Terminal Depression - be a survivor!
Depression can be terminal, but you can be a survivor and experience life in all its glory again!
We do not like talking about mental illnesses, especially depression, yet will quite freely discuss conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes etc etc.
Ok, so I hear some scoff and say we all have our bad days, but what I’m talking about here is not merely a mood thing.
You feel life has lost all meaning, day in and day out, are tired all the time, cannot cope with even the smallest tasks, you feel physically ill, your mind is racing, you cannot concentrate, you start thinking about death, anxiety levels are huge and panic attacks hit you from nowhere, insomnia becomes your daily foe. It feels as if you’re all alone, even though you’re surrounded by supportive friends and family.
Friends are perplexed at this new you, and tell you it's time you snapped out of it, as if you enjoy feeling like that!
This is not easy writing about the subject, but after reading @jusipassetti’s blog - This morning depression came knocking I thought it's time I shared my story of hope.
Everyone who knows me, also know that I am the one who always looks at the world with rose tinted spectacles, the eternal optimist who sees the glass as half full and not half empty, so when I started feeling all the above symptoms, I was so confused, this just was not me!
So something else I do not like talking about, is that two years prior to this depression set in, my talented 26 year old brother committed suicide. We realised too late that he must have been going through a serious depression.
Was this perhaps the catalyst for my illness? I think it played a part; we did not talk about what happened, and that very act of trying to sweep that awful act under the carpet had the opposite effect. My personal feelings was confusion and even guilt , as I thought that perhaps I could have done something to stop this horrific and desperate act.
What I learned from that is that one should never ignore little signs that all is not well with your loved ones and get them help before it's too late!
The medical specialist I saw thought a drastic thyroidectomy caused my depression and that it merely was a chemical imbalance.
Edit to my post at this point:
Please consider medication BUT see a psychiatrist and not your general practitioner as they specialize in finding the correct medication plus find a good psychologist and go for counselling. You should use all the tools available! I do believe the antidepressants corrected my chemical imbalance and I possibly would not be here today if it wasn't for that, but that was when my condition was really acute.
I learned various coping skills during that period; walking does wonders to lift one’s mood, as does any form of exercise. I took up yoga, did breathing exercises which are super for calming one’s state of mind, generally tried learning as much as I could about this horrid illness, really listened to music again after not doing so for years! I spent copious amounts on supplements, and took great care with my physical health as I believe you cannot cope if that also deteriorates.
I also learned how to hide my illness from well-meaning people who told me to snap out of it!
I eventually went down to a low maintenance dose anti-depressant, but when the particular one I took was discontinued and doctor wanted to put me onto something else, I decided to stop, felt strong enough to go it alone.
Shortly after this, another tragedy struck.
My dearest uncle who was like an older brother and who was my confidante and called me daily; was found murdered in his flat. He was the eighth victim in a series of homophobic murders in Gauteng, but that’s a story for another day…
I was absolutely shattered but knew that tablets would not take away that pain.
I went for a couple of counselling sessions with a wonderful homeopath. She advised that I start meditation, suggested yoga classes and said I must make time for myself, something I had not done for years!
My best friend from schooldays who I had not seen for years, contacted me out of the blue asking if I would consider joining her in transcendental meditation classes.
Coincidence that Melanie called out of the blue? I think not!
Well, that was the beginning of my healing.
Meditation has many positive benefits:
Brain waves become calmer, and as your brain is the control centre of your body, healing starts to take place.
Your blood pressure will normalise, in fact it starts improving after the first meditation session.
Helps restoring you back to health if suffering from PTSD and Depression.
There's evidence that it can prevent the dreaded Alzheimer's Disease, plus tons of other medical conditions.
Good things will come your way as your new state of mind affects your immediate environment.
This is the most natural form of relaxation, costs nothing except 15 minutes minimum out of your day, you can do it in any quiet space; this certainly is the biggest gift you can give yourself!
I urge anyone who is going through any difficulty or illness, to consider taking up meditation.
I wrote two stories here on steemit a while back after a writing prompt by @ericvancewalton - Time travel 101 - Letter to my 80 year old self and Time travel 101 - Letter to my 20 year old self which was quite a challenge, but thereafter Eric kindly offered to send me a copy of his book on meditation - ‘The Perfect Pause - Meditating Your Way to the Ultimate You
I was super excited when my parcel arrived all the way from Minnesota (I live in South Africa) and this little treasure of a book was inside with an inscription from the author, a very special Steemit friend with great insight!
I had been neglecting my meditation as I’d been feeling ok, but really, why be satisfied with feeling ok when I could feel awesome again - no shoulder and neck stiffness, no insomnia, feeling at peace with the world, perfect blood pressure and the bonus, little miracles start to take place every day!
So I urge anyone to have a peek at @ericvancewalton’s blog and order that little book; there is a wonderful section guiding you through meditation.
You can join a meditation class near you, check what other methods are available online; but please give yourself this gift of meditation and become the ultimate you!
I do not think Eric will mind if I quote one profound paragraph from his book -
”Meditation sparks substantial shifts in your perception that opens you up to subtler aspects of life. This process can greatly improve and deepen the quality of your time on this Earth. Once you notice synchronicity and understand how it works, it will show you that our reality isn’t some series of random events but rather meaningful coincidences. After a while, you will come to understand that there’s either a lesson to learn or a lesson to teach others in nearly every moment.”
This, to me personally, sums up how meditation has brought about harmony in my life.
So a big thank you to @ericvancewalton for this valuable little book that’s been the catalyst to get me meditating again.
To say a last word - even if it feels like you are drowning in that deep dark pit, just remember that you can get out of it much faster if you start meditating today and you will become the very best version of yourself!
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