36. Can You Change the Experience of Depression?

–For those of you with SAD, today is the shortest day of the year, and things will get better for you.–

Here’s a continuation of “Can the Mind Heal Depression” by John Folk-Williams on his blog storiedmind.com.

“Trying to figure out how the mind can heal has led me to look into Tom Wootton’s approach, [ www.bipolaradvantage.com ] among many others. I’ve been especially intrigued by the idea

that our reaction to depression is more important than its symptoms. He believes that the mind’s reaction can make the difference between crippling illness or powerful insight – but it takes a lot of work to get control over the response. Wootton emphasizes that achieving the level of self-mastery needed to transform depression into something positive is a lengthy and demanding process.”

Redefining Recovery

“As important as all these practices and changes in attitude were, they still didn’t add up to an overall and stable sense of well-being. I had been working with most of these methods for years with only halting improvement.

“A further change did occur, but much of it was unconscious. As I’ve described it before, I stopped believing all the negative ideas I had about myself. Those beliefs had been the force that held all the symptoms of depression together. They enhanced their power to the point that I felt overwhelmed and helpless.

“Once I believed I was basically a sound and capable person – rather than a worthless or monstrous creature – depression broke apart into its separate pieces. I felt like a well person who occasionally got sick, not a sick person who occasionally got well. 

“Another shift occurred that amounted to a redefinition of recovery. I used to think of getting well in terms of ending symptoms. When they stopped, everything would be great.

“Recovery no longer means getting rid of symptoms. It means living a fulfilling life no matter what remnants of depression stay with me.” 

These ideas will be hard to grasp for one who is in serious or major depression. That’s why it’s important to become somewhat stable first, which may mean medication. But once they are grasped, oh what a difference they make. I am a well person who occasionally has depression tugging at my sleeve. But between the stimulus and my reaction to it, there is time to frame the depressive condition into a temporary inconvenience rather than a monster that is going to drag me down into the pit. There is hope if you include body, soul, and spirit into your healing regimen.

About Patrick Day

triumphoverdepression.org This blog is my ministry to support those who are depressed, in gratefulness for my having overcome major depression. Read "About Patrick Day" just to the right of "home" on the top of the blog site to find out more particulars about me. I retired from a career in higher education, where I served as Dean of Instruction, and promptly moved into a life of purposelessness and despair for five years, finally coming out on the other side. I am now an author, a business and life coach, a writer of this blog, and a volunteer for various organizations. What I write about in this blog is not hypothetical comments on depression. I have been there, felt the horrible pain, had my life disrupted, and experienced everything that I write about. I pray that I may be a blessing to you.
This entry was posted in Depression, Living a Spiritual Life, Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 36. Can You Change the Experience of Depression?

  1. Robert Farquhar says:

    I agree. This seems to be similar to how and why we react to situations that cause us to become angry and upset. It is all about “the story we tell ourselves” about what just happened…or what we just experienced.

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