Depression

Note : this is an article i recently wrote and posted on our Tribal Page and thought i would also share it here

“This is a subject with which I have become very familiar this past year. Whereas previously I had only experienced it briefly , it has become a daily struggle. I know that many people have struggled with this all of their lives and having now experienced the depths of it I feel as though I can write with some knowledge and share some information based on personal experience , rather than simply using my browser to find information. There is nothing wrong with research however and I always encourage that. One thing I have come to realize however, is that everyone experience is different and most sites only offer the generic, bare bones solutions or explanations.

First, let’s talk about the various types of depression as listed on one of these sites at Types of Depression: 9 Forms of Depression and Their Symptoms. You can go there yourself or just read my own opinions /descriptions on each here.

Depression can feel like a huge wave , or as if you are drowning
  1. Major depression- everyday, most of the day. Does not depend on life situations or environment. Can last more than one year. This is what I have. I wake with a gut punch feeling in the morning which I have to fight all day. It is severe. It can be a one-time thing or recurring out of nowhere at various times in one’s life.
  2. Persistant depression- lasts over 2 years, not as severe but can interfere with daily life. It can wax and wane and can last for years creating a feeling that this is just “normal”. I have not yet hit this mark so my fingers are crossed
  3. Manic depression ( now called bipolar disorder). This is a type where a person is  dramatically happy for about a week, then suddenly plunges into the opposite. The manic stage can be fatal or lead to devastating changes or circumstances. Sometimes hospitalization is required. The opposite stage is similar to major depression. I have many friends with this disorder and it isn’t pretty. Many are on heavy medications and also self medicate which leads to drastic consequences.
  4. Depressive psychosis- Can go hand in hand with major depression. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. It may also include physical symptoms according to the above article
  5. Perinatal depression- also called “baby Blues”, this occurs during and/or after pregnancy and is related to hormonal changes
  6. PMDD- this is a severe form of PMS which can include physical and psychological  and occurs around the woman’s monthly cycle. This can also occur even more severely with menopause. Also related to hormonal changes.
  7. Seasonal Depression ( S.A.D.) Usually begins in the Fall and continues through Winter as the days get darker and shorter. It is a body response to lack of natural light. Usually lessons during spring and summer seasons.
  8. Situational depression- Occurs in conjunction with a traumatic life event or chronic stress related to environment such as divorce , death of a loved one, financial ruin, or serious illness and occurs within 3 months of the event. If the factors creating the depression are removed or the situation changes(even if over time), the affected person can usually recover and regain normalcy.
  9. Atypical depression- not rare or uncommon just difficult to predict or diagnosis with any consistency.

All of these can occur with the other forms of depression so can be difficult to treat and there are also subtypes.

Online you will find such suggestions to improve symptoms as :

1.Exercise regularly

2.Eat healthier 

3.Ask your doctor about medications ( usually SSRI’s are prescribed)

4.Therapy ( various types)

5.Increased social interaction

6.Meditation and yoga practice

7.Reduce or quit alcohol, nicotine, and/or caffeine intake

8.Get regular hours of sleep ( ideally 6-8 per day)

All of these suggestions are , in fact , good ones but they may not be viable or helpful to everyone. Personally, I do better with more exercise and getting outdoors, but it has been impossible  to regulate my sleep so that is a moot point for me. I cannot take the usual prescribed medications due to severe reactions. The pandemic has reduced social activities. I could go on, but suffice it to say I have had to reach outside of the normal suggestions to survive. Mind you, I have not yet conquered the problem, but have found ways to get through each day, even if it’s by the skin of my teeth.

So I offer those to you here.

1.St. Johns Wort- although I was skeptical about this supplement it does seems to be helping  after a few weeks of tweaking my dose and being consistent with use. Always ask your doctor before taking as it has several interactions with other medications.

2.Opening up as many curtains as possible in your home each day to allow in natural light.

3.Crystal therapy- many stones and gems have therapeutic properties. This does not work for everyone, it is mainly a belief in the idea to begin with. I figured it couldn’t hurt so I have purchased various stones to place around my home- in window sills etc. as well as in my personal medicine pouch.

4.Sage and cedar ritual- this entails purifying the negative energies within the body as well as environment. There is much info online about this- more than I can get into here. I usually sage my home twice per week and do a personal sage cleansing along with it. I recently purchased an abalone shell which is the traditional item to use for burning. Turtle shells can also be used.

5.Walking or sitting in nature- it important to calm ones spirit on a regular basis by feeling connected to Mother Earth and Father Sky. You may or may not meditate but try to be mindful of the sounds, smells and vibrations around you

6.Vitamin D3 and B12 have helped me as long as I take a quality brand and stick to it.

7.Medicinal teas such as chamomile, lavender and various mints. Try not to just drink them in a hurry or as a matter of a quick boost. Take some time to prepare the tea traditionally if possible. Sit and sip leisurely and contemplatively. Relax as much as possible for the moments you are enjoying the tea. I like to add a splash of honey and creamer to mine as well.

8.Interacting with pets or animals always seems to lift my spirits . If I cannot make physical contact, I watch nature shows or short YouTube  clips of funny  or cute baby animals. The antics and laughter helps restore some balance .

