Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Today I discussed the subject of depression. Depression affects 121 million people world wide and according to the World Health Organization, by 2020 it will be the second leading cause of disability in the world. Add to that: depression is responsible for 850,000 suicides annually. That is nothing short of tragic. No one needs to suffer. There is help. 

I struggled with depression at two different times in my life: first when I was a teenager and later on during the pregnancy of my 4th child. It did not subside with her birth. Simple chores were an effort. Life was a vat of quick sand and each day I was being sucked deeper and deeper into despair. I was embarrassed and ashamed and kept this dark secret to myself. I needed help but had to do it on my own. I discovered natural methods that saved my life.

I began a regimen of daily aerobic exercise. Power walking released endorphins which helped stabilize my mood. 

Nature is known for its healing properties. Just stand outside in the sun, watch the movement of the clouds, smell the fragrant of nearby roses, listen to the sound of the ocean: one cannot help but feel peaceful and serene. 

Prayer played a major part in my healing. Being connected to God filled me with hope, comfort, strength and love. And who can feel depressed when one is surrounded by God’s protection and love?

Music has the ability to alter our mood. Listen to that which is uplifting and joyful. 

Volunteer: focusing on the needs of others is rewarding and alleviates self-suffering.

Purpose: knowing you are making a difference in the lives of others is tremendously rewarding. Who can feel sadness when they are bringing joy to others?

Random acts of kindness uplifts our spirits and takes our mind off our own problems.

Human touch: the human connection releases powerful chemicals in the brain that support our emotional well-being. Hug someone!

Yoga, meditation, alternative therapies such as massage, Reiki, reflexology, 
acupressure/acupuncture and others have shown great results. 

Living in gratitude: focusing on what you are appreciative of rather than what is lacking in life restores joy and happiness.

Sometimes prescription medication is necessary. But if you prefer, try the natural route. It worked for me. Be certain to incorporate these behaviors in your daily life for the rest of your life as a preventative measure. I’ve been depression free for over 35 years.

If you or someone you know is suffering with feelings of hopelessness and despair, lethargy, inability to function, overall lack of enthusiasm for life, worthlessness, apathy or thoughts of suicide please reach out for help. Depression is a very real medical issue and needs immediate attention. We need to be compassionate of those who are suffering and provide the necessary assistance and support for their recovery. Life is worth living and there is hope. I am living proof.

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