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Placing the Horse Before the Cart : Overcoming Depression

There are two ways you will react to this article – either you will be taken aback or you will feel elated.

”Mood” is defined as a temporary state of mind or feeling. Depression is typically a mood when it is temporary. The word is used all too easily and frequently these days, to the extent that even when a person is feeling bad or sad about something, he says he is depressed. It is a state of mind that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior and sense of well being. It is characterized by loss of interest in day to day activities, inability to concentrate, problems with recall and making decisions.

The way he feels could be sad, anxious, empty, helpless, useless, worthless, restless or hopeless. There could be a loss of appetite or indulgence by over-eating. Fatigue, insomnia, aches, pains, low energy, digestive and metabolic issues could also be present.

When it manifests for a brief period of time due to loss of a near or dear one, grief, dramatic change of environment, separation, etc., it is general depression, where the person usually comes out of it. However, MDD or Major Depressive Disorder also known as Clinical Depression occurs, it could very well be a psychiatric syndrome. It is characterized by an all pervasive persistently low mood concomitant with low self-esteem, complete lack of interest in normally enjoyable activities and virtually no confidence or assertiveness in behavior.

If you read about depression online, you will find that for almost half a century, depression has been attributed to a chemical imbalance in the brain. This arises from the finding that mood-related chemicals such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine are low in the brain during major depressive episodes. A new study by the Canadian-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health showed that in major depression MAO-A was significantly higher in every brain region. These brain chemicals (probably more than just two or three) in turn affect the messenger chemicals dirupting internal communication and affecting mood. It has also been found that low moods result in sluggish production of new neurons, which in turn affects neural pathways.

I wonder if we are not putting the cart before the horse. Isn’t it a bit like saying that physical beings like us have created consciousness? What is more probable is that consciousness is responsible for the fact that we exist as mind and body, not the other way around. To explain this analogy, whereas there is no doubt that injecting or ingesting certain chemicals can alter our emotional state, to say that brain chemicals are responsible for our emotional state needs to be re-evaluated. It is far more likely that our emotional state leads to the increase or decrease of certain brain chemicals, isn’t it?

In other words, popular belief is that brain chemicals are the cause and depression is the effect. Logically, shouldn’t it be the other way around that depression is the cause and brain chemicals are the effect?

Yoga looks at depression holistically by considering the mind, body and energies at play. It believes that where there is balance in the three, the being is blissful and in a state of bliss, depression cannot exist.

Let us look at depression from another simplistic viewpoint. A state of depression is triggered by something which happened which we did not want to happen or did not happen our way. Alternatively, something we wish that happens did not happen or did not happen in the manner we expected it to happen. In other words, something or some person or some event fell short of expectations. It boils down to the fact that we are unable to accept and digest something. When this non-acceptance is turned outward it is anger and when it turned at oneself it is depression. I know this sounds very superficial for what is the subject matter of deep research, yet don’t you agree?

Let us summarize. Depression is not caused by chemicals in the brain, but rather causes chemicals in the brain. It is an imbalance in the mind-body-energy system caused by non-acceptance of something that happens. Sympathy cannot help nor cure someone who feels helpless and powerless. On the contrary, it could worsen the situation. So what will help?

Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.”― Louise Hay

Needless to add that if one were to go looking externally for love, once again it would lead to expectations, which in turn can lead to disappointments. It is not about seeking love without – it is about seeking love within. The greatest love is to learn to love, accept and approve of ourselves. And this is in our hands and it can be done. MDDs may require psychiatric help at the same time, but this is definitely something that needs to be pursued to ensure that the situation is resolved and balance is restored in mind-body-energy.

Additional pills and chemicals will of course rectify the brain chemical imbalance and restore normalcy but will not cure or resolve the original problem. Thus, the most important factor and most likely solution which one can implement for oneself is to learn to love, accept and approve of oneself fully and unconditionally.

The amazing and tireless Louise Hay states unequivocally that deeply loving and accepting yourself opens doors that you never thought possible. In an article on her website, she expounds – ”I have found that there is only one thing that heals every problem, and that is: to love yourself. When people start to love themselves more each day, it’s amazing how their lives get better. They feel better. They get the jobs they want. They have the money they need. Their relationships either improve, or the negative ones dissolve and new ones begin.

Loving yourself is a wonderful adventure; it’s like learning to fly. Imagine if we all had the power to fly at will?”

Unfortunately, just reading the article without implementing it will not get you the results. And often, the biggest challenge that we face, especially in such situations is that we tend to resist doing just the thing that we need to do. At such times, we have to look at practical techniques to bypass such resistance which is not in your best interests, Nirmiti Nidra is a handy tool to access the subconscious and overcome the barriers caused by internal resistance.

You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.” ― Louise L. Hay

The author, Rajesh Seshadri, is an internationally recognized Certified Leadership Coach, Certified Success Coach and Certified Life Coach. He is also a NLP Master Practitioner, facilitator and therapist. The basket of therapies is holistic and integrative adopting techniques from Psychotherapy, NLP, Silva, Gestalt, Hypnosis and Silva UltraMind. Additionally, he is a seasoned corporate professional who continues to serve as a whole-time Director and Board Member. You can contact him here.

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