Understanding Depression

“It is not depression or anxiety that truly hurts us. It is our active resistance against these states of mind and body. If you wake up with low energy, hopeless thoughts, and a lack of motivation – that is a signal from you to you. That is a sure sign that something in your mind or in your life is making you sick, and you must attend to that signal. But what do most people do? They hate their depressed feelings. They think “Why me?” They push them down. They take a pill. And so, the feelings return again and again, knocking at your door with a message while you turn up all the noise in your cave, refusing to hear the knocks. Madness. Open the door. Invite in depression. Invite anxiety. Invite self-hatred. Invite shame. Hear their message. Give them a hug. Accept their tirades as exaggerated mistruths typical of any upset person. Love your darkness and you shall know your light.”    Vironika Tugaleva

I have had a 40+ years recovery journey with dual diagnosis. This is what I know-

  1. If you have had sadness, emptiness, loss of hope for two weeks or more, you have depression.
  2. Go immediately to a psychiatrist. This is the doctor who can prescribe medications. Psychologists or social workers can not prescribe medication. Be patient with the process. It takes 4-6 weeks to see the results from any medication. You may have to try several to find the ideal one for you.
  3. After your medication has proven effective or after you have begun medication, you may choose to begin talk therapy.
  4. Find a support network of 3-5 people who support your decision to get well which includes taking medications. Addiction can be helped by the 12 steps. Other mental problems usually need medication. These are two separate illnesses.

One of my early helps came from John Folk-Williams’s blog, Storied Mind.

Because Storied Mind is over 10 years old, it has been rearranged for the ease of new readers. Part of the rearrangement:

A Story of Depression and Recovery

While putting this new format together, I realized that the site is organized a little bit like a story. It’s a very long story about finding a way to live well with depression. There are four basic phases, and each has its own section on the site.

  1. Living Depressed: Becoming aware of depression and how it’s crippling your life
  2. Choices in Healing: Finding the most effective therapies and actively applying them in you life.
  3. Relationships: Trying to hold onto close relationships while working to get better.
  4. Living Well: Adapting to depression over the long-term and learning to live as well as possible