Depression is not a dead-end. You can heal from it. I am proof of it, and I am surrounded with other examples of people who have experienced it and are now healed.
First of all, it is important to let go of clichés. Everyone can have a depressive episode in their life. Depression was still taboo a few years ago ; nowadays people are more open to talk about it, like for burnout, but maybe still not enough. Hence why I am writing this.
It’s also wrong to say that somebody « is » depressive and that because they have had an episode, they will have relapses all their life.
It’s also crucial to differentiate depression from deep sorrow and not to get on medication without having done a proper diagnostic. I am not against antidepressants, i do believe that if well prescribed and used temporarily, they can support the person who is suffering to get back on track ; however without another kind of treatment to complement medication –which is only helping with symptoms- to find out the cause of the illness, there will be no permanent healing, only a band aid.
There are many options to treat the causes, of course. But they all require to be willing to look deep inside ourself. It requires to be brave and willing to dig into our shadows, which one usually wants to avoid. And yet, these shadows are what will help us find the light again. So we need to learn to love them and accept they are part of us.
Depression could be cut into two words : deep – rest. It can also make us think of the opposite of « pressure ». Basically it is simply a call for change…
I remember starting having depressive episodes when I was 19, when I started university. I might have had some before but I can’t know for sure. I just remember being sad very often.
In any case, at 19 I honestly refused to work on myself. I wasn’t brave enough. I didn’t know myself. I didn’t trust psychiatry and I suffered for over a year, wanting to die, spending hours in bed, having panic attacks, and no desire or ability to confide in anyone. I was unable to speak about my feelings, my voice was blocked. I drawn myself into my studies to forget and hide my pain.
When I started my second year at uni, things got slightly better. I survived and was able to pretend that I was fine for a few years.
The second time I had an episode happened when I was living in Spain. I was 24. I then started taking antidepressants, and doing sophrology. It only helped a bit and my state actually got worse. My panic attacks were paralyzing. I had no choice but to quit my job and go back to France to live with my parents. This crisis lasted a long time, even though I managed to pretend otherwise. After a few months at my parents I moved to Switzerland, started a new job, made new friends, met somebody, etc. I thought that my issues would go away by starting fresh. I was fooling myself of course and even though I was seeing a psychiatrist for a while, I wasn’t doing the work. I was just scratching the surface. I was avoiding my problems by working a lot, and also partying and drinking a lot. I was unable to go and look into these shadows that I am talking about above.
Then a year later I started going down again and reached rock bottom. First I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (the body always speaks!), then a burnout and finally the most serious depressive episode of my life. I finally found the right psychiatrist for me, and other tools which helped me open up and start acknowledging the problem and expressing my feelings. I also started to understand the behavioral patterns I had put in place over the past 10 years: fleeing and avoiding… moving to another country, another job, another relationship, etc. But until you actually really look into the mirror and dig in, your issues will always follow you around.
Treating depression requires a lot of bravery. But it is possible. It means you need to be ready to look deep inside yourself, to see where it comes from, to welcome all your emotions, to look at them, to let them be and express them before digesting them.
I had a great psychiatrist, I started meditating, then i discovered different tools to take care of myself and learn to know who I was. I became more self-confident, I learnt what I wanted, what brought me joy, and how to nourish myself and get out of negative patterns.
NLP, EFT, Reiki, hypnosis, meditation and biodanza are some of the tools that helped me do the work. It took me two years to get out of it and start a « normal » life. I never relapsed. I am extremely grateful for this part of my life as it has now been 10 years of walking on a path to get closer to myself, to work deeply. I am happier and happier every day, i stopped surviving to really start living, to enjoy every moment, even the painful ones, and to basically say yes to life !
If you are not doing well and you need support, I am happy to walk along the healing path with you, to help you find inside you the resources you have to get out of this disease.
I strongly recommend you tried my « Say Yes to Life » package. 10 sessions to find joy again. If you are having doubts about what is going on with you, contact me to have a 30-45 min long free chat. We can discuss a treatment plan together.