9.Napping as much as possible, and making it a priority. It may not always work or be possible but even resting the body is helpful. Just be sure to set a time limit as over sleeping can increase depression

10.Probiotics – I get mine in yogurt, cabbage, pickles and sauerkraut as well as some other foods. Supplements are too harsh for me but some find them useful and more convenient .

11.Writing in any form- journaling, blogging, poetry, or a simple diary. You can also use a tape recorder as an alternative , which is easier to erase once you are done pouring out your soul.

12.Give yourself a break. Some days you just FEEL like lying in bed , watching your favorite shows. Just be sure this doesn’t come a habit . Limit it tom once per week or less. 

13.That being said-keep moving, stay busy. The busier your body, the less busy your headspace. Force yourself 90% of the time. Household projects work for me, as well as getting out to the gym ,walking, working on my budget, planning my calendar, or going to a figure drawing session. Find what works for you to keep your thoughts from taking over.

14.Light scented candles around your home. Take time to watch the flame quietly and enjoy the aroma.

15.Buy something small for yourself. Indulge in one comfort food. Take a long hot bath. Treat yourself as often as you can without going overboard with spending or consuming. Free or low cost is best.

16..Look into mother natural supplements. While I don’t suggest spending a ton of money , trying a few won’t hurt. As I’ve said, some will work for some people and not for others. Again, check with your doctor before adding them to your regimen.

17. Music- different types of music affect each of us differently. Find a genre , artist or playlist that upliftsyou. It is one of my best go to solutions because it replaces the thoughts in my head with beats, sounds and happier words. Use it during bathing/showering, driving, doing chores or whenever you can.

18. Don’t rule out meditation. It can be a life saver. There are hundreds of forms including breath meditation, progressive relaxation, binaural tones, positive affirmation and guided meditation. All can be found on YouTube or in books, cds, etc. It isn’t just new age mumbo jumbo. Calming the mind and body for at least 15 minutes a day can only help.

19. If you have the means, there is evidence that Botox via the forehead helps. I Just tried this, though out of desperation and can honestly say I have felt no change.

20. Reduce processed foods such as lunchmeat, boxed pastas with included sauces, ramen soups, sugary sweets, pre sweetened fruit, etc. Add more fresh foods to you diet- slowly. Try a food log, cutting out one food per week to eliminate culprits. For instance, I have had to reduce bread consumption as it tends to bog me down-gut wise and mentally. Some people do a “cleanse”. I haven’t had any luck with that.

21.Reach out and connect with someone who will listen or at least has a positive attitude. Don’t take advantage though, as in calling every day, as you may drag tat person down too and they will soon avoid you.

22. Stretch often and take deep breaths, Drink lots of water.

Depression is a beast. It can make you dysfunctional and unmotivated. Dealing with it can seem like a full time job. Self- care is more important than even obligations, because if you can’t care for yourself, you can’t care effectively for others. You will soon crash and place that worry and burden on those who rely on you. Don’t take on more than you can deal with and learn to say no.”

I hope someone finds these suggestions helpful and please feel free to comment, add to, or ask questions

Thanks for reading!

Lovie Price , Medicine woman  (A.K.A.-One Feather)

Author:

nurse, mother, artist, and chameleon ...

11 thoughts on “Depression

  1. Great article, Lovie! So happy you wrote on depression and provided outside of the normal suggestions. Many folks just “deal” with it not knowing there are many alternatives to traditional methods that could possibly provide some relief. The more we talk about depression out in the open, the better. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, i believe many also get caught up in just giving up.In fact, some days i feel like it’s never going to go away and i should just stop trying. But, somehow i forge on because the feeling of powerlessness and visualizing my entire future like this is just too awful. I just made a doctor appointment to see if i can have a sleep study done as i think most of my issues revolve around that. We shall see:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oily fish! Salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, anchovies – one of those guys once or twice a week. There’s research. I was involved in it way back in the day. It’s real. I used to open a can of sardines and split it with my cat. We bonded. We had separate plates, don’t worry.

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    1. yes, i forgot that one..i have added salmon as well as avocados , nuts, and a few other things into my diet as well the past few weeks…and hey, i always used to sit a plate out for my pups at the table..they even sat on the bench and ate with the family…lol

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  3. Sorry about the messy organization of the original post. I copy & pasted in a hurry and didnt check it but just went back and edited. It should be more readable now..lol

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  4. I suspect my depression is part caused by the hormonal changes occurring in peri menopause. There’s recently been a big push to raise awareness about this over here in the UK. Our doctors need to be better educated in it and referrals made to specialists for discussion about treatments … including HRT. Whatever causes it, depression. Is a nasty thing to live with and your article will support and help lots of people suffering right now. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. as an update, i would like to add here that in June , my doctor prescribed something i had never tried before – Doxepin( 25 mg- lowest dose) for sleep. It has helped immensely with my depression. I wasnt expecting that but what an awesome side effect. I cannot take SSRI’s but this one works like one without the seretonin syndrome issues i am prone to. I have been sleeping slightly better as well and it isnt a controlled substance
    .

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