Friday, June 15, 2012

Depression & Spirituality

   Deep feelings of failure, sadness, moodiness, gloom, disappointment, anger, hopelessness and helplessness are all attributed to the mental state referred to as depression. Depression is considered a mental disorder, it was once called melancholia, and is characterized by extreme sadness, fear, brooding, and painful delusions, such as imagining death. There is often great difficulty for anyone suffering from these symptoms to manage daily affairs. Chronic fatigue, difficulty focusing on tasks, loss of creativity or expression, feeling withdrawn, or trapped, sexual impotence, and paranoia are all common to depressed persons. A vague sense of self, a tendency to not esteem one's life as valuable, and an unfocused sensation of  mental uneasiness may occur. Often depression creates a disposition for judging one's self and others critically, as well as a need for approval, and feeling out of control or that life is unfair. If high or low blood sugar is present, mild to extreme symptoms can be heightened, such as dizziness, lethargy, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, and extreme difficulty in focusing on what is happening in the moment.

   The major causes of depression are seen as emotional and spiritual, since depression relates to worrying about the past, and holding on tightly to beliefs of one's inadequacies. Focusing on the self negatively creates a delusion of reality. This delusion becomes a perpetual experience of a false reality. The depressed person can feel it is too late or impossible to ever be happy, or successful, or create the once thought to be obtainable goal. 
   Depression forces one to look introspectively into their life's purpose and goals. Albeit with grey colored lenses, this is an attempt one is making on a subconscious level to realize their full potential. Ironically, sad thoughts and feelings may be connected to the soul's growth, which is aligning two separate worlds-your experience and the eternal perspective. To be spiritual is to live in the eternal now, the essence of reality. When living in the moment, there are  no thoughts of the past, only the experience of the present. Since the ability to continually live in the present is overtaken by the mind early in life, feelings of depression, thoughts of the past and future, and mental programming tend to distract us from experiencing true reality. To acknowledge a thought of the past, and gain insight, is a  reflective tool used to build wisdom and understanding. So, it is normal to move in and out of contemplative states of mind, as long as one moves in and out of these quickly. Otherwise, one gets caught up in self doubt and delusion, which fosters depression. 
   What the mind decides to be true, is true, to the mind. Deep feelings attached to beliefs of the mind justify and strengthen them. This can form an addiction to destructive thoughts, and an unusual emotional attachment to sad feelings, which can be pleasing to those experiencing them. Trying to recreate the past, or seeing the past as the ideal, interferes with living in the moment and making choices to better express the life one truly wants to live. 
Healing Depression Naturally
Inner healing is the only true source of healing for those suffering from depression. We are on a spiritual journey to enlightenment with personal growth, inner-work, and  the processes of self-actualization as our vehicles.

-Loving yourself fully is the first step in healing.
-Acknowledge negative thoughts and feelings for what they are by trying to identify the intention of their existence. This can help you to see the benefit of the intense pain in your life and allow you to move on. Every thought and feeling has a positive intent fueling it, though ongoing depressive thoughts separate you from connecting to who you really are, spirit. Introspection can serve to mature the mind and bring you into a place of compassion and love. (i.e. fear of death is seen as the subconscious mind's attempt to preserve one's life)
-Identify personal or family patterns of fear and low self worth. Going through a Kalos emotional process can relieve current and karmic conditions of depression through identifying these patterns, and discovering a more effective method of creating the ideal state.
-Let go of beliefs of how things are supposed to be by accepting the way things are. 
-Release repressed feelings of guilt, resentment, hatred, anger, and any other feeling you judge to be a feeling you should not have. Whatever you resist, persists. Repressing these natural feelings perpetuates them, and they can dominate you to the point of emotional disturbance. Instead, notice these feelings and identify their message so you can be free of them.
-Going back to when you first experienced overwhelming negative thoughts can unveil the original upset and help you understand the cause. 
-Forgive yourself by having compassion for what you are going through. Accept yourself as you are by practicing contentment and patience.
-Let go of self-pity and destructive behavior by allowing yourself to feel worthwhile and capable of what you  can do with your life.
-Seek spiritual support programs. Meeting with souls on a similar path can encourage and support your spiritual renewal.
-Meditation can help you connect with spirit in a meaningful way. It brings you into the eternal moment of now, and with repeated practice, can teach you to live in true reality.
-B-Complex assists in the making of serotonin and promotes a sense of well-being. Folic acid deficiency, which is a B vitamin, can cause symptoms of depression.
-St. Johns Wart is the herb of choice for it's ability to calm the body and raise serotonin levels. It is one of the most researched anti-depressants around.
-Maintain proper blood sugar levels. Depression is exaggerated through imbalanced blood sugar.
-Exercise. Exercise will burn up unwanted adrenalin, which is released when you experience negative emotions. Excessive adrenaline is toxic to the physical body.
-Rest. Plenty of rest will give you the necessary time to be alone and experience inner-growth and transformation, which the soul is reaching out to accomplish.

Whenever someone sorrows, I do not say, "forget it," or "it will pass," or "it could be worse" -- all of which deny the integrity of the painful experience. But I say, to the contrary, "It is worse than you may allow yourself to think. Delve into the depth. Stay with the feeling. Think of it as a precious source of knowledge and guidance. Then and only then will you be ready to face it and be transformed in the process.
 -Peter Koestenbaum