13 September 2011

Have you had any eureka moments or revelations about your depression?

by Pastor Jayne and Soledad. Read Nia's earlier answer.

Pastor Jayne: Probably the most helpful insight into the cause of depression came when I read Undoing Depression (see our earlier post on helpful books we've read). It said that depression is "anger turned inward." Previously, I had (mostly) healthy, measured reactions to situations that should produce anger. But then my parents died, and my sister and aunts "disowned" me in the process of handling my parents' estate. With so many losses in such a short period of time, I found myself no longer able to express my anger. I just cried constantly. "Anger turned inward" made immediate sense to me when I read it. In order to heal from depression, one of my tasks in therapy was to learn once again to express ALL of my emotions in a healthy, measured way...especially anger.

********

Soledad: Eureka! I have had sudden realizations about depression that have led to gold nuggets of wisdom to live by. They are:

1. Sometimes you really are making things worse in your head than they actually are. Case in point: I had surgery to remove bags under my eyes. Several years later, a vein appeared underneath one eye. In my mind, everyone was staring at the horrific vein, and it was zapping my self-confidence. A head plastic surgeon at a leading clinic told me, "I assure you, not as many people as you think actually even notice it."

2. Everybody gets depressed. Just not everyone is comfortable sharing that information. So you're a sharer. That's okay. It's bound to lead to people offering you solutions they've tried that worked.

3. You can get stuck in sadness if you don't try to develop positive thinking habits. Ever hear someone offer up the lighter side to a tough situation? Like the comedian with cancer who listed the ten top things about having the disease: number one -- "I can stand as close to the microwave as I want."

So yeah, no matter how bad it is, it is all a matter of perspective. In every bad week one good thing will always come...Friday!

____________________
Illustration by Kris Barnes. Fun!