What Can Help When We Are Depressed?
byN J Howell
Mindfulness Exercise for Self-Acceptance
The Spiritual Meaning of Depression
Natural Stress Reduction
This is part a series on help for depression. Part One: What is Depression?
Helpful tips for handling depression: Prayer and meditation help but sometimes depression makes a person unmotivated to do even those simple things and, in those cases, a good hypnosis tape or subliminal tape can help. Also, I'm reminded of the verse in the bible that says sometimes we can just pray with utterings and groanings. Just make sound if you can't make words. Singing and toning are both good for lifting the energy of depression.
Don't rule out seeing a counselor...
Are you thinking counseling for depression doesn't work? Have you tried seeing a counselor without success? Then please keep reading ... If you have tried counseling and it didn't work, your are probably irritated that I even suggested it. I know what it is like to go to a counselor and feel as if you are talking to a condemning preacher, a blank face, or someone who doesn't know how to listen. Just because a person is a trained counselor and may even be a kind, caring person doesn't mean you have rapport with them or that you feel comfortable with them.
It can be intimidating to even allow yourself to leave a counselor just doesn't feel right but I did it and that decision made all the difference in overcoming my own depression. Sometimes, part of the healing process is walking away from what doesn't work and finding what does work. Just because one counselor wasn't there for you in the way you needed them to be, that doesn't mean another counselor would not be perfect. Don't give up. Your healing is too important. Counseling for depression, with a therapist who can create safe space for expression and with whom you have a good connection, may definitely be useful for your healing process.
Why Counseling May Help:
One of the reasons counseling helps with depression is that it gives you a chance to get thoughts out of your mind and into the air. Just hearing your own thoughts may be helpful and having another person witness for you, actively listening to you, may also help. Another reason counseling may help you begin to get a handle on your feelings is because mental health professionals are trained to offer objective, non-judgmental suggestions for restoring clear thinking. They may help you clarify the issues and see options for dealing with them that you could not see alone.
A mental health counselor does not have to have the answers and really, no one does have your answers, but a good listener can validate your experience and allow you to speak out things that are hard to talk about with those who love you and worry about you. It may be that the temporary (and that is the operative word with me) use of an antidepressant may be helpful to allow your mind to clear and calm long enough to begin to understand the reasons for the depression and make appropriate changes.
There are also effective natural depression remedies to temporarily restore the balance that has been lost, chemically speaking. One of the most reputable companies I know is Native Remedies and I encourage you to read about their Natural Depression Remedies. Natural formulas, and even prescription drugs for depression, may benefit as long as there is the awareness that something needs to change. The remedy is NOT the change. Restoring chemical balance temporarily, whether with natural depression remedies or prescription drugs for depression, is only a temporary physiological assist for the body. No natural remedy or prescription drug replaces the process of healing the emotions, mind and spirit.
Learning Self-Gentleness Helps: Learning to be at least as gentle with myself as I would be one of my beloved little nieces or nephews, whom I adore, has helped me greatly.
Whenever I have found myself going into panic or judgment or depression or just about any other state of mental imbalance, it helps me if I remember the smiles of children, their laughter, how fully they give themselves over to whatever emotion is there, and how quickly it dissipates after full expression.
Jesus said to become like little children. I think that's part of what makes them such great role models for us. They are in every moment, fully. Unless they are taught otherwise, they naturally express fully and then re-balance. It's a natural way of balancing that we forget
Suggested Reading: Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Mental Health Disclaimer: If considering natural remedies to help with depression, please check with your mental health professional before adding anything, natural or prescription, to an existing depression regimen. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can progress to clinical depression, in which case the care of a qualified mental health professional may be needed to protect life. This wholistic health information does not replace an in-person consultation with a mental health professional or mental health counselor.