Friday, August 9, 2013

Recovery from depression

Recovery from depression is a mind game. You need to start coming to terms with that your own mind has been lying to you about you, and that it doesn’t always say things that are in your best interest. When you’re depressed it does the opposite, and it’s not that it’s out to hurt you, it’s trying to protect you in a very misguided way.

Every moment of our lives we are collecting data be it through what we see, hear or feel, and with feel I mean tactile feeling not feelings.

The information gathered is filtered through the set of beliefs we’re programmed with. We need beliefs, and habits for that matter, because if we weren’t jumping to quick conclusions about most things we encounter we would be stuck trying to figure out what to do every single second of our wake moments.

It would be completely ineffective existence and it would also put us in danger because if there’s a tiger rushing towards us with the intention of making a meal out of us we need to make a quick decision as to how to safe our arse and not spend too much time trying to figure out what it is that’s happening and how it will affect us. This is one of the reasons that we’ve been so successful as a species and of course you can see the same thing happening in a lot of other species. It’s fair to say it’s an essential function.

In today’s world there are not a lot of tigers about to worry about, and our beliefs are a set of structures that are mostly concerned with how we should be or act to fit in. Sometimes we have conflicting beliefs. Mostly our beliefs are beneficial and healthy but in some cases beliefs are destructive and harmful, and they don’t serve us at all.

All data we receive is filtered through this system and we usually have little or no control over what the resulting emotion is. Emotions are energy in motion.

Emotions are born through your own awareness of data received. You notice a reaction in your body – more data. You interpret based on your beliefs (importance, etc.) and as a result you come to some sort of conclusion which results in the emotion.

Emotions are feeling factories. Feelings are awareness of the energy in motion, of the emotions. Especially if events that trigger emotions are repeated we eventually come to some sort of emotional conclusion and feelings are born. Feelings often feed back into emotions and feelings are changed or another feeling is generated.

Basically emotions tell us what we like or dislike, or what’s good or bad. Feeling on the other hand tells us how to live based on our likes and dislikes and separate good and bad out into good and bad actions. Emotions are the initial reaction. Feelings are the longer term attitude.

Out of feelings thoughts are born. Thoughts are more structured and concrete. We reason with ourselves using thoughts. We form new beliefs or change beliefs if we sustain the same thoughts for a prolonged period. Thoughts are not something we have no control over. Many people seem to think thoughts are things that happen to us that they are the truth. The truth is that thoughts are based on that whole process of receiving data, filtering through beliefs, resulting energy in motion and the resulting birth of feelings.

When you’re depressed the whole process is severely compromised. If you’re able to start paying attention to your thoughts and how many of them are negative, and you start to challenge them your result will eventually differ. I’m not saying it’s easy, if it was that easy I would be getting the Noble Peace Prize for what I just typed, but it’s essential to look at the process the thoughts that are produced by your mind are going through. It’s essential that you become more aware of your thoughts so that you can challenge them. It’s essential that you take a look at your beliefs, your filter, and that you clean that filter as much as you can.

One of the things I found most challenging with depression what owing the fact that I have control over what’s goes on in my mind, and that I don’t have to believe every stupid thought my mind conjures. In fact, it was essential that I called my own mind a liar at times and really went about challenging the crap it was dishing up in form of thoughts.

We’re not at the mercy of our emotions, feelings and thoughts to the extent we think. We have much more control that we think; we’re just not taught how to do it. (Imagine if that taught that in school?)

Recovering from depression is bloody hard work; I believe it’s as hard as it is recovering from addiction because depressed people are addicted to negative thought patterns. No matter whether you end up on medication or not you’re eventually going to have to face up to having to work on your mind and weeding out anything in it or around you, in your environment, that affects you negatively. It may mean you have to stop doing certain things, that you have to change habits and behaviors and that you may have to remove yourself from certain people until you’re stronger or for the rest of your life.

I’m no expert. I don’t have a degree in psychology or psychiatry. It’s purely a little something I’ve learned in the past two and a half years since my nervous breakdown, and it’s something I wish I had understood better when I first had my breakdown.

If you’re depressed right now: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to get rid of some the thoughts that are standing in the way of letting you see it right now. And, you can do that; you can begin your recovery from depression now. The process I have described above is not the only thing that you will need to pay attention to and change; it's one aspect of your recovery.

I’m just saying

5 comments:

  1. Hhhmmmm.... is it just me or does this all read as a well-informed and thought out but rather convoluted way to hide behind what you are really trying to say? .. (I'm just saying :) )

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS: It's just that you strike me as an emotionally resonant woman but, I cannot help but think that one doesn't 'suffer' from depression. Depression happens, it hits, and it hits hard. to think that we 'suffer' from it negates it insofar as it has overtones of 'blame the victim' .. one cannot 'choose' to not suffer from depression any more than one can choose to stop bleeding. I think it is wonderful that you are finding the path out of the woods, I am just reluctant to accept that this is by choice. I hope it is your time, I hope that whatever caused your depression be it circumstance, situation (are they the same thing?), or chemicals is receding but, let's not throw the baby out with the medication here. :)

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  3. I think I've said that several time here: I'm not prepared to diss medication yet. For me it kept certain things hidden and allowed me to accept some things that I would never have accepted without it.

    Would I have wanted to be without medication in the beginning? No! But more talk therapy would have got me here faster too, of that I'm sure.

    Anti-depressants are manufactured to be taken for six months and during those six months you should have lots of talk therapy. That's generally not what's happens. I did also say that it's one aspect of your recovery, it may not look like this, and your therapist may not show it you like this, but challenging your own thoughts and changing negative self talk is a big part of treating depressed people. How it's done various.

    AS for well researched and suffering. I was suffering from my depression. It was suffering and that suffering happened, it hit and it hit hard and it went on for a very prolonged period. I think we're playing with semantics here. There's an element in depression that you will eventually have to take responsibility for and that is the negative self talk. It's easier to do that if you learn to look at you beliefs and habits.

    This post came out me asking myself this question a few years back: If several people go through the exact same situation why do some break and others cope or even excel? The difference is what we already have "in our heads", our own programming. I also learned that programming (beliefs and habits) can be changed, and sometimes it's hard. An understanding of how beliefs color our interpretation of the world helped me with battling depression, simple as that.

    I don't know what it is you think I'm really trying to say, Anonymous. I wish you would tell me because the discussion would be a bit more even if you did.

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  4. I think you misunderstand the intent of my post... I wasn't dissing or even disagreeing with anything that you wrote per se .. quite the opposite. :)

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  5. Still curious Anon, what is it that you thought that I was really trying to say? :)

    ReplyDelete

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