Depression can be the feeling of hopelessness, or debilitating sadness, and can also include other noticeable signs like: eating too much, eating too little, decreased sleep, or increased sleep, low energy, or always busy, low sex drive, or hypersexual. As you can probably notice in my beginning, depression can exist in an understimulated brain, or an overstimulated brain. It is usually more easily picked up when the classic symptoms are present of sadness, low energy, difficulty sleep, and low connection to self. A depressed brain can feel like there is no possibility of being anywhere different than where you are. Those feelings can be masked by staying busy, focused, and living in anxiety (overstimulated brain).
My own connection to depression first came when I was in a high stress environment as a health care provider. It was a surprise to me when I noticed that I cared less about the people I was helping, and ultimately when I experienced the death of a friend’s infant, it rolled over me in waves of sadness that didn’t stop after the grief was less prominent. After that, I became disillusioned with my work, found sleeping more difficult, but pressed on trying to keep the depression at bay. It didn’t work, and I needed to transition to another work environment where I started to rest, reflect, and ask myself why I pushed myself to live in the extremes.
Depression, either as someone feeling depressed, or someone helping others who experience depression, is a normal human state and part of living this life. Hard things happen, and sometimes my ability to cope or to recognize my impaired ability to cope with stress, sadness, loss, grief, pain or fear, is not enough to get through. Sometimes, I need help remembering that it is okay to be human, it is okay to feel, it is okay to have needs, and it is okay to struggle…but what can really take me out is isolation. In isolation, possibilities of connection, friendship, and help are non-existent, and depression can overtake me or anyone else.
If you need help, it is okay to ask for help…after all you are a human being, and not a human doing.
Specialized therapy such as trauma focused therapy that utilizes EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) or Ketamine Assisted Therapy may be helpful for you to find more peace within yourself.
These specialized therapeutic modalities may offer immense relief and potential breakthroughs, especially for those who have chronic depression or PTSD and have “tried everything” without lasting or meaningful change. EMDR and Ketamine Assisted Therapy have allowed people to address their traumas and fears in a way that does not re-traumatize them. They access their natural inner healing resources and allow themselves to go on a deep inner journey to tap into roots of pain and false negative beliefs. They often emerge from this process with a sense of wholeness, lightness, and freedom they’ve never experienced before.