back your life. It is a battle worth fighting. I am very glad that I did. I have always been a fighter and I knew I had to fight it fiercely to win and win it well. And I’m really glad and thankful that I did and got back to my normal, happy life.
I really hope that what I share here will help you if you are going through depression or know someone who is going through depression whom you can help. Eventhough if you are not , it is also good to know and not to be caught off guard like me as we are right now living in times of uncertainty, not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow.
It would be great to hear of your comments. Do you have any personal or friend’s experiences in beating depression to share?
Thought of the day…..
‘We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.’
Charles R. Swindoll