Categories
Depression

Depression and the dimension of time

Time is a very powerful and huge concept. It’s something to appreciate and be grateful for too. It’s something to take advantage of and not abuse. But time also has huge benefits in regard to mental health, how so?

People who are depressed, financially anxious or for whatever reasons can run around for years and dwell in their problems and thoughts. But take a look at the world. Look at a huge stable, robust building operating an established business running like a well oiled machine.

Buildings and stable businesses have a lot of time in it. Time was taken to build it. Time was taken to learn the necessary knowledge to establish the business. Time, sweat, tears and whatever. Year by year the place is running well and people come every day for work or whatever. The place even shelters them from storms.

So how does this relate to painful thoughts/emotions/depression? No body likes to feel them…

Well, If my neighbor gave me a gift of some nice food last week, and I’ve been running around today looking for food, I’m hungry and I’ve got thousands of thoughts running through my head what would the smart thing to do be?

Answer: GO TO WHAT IS ESTABLISHED. Time and effort was taken to give me that gift. If I am grateful I will be nourished by that gift and my painful thoughts and emotions stop immediately. I didn’t need to look elsewhere as what I needed was with me.

Gratitude is a big word. When we are grateful, burdens drop from our chests. The more you go to what is established, the quicker you come out of pain. Sometimes we get in our own way though and become our own enemies.

Categories
Depression

What can I do to Climb out of Depression?

I wrote this on another forum and thought it would be beneficial for my readers who may be suffering from depression. See below post:

I have been there and back out and I will tell you what I have learnt. First of all, I want you to know that depression is actually a form of pain, a natural response and a healthy signal that something is wrong and a response is needed. This is totally normal and is part of our design. Good news your body is functioning well and doing its job.

Animals in the animal kingdom use other forms of pain like depression to push them back into safety/peace. That’s why they run from lions. The whole purpose of these emotions (fear, depression etc) is to push you back up on your feet. It’s the same reason people reach out. It’s a sign of life and aliveness.

One of the most important things I will tell you and I am saying this from experience and am happy to challenge anyone on this. Psychiatric drugs can CAUSE depression. It’s in their own literature. SSRI antidepressants contribute to suicidal behavior which is why there is warnings. Check the FDA US government warning below:
https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/suicidality-children-and-adolescents-being-treated-antidepressant-medications

The same thing is the case with depot injection anti-psychotics. So, I do not believe that these drugs are that reliable. I see it all the time, people on anti-depressants complaining they are depressed. Things need to change.

I won’t bore you with the drug stuff but my strong advice is to be aware of their poor design and effectiveness.

So then what do you do? Well, understand that pain (depression) is a communication system that has been around for hundreds of thousands of years and is the most useful thing to experience to come out of depression. It is a communication system that needs to be listened to to help you grow and climb that mountain slowly and at your own pace. When someone is depressed they are sensitive, fragile and need love, care and attention.

Depression revolves around irritants. If you have a job loss and it’s affecting you, that’s your irritant which is producing that low emotional signal. If you lost a recent loved one you will feel the same signal. These irritants and the emotional signal it produces are part of a beautiful design by Allah to help push the depressed person to seek out answers, to be their best, to be patient, to learn, to overcome, to reach out and most of all, to seek refuge in him.

Pain makes you grow. Muscles learn, grow and beautify by experiencing micro-injury (pain).

So my advice to you and I’m saying this based on experience as someone who has come out of deep depression multiple times, is to go on that journey to learn about yourself, your body and in your heart, what exactly are the irritants that are causing the production of that low emotional signal (depression). Then find and learn ways to respond accordingly to improve your spirits and become a healthier happier you.

And one more important point, stay away from street drugs. Cannabis, nicotine and psilocybin (mushrooms) are not going to change anything. All they do is activate your pleasure neurotransmitters and get you high but they do not transform you. They don’t solve your problems. It will only make you rely on an emotional crutch and that won’t achieve anything. If you feel a bit down and need a bit of a boost in your mood and need something biochemical have a tea or have coffee which is a bit stronger because they work with dopamine one of your pleasure neurotransmitters. But stay away from those street drugs and I would suggest caution with psychiatric drugs because they cause brain damage amongst so many other problems. Just make sure your body can handle tea/coffee (caffeine) though.

SSRI anti-depressants just try to manipulate your pleasure neurotransmitter serotonin and they do it so poorly and dangerously. There are so many healthy, natural ways to manipulate these pleasure transmitters which is why I suggest educating yourself about these chemicals and how/when the brain produces them. When someone is loved, challenged, active, social etc their brain chemistry reaches an optimum and ideal healthy state. When someone experiences a lot of novelty in their life their brain continually gets flushed with dopamine (pleasure chemical) and all this happens without drugs.

So don’t think you are in a bottomless pit. Just get the right help and do research and my strong advice to you is to stay away from drugs especially street ones because they cause brain damage, psychosis and all sorts of other problems.

