Moving through Depression

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Compelling Information About Depression
I recently received an email from a friend of mine, Robert Walter, who has really been through the mill with his depression treatments. Robert is a winner! In his email to me he gave me a list of some books and a short description of each which he says "helped me to get a better perspective of the mental health industry and the current medical model".
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Depression and Mental Health - Rob Walter
An acquaintance of mine has just completed a psychology degree in Melbourne, in conversation I was amazed to learn that she knew so little about the subconscious mind, obtained her email address and forwarded her the link, plus . I’ve experienced this same lack of knowledge, in conversation with nurses, doctors, surgeons, first year interns and particularly psychiatrists.
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Enlightenment Regarding Depression
This is my third Mind Matters News (MMN) about this vexing issue of Depression and the Mental Health Issue. I personally have learnt so much and following the interest that has been displayed by the recipients of the MMN I thought it best to summarize what I have learned.
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Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into Monsters
Life is full of lessons. Most of the lessons we learn in life come from experiencing a negative emotion. Think about that! Do we have any deep and meaningful lessons from experiencing fun, joy and laughter - other than "we want it to happen again and again". Of course understanding and recreating the conditions that surrounded the joy and laughter is important, yet it is often not the most impacting event in our memories - is it? Why is it then, that experiencing negative emotions such as resentment, blame, hurt, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, revenge, all have such a strong effect on us and can teach us so much.
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Moving Through Depression
For the last few days my 20 year old son Ian has been back in Australia to attend the funeral of a friend who committed suicide by laying on a railway track. Ian and his companions have spent 4 days together talking, laughing, crying and going through the range of emotions that are involved when you lose a mate. None of them could understand. This friend was the "happiest" in their group - he always kept everyone else laughing. To their amazement, none of them knew that their friend was on anti-depressants.
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Overcome Depression
Are you seeking natural treatment of depression? Learn about the process of depression and how to overcome it.

Below is an exchange of communication which I had with a seminar participant who was following up about Depression:

I am writing to you in the hope that you might be able to offer me some advice. I did the CALM Life Skills Seminar a while ago and have found that I got a lot out of it. I have been focusing on a healing goal around a health problem, namely depression, which I have had off and on for more than 20 years now. I have a firm belief that I can use the tools from the workshop, primarily going to Peaceful place and working on the goal with my emotional anchor etc., to get to a point where I can live depression free.

Sandy: Good one! 

I have however had a few problems recently, with the depression with anxiety resurfacing again. There are a number of symptoms that I instantly recognize, that are a kind of precursor to a full on bout. Without going into too much detail these include anxiety with feelings of irritability, confusion, forgetfulness and an inability to plan tasks and make decisions. Often even simple chores such as cleaning and cooking seem like huge tasks. Though I must explain that these don't happen in a flash or necessarily happen concurrently but rather kind of build over time or coexist by degrees and often come and go at different times of the day. I have a fairly high pressure job and these symptoms tend to lead to further anxiety and, in the past, a kind of a spiral downward begins which leads to a full-blown bout of depression.

Sandy: At each time that you have symptoms of irritability then that's the time, immediately, to use your "circuit breaker" - in other words, your "Peaceful Place" (PP). Basically you're using this as an interrupt mechanism, telling yourself that you're aware of being irritable and that you CAN do something about it.

I have worked on a couple of goals since the seminar, the first was focusing on the words " I am powerfully experiencing positive and clear thinking" I found this to be highly effective, especially in matters surrounding work. After about a couple of months I switched to another goal which I felt was highly relevant and a bit broader. Initially I worked with the words " I am motivated, energetic and enthusiastic about life." I worked on this for several weeks visualizing my joy and energy in a number of areas of my life. However I found a lot of negative thoughts and self talk increasingly arose. After discussing this with my partner, who had also taken the workshop, she pointed out that there wasn't a strong emotional element to this goal. I
then modified it to include the word joyously so that it now is "I am joyously motivated, energetic and enthusiastic about life"

Sandy: I think that the approach you've taken is fine - even including the word "joyously". Remember, you have been working with depression for 20 years - it is likely that it will take a little while to completely eradicate it. I have heard of a high profile businessman battling depression, whereby he says that he has learned techniques that he can use to handle his depression. Apparently he still sometimes has 2 or 3 days at a time of depression and I understand that he stays at home during this time, using the techniques much more frequently. He has said that the frequency of the bouts of depression is decreasing. To me, I think that by you continually using PP and Goals, plus positive self-talk, this will have a cumulative, beneficial effect. Please don't be disappointed if you appear to "regress" at times. Just know that you will overcome it.

