Healing depression is an incredibly complex process for most people. Fast answers rarely work with curing depression. Everyone wants fast solutions which lead to overmedication and more complicated problems over time.
Let’s look at curing depression from a Taoist perspective.
What is Depression?
- Depression: a lessening of self, a negative time as the possibilities of life seem to dissipate.
Truth: human beings are incredibly vibrant living beings! It takes quite a bit to knock a person down it turns out. So on average, depression is caused by multiple vectors at once that combine up to move a person into a negative path in their life. Human complexity makes working with depression tricky since it usually means numerous steps are required in counteracting the various negative flows in a person’s life.
So many different factors can come into play when talking about depression. As a result, multiple answers, over time need to be applied to help a person in healing depression.
Curing Depression isn’t Only Mind Over Body
Let me make one thing clear: you don’t cure depression by out thinking it. All too many people who don’t suffer depression will try to convince people all they need is a positive attitude. Only focusing on a positive attitude is a trap that can make depression worse. The deeper your depression goes, the less likely you can power your way thru it with good intentions.
However, long before you hit depression, it’s possible to avoid a bout of depression by how you hold yourself.
The time you use attitude heal depression is actually before depression kicks into gear.
I hold myself carefully because of this truth. I know long before depression happens, it’s possible to feel its threads wrap around me. So instead, when possible and before the depression kicks into gear, healing depression is a process of being proactive in my life and pacing myself properly. Working against depression includes not using the terms that help dig the hole before I get near that hole. If you state out loud you suffer depression, people all around you will shift and change how they act. Ironically they will help foster your depression. So it’s important to not pre-define oneself either.
I don’t suffer from depression, nor will I think of myself in that way. I have my great days, my low days and the tides of my life ebb and flow. I walk the beach (stormy or sunny) every day, and that beach is my life.
30 Steps to Healing Depression
We are body, mind, and spirit. Depression doesn’t discriminate with only one negative process in how it undercuts a person. Depression cuts us down across our nature of body, mind, and spirit over time. Healing depression requires us to focus on several different aspects of our life to fully find an answer.
Here are 30 different possible steps on what you can focus upon in your healing process. There isn’t a proper order to the steps you take. Nor do you have to try all the steps. Everyone will follow a different combination of steps to find their strength. If one step doesn’t work for you, then quickly switch out to a different option to experiment with in life.
Generally speaking: I like recommending improving diet and exercise as first steps. Qi Gong seems to work especially well in helping people feel more energy in their life. Yet each person is unique and be willing to experiment a little as you step through these options.
Attitude and Depression
Let’s start with a simple statement.
I suffer from depression.
Suffer is the correct word to use, as those with depression know, when you are in the negative spiral of depression.
I don’t suffer from depression.
Taoism teaches how to flip everything around. So I work to not suffer from depression. Instead, I embrace it (only very very lightly I might add), understand it, accept it, work with it and modify my life accordingly, in potential to shift my life positively.
This lesson goes beyond depression:
Release negative judgments of anything that limits or diminish you.
Flip the negative into positive actions that help you be more.
It isn’t easy to tackle depression in this manner since depression is the process of becoming less. I do experience “depression”, and I do have to mitigate its effects. I won’t take medication since medication goes against my philosophy. Fortunately, my Taoist practice mitigates quite a bit of the effect of the depression when I do feel it with Qi Gong and other teachings. It’s a dynamic process full of practice, exercises, actions, nutritional balancing, living arrangements, philosophy and lifestyle modifications to balance out my nature in a fuller manner.
I’m not telling people they don’t need medication or miracle cures to exist. What I am saying is: Depression requires a definite understanding and acceptance of how you live life. That by shifting life, using positive actions, it’s possible to shift how any ailment impacts your life. A simple truth: life flows to lifestyle, this means we can shift the way we live to become the medication that can cure many ailments.
Now notice I say: positive actions. Most people make a mistake to think attitude comes before action. This is not the case! In depression, the first thing to go is your attitude. A person stops caring anymore, and attitude comes all out of caring… So the time to use attitude is before you get depressed. Once getting depressed you fall into a different world than everyone else. Bridging the gap between depression and non-depression is not a trivial matter. The path between these two worlds is often very different for each person.
The Poetic Depths of Depression.
Let’s not be a Scientist, rather let’s be a poet for a second.
Depression: A riptide of the soul. Swim against it: is only to struggle, getting worn down, and then being left further out to sea to drown. Swim with it: and then it sweeps you into deeper problems: leading to the conditions that lead a person to drown in their depression.
In Taoism, we always look for the other options. So instead: you can swim sideways to the depression to arrive at calmer waters.
So the question becomes: How do you swim sideways to Depression?
- Don’t dive into depression
- Don’t resist depression
- Follow whimsy
- Somewhere along the way, begin to explore again.
We work over the phone and also offer healing retreats!
Since depression is a negative cycle, many answers seemingly slip out and away, as your energy drains out rapidly.
If a bowl breaks, it’s impossible to grasp the water pouring out. Depression is when the bowl of your mind/body is broken and cannot hold the waters of spirit.
It’s possible to
1) Catch it in a new bowl if you are fortunate enough to have a slow leak -OR-
2) Let it pour out to make a new bowl later to refill -OR-
3) Let the bowl break leaving it behind and with time discover a new way to hold onto water.
So really, it’s all about time, isn’t it? Having time to move on and fill in the empty-space you feel from depression.
So the answer to depression is simply: be wise enough to give yourself time to be yourself.
From time to time rediscovering, yourself.
In an age of instant answers, it’s not surprising that people get more depressed when no answers to how to get out of depression can be answered instantly. Instead, the soul requires time to rebuild into something new, to find new direction towards something greater again.
Patience and love to you and anyone you know working through such times.
Patience is the greatest gift of these times.
With patience you can assemble up the combination of answers, you will require to tackle your depression or help another find a path out from the depths lost from their spirit.
- Depression and Anxiety Spectrum Disorders. This PDF Document was written by Dion Zessin. Copyright 2014 Dion Zessin. If your web browser doesn’t support pdf files being displayed, you can find the original file on Alternative Health Articles.
The articles behind the citations in the document contain much more information than is summarized herein. For further detail investigate using Google Scholar, PubMed or your local libraries.
If you have a resource you find useful please let us know in the comments below.
When feeling depression I do many things: rest, exercise, drink tumeric tea, take a hot bath or even write poetry to slash out my feelings to be more vocal.
It’s such a dance to be alive is it not? And knowing that, I use it this my advantage. I actually love spinning the energy of depression back into light and poetry. I have developed a form of emotional kung-fu using emotions rather than my body as the medium of flowing motion.
I will never bury myself but rather fling the shovel away to teach myself about flight.
Every day I try to fly
One day, long long ago now, the poetry I wrote in one dark corner really really sucked, lets face it channeling depression into a poem, by nature creates a deep hole of words. Yet it did its job, it was a good workout session and bought me time to make it to the next day, a good sunny type of day. The best part was, that I was able to salvage one line from the poem which in after thought was a pretty damn good thought:
Being alive is the very definition of having possibility.
I wrote that just before I started A Personal Tao web site. Yet from that one line I was able to develop and expand out many ideas and even create classes to help others learn more on how to get stronger.
And this one line is the secret to how my Taoist beliefs always helps me ride thru the darkest times of depression.
The point is this: Don’t underestimate the trying, even pushing out the smallest of creations when depressed. Even a single line of poetry can open up a whole future for you.