Why You Need to Stop Fighting Your Depression

Many cultures have created an unhealthy attitude to the psychological turbulence we all experience from time to time. It now appears intuitive to fight back against that which we think and feel threatens us, but is this really an effective strategy?

Key Facts from WHO

  • Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • Depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate and severe depression.

 

The Fight Against the Invisible

Perhaps we think that an alternative to fighting depression – and other psychological symptoms would mean to ‘give-up’? But that’s simply untrue!

Acceptance

Finding acceptance for that which we can change; our thoughts about what we think makes us unhappy, our behaviours – usually as a result of those thoughts, and the truth about who we really are and what matters to us, can bring about new objectivity – whilst resetting our cognitive perceptual filters that ‘inform us’ – via emotional signals, such as sadness or anger.

No Change

…and acceptance for that which we cannot change! (Which still means anything but giving up or rolling over!) …such as the grief felt over a death, or a past over which you had no control. With these examples it remains for us to review our thoughts and beliefs about the event/s; the relevance ‘then’, and whether those feelings are appropriate now?

Evidence Required

Before any acceptance can be found, leading to a sustainable, life-long strategy of balance, we have to encourage and then convince the mind and ‘self’ it is safe to change, with evidence. For so many of us, we become identified and defined by our pain to the point it becomes part of our identity, our ego.

…and the ego doesn’t let go of such ‘comfort’ without putting up its own fight in its mistaken attempts to protect us.

[bctt tweet=”Evidence that we can overcome doubts about ourselves IS required.” username=”BobBrotchie”]

Re-engineering the Mind and Neuroplasticity!

Some, more than others will need time invested exploring how they came to ‘be’ who they are today. But this doesn’t mean unpacking the past and settling in there once more!

Gaining fresh insight into how we may have once been taught to believe is relevant to how we behave to the signals we receive to our environment today.

If, as a five year old, I was taught (inadvertently or otherwise) to be ‘on-guard’ for signs a parent was about to ‘lose it’, or, I witnessed, perhaps many times, the parent or significant older person giving me reason to doubt myself, my worthiness – then clearly this will endure for the rest of my days, unless I can reset the learning (belief) that is no longer required or relevant today.

Unconditioned

And if I once again return to the more consistent and healthier beliefs I may have enjoyed before I became conditioned, then I can regain new ways of thinking about myself – and my environment and the people in it. And if I do this, anatomical changes will occur in the brain! These are measurable and actual physiological changes observed in fMRI brain scans as a result of the term that has become coined ‘neuroplasticity’. The brain has the ability to reconfigure as a result of what we think!

No one wins this ‘fight’!

…because no fight is necessary.

Yes, it IS tough, it does require effort and focus and some level of tenacity to undertake to become so very wise that you once again – or perhaps for the first time, believe in yourself. Then, we can know that the days we wake ‘feeling’ low are just that, days where our expectations are unmet, but it too will pass, it always does. I can throw open the doors to the low-mood, invite it in to ‘kick around’, because ‘it’ doesn’t define your life, only a moment of our life, if we choose.

[bctt tweet=”…but it too will pass, it always does!” username=”BobBrotchie”]

Use What is Helpful

No-one ever said “you must become the best expression of yourself without guidance”.

You’re reading this, that shows you are worthy and seeking information to find that best expression of yourself.

I certainly found the best ‘keys’ to my peace of mind via research – and new ways of thinking. But, depression is insidious, and by its very nature leaves us feeling demoralised and demotivated – and in those times, we can choose to empower ourselves to seek resources outside of us, just as the world’s most successful people do all the time! There is NO failure in seeking guidance.

Turn the Page – Begin a New Chapter

However you decide to find the quality of thoughts about yourself you deserve, the key part is not ‘how’ you do this. It is that you do!      

Warmest wishes for the next part of your journey, and remember this,

[bctt tweet=”Others and their opinions of us are none of our business!” username=”BobBrotchie”]

It is worth remembering that talking therapies and self-help are only part of the equation. Considerations given to exercise, diet, addictions and our overall biological health are also likely worth bearing in mind. Do discuss with your G.P./Physician too! 

About the author
Bob Brotchie

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, life coach and creator of Conscious Living by Design™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to clients in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).

6 Comments

  1. Absolutely love this post. Even though I don’t totally understand what some have to face, I try to have empathy. Personally, I feel they should go with it and stop fighting it. If depression or any other long term illness is an issue, fighting something that will never go away only leaves them feeling helpless and/or useless. As long as they are aware of the issues that they are facing and can get through these bad periods, no matter how long they may last, I think it’s important for them to accept it and look forward to when it eases.

    • Thanks Sonya, these views and your feedback are very much appreciated.
      What if we ‘open that door and allow the insidious illness in rather than keep pushing ‘it’ away? It’s a powerful exercise I for one have undertaken many times.

      • Very interesting, Bob. I tend to agree with handling it that way as fighting it can sometimes take a lot more physical and emotional energy. It can be very draining. I guess each person has to deal with it the best way for themselves but it’s hard watching someone struggling/fighting an illness.

        • I take your point, Sonya. I think it will always be challenging for the ‘onlooker’, just as it is with our children when they are ‘hurt’- and our elders if they become compromised from any health perspective.
          Thanks for your feedback, Sonya.

  2. Maggie Wright

    Hi Bob, Just read your post and think it is an excellent way to look at depression and I believe would really help sufferers to stop adding to the guilt and pain that they are already suffering. I really agree with this approach because so many people feel worse because of being stigmatized. I also write a little blog familiesintrauma.wordpress.com and would like to share some of this information on my blog if I may – as I believe it would be very useful for others. I will include your blog address also.

    • Thank you for the feedback, Maggie. Please do share on, that would be wonderful.
      You would be welcome to write something as a guest author for my site and audience too, at some stage and if you wished.

Comments are closed.

Why You Need to Stop Fighting Your Depression

by Bob Brotchie time to read: 4 min
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