ENGAGING DEPRESSION AND NEW APPROACHES

Depression is defined as a persistent feeling of sadness, hoplessness and a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Did you know that 30% of people struggling with depression do not have postive results from drug therapy?

It takes 4-6 weeks for anti-depressants to bring relief, if they work, and medical experts agree that faster ways to help their patients feel better is a MUST, as suicides are at their highest rate in 30 years. (Time Magazine - Mental Health A New Understanding 2018)

Depression results in one withdrawing not only from their environment, but also from themselves.

Some first steps to take are:

1) Move your body - go for a walk, exercise, connect with nature.. Give your self a really good body shake. We carry a body form to every emotion we feel. As one feels depression, anger, anxiety mounting a fear factor comes into play and the body response is to freeze. Shaking the body breaks this cycle and enlivens the body. Meditation, brings the body and mind to a still point of peace, which again, is a change from the freeze form.

2) Ask yourself “If I wasn’t feeling depressed, what other feelings might I have?” See what comes up. We all have a “Go To Emotion”. It is that feeling that may be very uncomfortable to bear, but it is known and can be survived. The go to emotion is the protector emotion of other more vulnerable feelings. Moving into more vulnerable feelings allows one to move from reaction to response (to self and others) into resolve.

3) Get a good night’s sleep.

4) Review your diet. Decrease sugars and starches and increase fruits, vegetables and good protiens. Excellent foods to improve mood are:

  • Dark leafy greens

  • Walnuts

  • Avocados

  • Berries & apples

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions & Tomatoes

  • Beans

  • Seeds

4) Decrease electronic use.

5) See your doctor to get a medical examination, full Thyroid screen test.

6) Engage with a psychotherapist to begin to address your depression and feelings that contribute to this state.

WHAT’S NEW ON THE SCENE

1) Float tanks seem to have an overall calming effect on the body. The International Journal of Stress Management (2006) reported that after 12 float sessions a group of 70 with stress-related pain reported reduced pain, stress, anxiety and depression while also noting improved sleep and optimism which remained for several months after treatment. (Time Magazine: Mental Health A New Understanding 2018)

2)Gene-Sight is a genetic test that reveals how a person may respond to various anti-depressants. A study, in 2018, showed those having been tested by Gene-Sight were 50% more likely to experience a decrease in depressive symptoms after eight (8) weeks than those who were not tested.

3) Animal Therapy - Animals/pets give unconditional love and acceptance, they also give connection and engagement on many levels. We are well aware of therapy dogs in hospitals and retirement centres, but studies have shown that rabbits, crickets, horses, fish and guinea pigs also improve mental well-being.

4) Psylocybin is still in trial studies, but is showing great promise. Psylocybin is a compound from magic mushrooms that eases anxiety and depression for up to six (6) months. In a Hopkins study the results after six (6) months were:

  • 80% had continued decrease of depressive symptoms

  • 83% better well-being

Remember, each person’s path to understanding and overcoming their depression is unique. Itt may require a combination of therapies to effect change. So increasing options of treatment is wonderful!