Recently, I have read articles discussing that there is going to be more investment in mental health and easier access to ‘talking therapies‘. Something that I feel incredibly strong about is the fact that each and every person’s experience of depression is ‘unique’ and so how a person will heal from their own personal depressive experience needs to be explored more than accepting tablets and talking therapies as the only solution because when those things don’t work you can feel like there is ‘no hope’ when hope very much STILL exists!
In this blog post the founder of BoM is going to discuss some of the different possible causes of depression, share several therapies that are known to help the healing process of depression (backed by science) and the importance of trying different therapies until you find the one that seems to work for you.
First things first, if you are depressed reading this I understand that nothing has ever felt so painful to you, it can feel like no one understands you and you wonder when you will ever feel ‘normal’ again. The reason and journey to becoming depressed is completely unique to you , as are your beliefs and views of the world, as are your dreams for your life and you future and also are the way you feel and think. Considering this we must accept that talking therapies and taking tablets are not always the best solution for all.
Cinderella has one shoe that fits…all?!?
I like to use the example of the story of cinderella as we all know her story, the mystery glass slipper that can only fit her.
Imagine if that one shoe that existed had the mystical power of instantly curing your depression and make everything go back to how it was before you got the illness…but what if your foot was too big or too small what then? You are stuck with depression…forever!
Your foot is unique, so are you!
Now imagine your foot was the symbol of your unique journey to your current state of depression and the shoe that existed was your only hope of a cure…what if rather than having just the one shoe to select from you had lots and lots and LOTS of options that fitted every foot and even some that came in different colours?
Yes! finding more comfortable shoes (or therapies) for your feet DO exist.
Find the shoe that fits YOU, healing from depression IS unique to you
Now I really hope you understood what I am trying to say through my metaphor of cinderella’s foot… your foot is very unique, it can be fat or wide, long or thin, bent toes, straight toes, rough skin or soft skin.
This uniqueness of your foot, all scratches, bruises, bends and hairs is the equivalent of your life’s journey and selecting the most comfortable shoe is equal to finding different therapies that are available.
Identifying why you are depressed can be important…even if you don’t know!
I know some of you will not know why you are depressed, you will feel you have what would be perceived in society as ‘a good life’. A good job, a good partner, great family and good friends but yet you are still depressed. Why!? It can be for many reasons and can range from anything from chemical imbalances, lack of vitamin D (sometimes known as SAD), PTSD ( exposed to extreme levels of stress for a long period ), a string of unfortunate events, financial pressure, unemployment, feeling you have no purpose, your diet, your lifestyle choices, your environment you live in, learnt repetitive negative thinking, stressful careers, being in bad relationships, bereavement, loneliness, even genetics…the list goes on.
You can see from JUST these things I mentioned it is IMPOSSIBLE to suggest that talking therapies are the only way to heal from depression and why I am taking the brave step of discussing this important matter. We must be educated to understand there are many reasons people can experience depression and many cures that can work.
What works for one person simply might not work for the next. Find YOUR Therapy, explore different strategies, find your own unique path and understanding of what works for you.
Several Therapies to explore
For some people CBT can work just as well as medication for treating problems like depression and anxiety disorders.
CBT or cognitive behaviour therapy is a talking therapy looking at how your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes can affect your mental health and teaches you coping skills for dealing with different life events.
For some this can be a great treatment and can be very beneficial to those who don’t realise that their thoughts are creating their reality. Negative ways of thinking can happen for many reasons and can start from childhood until they virtually become automatic and the way your brain thinks but by using regular and persistent CBT methods you can challenge the way you think and reverse your perspective from negative to a more positive aspect. This treatment is often prescribed for those who are depressed but can also treat other illnesses such as eating problems, phobias, anxiety, anger problems, PTSD and more. For a short visual guide here is a video from Mind : –
Counselling provide a safe, secure and comfortable space for you to talk to a compassionate trained professional about your troubles and explore difficult feelings and how to deal with specific problems, cope with a crisis or develop better ways of living with a trained professional.
Counselling can be useful for anyone who wants to explore the way they’re thinking or feeling further, as well as anyone experiencing a problem or issue they are keen to resolve.
