143. Psychotherapy and Other Tools for Depression and Anxiety

I experienced a breakthrough when working with my brother who is a deep-healing psychotherapist. There was a part of me that had been wounded when I was born, and twelve years later I was wounded again by an incident with my father. In a flash of recognition, I saw a connection between my depression and anxiety and the two incidents that had happened to me so long ago. I had repressed those incidents into my subconscious but had accepted the lies that evolved out of them. Those lies, combined with leaving a career of 30 years and moving out of a familiar city at the same time, sunk me into major depression.

So I was healed forever, right? Wrong. Depression is not that simple. That was but one step on my road to recovery. I needed to also develop tools to expand my comfort zone when I was hit with circumstances, events, and stinking thinking that threatened to push me back into the pit.

Cognitive therapy is a tool that keeps me from being drowned

by negative thoughts. Listening to Christian praise and worship music calms my spirit when the surface of my world is turbulent. Not watching TV after 9 p.m. and reading instead quiets my soul (mind, will, and emotions) before I go to bed. Staying off computers and other electronic devices shields me from unwanted stimuli before I start to wind down.

Learning to accept the universe has been a critical tool for me; I have written about that in previous blogs. Creating a gap between stimulus and response has been another biggie; I have also written a previous blog about that. And understanding depression more completely and developing new tools to cope with it has been an ongoing process.

You see, it really never ends. If you’ve had depression before, you are likely to have it again, and the more times you have been depressed, the more likely is a re-occurrence. Triumphing over depression is not having it go away and never return; it is anticipating when you are vulnerable and taking steps to keep the black cloud away. I have not triumphed over depression by eliminating it from my life; I have learned to deal with it bodily (through on-going medication), mentally through healthy thinking, emotionally through meditation and exercise, and spiritually through establishing a close relationship with Jehovah Rapha – the Lord who heals.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Living a Spiritual Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 143. Psychotherapy and Other Tools for Depression and Anxiety

  1. Bob says:

    This was a helpful blog for me. So much of what you wrote fits with my new understanding of depression. My depression will always be there, it just won’t be able to take control of me as it did in the past. Our God is a God of efficience. He used your healing to help me heal. Praise God.

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