Bless You…

If you are suffering from mild to severe depression with a non-medical cause, — Bless You!!

(I know, I know, “Say What??!!!”)

Well, first of all, even though I am not a medical professional, nor do I pretend to be, and even though none of the things that were effective in my case may help YOU at all, my experience has led me to believe that simple depression CAN be deleted with nothing more than a consciousness shift!

A friend of mine, who had extensive nursing experience in a respected “Psyche Ward” once described to me the horrors suffered by those with severe depression caused by medical/genetic issues.  At the time I was struggling with my own issues which were nothing more than erroneous thought patterns as I like to call them now.  That’s when I realized how blessed I was to have a problem I could actually do something about!

I was NOT helpless!

Suffering is, of course, a normal part of the human experience, but there is no need to suffer unnecessarily!  With all the technology and vast store of information available on the subject today, Depression is a VERY unnecessary condition!

If you are just beginning to realize you might have a problem with Depression, your first step should be to get evaluated by a mental health professional!!!  DO NOT ASSUME YOU CAN SELF-DIAGNOSE AND/OR MEDICATE!!

If your doctor recommends medication, by all means follow his recommendations!

The purpose of this blog is to merely give you a different perspective, and a few tips that helped me.

One of those tips, given to me by a Doctor friend of mine was this:  “You cannot count your blessings and be depressed at the same time!”

Of course, being my ususal hard-headed self, I tired to prove him wrong, mainly because at the time, I had not yet realized that my depression was largely a result of thought patterns I had chosen.

Yes, I should have known better! :-)

At first, I couldn’t think of a single blessing.

My next thought was: “Ok, that’s ridiculous, being alive to think, even if it is something negative, has to be a blessing doesnt it?”

Then I realized that I was basically healthy, at least physically.

And that I had a lot of friends who cared deeply about me.

Oh, and a good set of job skills…

a wonderful childhood…

Parents….

Sister…

OH! And Dang It!  I’m Smiling…. (That’s not supposed to happen while I’m busy being depressed!)

I Challenge You!!

Count your blessings and be depressed at the same time!  If you can, You REALLY DO need to see a health professional.

In any case, BLESS YOU!

David.


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It’s All Perspective…

I thought maybe it was a good time to update this blog, as the overall response to the previous posting’s has been very positive.  Nothing is quite as satisfying in the blogging world at least, as to read a comment from a total stranger expressing gratitude for sharing my experience.

Depression is such a major part of our world today, that Millions are affected by it.

It’s also true that this blog is a minuscule, infinitesimal speck in an ocean of information available on the subject.  But from my perspective, if I affect a positive note in the life of only ONE person, I have made a difference, and have passed on just a little of my experience in a positive venue.

That’s important somehow.

One of the things that made a difference for me, was to “step outside myself” and do something for others.  That’s harder sometimes than it sounds!  Depression is debilitating in part, because even though you quite often know things you could do to help yourself, at the same time you don’t really care!

So you have to be honest… “Am I somehow, on some level, enjoying my feelings of depression?”

If your hair was on fire, would you need anyone to tell you to do something about it?

Be VERY, VERY, Clear about this one thing– Until you decide you are “…Mad as Hell, and are not going to take it anymore…” you are not going to escape.  Period.

The turning point in my experience was when I decided that I was NEVER going to hurt again, as bad as I was hurting at that point, No Matter What Happened!!!

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Helping One Another Become the Best They Can Be….

They say that in order to help someone else, you have to first be able to help yourself.
Knotty Theory that……
So of course I had to Go back and evaluate.
Have I become the best I can be? At least up until this point? I know that I will strive to improve until the day I die, but how have I done so far?
I guess a little introspection is a good thing from time to time. Looking back, I find much to be thankful for, many blessings that have come my way in the past year. And to be honest, these blessings were only possible because of the change in my mindset, and attitude. Amazing isn’t it, how the things we wanted all our lives cannot be ours until we change into someone who will be able to accept, care for, and value our dreams once they become reality!

Of all the things in Life that I really, really, wanted; the one thing I would have given everything else up for, was Love! Someone who really and truly loved me for Me, not what they could get from me!