I have worked on this goal going to peaceful place five times a day, applying my emotional anchor while visualizing myself being energetic and joyous in a variety of areas of my life for at least three weeks now. However there seems to be an increase in the types of aforementioned
symptoms that I have experienced and I really want to avoid getting into a deep depression. I have, as I have said, continued to work with my goal regularly and so I am having a variety of mixed feelings including doubts, misgivings and questions, which have prompted me to write to you.

Sandy: Keep doing this and the answer above this paragraph is relevant.

I should mention, that I had been on medication prior to taking the workshop but had decided to stop taking it as I felt a need to prove that it was clearly the goal, and my own will power that will make this work for me.

Sandy: Congratulations ! This is an enormous step. Have you acknowledged what you've done and congratulated "your child within" ? By the way, I have heard other people tell me that they have found it helpful to go back onto a reduced level of medication on occasions when they appear to have a particularly challenging spell - I don't know if this is relevant to you, perhaps you should discuss it with your doctor ?

Is it usual for the subconscious to fight so hard and to throw up challenges to my goal in the way that the depression symptoms might reappear in a kind of last-ditch fight to throw me off my goal focus? Or, am I missing the point with something around the goal and healing and not working it in the correct way?

Sandy: Yes, this is absolutely normal - remember, you've had depression for 20 years, it might take a while to overcome it. Keep up the good work.

How can your techniques be used with depression

I would always start from self talk, goals, meditation and all of this geared towards replacing the negative habits with the positive habits. I really want to emphasise the importance of self talk .  Becoming aware of precisely how we talk to ourselves is extremely important.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) ... we listen to ourselves, and we talk to ourselves 50 to 60,000 times a day.  Once we become aware of any negative talk whatsoever, we must do something about it.  It's negative self talk which affects self confidence and self esteem which can drive you down into depression.  I encourage people to start on a system of recognising self talk and changing it every time to be positive, this will help.  It seems so simple and yet it has far reaching and dramatic effects.

It is really important to work with goals because it's from the goal that motivation will develop.  You are expanding your Comfort Zone with whatever it is you want to achieve, and remember, moving towards the goal is where happiness comes from.  In addition I do believe that meditation is a very powerful tool to help overcome depression.  All these topics are covered in my two-day CALM Life Skills Seminar.

I have registered for your seminar and I would like to know what I can start doing now, about my depression, as it is a few months before I see you?

What I believe is that when you recognise a life challenge, or issue which is holding you back, (which you do) then you're 50% of the way through the challenge. The next 25% is saying - Yes, I want to do something about it. So you are 75% of the way through - congratulations. The remaining 25% is doing it - which is what you're asking about - and that's where my CALM Life Skills methods help. 

Here are some alternate ways and some specific advice as to how you can use my tools and techniques to help with anxiety and depression.

1. Buy the video of the 3-hour seminar - "Relax and Release Stress in 30 Seconds" at a cost of $66. This will physically teach you how to relax and release stress quickly.

2. To gain further understanding about the mind and work with goals, buy the book "Piece of Mind" ($22). You will need this to work with goals because having goals will help pull you out of depression, create motivation and help with positive self talk.

3. Read my book "Switch On to Your Inner Strength" ($22) and do the tape PP#5 - Meditation ($20).

There is a paper about Depression on my website with further advice as to a way forward with depression - make sure you read Cathy's story (Cathy's doctor diagnosed Clinical Depression).

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