Understanding how to clear depression requires that we understand how to clear the root causes of depression and not just the symptoms of depression. Given that April 7 is World Health Day, and that the World Health Organisation announced in March 2017 that depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, with more than 300 million people living with depression (an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015), I shall share my understanding of how to clear depression, as practised in my Inner Wellness Programme.
What is Depression?
Depression is a debilitating state or illness characterised by a persistent sadness or low mood, accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- loss of interest or pleasure in things (apathy)
- low energy or fatigue
- low self-worth, guilt, or shame
- difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- insomnia or oversleeping
- sluggish or agitated movement
- decrease or increase in appetite
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
- social withdrawal
- unexplained aches and pains
It is important to realise that we can all suffer from depression from time to time, particularly in a stressful culture where we lack community support and our authentic self is struggling to be expressed or fulfilled. We do not need to be clinically depressed for this to be so. We can experience a depressed state with less symptoms and less severity than clinical depression, and mistakenly think this is just a normal condition, especially if the depressive state is chronic (lasting two years or more). If we develop a pattern of lacking vitality, positivity, and enthusiasm, and sensing that something is missing or denied in our life, we will be in a depressed state, even if we are not clinically depressed.
For clarification, clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, will have 5 or more of the first 8 symptoms, including sadness and loss of interest, and will be present for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. Over 1 in 5 of adults suffer from this at some point in their life,
What causes depession?
Depression can result from any of the following triggers:
- a prolonged period of stress or anxiety
- unresourceful states of mind
- lack of resources or support
- inflammatory foods
- intestinal dysbiosis
- nutritional deficiencies
- immune dysregulation
- lack of sunlight
- lack of exercise
- harmful electromagnetic exposure
- distortions in the body’s subtle energy field
For some people depression can be a genetic tendency, but the genes are not the cause of the depression: the triggers are, and so the triggers must be avoided as a priority with a good wellness strategy.
It is now known that in many cases of depression, the brain and nervous system are being attacked by the immune system due to pro-inflammatory conditions, which can occur as a result of the above triggers. Serotonin levels can also be depleted by stress, anxiety, and nutritional deficiencies.
At the heart of depression there will always be cognitive distortions at work: distortions of belief, perception, and thought that need challenging and reframing. Clearing these distortions is a key part of my Inner Wellness Programme.
The need to prevent and clear depression
Preventing and clearing depression should be a priority as depression causes us to suffer and be stuck in unresourceful states, meaning that we miss out on our life fulfilment and capacity for joy and happiness. Depression affects our relationships. Depression also increases the risk of addictions, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide. If you have suicidal thoughts, please speak to a friend or family member you can trust, contact a 24-hour support service or helpline, or speak to a GP or hospital emergency department. Beliefs that lead to suicidal thoughts, such as the belief that others are better off without you, the belief that your life is completely horrible, or the belief that you will always be unhappy are cognitive distortions that can be cleared.
How to clear depression
In order to clear depression we must first acknowledge that we experience it, even if it is just a depressed state of mind rather than a clinical disorder. When depression is chronic we risk getting used to it and associating it with normal behaviour. If the depression is a clinical disorder, we need to seek support and clear any fear of the stigma that has sometimes been attached to depression.
To complement any therapeutic work, a healthy, toxic-free lifestyle can be implemented. Organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, are naturally anti-inflammatory, while other foods tend to be inflammatory. Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory, but do not take more than a teaspoon a day, and be aware that it stimulates the gallbladder to empty. A healthy, nutritionally dense diet is required for adequate nutrients such as magnesium and B vitamins that are required for serotonin synthesis. Vitamin D and zinc are required for immune regulation. Processed foods, sugar, and alcohol are not going to support good health, although they may give emotional comfort; it is best if they are removed from the diet in favour of healthy alternatives. Regular physical exercise is important to support good health and the clearing of depression; studies have shown that it improves depressive symptoms to a comparable extent as antidepressants and psychotherapy.
In my Inner Wellness Programme I take my clients through an Inner Wellness Strategy that focuses on clearing depression and other debilitating states. It includes the following key elements, which serve as a good guide for how to clear depression:
- Establishing a strong inner centre of self-awareness and self-empowerment
- Establishing and developing a mindfulness practice
- Identifying, challenging, and clearing cognitive distortions (such as depressed thoughts)
- Implementing changes to support health and wellbeing, and clearing the blocks that get in the way
- Clearing blocks in the mind, body, spirit, and biofield using EFT and other practices
For example, most depressed people have a weak centre and as a result lack energy, power, and resourcefulness to shift state and move forward in a positive and liberating way. The lack of a solid centre also makes them highly vulnerable to reactive thoughts and feelings, as they are buffeted around by their mind’s contents, many of which have developed into cognitive distortions such as “there is no point”, “nobody cares about me”, “nothing is working anymore”, or “I will always be unhappy”. As my clients strengthen their centre with the practices I teach them, the first noticeable difference is a change of state in which they almost feel like they have become a different person, for this is the effect that changing state can have on them in which things seem suddenly different, and they open themselves to their lost centre of power and perspective. Being in our centre can connect us with our authentic, unconditioned self, which is free of depression, and this is so important for learning how to clear depression. How do you get into your centre? We have to go further than just following the breath or focusing attention. We have to seek out who we really are behind the thoughts, feelings, roles, and false identities that we have been used to. That is what I specialise in.
Understanding how to clear depression requires looking at the bigger picture of life and addressing the unresolved emotional experiences, limiting beliefs, energy blocks, and limiting practices that trigger depressive states. Understanding how to clear depression also requires looking at life purpose, self-development, and self-actualisation. Very often it is the depressed spirit that struggles to actualise itself in a material world that gives rise to an underlying dissatisfaction with life. Freeing the blocked spirit requires a totally new approach to depression and wellness that is not centred on just the body or the mind, and that is why my Inner Wellness Programme gives you that mind-body-spirit approach by starting with the establishment of an inner centre of authenticity, from which the spirit of our true nature can start to be expressed in our lives.
If you suffer from depression or experience depressed states, and would like to get some clarity about the root cause and how to clear depression or depressed states using the key elements above, get yourself booked in for a free Inner Wellness Session with me by clicking here, and I will walk you through.
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