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Depression has a Message

by Vivienne Bradshaw-Black(more info)

listed in depression, originally published in issue 253 - April 2019

 

Anxiety vs depression venn 1

Depression and Anxiety are the Siblings of Distress[1]

Common dictionary definitions of “depression” relative to health are exampled below:

  • A pessimistic sense of sadness, gloom, inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
  • An inability to experience pleasure so severe as to require clinical intervention
  • A concavity in a surface produced by pressing, "he left the depression of his fingers in the soft mud"

The last definition doesn’t seem to relate to health, at first glance, but it could describe what happens to every cell in the body in a “depressed” state.  Depression is not an “emotional low” but a whole body state where every cell suffers pressure from what appears to be a situational impasse.  The circumstances of such situations are multiple and there is a range of severity from mild to life-threatening.   

All biological responses have corresponding biochemical changes.  Depression is a response situation rather than a causative one.  The original cause can be hidden from consciousness, suppressed in denial or even known but considered unresolvable.  Once depression is established it could be seen as causative in other health problems, chemical imbalances and even serious illness but the initiation of depression itself is responsive to something.

Looking at brain chemicals such as serotonin and presuming deviations in neurotransmitter levels are causal in depression is unsound.  Research also cites anomalies in proteins and lipid membranes.  Some authorities believe that genetics play a role in depression but whilst acquired inherited factors (e.g. mercury from mother’s dental fillings) can be involved, genetic status is not set in stone[2] as previously believed.  These findings are automatically presumed by mainstream to be causal but why? 

Presumption not scientific

Trying to undermine the symptoms of depression by using drugs to manipulate serotonin uptake or bombard cells with polyunsaturated or toxic fats, for instance, will not address the cause of the problem.  Drug side effects[3] and adverse nutritional status will add to the problem rather than being part of a solution.

Humans comprise spirit, mind, and body.  If we liken the spirit (life) to an electricity source, the psyche-to-brain[4] as the circuit board, and the body/circumstances as the product (e.g. light bulb), then depression can easily be identified as belonging to one or more of these areas needing resolution or at least a down-grade.  If this is not possible then the approach to distress must be evaluated as the only option of dealing with something we can’t change.  Coming to terms with a different perspective does have things to offer.

Chemical investigations and blood work done in depressive subjects have resulted in commercial scrambles to promote patentable drugs to dim the warning symptoms.  An example of this is where low serotonin is observed in depressive states, the “cure” is to slow down serotonin uptake at nerve synapses[5] using SSRIs[3] (e.g. Prozak) to mask the real serotonin level or where there is aberration of membrane lipids in depressive states, drugs can be used to interfere with lipid-regulating enzymes which have a domino effect on protein anomalies.  This shaky foundation wobbles to and fro like a drunk resulting in revolving health fads, to make dollars from patentable mainstream and alternative products in a never-ending pursuit of the evasive “cure” for depression and other ills.  The sad thing is that in this “illusive state” real people are suffering and hurting badly.

Depression indicates

Where one feels empowered adequately to deal with challenging situations depression can be seen as a passing messenger.  Fatigue, temporary discouragement, battle weariness or even illness might be present but if resolution is a possibility then depression is but a temporary factor and recovery follows.  However, where a resolution might seem obvious the pain/price might be too great to pay and so the great chasm between a rock and a hard place, neither of which can be chosen results in depression.  This is made all the more difficult, in relationship challenges, if one party refuses to take responsibility or to communicate.  No resolution can mean that there is not one possible or that one is unacceptable.  Either way, physiologically, depression takes place at a cellular level.  This affects every bodily cell and affects hormones, enzymes, chemical pathways, hydration, nutritional status, growth and general adaptive disruption throughout the whole being.

Depression feeds on a revolving door of inward-looking negativeness,
sees “no point” and has little energy to look after self.

Depression might not be recognised or be concealed for a variety of reasons, for example, covering for someone else, intimidation, financial loss, humiliation, undesired consequences etc.  Some people grow up depressed and even though they know that they are “not right”, they think it is just how they are as a person.  It is harder to identify depression where one has grown up depressed.  Being or feeling unloved or neglected from infancy, for instance, could give rise to such a situation. 

Lack of intimacy (intimacy in its true definition of sincere and meaningful contact with others) could lead to deep hopelessness and depression especially in the elderly, disabled or those in financial hardship where ability and incentive to be part of active life dwindles ever further out of reach. However, this is not limited to those past middle age but is also relative to young people in situations where they feel powerless and trapped.

Seeing how life has unfolded in a way totally contrary to all intentions with horrible and lasting consequences can be devastating as there is no way of putting the clock back whether by a little or most of a lifetime.  Seeing how we have hurt others, especially in the twilight years (being a longer span for life to bear consequences) can be very painful.  Again, this can be devastating where those we have hurt are gone, angry or unwilling to accept the “current you” or efforts to make amends.  Living under the black cloud of condemnation as “just punishment” is not healthy and can lead to depression and serious illness.

