Terminal Depression - be a survivor!

in #psychology3 years ago (edited)

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.
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Image credit
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

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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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I am so sorry to hear about your brother and uncle. Sending you all the love and a big warm hug! Medicines can indeed take away the pain but they are no long-term solution. Happy to hear you took another turn. meditation can be so powerful in the healing process! xxxx

Ah thank you so very much @amy-goodrich, appreciate your kind words, and you're so right! I now know that one should combine medication with all the other available treatment options from professionals plus self-help therapies, yet we think swallowing a little tablet will do the magic trick! Meditation certainly was my life saver!

Happy to hear you are feeling better. Big virtual hug coming your way ღ ღ ღ

Thanks for your post @lizelle! Depression is such a widespread condition and, even in 2018, many of the afflicted still feel shame or embarrassment for talking about it. It’s so important for more people to be open to discussing it. I appreciate the kind words about my book!

That is exactly the problem, people do still feel kind of ashamed to talk about this, as if it's a kind of weakness! I will never forget what someone said to me all those years ago when I said I have no reason to be depressed so could not understand it, and she simply said 'but you do have a reason, your brain chemistry is all messed up'. So is that something to be ashamed of? Diabetics often have low sugar reactions and they act weird, but we accept that as normal, yet we are ashamed to admit that we are suffering from depression!
I must thank you @ericvancewalton for getting me back on track with meditating, I really enjoy working through your book, such a treasure! Great idea to have the note pages, I went looking for a notepad then realised there's no need for that plus the beauty of it is that the notes can't get lost.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Greetings, Lizelle

I am a cognitive psychologist and I treat people with depression. In that case cited in his text, the person would be with severe depression, which would be the highest degree. Being so, the person's physical and emotional strengths are practically nonexistent. Whoever goes through this, has strong beliefs of helplessness, lack of love and depreciation. In this case, it is necessary that the person seek professional help as soon as possible, in addition to being always monitored by the professionals who help and family. It is necessary that initially she seek a psychiatrist to help her with medication and after medicated, with her symptoms reduced, seek a psychologist to help deal with your system of thoughts and beliefs that causes you to have depression.

Thank you very much for the post. I hope it helps to help people who go through this !!!

good afternoon

Thank you so very much for your comments @julisavio, you've actually reminded me about a very important fact I omitted, that it's vital to see a psychiatrist to get the correct medication and see a psychologist s well. A friend who became non-functional when going through a very bad depression was treated unsuccessfully by her gp for over a year, she became like a zombie, I really thought she was not going to come out of it. I was so angry at the time that her gp did not refer her to specialists! She eventually went to a very good psychologist who referred her to a psychiatrist. It was like a miracle as she slowly came back to life, so I'm going to edit my post right away, thank you!

Thank you for posting something so important to everyone. I am currently posting questions about financial education, using the psychological side.

After finishing this series of posts on financial education, I will write about psychology issues, such as depression, toc, anxiety, panic syndrome, etc .... If you are interested, I will send the link to you.

Thank you and good morning Lizelle !!

Please do, I'm going to follow you now but will appreciate the links when you write your post as I often miss posts, thanks again!
I live in South Africa so it's Sunday evening here, have a great day :)

Great you shared your story. People need to know depression can be overcome by other means than medication.

Hey @ladyrebecca, you're so right, people think just swallowing a little tablet is going to make them well again, and by that I'm really not saying they should not take their medication. They must realise that their condition will improve much faster in conjunction with counselling, meditation, yoga, exercise, music therapy or whatever seems like the right thing for them, as we're all so different, and if they go the non medication route, it's vital that they take good care of their nutritional requirements and see an alternative healer, in my instance the homeopath helped me tremendously as she slowly weaned me off my tablets.
Thanks for stopping by :)
ps you're the very talented @honeydue's Mom not so? Awesome young lady with such wisdom and insight, you did very well!

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Thank you so very much @gniksivart, super excited to be featured alongside such awesome posts! I really hope that this gives hope to someone :)

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Thank you so very much for this shout out @thesteemengine, I really believe we need to raise awareness about this debilitating illness, this will possibly help someone.

I'm so humbled that my post brought you to a point where you felt you could share this incredible advice and your own story. I'm grateful that this community is one in which we can share our experiences openly and in so doing can reach out and potentially help, comfort or inspire someone else.

Thank you for sharing this journey and for helping me understand that it is something that touches so many people's lives. I am also truly happy that you have developed a way to manage it and have shared it here with us all.

Lots of love and hugs xxx

Praying for your continued healing, you will come out of this stronger. I'm also humbled by the outreach from total strangers here on steemit. Lots of love to you xxx

My youngest son and I went through a period of nasty depression after my husband passed away. We started walking every day, sometime twice a day, on the beach. We found a quiet place, sitting on a rock, watching the ocean and we started to meditate. We felt better and overcame the depression. Then we stopped the walks and meditation for a while. Life got in the way. Now we are starting to feel the need to do something. We have started the walking and the meditation again. At this point I think it is something you can not put on a shelf...

Hey @cecicastor, I deleted my previous response to you accidentally! So sorry about your loss, but great that you and your son found solace in walking, listening to the ocean and meditating. I also love sitting on the beach listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks or gently breaking on the shoreline. We are strange us humans, deprive ourselves of something good as soon as we feel a little better, but glad you're walking and meditating again, take care!

Nicely written story about a bad situation , Melanie sound likes a true friend and lifesaver. Glad things have worked out and the depression is history for you thanks to the meditation.
I need to look at it as since my dream the other night was tied to meditation and it has been on my mind a lot since then.
Good also to see your a fan of Eric, nice young gentleman, he is.
Take care and thanks for sharing.

Thank you mr Papper & I think that I found Eric on your blog, a coincidence? And the @simplylizelle name confusion led me to your blog, another coincidence? However, I'm thankful for friends like yourselves here on steemit!
My dear special Melanie certainly did just that.
Please do consider meditation, your whole family can do it, there's been amazing results at schools that have introduced it, great for kids with ADHD, learning problems etc. I know it sounds corny but it really would be the best gift ever even if it's just for yourself!
Thanks for reading.

I guess even mistakes happen for a reason and the results do sometimes end up being a positive out come, I to am thankful for your friendship as well.
I think I will look further into meditation, I know there are some good reviewed You Tube videos that are for beginners to get started.
You might very well have found Eric on my blog, I have mentioned him a few times in the past.