I remember 1st Grade….Crayon valentines sent across the room to Debbie. Giggles at the water cooler. Playful slaps on the cheek from the Nancy who really liked me, but could have never told me so.
Anita who was so shy and quiet, but whose whole family loved me in their own quiet way.

Things progress, time passes, this rock speeds ever onward, exponentially accelerating it seems. Days and years begin to blur.
Some things stand out, but the day-to-day, where the little choices are made begins to lack significance. A certain quality is lost. What once had such clarity as a child, today is humdrum.
Oh Well!
And so… I begin to sink into the everday blandness that becomes adulthood:
Seventeen years of marrige to the wrong person.
Twenty-one years of a career that provides me with some of the rewards I need, but includes much I do not.
Everything is direction, and mine isn’t the one I want….

A phone call. My Mother, whom I love so much, is in the Hospital.
A few months later I am sitting under a canvas awning as they lower all that remains into the earth. My face is carved in stone, but I am quivering like the last leaf of the season, as I sit with my arms wrapped, one around my Father, one around my sister.
My mind screams in unbelief: “They’re putting my Mother in the DIRT!”

That was the day the Universe shifted on it’s axis for me. Nothing ever would be the same again.

More fun…. Grandpa followed Mother, Grandma followed Grandpa. My wife follows someone else into our bed while I am on a business trip.
My mental state follows the leftovers into the disposal, and on into the sewer.

Then in the middle of it all, someone says to me: “You don’t have to fear those things anymore, they will never happen again!”

No, those words didn’t change my life, but they deflected my thinking just a bit. Just enough that I could listen to my heart telling me that I could use this opportunity to start over and get it right this time! The thing that made the words significant was the speaker had already turned their own life around….

Phase II. I begin the long journey back into the daylight. Once there, I begin to ‘help myself’ to a few of the valuable resources this world has to offer! They are everywhere, but you can’t have them until you want them!

Hundreds of books, conversations, advice, self-analysis, and instances of good fortune later, I now have the Love of My Life, The Home and Family I couldn’t survive without, and a continued stream of blessings that you have to be open to in order to receive.

I have helped myself, now, how may I help you? D

Habitatus Interuptus

Saturday Night was Interesting to say the least!

The same storm system that killed 21 people in Missouri and Oklahoma, and several in Arkansas, eventually found it’s way eastward to Mississippi.
About 2:am Sunday morning it grazed our house lifting the roof and ceiling, allowing several hundred gallons of rainwater to pour in.

It also dropped the front porch which wraps around 2 sides of the house.

We were blessed,  in that no one was harmed, the house is still standing, and Karen’s brother John is a contractor. He and his crew got the roof and porch mostly repaired by yesterday evening.

So, now we are sorting through the interior damage, ordering new flooring, and looking to see what survived and what didn’t. I am afraid my $3,000 Mitsubishi wide screen TV may have drowned, as it was directly beneath the largest stream of water pouring through the ceiling.

However, insurance will replace all these things. The irreplaceable things, our lives, are still intact!

I have done a lot of thinking in the days since this all happened, and have wondered…. Was this a bad experience or a good one?
Most people would describe it as an ‘awful’ experience, but I have been considering an alternative perspective.

To illustrate, let me use an old Chinese proverb about the poor farmer and his son, who had one horse:

One night while the farmer and his son were sleeping, the horse broke out of the corral and ran away.
The next day, the neighbor came by to console the farmer regarding his misfortune. Wisely, the farmer replied: “Yes, but who knows what is good, and what is bad?”

Oddly enough, the next day the horse returned, leading with it 3 wild horses! The farmer and his son now had 4 horses! The same neighbor rushed over, this time to congratulate his friend on his good fortune! After he subsided, the wise farmer merely replied, “Yes, but who knows what is good, and what is bad?”

The following day, while trying to break one of the wild horses to ride, the farmer’s son was thrown to the ground, breaking his leg. Again the neighbor returned, bemoaning his friend’s misfortune! “It is so terrible, you will never be able to harvest your crop by yourself!” The farmer’s reply was still the same: “Yes, but who knows what is good, and what is bad?”

The next morning, the army passed by conscripting young men to fill their ranks, and excused the farmer’s son because of his broken leg. When the neighbor appeared breathing exclamations of relief for his friend’s good fortune, the answer was still the same: “Yes, but who knows what is good, and what is bad?”

