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You Can Help Yourself Get Out
It is my opinion, having experienced depression for many years that the causes of depression range from biological ( chemical imbalance ), improper diet and exercise on a daily basis to negative thoughts, poor self esteem and fear (which keeps us stuck) as well as emotional, physical or psychological abuse or a combination of some or all of these.
I am not a psychotherapist; I can only tell you what works for me.
I have found that a combination of lack of good nutrition, exercise and a habit of choosing negative thought patterns and giving in to our fear can be devastating. They can be difficult to get out of unless one understands what is happening and can fight it with good nutrition and raising ones thoughts to a higher level. The trick here is to form good habits and stick to them.
The fact that processed carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar sometimes will give temporary relief to a person suffering from depression will tend to erode ones health and self-esteem as weight goes up and stamina goes down. The temporary “high” that is produced by these carbohydrates is followed by a crash and the person will have lower energy levels than before they indulged in the sweets that made them feel better in the beginning. It then becomes a cycle of loading up on sweets for energy and then crashing and then loading up again. It is much better to eat carbohydrates that have been processed as little as possible. Foods like oatmeal, cornmeal, and 100% whole wheat are much better for someone who has a history of depression as the energy level stays the same overtime and you don’t get the spikes and lows as with carbohydrates that are more highly processed. Eating food from all food groups is also vitally important.
Help may be needed to get on the right track. Sometimes medication is necessary and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are getting both counseling and medication from a mental health care professional. If you are struggling with deep sadness and fatigue that doesn’t go away for more than two weeks, find help as soon as possible. It is not a sign of weakness but of good sense on your part. Look at it as if you had an illness such as Diabetes. You would not think that a person is weak who took their insulin, would you? In fact, you would probably think that they were a very wise person for taking good care of themselves.
People who are suffering from depression can sometimes also be victims of abuse. This can take many forms such as physical, emotional or psychological. These can be turned around by a series of good choices on your part. The first choice is to find a support system. Communities of people who will listen to you and help you get out and away from your abuser.
Mental, emotional and physical abuses are cyclical in nature with a beginning, middle and an end and then in due time a new beginning. If you see the pattern repeat itself, it is time to find your way out. If you are wondering if you are being abused then you probably are. You may need a mental health care professional to help you see what is going on and formulate a way out of the situation
“I recommend a book called: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway® by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. This book will help you feel more powerful so that you can push through your fears in order to do what is right for you. It will also teach you how using words of power and love can make you feel stronger and in control of your experience of life.”
If I had had this book many years ago, I would never have been too afraid to step into a better life.
All that having been said; I have found that cultivating an attitude of gratitude goes a long way toward turning depression around. Along with proper diet and consistent exercise, a positive and grateful attitude can help you do what is best for yourself.
Our thoughts are very powerful. Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. mentions in her book (I am not quoting verbatim) that our bodies actually react to our thoughts and words. She says and provides strong evidence that weak words will make our bodies feel weak and strong, positive words along with the accompanying emotions will make us feel and be strong; we reap the results according to our thoughts, words and emotions.
I believe that each of these components: proper nutrition, exercise, positive thoughts, words and emotions along with a grateful heart, followed consistently on a daily basis are part of the whole solution in breaking the hold of depression on your life.
The method that I learned and used, years ago, when I was in depression was this; I would walk around my house and touch the things that I had in my house. I would walk up to my refrigerator and pray, “Thank you, God, for this refrigerator. It keeps my food fresh and good” my stove, “Thank you, God, for this stove that helps me cook my food”, my couch, ” thank you, God, for my couch that lets me sit above the floor. I would ignore anything negative about each item but only speak positive words of gratitude until I felt better.
I also joined a 12-step program and read books about codependence. These really helped me. The sense of community that this provided was beneficial to me as well.