Yesterday, here in Canada, it was Bell Let’s Talk day – a day dedicated to raising awareness and money for mental health – and I shared the following article and paragraph on my personal Facebook page. I felt it was important to share that depression doesn’t always look the way people think it might.
Depression is more than being sad. For me, it’s also everyday actions that require extraordinary effort, it’s brain fog, and it’s excessive sleeping. At its worst, I slept the better part of 3 weeks – day and night – only forcing myself to get up when the kids were home (and awake). At some point I had the clarity to realize I wasn’t functioning and I got help. That was about 5 years ago and although I still have days when I struggle, my life is so different now and so much better. It can get better. If you don’t know where to start or just need to talk, I’m here.
Today, I realized that I left some things out that are at least equally important. What I didn’t talk about is the help that I’ve gotten over the years.
There are 5 things that have really made a difference for me.
- Antidepressants. On that day I had the clarity to realize I wasn’t functioning, I made an appointment to see my doctor and asked for antidepressants. I got a very low dose and the effects were immediate. At the time, I was in a very bad situation that I couldn’t change and antidepressants were the fastest way to start coping. They helped get me back to a point where I was functioning but I didn’t like being on them. They stabilized my emotions but they were a little too stable. It felt like the world was grey and I didn’t like it. I also don’t like using prescription drugs longer than necessary so I came off them after about 9 months. By then my situation had changed and I had more control over my life.
I still needed help so, of course, I turned to holistic practices.
- Nutrition. Cleaning up my diet helped clear the brain fog that I lived with all the time. I worked with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who specialized in mood disorders (yes, that’s a thing!) and we uncovered a food sensitivity that played a large role in how I felt all the time. It’s amazing how a few simple changes can make such a huge difference!
- Energy Healing. Obviously, I love energy healing. It has helped me so much and in so many ways. Energy healing helps me release old emotions and process any that I currently have. It helps me find new ways to deal with the things that happen in my world and it has helped me raise my vibration to stay above the negativity (most of the time).
- Personal Development. I’ve been doing a lot of personal development (coaching, reading, etc) around raising my vibration, too, which the energy healing has helped to really take root at a cellular level.
- Support. My therapist, friends, and loved ones have been invaluable in supporting me and encouraging me along the way as well as listening to me and hugging me or sometimes just sitting with me in silence. There are innumerable ways to support someone who has depression.
One thing I would suggest if you’re the one who truly wants to support a loved one with depression or anxiety, try not to say, “Just let me know what I can do”. Chances are your person will not reach out and if they do, they may not know what they need. Take the initiative and make suggestions. Ask them yes or no questions and wait patiently for an answer. “Can I bring you dinner?” or “Do you want me to come over and watch tv with you?” are much easier to respond to than a well-meaning but too generic “What can I do?”.
Also, depending on your relationship with the person, encourage them to seek professional help with a therapist/counsellor, nutritionist, and/or energy healer. You can even offer to make and/or take them to the appointment. Don’t be pushy, but show that you care.
I still have bad days and I still struggle from time to time. But those times are fewer and further between and now they are bad days, not bad weeks or months. Sometimes, I’m even only down a few hours before I’m back on top of things again.
Please know that if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety or another mental health issue (or you know someone who is), I’m here to help. Angel healing is still 10% off until the end of January if you’d like to come in for a session or if you just need someone to listen, I’m here for that, too.