Let us not mince words about it… depression is a terrible, serious thing!How To Get Over Depression… When its so confusing…Not only is it astonishingly misunderstood and its effect on lives extremely unrecognized but there is at the same time an awful stigma connected to depression and depression sufferers.And how saddening it is that so frequently depression sufferers are met with the supposedly helpful solution to simply “Get over it.” Or worse still… “Snap out of it!” Such a treat to those depression sufferers reaching out for support…Ask any person to define a depressed guy or girl and they will readily sprout off a catalogue of symptoms, postures, shallow breathing and ways of speaking to a tee. That being said this is just the beginning… they can’t tell you all about how a depressed person REALLY feels, they don’t REALLY understand what may have triggered the depression and what they are going through.These people don’t understand the hidden symptoms, thoughts and scenarios behind a person who to the outside world seems to be totally normal and happy.And they ABSOLUTELY don’t know exactly how to handle depression and support their friends, their loved ones or perhaps even themselves in the ways and approaches on the best ways to get over depression.First Steps in How To Get Over Depression We must dig deeper in all areas to truly understand the main reasons behind depression, what are the causes, what are the obstacles on the way to recovery and how is the best way in order to get there. For some, it can possibly be incredibly straightforward. For others it can be a challenging, long road of self exploration, self love and acceptance, in all probability therapy and maybe even the use of drugs.No one journey is the same when it comes to depression and the first place to start when it comes to how to get over depression, is understanding exactly what depression is…Am I Suffering from Depression?Its a part of life that at times, everyone has drama, feelings of sadness and overwhelm. And these feelings might hang around however that does not automatically mean that you are suffering from depression.So how can you tell if your down in the dumps feelings are just that… or if depression is now an issue?How To Get Over Depression… Know the Facts FirstAlthough depression symptoms can be different for all people, length of symptoms is certainly a factor. Had a bad week or month? especially after some significant emotional trauma? This is completely normal and not a sign of chronic depression.Depression starts to rear its ugly head when these feelings don’t heal or go away and gradually they affect your ability to live life normally. You may start excluding yourself from friends, family and social engagements or your work is slipping.How To Get Over Depression? Recognize the symptoms…Again, people present with depression differently however some of the most common symptoms are sadness, lack of motivation, feeling overwhelmed, lack of interest in anything, feeling useless and being stuck in a downward spiral.Another very common sign of depression is your sleeping habits change significantly to both extremes… either feeling tired all the time and having far too much sleep or being incredibly exhausted but suffering insomnia.Sadly and sometimes tragically, depression sufferers have made a complete suicide plan, attempted suicide or at the very least, considered or thought seriously about it. If you or anyone you love and care about has suicidal thoughts then I stress to you please… do something about it and seek professional help right away!How To Get Over Depression… With Help And SupportYour trusted family practitioner is always an effective first stop to learn how to get over depression. This person can discuss your conditions and get started a plan quickly. They can also confirm a diagnosis of depression and recommend you to a mental health professional if required.A regular symptom of depression sufferers is that there is no hope for them or that they are not worth caring about and as a result they can oftentimes resist or block treatment. This is typical thinking however it is dangerous thinking. Once depression is affecting your life and thoughts then it is time to get help as it can intensify quickly if left alone.Believing that you never have any good days or they are far less than the bad days?Having a hard time to get out of bed let alone get yourself into work?Are close friends or family commenting on changes in you?If yes to any of those inquiries then it is absolutely time to get serious, make an appointment and seek some help.Hoe To Get Over Depression… Can I do it?Absolutely you can! Depression sufferers respond very well to treatment and there are a range of options. Typically a combination of therapy, natural remedies, counselling and most importantly support can often work miracles. Drugs and other medications can also be used as part of a total healing package.At the end of the day, depression can be treated successfully. You can get back to your “old life” and return to feeling fabulous!Ask for help, learn as much as you can, get as much support as possible and you too can learn how to get over depression!
“Irene”, a 59-year-old widowed grandmother, came to see me because her daughter insisted. Irene had become a hermit, rarely venturing outside her home. She had dropped all her church activities and refused to speak with family members (other than “Debbie”, the daughter). Most of Irene’s time was spent sleeping. Instead of walking her dog, Irene let it run around the back yard.Even though her eating habits had hardly changed, it was clear that this formerly social, active woman was depressed. She told me that the anti-depressants prescribed by her family doctor only served to make her feel more of a failure. After 3 months the pills had not elevated her mood. She felt helpless, hopeless, apathetic and frightened.Debbie, a nurse, had become increasingly worried about her mother who at times seemed like a stranger to her. Debbie lives 3 hours away from her mother. She persuaded Irene to seek help in addition to the medical care. The doctors had told Irene that she would likely be depressed for a long time – perhaps indefinitely.I told her “Diagnosis is not destiny”.Then I made a few suggestions based on Michael Yapko’s work: the solution to depression is to change patterns. With this in mind I asked Irene if she would be willing to, once a day, open her front door and step outside for at least five minutes.Other “assignments” I suggested were: for Irene to do a spot of gardening such as turning the soil in her vegetable patch which she had neglected during her depression apathy. No more than 10 minutes a day unless she felt like doing more in the garden.
2 minutes a day to sort through old clothes. This had been a volunteer activity for Irene’s church before depression struck.
Once a week to take the dog for a walk, gradually increasing the distance as she felt capable.
To phone Debbie with a progress report each day.
