Funk Junkie Wrote: (04-24-2012 08:42 PM)
FreedomStands Wrote: (04-24-2012 08:41 PM)
I HAVE A DIFFERENT AND PERHAPS MORE CONTROVERSIAL APPROACH TO DEPRESSION.
Spit it out
Ok, I'm not 100% that everyone can handle it but...
Basically I think depression could have a few causes, and overall can be neutralized if a person has a correct approach or beliefs.
For me, the first thing to check is the diet. Is there anything a person might be ingesting directly that may be causing a kind of chemical depression?
Every food we eat influences our bodies in some way, many things are fine or neutral, but some things can have an influence by reacting with our bodies in certain ways or having things in them which influence other parts of the body (sometimes they can even be mild allergies).
One of the major things that causes depression for many people but goes un-noticed (and there have been mainstream studies on this but they go under the radar after being mentioned briefly) is soy and soy products like soy lecithin which is something found in very many types of products.
Soy has several ways of causing a kind of chemical depression, and I've been able to verify these results through a doctor I know who has checked with patients and many times eradicated the soy from the depressive patients and has seen major improvement, and I've tested it with my own family and others (and there are studies about soys links to depression and even brain shrinkage).
So one thing a person can do when it comes to diet is cut out the soy and pay attention to ingredients.
There could be many other nasty things which influence a person, and that is why it is important for someone to pay attention to what they are putting into their bodies and how it might actually influence them (by the way they start thinking afterwards, or feeling afterwards, both physically and mentally).
When one is aware of the possibility of chemical or food related depression, they can better realize and handle the depression by understanding it is just the illusory influence of the foods or whatever and to avoid those foods (it can last some time after actually eating the food until the system straightens itself out, a normal amount of water might help wash it out of the system a little faster. Food are drugs basically. Things related to the soy family might have similar influence too, such as peanuts or legumes.)
Sometimes it can seem that the depression has a legitimate reason, and it may, but many times chemicals can exaggerate the experience or make it more severe or difficult to deal with. Soy isn't the only potential food, but it is one that is very common and potentially responsible for lots of depression.
That is only one thing a person can check...now moving on to the others...
Now one should realize, depression is made of content, it is a "real" thing.
It is incorrect, in my belief, to think that negative thinking itself should be completely shunned and abolished from the mind. This is unlikely to happen, seems impossible for many, and may actually disrupt normal interactions, interpretations, and processes if someone tries to deal with things by fear of negativity or shunning it.
Since depression is made of content, both potentially chemical and otherwise psychological (thoughts/interpretation of memories related to experiences of events) one should try to examine the content and basically think about it thoroughly.
If the mind is bringing something up, to put it on the back burning might only delay an automatic healing and resolution process. In other cases there may be no healing process, nor does their need to be, since some things are just plain bad and that is how one has to appreciate them. All this can be done and discovered by allowing the thoughts to flow freely and to examine them.
The first best advice to follow (especially in the case of people with borderline personality tendencies, suicidal tendencies, self harming tendencies, manic tendencies, or addictive tendencies) is to be able to freeze and not take any actions.
Some people, when in pain, feel they need to do something about it, anything to change their mind or put an end to the pain, and so they rush out impulsively and take sometimes dangerous actions to try to change their moods or their situations (in less than productive ways).
Freezing and being able to completely halt any actions is an important thing to be able to do, for everyone. After a person halts (somewhere they can sit safely and think), then they can start to examine their thoughts, where they originated, what they are about, and how to resolve them or understand them so that they can continue to operate safely and normally.
So by paying attention to the thoughts, and going through them, one can better discover the causes and solutions for their problems.
Now for the more controversial stuff...
Embracing negativity. Many people may have experienced dissatisfaction merely because they expected that there should be satisfaction or everything should be good.
Yes, there may be ways to minimize the disturbing experiences one has in their life, but the approach to minimize such things is careful thinking and strategy.
Firstly, one should not worry about things that are out of their control or far away. If the news media is disrupting their tranquility then they should cut it out, those are problems that the audience can't do anything about and so are basically irrelevant. If a person was living in times before the news media, they would've never heard of those problems, and might have been happier just because of that.
Like an ever expanding circle, the first priority should always be oneself. Without yourself, you can't do anything, and you are the one experiencing everything as well. That is the first and most important circle. The next circle is a slightly expanded circle that covers your immediate surroundings, then after that, the concern should expand physically from yourself and your immediate environment to your home and then maybe the residents of your home, and so on.
