Sometimes it is so easy to not see the wood for the trees or you could say “the massive elephant in the room” I say this because this Blog is a good example of this maddening situation.
Over the years I have watched and listened very intently to all those I have met down through the years, considering many interesting concepts and possibilities as to why so many people become depressed and suicidal or even end up living on drugs for the rest of their lives.
After looking at all the possibilities from many different angles (year after year) and listening to many other experts who are also searching intently for the same elusive answers I finally, after all this time realised the obvious, I now finally turned my attention to that massive elephant in the room that I saw so many times but never considered it to be the cause of the problem, rather I always assumed it to be a symptom rather than a cause.
The ubiquitous belief those suffering with depression have that there is absolutely no hope for the future is something I have been aware of from the beginning of my search for answers but never did it ever register in my mind that this very belief could be the actual culprit. Beliefs are the most powerful things in our minds, therefore actually believing that you will never be truly happy ever again will have a major effect on the whole functioning of your mind. Believing is believing.
I knew about those in the Nazi concentration camps and how many were said to display behaviour and thinking that is now accepted as depressive but it still didn’t click. These people were not mentally ill, just convinced they had no future.
So I am of the opinion that if you are suffering with depression it most likely will be because you have arrived at this terrible same conclusion and convinced yourself so well that this is the truth.
Because of this it is my opinion that the reason why so many sufferers attempt to take their lives is in order to hopefully escape the terrible future they foresee for themselves.
However I must add here that as a hypnotherapist with a long history of this condition I know it is always possible to find somewhere in a person’s mind a small part that still wants to go on and try.
Therefore I see myself as a therapist with the knowhow to mediate between the parts of the mind in order to arrive at a compromise or even bring back hope where no hope previously existed. So there is real hope inside each one of us even though we may not be aware of it.
Once you can convince yourself that there could be a day when you finally see a better future, then you really will have depression by the neck with both hands.
So please give this one some thought or see a good Hypnotherapist who understands Parts therapy and finally get in touch with the potential in you.
It has often been said during the peer support meetings I facilitate that you wouldn’t talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself; So after a long time it has finally dawned on me a week or so ago that this is why these groups are so helpful to those suffering with depression. The meetings literally benefit greatly from this very fact.
For instance, when listening to the stories and problems of strangers, we often find ourselves almost instinctively responding in a kind and considerate way, even though we may even recognize the same or similar situations or states present in our own lives or selves. Therefore it is very difficult to respond to others in the same way we have become accustomed to dealing with ourselves. We are not likely to turn round and shoot them down for every little mistake they may have made. We’re not likely to express our hatred for them because of their physical state, what they may have said etc. Instead those who attend my meetings always tend to be so thoughtful, understanding and up-building towards each other, therefore in consequence and amazingly, unbeknown to themselves they actually learn from this new experience of thinking positively or even lovingly towards other people and end up taking away from the meetings a much kinder, patient and more considerate attitude towards their very own selves in the process.
So helping others it seems by kindness and genuinely having a feeling of good will towards others in the same situation as you actually helps you to see the good in yourself. Helping you with your depression as it feeds off of low self esteem and a lake of kindness towards yourself.
My next article will be about the importance of feeling supported or you could say being in danger.
Imagine you are a deer feeding on grass with all your fellow deer. You suddenly hear a sharp rustle in the bushes close by. All your friends expect the worst and run like hell, thinking ‘its better to be safe than sorry’ but you are optimistic and wait a while to see if it’s not just a big bird or something equally as harmless – this has indeed been the case quite a lot lately and you have gained an advantage over your pessimistic palls by saving energy and being able to get to the best grass while they are all gone with their tails between their legs. BUT NOT THIS TIME. Oh no. It’s a big cat and it’s coming straight for you and it’s moving far faster than your optimistic mind ever expected and you’re also moving much slower than your optimistic mind gave you credit for.
Well I’m sure you can now see that after a few million years of this scenario playing out, that all the optimistic deer end up in the bellies of lions and all the pessimistic deer end up passing-on their pessimistic genes to the next generation, hence the jumpy elusive nature deer have today.
There is, however, a twist to this tale and it’s this: in the fullness of time optimism proved to be too good to lose. Optimism and all that is associated with positive thinking had to find a way and eventually, after probably a very long time, the perfect solution was found in the shape of this bundle of hard wired involuntary reflexes we now call the Fight or Flight Reflex – that now only kick in ”’involuntarily”’ whenever danger or the threat of danger is realised.
Now if you haven’t already worked it out, here is why the FFR is so relevant to us who suffer from depression: as the human brain developed over time and became more and more sophisticated (and our lives too), the line between a legitimate source of danger and a non-legitimate source of danger became more and more vague. As a result, unfortunately for some of us with strong imaginations, even worrying about something too much can trick our deep subconscious into believing there is, in reality, a very real threat which consequently mechanically starts the FFR cogs rolling, filtering out our good, positive thoughts and feelings and heightening our negative, pessimistic ‘fight or flight’ mentality.
And there is still more: unlike a deer being chased by a lion or some one stumbling upon a poisonous snake or spider, our modern day worries or horrors are not all over in a few minuets or seconds. Consequently because we now spend so much more time in a state of anxious suspense, dread or frustration etc., our worrying creates more pessimism and more pessimism induces even more worry, resulting in more and more pessimism convincing you even more that your situation is totally hopeless and then you’re… TRAPPED.
The simple fact is, your subconscious mind is incapable of distinguishing between ANXIETY or FEAR induced by a sabre toothed tiger or the very real ANXIETY or FEAR induced by an unpaid bill,being intimidated by a parent or work colleague,loneliness etc. Worrying has however been proved to be a very good thing, in that it helps us find solutions to our problems by forcing us to focus intensely on our problem and it certainly helped me to persist with my need to find my way out of depression.
However if your worrying seems to have no basis and you can’t understand whey you consistently feel anxious and unsettled, then it would be helpful to continue reading.