Examples of situations which are apparently unresolvable are endless.  Such painful regrets can be (i) what has been or (ii) what has not been.  The point is that life happens to us all and it sucks, for some much more than for others.  It does seem that life can be like an internal struggle between war and peace.  It is common to come to a point where we see a brick wall as a person, relationship or a situation.  What we do about it is far more important than the details of individual circumstances because this is where the rubber meets the road.  Information can only prepare us somewhat for the life challenges which befall us. 

The complexity of human relationships can be less confusing by understanding more about how we relate to each other.  A study of Transactional Analysis[6] is well worthwhile along with reading authors like Dorothy Rowe.[7]  Whatever the reason, an apparently unresolvable situation has to be named: it does not need to be specifically identified if a symbolic representation will allow the issue to be aired. 

Support

A support source is invaluable and essential where depression is the result of something like critical illness or severe injury. Where depression holds hands with anxiety about it, the powerlessness felt in panic attacks and the fear that you cannot control what is happening can lead to increased suffering. Claire Weekes’[7] books deal very well with this aspect.

Accepting support is essential for those incapable of dealing with depression by themselves.  Any help must be independent of beliefs about the situation, feelings or moods because an unidentified enemy already has the upper hand.  Support can help clarify issues, identify causes and triggers and highlight potential resolution options or the depressed person might themselves have a “light bulb” moment.

Common obstacles to seeking support are often pride, embarrassment, guilt, shame and utter hopelessness, especially where one chooses to betray self by staying in a mould created by someone else (e.g. a controller).  Fear of disapproval and condemnation can lead to a host of physical and emotional self-betrayal signs including depression and illness.

Another option might be to get further professional help or find groups or contacts which will help in finding a resolution or downgrade.  The type of help needed is appropriate to the situation.  Depression resulting from critical illness/accident will require different specialist help to depression resulting from loss of a loved one, a financial crisis, relationship or substance abuse or imprisonment, for example.  Organisations like Change Grow Live, SOVA and Citizens Advice Bureau would probably know of other organisations with specialist help if they cannot provide it.  Some local councillors have contacts also.

The problem must be named and
resolution, not the problem, be the focus of support.

Solutions that are not solutions abound: untamed emotional gymnastics resulting in way-off conclusions, anger, hate, hostility, the blame game, jealousy, isolation, emotional paralysis, apathy, repression, suppression, immorality, OCD, self-harming, anorexia, alcoholism, eating to excess and numerous other avenues of escapism and addictions.

A Deeper Perspective

There are some basic areas of influence in life regardless of where we are born.  These areas include family, religion, media/entertainment, law/judiciary, education, government/politics, commerce/economics, health/sickness, society/ethics.  In all of these areas we are indoctrinated from cradle to grave to fit into the mould we are assigned by the hierarchy that runs all nations with its “unseen hand” working towards an openly promoted New World Order.[8]  With this dual system schools and universities spawn a society which learns what is required to remain in social strata.   There is some access to “higher” strata by merit but it is still limited in amount and scope.

What does this have to do with depression?  Well, none of these areas of influence, which comprise what we are exposed to, teach us who we are, where we came from, why we are, where we are headed, what life is really about and how to handle life’s challenges, including depression from whatever cause.  There are information sources, outside of mainstream ideas, which shed light on these vital questions and relate to resolving depression.    

As a society, we need to know the untaught essential life-skills of how to be involved in the God-given stewardship of what we have such as how to relate to each other, how to resolve conflicts, how to value family, property, finances, law and run our country in an upright way.

How does this help a depressed person?  Hopefully, it will cut through the confusion about so many “apparent” causes, help to reveal the real issues and point to avenues of help to resolve relevant issues and recover vitality.  What mainstream education and medicine has not given, can be accessed through other means.  The endless maze of running after the latest chemical “cure” for depression (or whatever) can be short-circuited by knowing that depression factors such as low neurotransmitter levels, essential fatty acid and other biochemical anomalies are not causal but are the cascading result of something initiated via the psyche (circuit board), whether consciously or not, and which needs addressing.  In extreme situations such as loss, long-term trauma, isolation, “life-traps” and homelessness, there are still options available that will not be found in the bottom of a bottle, apathy, drug use or other forms of escapism. 

It takes an understanding of the real issues to be faced (and possibly support) to decide to have a mind-set, at the place you are at right now, despite the pain of adverse circumstances, to say NO to what we do not want in life.  It does not come without practice and it is the equivalent of swimming upstream.  However, you will not be the only one getting started on that journey, with or without practical or emotional support. 

The hardest step is a cold-hearted and committed decision
to say NO to what you do not want.

 

Depression indicates

https://pixabay.com/en/photos/depression/?image_type=illustration  [9]

It is unlikely that internal supportive feelings will come to your aid at this stage but be encouraged because although you will still be in the same place you will be facing a different direction.

Discouragement will be a persistent enemy (often coming unexpectedly) which you can say NO to.  The biggest revelation is that you do not need to bow to negative thoughts, beliefs, feelings or adverse circumstances.  You can stand your ground and say NO, over and over, as you deal with the relevant issues and you make your way in the opposite direction to depression even if it starts out as an up-hill struggle. 