Counselling can be a great treatment for those who really want to talk to somebody about their thoughts and feelings but don’t want to speak to family or friends for whatever reason or maybe to speak to someone who has done many years study investigating psychology and understands the science behind our brains and thinking better than most.
A personal favourite of the founder of BoM and the therapy that worked best for him. What is hypnotherapy? Hypnotherapy helps you access your subconcious mind by changing your brain waves from Beta (the awakened state) to Delta (deep sleep/relaxation) waves and access past memories. A little bit like accessing your computers hard drive beyond your living breathing ‘desktop’ of what you see every day.
It was incredible for me because I experienced things I had totally forgotten about from my childhood and even experienced ‘a past life regression‘ which was fascinating! The rewards of hypnotherapy are great and I recommend looking for a hypnotherapist to help those who maybe don’t understand why they are depressed or feel they know but can’t seem to shift the feelings from leaving.
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a name that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming. The neurological system regulates how our bodies function, language determines how we interface and communicate with other people and our programming determines the kinds of models of the world we create. Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behavior (programming).
Example of NLP in practice with famous talker Tony Robbins
5. Life Coaching
Not a therapist per say as therapists tend to look towards the past and a life coach will look at your here and now and what you want in future. A life coach may be useful for those who are loosing confidence and motivation after strings of bad luck.
A life coach should be accessed if you have a DEEP desire and commitment to change as change is not easy , in fact it can be painful and you have to really want to push yourself and be prepared for some really challenging times.
Having a life coach can help you with goal setting , limiting beliefs, negative thinking that is stopping us achieve what we dream of, overcoming obstacles, helping to build confidence and build your dreams and what is possible for you.
A life coach can keep you motivated and determined and as well making you more likely to act on your ambitions as if you know you have to speak to someone about what you have done so far then you have to be accountable for what you have or haven’t done Life coaching helps guide you to try to achieve the life that you want.
6. Nutritionist & Dietitian
Do you regularly eat red meat, lots of carbs, processed foods because it is easy to cook or very cheap? This can be detrimental on your physical AND mental health. There is research to suggest that if you lack the correct vitamins and minerals you are more prone to depression.
Several studies have found that people who ate a poor quality diet — one that was high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products — were more likely to report symptoms of depression.
A nutritionist or dietitian can help you identify what you are eating and help create plans to improve what goes into your body to not only help with your depression but also improve your overall wellbeing. The best part of this is that when you learn about good foods you’ll find that they taste fantastic!
We have provided evidence that acupuncture versus usual care and counselling versus usual care are both associated with a significant reduction in symptoms of depression in the short to medium term, and are not associated with serious adverse events.
It is believed that acupuncture can help stimulate what are known as ‘happy hormones’ in your body called endorphins and why acupuncture can be known to help people overcome depression alongside other forms of illness.
The BBC have reported on patients with depression or psychosis are benefiting from a therapy called emotional freedom technique.
EFT works by focusing on an emotion or feeling and then activating acupressure points on your body by tapping points to shift ‘blocked’ energy , and then accepting the feeling and letting it go. A lot of research seems to suggest that regular practice of EFT can help with depression.
10. Personal Trainer or Exercise
Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression.
11. Lack of Vitamins and Minerals including Vitamin D
This section is to do with how much vitamins and minerals we are taking in our body. In the northern hemisphere in places like the UK, Canada and New York there is less light and this is the only way that we can ‘naturally’ get vitamin D in our body, through the light from the sun. You may have heard of SAD ( seasonal affect disorder ) where you feel very low and depressed due to having less acceess to this important vitamin.
But referring back to the nutritionist, it is also important to look at what you put into your body. Some scientists suggest that our foods do not have as many vitamins and minerals in them than they used to due to several reasons that I cannot go into now but to ensure you your body is getting all the right vitamins and minerals is believed to help some people improve their depression and maintain a more balanced brain and health system.
What can we learn from this blog? You must discover how to heal from depression in your own unique way
What we can see from this blog is that there are many ways to heal from depression and what you first thought as the only way through counselling and taking a tablet is not the only solution to healing from depression, in fact, if you were to combine several therapies it could be said to give you an even better overall treatment.
In future blog posts we will look into more therapies of both traditional and complementary therapies and begin to explain more deeply of each of the subjects we touched upon above.
Don’t give up, there are many specialist who can help you change your life and able to help you heal from depression in your own unique way.