We in this modern age are being taught that pain is bad. If you need money, the pain of having to earn it is bad, it’s better just to borrow money on interest. Trust me that only makes life worse. We are being taught to insure everything because pain is bad. If you lose something it’s bad to experience it and that’s painful so you are told to insure it. This same attitude has passed onto the common human experience and we are now offered drugs for a lot of normality.

Depression is not always a disease and in my opinion depression is only a disease when things like neuroinflammation are behind it. So actually pain can be very good and is perfectly natural when dealing with depression. It’s not something that should be silenced but it should rather be used and benefited from.

Categories
Anxiety Depression Mental Health Random Insights

Reading is an Underrated Form of Therapy

Just my personal experience. Many thoughts can be generated from what happens to you in life. Your worries, your problems, your questions in life. These thoughts radiate to your emotional domain and cause feelings of depression as the mind and emotions are connected or attached. This is why a lot of people find some peace in simply being away from their minds. Not in the sense that one runs away from reality like an ostrich digging their head in the ground in the face of danger or a threat. One definitely must process their problems, or accept what they can’t control.

One particular activity that takes me away from my mind is simply reading. Particularly something that I am very interested in. You should continue to surprise your mind with new books and new perspectives and topics. As this is novelty which our brains crave and which makes us feel good.

Reading requires one to engage with the book and use hand-eye coordination and it forces one to concentrate. It is not as passive as other forms of engagement as it involves some challenge. But it is not so challenging that it is burdensome. A book can be picked up anywhere and you can start wherever comfortable. It is a light, slightly challenging form of “therapy”.

To concentrate and read you have to be away from your thoughts. Absence of thoughts induces a positive, pleasant emotional experience. With time a person can get immersed in the book and really get in a healthy positive flow and experience. You become present as you focus on the words and the story being told.

Personally, reading for me is an, “anti-depressant”. I hope that helps others.

Categories
Bipolar Disorder Depression

Is Major Depression Curable?

As much as modern psychiatry claims that behind these disorders “chemical imbalances” are the cause, no imbalance has ever been found and that is rather an assumed cause. To prove that, go and ask your psychiatrist to show you this chemical imbalance, when they can’t, realize that no psychiatrist can because to the current date it’s just a theory. If it was true, psychiatric disorders would now have a test and someone would be winning a nobel prize.

Secondly and getting more specific, have a look at the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the DSM-5. You will notice upon looking carefully that a low barrier to entry for this label has been set and many people can be labelled. Experiencing a few low symptoms for 2 weeks is ridiculously enough for it to be concluded that the patient has something wrong with their brain. That’s because the DSM-5 criteria does not exclude psychological conditions (and other causes) which are totally curable but it depends on the case and that leads me to my next point.

When asking this question, you need to specify whose depression you are referring to. MDD is not a condition where everyone is isolated to the same cause for symptoms. Rather, everyone experiencing depression has a specific case as to the cause of their experience. In other words, my depression, and your depression are not the same thing. The diagnostic criteria describe surface level symptoms which may be shared among cases and that’s normal and natural. But the depths are a domain that is specific to the patient case. Anyone can experience bad lows enough to get you diagnosed, but the cause of these lows is not a case of everyone simply having a chemical imbalance. That is a gross oversimplification. Rather we have our own reasons and so our individual case can decide for us whether we can be “cured” or not (I’m not sure if cure is the best word to use to be honest…). Theoretically/technically yes people can be “cured”, but whether it happens depends on the patient’s case.

So the words cure/incurable need to be clarified and opened up because there are variables to be discussed to answer your question, the most important of which is, “whose depression and why are they depressed?”.

Also, the word “cure” in the context of psychiatric disorders is unique when comparing the use of the word with other ailments. Sometimes it shouldn’t even be used as psychiatry has just medicalised normality (normal life circumstances) in certain cases. The DSM criteria is surface level identification (just a few low symptoms) and so can unfortunately easily accommodate normality.

Some people say there is no cure because as it can be seen these phases return. Well of course because that can be a part of life. Look at the MDD diagnostic criteria, 2 weeks of a few low symptoms…getting that once or twice is not always something abnormal or a “disease”. It can be perfectly understandable and expected and that’s also why you have such a range in cases i.e some people having one phase and it never returning, some people having many phases etc. That’s just because we are individuals with our own circumstances.

The word depression in my opinion has been poisoned because of psychiatry and has lost its value. To answer your question simply, yes I believe it is absolutely curable but it depends on the patient case. You can even see many examples of this in nature. Always remember, depression can simply be described as a low energy state. It’s remedy is everything and anything to shift the energy back to a healthy balance (positive credits). We even see this in muscle development. When muscles are malnourished and underused they contract and degenerate (atrophy/depress). With stimulation they expand and beautify (the muscles are “happy” again).

