21 Jan Depressed And Looking For Answers
Often, when you feel depressed and you’re looking for answers, you are told to:
- “challenge your negative thinking,”
- “get enough sleep,”
- “go outside,”
- “do things you used to like to do even though you don’t want to,”
- “make sure you keep up with or cultivate your social and supportive relationships,” and
- “eat healthy.”
Essentially, what you are being told is that if you use the power of your mind to make yourself do all these things, you won’t be depressed anymore. While this may be true, the problem with depression is that if it is severe enough, you are not in a state of mind (or body) from which you can make yourself do these things.
Whether you have decided to go “the medication route” or not, the last piece of advice you will generally find online about how to relieve depression when you can’t beat it on your own is to “know when to seek professional help,” or to “know that there is no shame in talking to someone.”
So, what is a professional going to do to help you? Often they will coach you to do the same things mentioned above, packaging it with words like coping skills, problem solving, emotional regulation and reframing. This can be good, because sometimes, having a coach is all you need. Sometimes the positive experience you have with your therapist (also known as transference) gives you the secret ingredient (a connection) you need to make those things happen. Sometimes, they will help you uncover past emotional experiences that help you make sense of the depression. But then what? What are you supposed to do with that knowledge.
What if the depression comes back, or if the therapy doesn’t help in the first place? There is another possibility. It entails combining therapeutic physical work on your depressed body and therapeutic discussion of the historical emotional experiences that underlie your ongoing or intermittent depression. In other words, the solution comes through a combination of physical and mental work.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “the links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t extremely clear.” However, aside from the endorphins that are released, and the calming effects that result from an increase in body temperature, part of the reason exercise can help lift you out of depression is that it increases the amount of oxygen you have in your body. As I mentioned in “Depression, a new perspective,” a body without sufficient oxygen is literally in a depressed metabolic state. Until more oxygen is in your body, you are not going to have the energy to “will” yourself well. Until you understand the historical emotional experiences and triggers that cause you you to “lock up” emotions and thereby “lock up” your breathing, you will not have the key to unlocking yourself from depression. One of the ways to address this mind and body work is through Bioenergetic Analysis. If you are interested in knowing more, call me. We’ll talk.
p.s. Make sure you have tested your thyroid to make sure its malfunction is not at the root of your depression.