Is Depression Sadness or The Fight Against It?
This is a question posed by one of my favorite alternative gurus, Dr. Kelly Brogan. She published an article addressing this recently and discussed our general resistance to and reticence to experience and process sadness. She wrote in part:
“Through this process of rebranding sadness as necessary, we may even learn that what we are calling depression has less to do with felt sadness than with the persistent resistance against it. Sadness, sorrow, grief, and pain are kinetic and dynamic. They rise and release. They move.
It is the fight against these forces, the conditioned fear of them, and the effort to ignore the banging from the room you locked them in that collapses one’s life experience. Depression feels like a wired tiredness. The agitation of disconnection. It is a silent war against the soul.
Thus, healing from depression necessarily involves a reframing of beliefs and a shifting of mindset around the meaning of this emotional bandwidth and more inclusive orientation. These beliefs are the portal to change.”
I agree with Dr. Brogan that we humans, in today’s world, are resistant to any kind of pain that life throws our way. For me, however, I know that my chronic depression was alleviated by making some significant changes in my diet. But, I’m not skipping through the tulips every day. I don’t expect to; life is full of challenges. Some days are just not fun, but that’s reality. It’s the degree of levelness that is so different for me when I eat differently.
That eating differently is not hard, and it’s not more expensive. What it is is simplifying the foods you choose. One of the challenges is that how we’ve learned food should taste is not how real food actually tastes. For instance, we’ve been conditioned by big food to expect food to taste like massive amounts of salt and sugar. Did you know that when they have added too much sugar and it’s too sweet for us, they’ve discovered that adding more salt allows us to tolerate more sugar. And you wonder why you can’t live without sugar, which, by the way is highly addictive. They know it is!! But I digress, which is easy to do…there are so many side roads that present themselves in this discussion of health, wellness and food…
Another realization I want to share is that we weigh ourselves down by holding on to old hurts and resentments. Anger from events that occurred decades ago but that still weighs on us and that we are still dragging around in our hearts and minds is toxic. It’s worth the effort to take its measure and consider making a conscious effort to forgive and release the anger, hate, hurt or whatever accompanying negative emotion is taking up space in our lives today. This is something I am consciously working on myself this year. There are a couple of events that I have been dragging around for decades that are not serving me as a positive, productive happy person. How about you?
Dr. Brogan’s article was specifically about children and sadness, and you can read the full article. I think it is relevant to all of us as we face the question, “Is depression sadness or the fight against it?”, and so I had to share it with you.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Check out her personal coaching. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
P.S. Be sure to pick up Cheryl’s new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” in which she chronicles her accidental recovery from decades of struggle with chronic depression. It is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!