"When the body is in deep depression and it has no strength to resist, it is like being trapped within the centre of a twisted coil of barbed wire, unable to extricate oneself from its penetrating hurt and excruciating helplessness, as it pierces the very soul of one's being.
At such times for the depressive, it helps to draw a line in the sand and know that the tide will return another day that is more to their liking. It also helps to know that however low a person is taken under, that a rising tide is capable of lifting all boats and raising all spirits. When that time arrives, have heart and take charge of your life once more, in the sure knowledge that tides do not command the ship; the captain does!
For many years, I worked with numerous people who suffered from depression, many of whom had been taking tranquillisers and anti depressants for so many years that they'd become addicted to the pills. I have seen numerous marriages and other relationships fall by the wayside because one partner was unable to rid themselves of their depression. I have seen depressed mothers ignore the needs of their infant offspring to the point of extreme neglect and near starvation and I have known of the killing of family members along with so many acts of suicide, when the person no longer possessed the will to live.
A person gets depressed for many reasons, and yet, there are so many similarities from the lives of one depressive to another that certain productive avenues of treatment are known to have better results than others. The worse possible thing that anyone can say to a depressed person is, 'Snap out of it!' This implies that the choice to be in it is theirs, and that they know how to get out of it, but refuse to do so.
Whilst one may never know the cause in the first instance, the symptoms experienced by depression are clearly recognisable and can usually be dealt with. The depressed person does not sleep properly and therefore is constantly short of energy. Without energy, the body has no power to resist negative thoughts and feelings which can overwhelm the person and push them towards a state of learned helplessness. Good sleeping practices are therefore essential.While some medication can assist as a short gap measure, establishing good daily living patterns and learning to relax is far more beneficial towards the restoration of vital energy levels.
The first thing to do therefore, is to join a Relaxation Training class. Learning relaxation methods is the best way to introduce good sleeping practice into your life once more. Note however, before the relaxation methods will have enough effect for you to sleep better, you will have to reduce your anti-depressant intake until you reach the stage where you no longer need them. Whatever you do: DO NOT STOP TAKING YOUR ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATION WITHOUT TELLING YOUR DOCTOR OF YOUR DECISION TO JOIN A RELAXATION CLASS, AND ASKING HIM TO PREPARE A PHASED REDUCTION OF YOUR MEDICATION INTAKE IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOUR CHANGED SITUATION. To help you sleep better, most people find the use of imagery exercises and soothing relaxation tapes highly advantageous to use.The one below is freely accessable.
Like a maze, finding your way out of depression can more easily be achieved by retracing your steps and rediscovering your way in. As a behaviourist, I am essentially a person who seeks to exchange problem behaviour for non-problem behaviour and I care less about discovering the reason why the person became depressed in the first place as opposed to helping them to get rid of their depression. Should the person need to discover why they initially became depressed at a future date, they will need to visit a psychiatrist, psychologist or a therapist. In my experience, I have invariably found that 'insight' is easier to access after the problem has been eradicated and one's problem situation can be viewed retrospectively.
Nearly all depressives are more likely to be introvert people who rarely express their emotions or views and are usually prepared to take a back seat on the bus of life. They believe themselves less worthy than other passengers and therefore feel less deserving to sit at the front of the bus. This non-assertive type displays a non-assertive response pattern. Joining any number of Social Skills or Assertive Training Groups can help assist such types in becoming more assertive in their lives.
Curiously, people who have aggressive response patterns rarely suffer depression, because they find some advantages in expressing their anger states. Ironically, their aggressive behaviour often gives them just enough of what they want out of life in order to justify the continuation of it. By standing their ground and making sure that their feelings are heard and rarely ignored, unlike the Non-Assertive person, they rarely feel they do not matter. They may not exercise 'appropriate aggression' or express their anger appropriately, but they nevertheless express their anger instead of bottling it up; something that the depressive and non-assertive person never does.
Were every act of murder to be analysed, the findings would surprise most of the public. Just as sexual offences against children are more likely to be committed by a family member as opposed to strangers, so are the mass killings of entire families.
It is not unheard of to arrive home, turn on the news and hear that John Smith came home from work two hours earlier and after mowing his lawn (a task he completed every Wednesday without fail), he entered the garage, retrieved a shot gun he stored there, entered the family home and shot his wife, three children and family pet dead, before turning the shotgun on himself!
As you watch the television news, the presenter may inform the viewer that this heinous act seemed wholly inexplicable as John Smith had always come across to his neighbours as being an extremely polite man who hated violence; a man of total respectability in the community who dearly loved his wife and family. He reportedly attended church weekly, washed his car every Saturday without fail, was always pleasant to talk to, was never known to argue or complain and didn't appear to have an ounce of aggression in his body.
The truth is that because the non-assertive John Smith had always repressed his anger feelings at the moment of their birth instead of appropriately expressing them, his anger had been building up inside him for years and years; until the pressure became too great to contain, and like an active volcano ready to blast off, someone or something lit his touch fuse and he exploded.
Paradoxically, were John Smith to have been the aggressive type, he might have blown his fuse and broken someone's leg, punched their lights out, or in extreme circumstances, lost complete control of his aggression and mistakenly killed. In the extreme, 'manslaughter' might have been the response of the violent aggressive, whereas senseless 'murder' remains the domain of the extremely non assertive person; especially if they suffer from constant depression also, along with an increased risk of suicide!
The depressive person needs to start expressing the things that leads to them feeling angry; they need to start saying 'No' when they don't want to do something: they need to learn to make and refuse requests in an appropriately assertive way and not allow others to put on them. Before they can compliment themselves for anything, they need to learn how to compliment others. More importantly than all else, they will never be able to express love to another before they learn to love themselves! All of this learning can be done in Assertion Training Groups and even practised daily in one's own home and neighbourhood surroundings.
My final piece of advice would be never to undervalue the true worth of using someone to talk to, particularly when you are in danger of being in the dumps. We all need another to confide in during times of need. Even the strongest of personalities can draw more strength from the support and listening ear of a friend, or a professional counsellor and even a stranger. During a previous marriage, my wife, who worked as a counsellor, often earned £30 an hour listening to the troubles of a stranger, when that person could have had the listening ear of a friend for no more than the cost of a cup of tea.
When I was giving up smoking after 50 years of the weed, I only managed it on the third attempt when I told myself that I was a tobacco addict and my habit was killing me. Psychologically, giving up depression is like having an abusive relationship with yourself and can be nothing more than a daily guilt trip. It's as though your feelings have been unplugged from their socket and you arrive at the view that any feelings you have left are not worthy of expression so you elect not to engage with life again. The depressive constantly feels sorry for themselves and when you feel sorry for them also and ask them how they feel,whatever words they use, they indirectly say, 'It hurts, but it's okay. I'm used to it.'
I thank God that I have never known what it's like to feel depressed in the whole of my life and my heart goes out to those people who are plagued by such an affliction. What I do know though is that depression can be beaten if you are determined to change your lifestyle enough to want to beat it." William Forde: August 12th, 2016.