I’ve been depressed. My depression was situational, but it did become very physical, and very chemical. It always does, if you live with it long enough. And I did.
I was depressed for years. I had good times. It wasn’t all negative. I had plenty of good times. But I was depressed. For months at a time, all I wanted to do was sleep. When you’re depressed, even if you’re having an amazing day, it feels like there is an ominous cloud over you, a constant reminder that it will start raining again soon.
The toughest part about being depressed was the fact that I didn’t want to get better. At the time, I couldn’t see that, but I was hurting really badly. Depression was sort of a release; there was no other way to deal with the tremendous amount of pain I felt.
I did overcome it. I needed more than one hand to count how many times I thought I might end it all. But today, I am a very happy person. The following is how I overcame my depression.
I started a journal. I wrote every single day. I wrote anything I wanted to write, but I always wrote down anything that was bothering me, and I highlighted those issues. Whenever I was in a good mood, I would go back to my journal and see if some of the things that were bothering me so much still mattered, and if they did, I would see what I could do about them when I wasn’t feeling so overwhelmed and negative.
When something really overwhelmed me and caused considerable pain, I would wait until I was feeling very good and I would remember the incident. I’d make a movie out of it, one where I could watch myself from a distance, and replay it in my head over and over again with different colors, scenarios, distances, etc. I did it over and over again, and then I would see what I could have done differently (if applicable) and I decided if there was anything I could do at the current time or later that could make me feel empowered and resolve the issue.
If you have a very overwhelming traumatic memory, I suggest you learn about neuro linguistic programming (also known as NLP). In particular, I like the Visual-Kinesthetic Dissociation Technique for phobias. I find it alters perspections very nicely. And remember, life is all about perspective, focus, and the choices we make as a result.
I kept a to-do list and stayed busy! I added good things to my list, like exercising, meditation, getting grounded, reading fiction, reading for knowledge, making healthy food, spending time with family, etc. When ridding the mind of depression, it’s not the time to dwell. It’s also not the time to veg out in front of the TV or just hang out with friends. These are methods for “escaping” depression, and the results don’t last. Meditate. Read. That takes effort. Dwelling and worrying, or watching TV are easy and produce toxic results just like eating junk food.
We can point to many studies and many more scientific reviews about the effects of exercise, including endorphin release, hormone correction, detoxification, healing, the brain, and any mental disease or health issue.
Your body utilizes, to an extent, a lose it or lose it system. Less educated people don’t use the brain as much as educated people do, and they are more likely to experience Alzheimer’s, and other degenerative diseases of the mind. Exercise helps everything, including your brain. And while I know first hand that it’s the hardest thing to do when you’re depressed, regardless of whether or not the depression is biological or situational (though it’s always biological), exercise is going to help. I like weight lifting. It’s primarily anaerobic, but can be done in a way that offers aerobic benefits as well. Yoga, Tai Chai, martial arts, running, swimming in a non-chlorinated water, and bicycling are great.
If I had to pick the very best, I vote for squats. You don’t even need weights. Everyone should be able to do 100 squats. It helps to detoxify the body, builds the heart, and almost the entire body so well, causes a better release of growth hormone than any other exercise, and you can do it at home anytime. I like what replicates nature (we used to squat all day every day for many reasons) and I like what gets the job done as fast as possible in the shortest amount of time with the most amount of benefit. This is why I love bodyweight squats.
The brain is an organ. Think of it like the liver, the kidneys, and the heart. All of our organs can become bogged down with toxins and not function very well. Anyone who is depressed has a brain that’s not working well. Regardless of whether it’s temporary and situational or chronic, the brain needs nutrition and the body takes up and assimilates nutrition much better when it is not being bombarded with toxins. Plus, certain toxins can cause chemical reactions within the body that exacerbate and even cause depression (and other mental disorders).
