Depression: More Than Just A Feeling

Reviewed by Phillip Waite, Ph.D.

A woman that is suffering from depression

As we go through life we experience many highs and lows. The highs can offer a feeling that is unmatched by anything in the world. And the lows can seem like tomorrow is a long way away. But when those lows are accompanied with depression the whole world can seem like it is against you, seemingly to deny you every opportunity to ever be happy by placing one hurdle after another in front of you.

For me, the lows have been many in the thirty-four years on this planet. Always wondering if there was a chance to be truly happy with myself. And in all of that, there were times when I just wanted to pack it in and call it a life. To me, I felt that if I could never find happiness then living was a moot point. But I continued to live and struggle with my emotions. Fighting each and every day with the hope that this nightmare called life would go away. It wasn't until I finally reached the bottom, when I could go no further down, except death that I decided that the only way left to go was up.

My rise upwards started with the conscious decision to seek help. Starting with a family doctor who was able to diagnose my condition and start me on a regime of medication. Second was being referred to a physiatrist who could help me to understand and teach me methods to help me combat my depression. It has now been close to a year since I was first diagnosed and in that time I have learned so much.

What I have learned is that we have the ability to choose what we want and feel. If we have a fancy for a certain type of food, we buy it. If we want a certain type of car, we save for it. If we want to cry at a sad part of a movie, we do it. If we want to laugh at a joke we were told, we do so. This fantastic ability to choose is what separates us from the rest of the creatures on this planet.

Inasmuch that depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain, it is also a state of mind. Simply put, medications may control or ease the symptoms of depression. It will not change the way you think. The way you see yourself and/or the world is solely a matter of choice. We can either maintain a self-defeating cycle of negative thoughts or we can make a conscious decision to change are pattern of thinking.

To create change we must first understand what depression is, and how our thinking can affect us. The way we interpret the world around us can mean the difference between happiness and despair.

In our journey of understanding, we must never limit our self to any one source. Knowledge can come from your family doctor, a therapist, books, the Internet, and support groups. Any place that can offer you important information is a valuable place. The goal is to take what you have learned from various sources and combine them into something that works best for you.

After all, would a farmer grow corn in soil that is best suited for potatoes? Certainly not, and the same can be said for you. By taking the best of nutrients from various sources and combining them you ensure that the seed you plant will be the healthiest it can be. But knowing what you are planting is equally important. If a farmer plants corn seeds, he does not have to dig them up constantly to see that he has in fact planted corn. Instead he nurtures it by tending to it on a daily basis knowing that the day will come when the seed will produce an ear of corn.

So you must do with your thoughts. Tend to your choice diligently with the knowledge that the day will come when the seed you have planted will produce what you have sown. If instead you constantly choose to dig up the seed you have planted it will forever remain stunted and never grow into what you desire.

The choice is yours to make, for you truly reap what you sow. If you sow negative self-defeating thoughts, that is what you will get. Or as I have mentioned, you can choose to plant those things that are positive and allow them to grow. Quoting a line from Manifest your Destiny (Harper Paperbacks, Copyright 1997), "Within you is a divine capacity to manifest and attract all that you need or desire". Begin the change to a positive way of life today.

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Grant Aitken writes on the web about depression.

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