To make a list of friends and family to whom she “owed” a phone call.Although a person cannot “snap out” of depression, taking actions, albeit small ones, fires up the process of escaping from the tentacles of apathy and hopelessness engendered by depression.I also encouraged Irene to discuss the anti-depressant medication the doctors had prescribed, including asking them for the list of possible side-effects. This list is required by law whenever a doctor or pharmacy hands over pills to a patient. Rarely is this done. And even rarer does a doctor take a patient’s concerns seriously. Irene, for instance, got no response from her family doctor when she asked if her insomnia was worsened by the sleeping pill he’d prescribed.Since Debbie was present throughout the session I enlisted her aid in helping her mother re-invigorate her life. Even though Debbie is a medically-trained person she understands the limits of medicine and the usual combination of neglect and ignorance among doctors of the social, nutritional and psychological factors that affect human health.So she readily agreed to visit her mother frequently and to bring gifts such as a colorful scarf, fresh lipstick, and treats for the dog.There was no formal hypnosis. But I did explain EFT [Emotional Freedom Techniques] and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to Irene.Progress was rapid once Irene allowed herself to think outside of the doom-and-gloom prognoses of the doctors. Just stepping outside her cottage — and thus defying their predictions — began the process of diminishing the depression.Soon Irene began calling people she’d neglected. To her amazement, they were happy to hear from her. Similarly with the church clothing group – they welcomed her back with enthusiastic hugs. Within 3 weeks Irene was once again an active, lively person according to Debbie.What is depression?There are two major kinds of depression: Reactive and Organic.Reactive depression arises from an incident or a specific loss. For example, your home being burned down or your spouse dying. Reactive depression is self-limiting. That is, with or without treatment, it will end. Perhaps within weeks, perhaps months, occasionally a year or more. Post-partum depression is an example of this time-limited, self-ending type of depression.Organic depression arises from within. It cannot be attributed to a specific trauma or loss. The customary treatment is medication because the assumption is that the depressed person has a ‘chemical imbalance’. Little attention is paid to possible causes of that imbalance – only to overcome the imbalance with other chemicals.One possible cause is being abused as a child, including being bullied. This can lay the foundation for an eruption of loss and despair in adult life, particularly if you were abused by your mother.However, psychotherapy and hypnosis do help people escape depression – with or without accompanying medication. Indeed, according to recent issues of Skeptical Inquirer and Psychology Today magazines, half of the depressed patients prescribed anti-depressants are not helped at all by the drugs.Individuals vary in what they suffer under the rubric ‘depression’. So it follows logically that treatment should be personal, tailored to the individual.Depression is often characterised by: lethargy
increased appetite OR no appetite
excessive sleep OR insufficient sleep
futility (especially re guilt)
anger OR passivity
loneliness — yet avoidance of other people
crying OR inability to let tears flow
feeling unlovableThere are similarities with depression to the characteristics and treatment of anxiety.Often overlooked when dealing with anxiety or depression is nutrition. Individuals vary in their reactions to specific foods and liquids. Although most people become more depressed when they consume alcohol or take drugs, some don’t. And some people thrive by eating turkey (for example) while others feel awful an hour or so after eating it.The only way to know which foods enliven you and which (pardon the pun) feed into creating or deepening depression is to experiment. Make notes on your reactions to specific foods.Exercise is touted as a cure-all for depression. It supposedly “gets the blood flowing” and thus helps the depressed person feel physically better. Actually, taking any action, some action is the key to resolving depression.That action may be physical or it may be mental, or it may be both. It will be successful as long as it involves changing the depressed person’s patterns.Labels have a horrible habit of sticking to a person. Once labelled as “depressed” a sufferer will likely have trouble shucking off the label because friends, relatives and co-workers continue to associate the label with the person – long after the depression has lifted.So, someone labelled as “bi-polar” will be expected to experience depression at the lower end of their emotional roller-coaster. And this despite the possibility that it may not even exist. [Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 37, issue 5, p.38]. The psychiatrist’s bible [DSM – the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual] purports to classify the myriad of mental “diseases” humans are liable to suffer. In reality this compendium of opinion and speculation – in which the existence and symptoms of diseases are voted upon – satisfies the need of the mind-doctors for their pretence at making their profession seem as scientific and evidence-based as real medicine.None of the hundreds of “diseases” in the DSM has a biological basis. And the current edition of DSM (DSM-5) has been condemned as lacking validity by the director of the National Institute of Mental Health.Isolation is a frequent consequence of being depressed. And human contact a frequent solution. Ironically, the very action that would help a depressed person, i.e., working with a competent professional, is one of the most difficult for the sufferer to accomplish. It would take so much effort and courage to get out and to confide in a therapist.But if the sufferer can manage some human contact then, like Irene, the depression can be contained and vanquished.Seasonal depression (which occurs at the onset of winter or at times of holidays) can be countered by allowing artificial light or sunshine to change a person’s melancholy.Introverts are no more likely than extroverts to suffer with depression. It is even, perhaps, harder for a normally outgoing person to endure the dampening feelings and isolation.Although a depressed person is unlikely to find much in life to be funny, one of the most powerful anti-depression activities is laughter. So, if the depressed person used to laugh at particular sitcoms, or comic books, or YouTube videos, it could be helpful to attempt re-enjoyment of such actions.Apart from using TV for humour, though, it’s probably best for a depressed person to avoid watching television, especially the news.It’s worth the effort for a depressed person to wash and dress. For many people just the simple act of splashing water on their face helps brighten their mood.Art – sculpting, water-coloring, oil painting – can also be helpful. This creative action can be therapeutic in itself. Coupled with an art therapist’s insight it can be life-affirming.Hypnotherapy can be a supplementary aid, or a method in itself to free you from depression.