I cleaned up my diet. When you are depressed, this is the time to eat lots of vegetables—raw, fresh, and organic whenever possible. It’s always time to eat lots of vegetables, I know. I say that in every article. But it’s true. A depressed mind is a mind without enough B vitamins. One very common reason for not having enough B vitamins is candida, which can inhibit the development and the assimilation of B vitamins within the intestinal tract.
Cut out alcohol and any other drugs. Drugs are toxins, and any toxins, especially drugs we use to get high or reduce pain, will worsen depression in the long run. That said, the reality is that sometime things are too intense to get through without drugs. Although I am a very anti-pharmaceutical person, I have been so overwhelmed that I chose to self medicate in order to survive (and I did it primarily with marijuana, which is way better than alcohol or pharmaceuticals). But the reality is that they are all toxic. None of them are worth it in the long run.
With the right nutrition, high quality, deep, restorative and healing sleep is much easier to come by. It may take time, but it will come. If you suffer from insomnia (and depression often does come with insomnia), go camping if you can. Leave or turn off the cell phone. This can remove distractions and electromagnetic fields that disrupt hormones and sleep patterns. It can also facilitate grounding (more on that coming).
B vitamins, balanced minerals, and healthy fats are imperative for anyone dealing with depression. The brain is mostly fat and B vitamins need a body with balanced and healthy fats to assimilate fats properly (which is used to build our cell walls; healthy fats = cells less susceptible to damage or infection). B vitamins are water soluble, but they are not utilized properly if the body is made up of toxic fats.
A detox is also a great away to not only help heal and reset he body, but to give you something to focus on that shows relatively fast results. It can be a nice stepping stone for natural health to become a hobby. Paying attention to your body, really listening to it and knowing what it wants and needs, is hard to do when you’re depressed. It’s also hard to get depressed when you’re doing it (paying attention to the health of your body). Make sure your detox addresses candida and parasites, since both can cause and fuel serious mental health problems.
I love raw oysters for depression and sexual function. I think of them more like a supplement than a food. They have lots of B6, B12, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron as a whole food source that’s easy to assimilate. All of these nutrients are very important for brain health. Combine a dozen oysters with a salad, a good B vitamin complex and a good nutrition formula, and then I am ready to go workout no matter how stressed, overwhelmed, or depressed I am. And after a good workout, the depression’s severity is at the very least, drastically reduced.
If you do eat raw oysters, be careful. Do some research, and don’t eat them if you have a severely compromised immune system.
If you suffer from depression, or you travel frequently, or you get stressed too often/easily, or you suffer from insomnia, grounding will be of a huge benefit to you. And if you don’t suffer from any of the aforementioned, grounding will still be a huge benefit for you. But nothing compares to diet. Supplements are a distant second, and grounding comes in third.
I’ve been depressed. I’ve written about it before. I am passionate about natural remedies for depression, but I know how incredibly difficult it can be. I know the kind of depression that makes your body hurt so badly that moving is difficult. I know depression so debilitating that the idea of exercise is laughable, and the laughter is almost painful; laughing is the second to the last thing you want to do in that state (exercise, of course, is the very last thing you’d want to do).
I am prone to depression and I have also experienced some very traumatic events and losses. It can be so hard to get over and chronic depression; it feels like a warm blanket that I have hidden under for years at a time. Once you get well, you have to figure out what being depressed was doing for you, if you don’t want depression to come right back into your life. You can also heal much faster when you realize what being depressed is doing for you, but it can be impossible for people to see that when they’re in the thick of it. Almost everyone who is depressed will say it’s not how he or she wants to feel. But looking back, when I was depressed, I felt exactly what I wanted to feel at the time. And getting enough motivation to make it through a depressing time in a healthy way can be extremely difficult, but it’s well worth it.
- B-Complex #6 – Thorne Research
- Vitamin D – Thorn Complex
- Krill Oil
- Shillintong’s Total Nutrition Formula
- Peppermint Essential Oil – Wise Woman Herbals
- I’m Depressed
- Natural Remedies for Depression
- How To Be Happy
- Sun Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Vitamin B6 and What You Should Know About it
- How Candida Leads to Depression