Depression can range from mild to extremely debilitating. Many of us may take the journey into such an experience in our lifetime and, it is becoming even more common given the stresses we are encountering in modern-day life.
We may go through many episodes of depression, where life may seem meaningless, painful or empty. We may not be able to make any sense out of what is happening to or around us. Nothing may seem to matter and we may lose our joy and passion and feel as if we have fallen into a dark hole and can not get out.
Medicine's answer to depression is to diagnose it as a mental illness and prescribe antidepressants. These may help as a temporary measure in sever cases cases however; they will not get to the root cause which is where all healing begins.
If we view depression as an illness, we will miss the wisdom it has to offer us. What if it is merely a rite of passage in our lives; a time of going deeply into our own selves to shed the old ways which may no longer work for us? A drug may help us begin to feel a little better emotionally but, absolutely, what we need to do is to re-evaluate our life, find a new way forward and begin to take action.
If you are going through depression, here are some ways forward:
1. Be very gentle on yourself. Honor what you are feeling and allow yourself to take time out of your normal routine to just sit still, rest and nurture yourself. If you had a friend who was going through the same thing would you not want to be there for her and be compassionate and support to her? Then, do the same for yourself.
2. Remind yourself that you are just journeying through this state of mind and that it is only temporary. The more you can allow and welcome whatever this episode of depression is trying to tell you, the quicker you will be able to get through and come out of it stronger. It is only when we resist situations that they can persist in our lives.
3. Sometimes, if we have been rushing through our lives and then all of a sudden come to a standstill, depression can set in. This can happen because we may have been running away into busyness instead of facing issues that may have needed our attention. If this is the case, then the way forward is to honestly look at the situation and admit your true feelings to yourself. Write down the pros and cons of the situation, allow yourself time to get over your negative feelings first and do not make any decision until you are feeling more balanced and can see things clearly.
4. Depression can set in when we are living somebody else's life rather than being true to ourselves and living by our own values. It may be time to think about what has meaning for you. Make a list of your values and what makes your heart sing and begin to take one step towards living a more authentic life. You deserve to be happy. You will begin to feel better and more empowered when you take steps to honor your values in life.