I read Brad Feld’s story about his struggle with depression, and it prompted me to write about my own experience and about what I’ve learned from the process.
Let me prefix this by saying I haven’t had to deal with really serious, debilitating depression. I’ve always been able to function throughout. But I have suffered from long periods of incredibly bad moods that would last for days, weeks, or even month; manic depressive mood swings; and ongoing thoughts of suicide. It’s not a fun place to be.
Fundamentally, I don’t believe the universe makes mistakes. When you really study human beings and how they work, they’re ingenious, incredibly complex, incredibly well calibrated, just incredibly incredible creations. How the body interacts with the mind, how we’re able to sense things in each other, in our environment, how we’re able to heal our own bodies and emotions, the way our intuition works and connects us with the universe, it’s just unbelievably beautiful and utterly amazing. You cannot but be in awe of such a creation.
Saying that whatever consciousness created this magnificent being then made some chemical miscalculation that we need to correct with a pill is completely ridiculous to me. How naive and grandiose and misguided a view of ourselves and our role in the universe that is. We’re much more powerful than that.
So if a human being suffers from anything discomfort or illness, there’s a reason for that, there’s a message in it somewhere, and there’s a natural way out that’s in the best interests of ourselves and the evolution of the entire universe. We just have to look.
In my experience, depression is a sign that we’re not listening to our soul’s calling. There’s something we’re here on this earth to do and to become, and if we’re following that lead, your soul and your being is going to respond in some way, and depression is a common one.
When we’re trying to suppress that calling, then it’s like putting the brakes on ourselves, putting a lid on, and things start stewing inside, resulting in the feeling of depression.
In the beginning, it doesn’t feel all that bad, and so we can drown out the feeling or the voice with food and alcohol and sex and exciting experiences and other distractions. But if we continue to ignore it and suppress it, it’s just going to get worse.
Anti-depressive medication is adding insult to injury. Yes, it might help with the depression, but it creates an addiction, and it removes us even further from our intuition.
Our intuition is our birthright, to be in direct touch with our intuition is our natural state. But our intuition gets buried beneath all the emotions we don’t want to feel and our connection with it gets severed. In order to regain access to it, we need to feel all of those emotions. So there’s no way around it, we have to feel our feelings, and that includes the depression, the anger, the sadness, the fear, the pain.
There are other factors, for sure. Diet and digestion has a huge influence on depression, because the neurons that regulate our mood are produced by our intestines. If they’re not working properly, our mood will suffer.
Depression can also be the result of repressed anger, and anger has to do with boundary violations. If there’s been a history of boundary violation, which may have been thoroughly suppressed, and anger is not an acceptable emotion, then the anger will turn on the self and become depression, and suicidal thoughts – suicide being an extreme act of violence against the self.
So my prescription would be to take a 3-week “Clean” diet to clear out the digestive system and give it a chance to restore, and then take some time to seriously investigate which parts of our soul’s whisper you’ve not paid enough attention to, and which emotions need to be felt completely.
Maybe it’s your healer that’s not active enough in your life. Maybe it’s the artist. Maybe you’re just not being child-like and playing enough. Approach your inner voice with intense curiosity and intense love and respect, and see where it leads you.
It’s not an overnight fix – no meaningful change ever is – but it will surely get you moving in the right direction.
There is no other way.