You can travel a mile, an inch at a time:
the authority is yours and the choice is yours.[10]

The triangle of ill health, i.e. toxicity, dehydration and malnutrition[11] needs to be considered as a way to live more healthily and for recovery.  It is never too late to start any positive steps and one aspect of nutrition, which would help whilst sorting out how to resolve the problem depression has brought to the table, is to take foods, supplements (especially a good quality multivitamin/mineral and vitamin B3) and herbs which promote production of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.  The recovery phase of health problems is a biological release of tensions so drain herbals like dandelion, parsley, poke root and cleavers combined with circulation enhancing herbs like ginkgo, cayenne pepper, butcher’s broom can offer practical support.  Seeking relevant help can fine tune this to individual requirements.  Information on all of these aspects is freely available on web sites, one random search result being that of Rachel Lerobinett.[12]

the opposite of depression
is not happiness but vitality[13]

References

1.         From Twitter images.

2.         Quote from website: http://reset.me/story/epigenetics-how-you-can-change-your-genes-and-change-your-life/

            “Epigenetics is a relatively new branch of genetics that has been heralded as the most important biological discovery since DNA. Until recently, it was believed you were stuck with the genes you were born with. But now it’s known that your genes get turned on and off and are expressed to greater or lesser degrees depending on lifestyle factors.”   (Note:Lifestyle factors are only one aspect of changing genes. Go back to the analogy of spirit, mind and body (electricity source, circuit board and manifestation). 

3.            For full details of the main types of doctor-prescribed antidepressants along with brand names and side effects visit the website www.webmd.com

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were launched in the mid to late 1980s. This generation of antidepressants is now the most common class used for depression.
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are a newer type of antidepressant.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were some of the first medications used to treat depression.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were among the earliest treatments for depression. The MAOIs block an enzyme, monoamine oxidase, that then causes an increase in brain chemicals related to mood, such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. 
  •  Other medications:
    • Bupropion (WellbutrinAplenzin) is a unique antidepressant that is thought to affect the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine. Mirtazapine (Remeron) is also a unique antidepressant that is thought to affect mainly serotonin and norepinephrine through different brain receptors than other medicines.
    • Trazodone (Desyrel) is usually taken with food to reduce chance for stomach upset. 

4.            The mind or psyche (beliefs, thoughts, imaginations, intellect etc) is the bridge between the spirit and the body via the brain. The brain is physical and part of the body but it is like a circuit board where neurological connections are relayed to the body.

5.         A synapse is where Information flows between neurons across the small gap which separates them.

            https://socratic.org/questions/how-would-you-descrive-the-transmission-of-a-nerve-impulse-across-a-synapse

6.            Eric Berne MD, Games People Play, Ballantine Books, ISBN-10: 9780345410030, ISBN-13: 978-0345410030, 1996.

                Dr Thomas A Harris, I’m OK, You’re OK, Arrow Publishers, ISBN-10: 009955755X ISBN-13: 978-0099557555, 2012.

            Claude steiner, Scripts People Live, Grove Press, ISBN-10: 0802132103 ISBN-13: 978-0802132109, 1990.

7.            https://www.dorothyrowe.com.au/books

            https://www.anxietycoach.com/claire-weekes.html

8.            Information about the New World Order can be found on YouTube or web searches. Two randomly chosen sites containing freely available information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svJysyC7RDc

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rtRL0vvUBQ

            Dismantling the NWO – randomly chosen information source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI1jKBDwsxE

9.            https://pixabay.com/en/photos/depression/?image_type=illustration

10.         From the world’s best seller, the Holy Bible:

            Proverbs 4:23 “Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences. (Note: One reason why depression needs to be dealt with is that grief, hurt and adverse circumstances can give rise to anger, bitterness and hatred if they are not processed properly or if we do not recognise that we can say NO to these destructive “choice options”.)

            Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has power over life and death: those who indulge it must eat its fruit”.  (This means that words are powerful and are like seeds that we sow which germinate, grow and bear fruit. Carefully consider what we sow with our words and consider whether it is really what we want for ourselves and our loved ones.)

            Matthew 12:34 “…. What people say with their mouths comes from what fills their hearts.” 

11.         Triangle of ill health: this foundational principle is discussed in several articles:              http://www.positivehealth.com/author/vivienne-bradshaw-black

12.         http://rachellerobinett.com/read/2015/09/22/herbs-your-mood

13.         Quote from Andrew Solomon

 

Acknowledgement Citation

Cover Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

https://pixabay.com/en/photos/depression/?image_type=illustration

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About Vivienne Bradshaw-Black

Vivienne Bradshaw-Black Cert Ed produced a health information course. She believes that the understanding of what causes health and what causes sickness can cut through the maze of confusion which dominates the sickness industry. Her desire is to teach this to those who choose health and offer contacts and support to individuals and groups taking responsibility for their own health choices. She can be contacted initially by email at viv@ichc.co.uk

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