Depression. People use that word a lot, but most don’t truly know what it means to be depressed. Many people use the word “depressed” to describe how they feel about something going on in the world or their life. But depression is so much more than a feeling. It is a prolonged state of being that effects all aspects of a person’s life.
In my journey, I have learned three very important things about depression.
1. It is a Physical Illness
Depression is not just a feeling or an emotion. It is an actual hormonal imbalance as well as an imbalance in a person’s brain chemistry. This is why most people cannot simply snap out of a depressive episode by “focusing on the positive”. Since depression is a physical condition, it can be treated with various physical remedies. For some people, that means prescription medication, but for others (like me) that meant a major lifestyle change. Because for me personally, prescription medication is a last resort, I made several changes to my life. The best part is, these changes are simple.
2. It is an Emotional State
I know what you are thinking. Didn’t I just say that depression is a physical illness? Yes I did. However, while depression is physical, there is also an aspect of it that is emotional. Your thoughts and emotions are powerful, and what you allow yourself to think about has a major impact on how you feel. You can do all the right things physically to treat depression, but if you don’t address your thoughts and emotions, you are not going to get lasting results.
Additionally, science has proven that your thoughts and emotions are physical! They can be measured and they create the chemistry of your brain. Neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf has some fascinating articles on how thoughts are physical, what toxic thoughts do to your body and brain chemistry, and the effect of thoughts on illnesses.
3. You CAN Overcome Depression!
Depression does not have to be a life-long illness. You have the power to change your life. The crucial thing that you need to remember is: you have to address both the physical and emotional aspects of depression in order to achieve lasting success. Also, realize that this is a journey. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow morning with your depression completely gone. It’s going to take time, and effort. But keep working, keep pushing, and little by little you will begin to get better. Then, one day you will realize that you’ve had more good days than bad this week and you’ll know you’re getting there.
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