If a person's circle of concern is too vast, or if their focus is so far away from their physical influence, then they might find themselves feeling threatened by things and disrupt themselves unnecessarily.
I sometimes call that circle, the serenity circle. One should do what they can do, and not worry about what they can't do. So if one's physical health is bad, they should work on that, and if one's room is dirty, they should clean that, and bit by bit they can expand their circle of cleansing and serenity by taking good physical actions and influence their world in a nice way.
Embracing negativity basically means not shunning or fearing that bad things and thoughts about bad things exist, and the thoughts are not bad to have really, even if they cause pain, one is basically inoculating themselves throughout life by learning and one can develop precise strategies to better avoid things they find harmful to themselves or their minds, but negative thoughts, anger, sadness, or any of that are not bad things, and they aren't even dangerous if someone doesn't take actions based on them.
So what I do is basically allow myself to think of everything thoroughly. When coping with a tragedy (which might be often), I allow myself to fully think about it and feel bad even, and over time the frequency between feeling bad will get gaps in between where a person doesn't think about the thing naturally (though whenever they remember it still may feel bad which is fine, and right).
People act like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a bad thing, and it may be a bad thing, but it is really just a delayed coping mechanism. It is something that actually is ready to start happening as soon as a person is outside of a threatening situation and has time to think. A person relives their traumatic experience repeatedly, and that is absolutely the natural and correct way to cope with an incident, to think of it in every possible way, every possible angle, to fully understand and go through what had been an immediate shock. The final result is realizing that no matter what the mistake a person might have made, the experience was bad, and can't be changed, and one may always be rightfully disturbed by what is disturbing.
In the case of some who go through the experience of reliving their traumatic experiences and remembering things, they may realize the truth that whatever they did was the only thing they would've actually done anyway, and that is how it happened in that way. People usually make the decisions that they can make at the time given little option or time to reconsider and with a lack of knowledge of the consequences, so when one goes through it in every way by thinking about it thoroughly they may realize that they really wouldn't have done anything else, even if what they did ended up being regrettable.
In other cases, people feel depressed because they feel that their life lacks meaning. Well, that may be because one expects life to have some profound meaning, and if they have such beliefs they may never really find satisfaction. Life should be about breathing and staying alive. There are people in really horrible situations, lacking some senses or body parts at times, who continue to survive simply to survive, and not only is nothing wrong with that, but that is the main objective of life. The next thing a person can do is find some objective and work towards it, but that isn't even particularly important if one can just find some satisfaction in the objective of staying alive and breathing. In the end, it is most likely everyone will die, but nobody really needs to rush disabling themselves.
Allowing oneself to be sad and angry (without taking actions based on these thoughts) can help a person naturally deal with things more quickly. You acknowledge and appreciate that whatever happened is not something you enjoyed or liked, and experience the emotions related to that, and can effectively deal with it faster if one realizes that once it is past it is only carried on through us and our memories.
To top it off, memories themselves aren't really real, in the sense that they aren't the events themselves, but just broken down fragments of information that we have to rebuild or recreate in order to "remember". Each time we remember something, we are actually recreating it in our minds, and that is fine, but to realize what a memory really is may be helpful as well, since the events are long gone and only those who remember carry them as fragmented pieces of information that they have to rebuild in order to visualize.
So I allow myself to fully meditate on sad or angry things, and this is why it might seem controversial with the mainstream or new age taboo on negative thinking. I find that one creates more anxiety for themselves when they believe negative thinking (which is a natural and normal mechanism for dealing with reality) is somehow harmful, attracts demons, attracts bad events, attracts disease, or any silliness like that.
Finally, I've found that I can effectively use anger, hate, sadness, all in productive ways to feel healthier and more empowered in some ways.
Thoughts can't hurt a person, they have no real power if one does not take a physical action based on them, and so I believe strongly that it is safe to think, and one can allow themselves to understand that in some cases what they may consider depression is not something that really needs a cure, but instead is a natural reaction to what we don't like. To discover this, and create appropriate strategies to deal with what we can deal with, or realize what is out of our capacity to resolve, we must basically allow ourselves to think.
I might have missed a few points I was going to state, but this covers a few things you might find useful.