This is a follow up to my earlier post on coping with depression. What is the difference you may well ask between dealing with depression and coping with it? Well this is how I see it. Coping implies that your situation is very difficult and the main problem is that you are not getting what you need in order to recover.
And my urgent advice in that post was that you do not acquiesce and accept that – at least not until you have checked out the Human Givens theories and practices of depression recovery that are such a big part of this website; I hope it will inspire you and so if you need to, do read the post again.
But what if in spite your best efforts, that you do have a depression that is a chronic and ever present part of your life and that the Human Givens approach does not seem to be helping? If that is the case, then dealing with depression becomes the next stage.
My fourfold checklist for dealing with depression longer-term
First, look at diet as processed foods, hydrogenated oils, sugar, and lots of bread and cracker-like snacks can contribute to variable mood and anxieties. And if in doubt consult a good nutritionist. I also find that fish oil supplements, vitamins B-12 and vitamin D supplements can be helpful. Some conditions such as pernicious anaemia, where the body cannot absorb vitamin B-12, can cause depression and anxiety so it can be worth asking your doctor for a blood test to check for such conditions.
Second, see what can be done to improve your sleep There is a lot you can do and the Insomnia page is a great place to start.
Thirdly it is now time to consider whether there are more conventional medical factors to be considered. I am thinking about bipolar, caetextia and the potential damage caused from anti-depressants. Bipolar is a distinct condition that causes extreme mood changes that can be helped by medication. In my experience bipolar is over diagnosed but notwithstanding it certainly does exist as a condition that requires help by experienced psychiatrists. And what is caetextia? This is an inability to deal with the continual change of day to day life. Caetextics find themselves easily overwhelmed and overloaded with impressions and thoughts and are unable to process these and so cope – go here to find out more about Human Givens Caetextia
And what can be said of antidepressant medication? We know from independent research (ie not connected to or financed in any way by pharmaceutical companies) that antidepressants are barely more effective than placebos and that they have both side effects and can lead to chemical dependence. Watch this YouTube video where I talk about this.
From time to time, my clinical experience has had to deal with the consequences of taking medication – seeing clients who were traumatised by their experience of taking medication and all that was associated with it If this has been any part of your experience, then please contact me.
Fourth is it time for you to revisit the psychology of your depression. Might there be trauma that is hidden but still active? A past traumatic event can lead to depression if it has not been fully dealt with. Many find Human Givens counselling sessions transformational when trying to overcome trauma.
Next, is there something that is stopping you getting satisfying relationships or work? And could this relate to behaviours, habits and emotional responses that have long been part of who you are. If you suspect this might be the case, then do get in touch. You will be amazed at what can be shifted and changed.
I have only touched the surface here – but I hope that some of the ideas have got through and are resonating with you. Dealing with depression does not mean giving up.