Where does the story end?

Yes we were traumatized, had to spend 3 nights in a motel, and had major structural and interior damage to our residence.

But also, our lives were spared, our awareness of how much we love each other, and our family was deepened, we are getting a new interior and nicer porch for the front of the house, and new roofing!

But to me, the best part is the personal enrichment and growth that comes with another one of life’s experiences, deepening my awareness and understanding of reality in all it’s infinite permutations.

C’est La Vie Mon Ami!

David

Depression and Loss

Loss can be a trigger for depression, even in people who have never experienced it before.  Of course, that’s kind of like saying snow is white!  But before you say: “Duhh…” and move on to the next WP blog that interests you, stop and think for a moment….

Everyone knows that loss can trigger depression, but why is no one prepared for the depression when they lose someone?  Do we think we will somehow magically waltz through life, totally unaffected by the natural circumstances that befall everyone else?  Do we think it will never happen to us?  Or, more likely, is there a difference between what we ‘know’ in a theoretical sense vs. what we know by experience?

My position is: the latter is true.  We don’t really ‘know’ depression, until we’ve been there, done that!

So it stands to reason, we don’t really know what it is like to lose someone close to us until they are gone.  I could be wrong, but I have the feeling that death and divorce/breakups are probably the two top depression triggers.

PERCEPTION

What may surprise you even more is my view that depression that is caused by such events is a direct result of our skewed perceptions.

Let me explain.  If we fail to have a correct perception of life and death, or of relationships, very likely we refuse to consider the possibility that everything ENDS!  Nothing is standing still, even the very sub-atomic particles that make up our bodies are in motion!  and motion brings change.  Little by little, day by day,  everything in this reality is changing!  Even our very bodies are not the same as they were 2 minutes ago.  Our ‘mind’ changes with every passing moment.

Because of this constant change, things arise, continue for a while, and then pass away.

I too, shall pass some day.

If you have been following this blog, you know that I lost my Mother, Grandfather, Wife, Home, and suffered through bankruptcy, divorce, job loss, and my father’s stroke.  All in a 2-year period.

Yes, Loss is rough.  After all that, major depression was a virtual certainty.  Overcoming major depression was not.  Add to that teen depression, and what my therapist diagnosed as Chronic, Recurring, Long-Term, Severe depression, and you have a lot of experience with mood disorders.

I tell you all this not to impress you, or to have you feel sorry for me, but merely to impress upon you the fact that it took all these things to spark the mental evolution that led to me Overcoming Depression!

Today I have a much different view of reality.  Now I look at a friend and/or loved one and value them with a much greater appreciation.  I know that they are a phenomenon that has no equal, either in the past or the future.  And they will be gone some day.  Just like a shooting star that streaks across the night sky, so we come into existence, burn brightly, and then pass beyond the veil.

And this is a good thing!  There are two advantages to this understanding.

  • First, when we truly understand this, we accept loss as a natural thing.
  • Secondly, we value every moment, and live in the present, not the past or the future.

In conclusion, depression is a failure to understand reality correctly!

That’s MY perception of it anyway!

Overcoming Depression with St John’s Wort

In my ongoing research into Natural methods for overcoming depression, I have found a lot of useful information.
The Black Dog Institute is attached to the Prince of Wales Hospital and affiliated with the University of New South Wales.

One of such is their fact sheet on the use of St John’s wort, and it’s effects. (read it here)
Personally, I have used St John’s Wort  for several years with varying benefits.  It is no ‘cure-all’, but it does have some beneficial effects.
However, like any other herbal medication, it need to be used with some caution.  It apperars that mixing it with doctor -prescribed medications may have adverse effects, as it can amplify the side-effects of certain pharmaceuticals.
Basically, St john’s Wort acts as a Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor, but is not beneficial to people with Melancholic (or genetic) Depression.
Consult with your Doctor for more information on whether this treatment would be beneficial to you or not.

Ignorance and Reality, on Being Awake

Ignorance: root. Ignore__  1. To ignore reality in favor of ones own perceptions. 2. A basic failure to see reality as it really is.   Continue reading