I think it’s important to bring awareness to this topic as we all know someone who is or has suffered with mental health, whether it’s ourselves, a loved one, a child or friend it’s good to gain clarity so we can have compassion and kindness and offer support when needed.
Depression is ‘A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.’ Oxford dictionaries July 2015.
My experience of depression began as a child seeing a loved one who was depressed, I didn’t realise until I was writing this post how much other people’s depression has affected my life and those around me. I remember now the confusion and disconnection from my caregiver as they sat in their lifeless energy-less black hole, staring empty souled into the distance yearning for something, not knowing what but knowing they didn’t have or feel something. Not being present at important times and events in my life because they were consumed by their own pain. How was that internalized for me as a young child at that time?
Some people live in this darkness often and others happen upon it at times in their lives due to many different reasons. A place of emptiness of nothing and darkness, a black hole there seems no way out of, a dull heavy place. As a happy child I did not understand how this adult was suffering and I craved that connection which was once there and now confusingly lost. Becoming a professional counsellor and working with many people in that dark place I have great empathy and understanding now that I didn’t have as a child and teenager enjoying my own life whilst simultaneously being around people who were suffering.
Depression is a dark place where people feel disconnected from life, the world and themselves, numb to it all, or full of sadness and yearning for something that they feel powerless to know. A lonely lost isolated hell of a place so very very alone. Everything is too much, withdrawing from life, no joy, no fun even when it’s to be had, everything a chore. A person feels useless in this place, less than, like they have nothing to offer so they become reclusive and allow negative self talk to perpetuate and feed the darkness that supplies the feelings to the body. It is a very frightening place for many, a lonely, lost disconnected place, blocked from source and consciousness and often spiralling into other complicated and painful situations such as claustrophobia or anxiety. Toxic resources are often used as a bandaid – alcohol, food, anger, busyness, drugs and other self- harming acts making the situation and suffering worse whilst trying to seek relief. This pain has a message that is so loud it’s deafening and yet it still can not be heard.
What does your body or your heart want to tell you? do you know? is it unconscious? Is it coming to the surface? Are you ready to talk about it? This pain needs to be heard, are you ready to shift this stuck stagnant toxic energy? Have you acknowledged this state? Have you acknowledged your depression to yourself? to the world? Can you take your power back and take action? Are you on medication and cannot hear the message? What happens to the energy when you name it and make it conscious, does it shift/change form? what is the message? Can it tell you its purpose? Why is it here? is there another way you can protect yourself? Do you have other resources you can use instead of depression? What are they can you make choices that change this state? writing these answers down can help.
Let’s talk about hope.
Not everyone is ready to do something about their depression but if you’re reading this and you feel it’s time for you to shift your heavy energy and state a first point could be to find a counsellor locally or Skype and go talk about it regularly. I know that may feel super frightening but it is a counsellor’s job to help and we are not here to judge or push, we’re here to listen in a loving and supportive ways, your mental health is SO important. Make the call, take action. If you think this may help a friend share it but know that counselling only works if you’re a willing participant, no one should ever be forced. If you’re not ready yet, please be kind with yourself and know there is hope, reach out to a friend or be your own loving compassionate friend.
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Need help now? Google a counsellor in your area or call a helpline:
131114 Lifeline Australia
1800 273 USA