Another thing to note. We even have our own endogenous (produced by the body/brain) antidepressant neurochemicals like serotonin and anandamide which are released upon intense exercise. So both the depression of Bipolar and normal depressions can be improved or perhaps I could say overridden/overpowered/broken through and that faculty is available to every human. My point in mentioning this is that labels like “treatment-resistant” depression are a contradiction. If you do the right actions that arouse your nervous system and positive neurochemicals, like anandamide, you can shift the energy balance to a healthier state (positive energy credits and thus heightened emotions).

Always remember at the heart of your depression is an irritant or many irritants, you have to learn what they are and credit your energy balance to get into optimum moods. In my experience of modern psychiatry they weren’t too interested in looking at my life holistically. They were just interested in the surface and chemicals. But the reality is, if you don’t treat someone holistically, you make a compromise on results, sometimes a big compromise. But you as a human are so much more than a soup of chemicals.

I remember being paralyzed in bed incredibly depressed when I was younger. It was because I was paralyzed by my obsessive thoughts (thankfully I don’t get like that anymore). My point is, depression revolves around an irritant or irritants. Until that is responded to you won’t “cure” or improve the situation. Although that particular cause of depression is separate to MDD, the point was there is always an irritant, and irritants are VARIABLE as opposed to being simply a “chemical imbalance”. Energy shifting high or low has VARIABLE causes.

Another very important principle that needs to be understood. From a general perspective, all psychiatric symptoms are subject to different levels of control and how well you control them is a subject of its own. However it is important for you to know, this range of control has a top and a bottom from “elimination” right at the top to “permanence” at the bottom. Your symptoms, together with your case fall somewhere in that range and what decides your level of control highly depends on your case and what actions and resources are in your power to support higher levels on that range. Also it depends on how well you respond to treatment principles.

Categories
Depression

Depression and the Purpose of Pain

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about my mood fluctuations in particular the low ones and have gained a few insights that I thought I would share. It’s to do with our relationship with Pain. Many people hate pain as it is uncomfortable and we usually avoid it. Sometimes that is the wise choice but recently I’ve observed and witnessed that upon deep reflection sometimes pain was actually helping me to grow. Deep down it was positive not negative. Pain comes in many forms but I’ll refer to depression in this post as its a typical form of pain everyone can relate to.

I usually run away from my low moods. I’ll numb the pain with coffee or something. But recently I realised my low moods were actually a message. These messages were communicating something. Some change was needed or some growth needed to occur and my feelings of depression were stuck because I wasn’t allowing this growth. I would look at the pain wrong or respond to it in the wrong way. I wouldn’t go deep into it and listen to what it was trying to tell me. I realised that my depression kept returning because I was unwilling to go into discomfort. Not willing to face my problems and deal with them. Not willing to change my dietary habits and instead live with the feelings of guilt. Not willing to give up bad habits. Procrastination. Negative thinking or looking at something the wrong way. Self doubt. Whatever painful emotion I was dealing with it would all feed my depression and continue to do that because I wasn’t willing to go into the discomfort of embracing these messages and responding to them the way they wanted me to.

If you look at body builders the only way they grow and beautify is by embracing pain. The stress, self-discipline and discomfort of waking up and going to that gym and then carrying those heavy weights. It’s undesirable who honestly wants to go through that? But there is a lesson in that example. They grow after that. This life is beautiful but it isn’t paradise. If we want something we have to go through discomfort first. After pain there is pleasure.

If you notice our whole human essence whether it’s our soul, body, brain, heart, limbs, muscles, personal hyigene etc they all crave growth. If we’re not growing in a certain aspect of our life then we actually slowly deteriorate and this is how depression also works. It’s how your muscles work you need to be active or they degenerate even our bones do that. The bones remodel themselves when a healthy stress is placed on them. When we floss our teeth our oral hygiene grows and we maintain our health well into the future if we keep doing this.

There is deep lessons in the simple examples of nature that never seems to stop amazing me. Nature is a humble teacher.

I’ve realised today that I get depressed or go into low moods because I’m not growing somewhere or something needs maintenance. I’m a bit of a lazy person and my lack of self-discipline causes a lot of my suffering but again pain is a feedback mechanism whether it’s depression, guilt, fear or whatever and it’s part of a magnificent design that is actually trying to help you and push you to grow and be comfortable again. The whole point of pain is to push you so you stop feeling pain. It’s with you not against you. In other words pain has a purpose. It’s a signal of content and meaning.

Sometimes we can feel down and label ourselves as just depressed or sad because it’s not always apparent why we feel a certain way but upon looking deeper, there is a whole world to explore, a message to be listened to.

So remember, love yourself and work with your pain and you may just open up a new world of positive feelings you never knew existed.

As a fun activity to do, go and google brain scans of someone idle or just in their normal state and look at a comparison picture of when the brain is exposed to novelty of some sort. The brain lights up more on the scan excited with more activity. The pleasure chemical dopamine is released a powerful antidote to depression. I looked at such pictures and it helped me understand why I get depressed when I’m in the same routine for too long or I’m just bored and need something new to do. I would use the pain of boredom and channel it into something novel and new to feed myself positive emotions and brain chemicals.

I hope this post helped someone.