According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. That’s 6.9 percent of the world’s population. Those are big numbers and it has been a mission of mine to educate and transform this disabling inability.
If you believe you have ‘Depression’ I would like to share some strategies that I have used with my clients that has freed them from this suffocating ocean of sadness. In the hope to help, please read on.
The reports suggest depression is a growing concern among both teenagers and adults alike. While the problem itself can be as complex as the individual, we therefore find ourselves seeking complex and lengthy solutions. Could the solution be simpler? Those suffering the pain and anguish of depression are too often seen as victims of a disease over which they have no control.
“This view is misguided and damaging and not in the least bit helpful,” says Rik Schnabel, Training and Coaching Director at Life Beyond Limits. ”I prefer to call depression a ‘sadness pattern’ and an ‘unresourceful state.’ The solutions to depression can be taught and mastery over it is certainly possible.”
As a practitioner specialising in the area of depression, clinical therapist and best-selling author of “ROAR! Courage – From Fear to Fearless,” Rik Schnabel has worked with enough people who have had depression, to believe that depression is NOT genetic, a curse, infectious or incurable. There is an answer, there is a solution and the solution is comparably inexpensive, quick and certainly possible.
Following a months of depressive moods during the recession of the 80’s, Schnabel himself was beyond blue, he was a failed suicide. He believes that it is vital we become educated so that we learn how to avoid the ‘blackness of the mind’ but also empower our lives. In Australia each year, around 2,000 people commit suicide. We also know that for each person that commits suicide, there are another 30 people that have attempted suicide – that’s around 60,000 people a year. The figure should be ringing warning bells – but it’s not.
Imagine a depressed person waking up in the morning. Their minds hum manically, the effect of possibly an alcohol-sodden night or hopelessness. They open their eyes and see once again their problems, their anguish and again they tap into the blackness of their thoughts. They engage more easily into the hopelessness of their past than an empowering vision of their future and recreate the depressive thinking over and over and over again. “I believe depression is a pattern and not an illness, because I have literally seen people after one session, remove that black veil altogether!” Not everyone is better after one session, most require between five and ten sessions, but that’s a great deal better than a lifetime of being medicated in my view,” says Schnabel.
Many sufferers of depression, guide their mind back to the nightmare they have been living. The darkness of their mind is littered with remnants of pain from their past. These memories and interpretations act as psychological litter over which they frequently trip when stress and pain appear. It is almost as though through the cracks of their life appear the wounds of their unhealed past. At these times the body kicks in releasing chemicals affecting the biochemistry of the brain and nervous system.
Depression has many initial causes.
Stress and overwhelm caused by the myriad of demands from a modern life, the effects of childhood trauma; environmental factors like poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, the pressures of achievement and substance abuse.
Sociological factors like a change of job or social status, community breakdown, dissolution of extended families, a disconnection from the natural world and yes, this does often includes the modern sterile, fluorescent lit offices with aggressive cultures. Spiritual crises triggered when life loses its meaning and purpose or when money or status rules over all other values can also be a factor.
The ‘legal’ drug industry also has its place in the dark land of depression. Many cardiac drugs, sedatives, steroids, stimulants, antibiotics, analgesics and the like are known to have ‘side effects,’ a term suggesting minor influence. This is NOT the case. These symptoms or ‘side effects’ are often so debilitating that depression ensues. In fact, some depression medications include side-effects such as depression and/or sudden death! And of course we cannot forget one of the most highly used drugs; alcohol too is a major contributor to depression. In fact a glass of alcohol a day coupled with feelings of hopelessness is a sure fire way to create depression.
Depression labels don’t help as many identify with the label.
”Depression is a habituation of life’s negations and to overcome depression we must challenge our disempowerment by letting go of the ‘Depressed’ label we have given ourselves. Soon the label becomes synonymous with our name and to remove the label is to remove our self-identity. Who are we, when we’re not depressed anymore? The process of removing depression is not only to address the core triggers, but it is also a process of reinvention and reidentification. It’s like redesigning our self image,” Schnabel says.
”To successfully move from depression, you must move your energy away from the problem and we all have the power to do this – we just don’t believe we do. While it’s challenging at first, we must stop perpetuating depressive thinking patterns by learning to manage our state. Depression in my view is stagnation and continuation of thinking that your life is less than you imagined it to be. The key here is to move out of logic, the logic that paints the grim picture that holds you in a depressed state.”
”Do you think I mean that you should pretend you’re not depressed? You better believe it!” Rik Schnabel says. The mind forms impressions of events and creates stories and stories that are often filled with drama. These impressions of life form the submodalities or finer tuning of our thinking, creating neurological pathways that shape our emotions. Your imagination is the most potent solution to overcome depression. As Einstein said ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
If something sad, frustrating or unfortunate occurred to you and your logical assumptions of the event lead you to feel uncomfortable, then you are following of course a natural neurological response to the situation. With training, we can however intersect these neurological pathways and stimulate more preferable resulting emotions.
After experiencing one of life’s downturns, subsequent emotions of discomfort are determined by the meaning we place on our situation; in essence we unconsciously choose to remain with feelings like overwhelm, sadness, anger, guilt, blame or worthlessness. We associate the emotions with the event and here our logical mind assists in creating what Schnabel terms, “the spiral of woe.”
“I strongly believe that the most powerful methods to overcoming depression is found in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to positively change the pictures, feelings and the sounds that we have constructed in our minds to represent the memories of past events that trigger depressive thinking. Then we change our picture of the event and its resulting emotions. This of course means that we must be prepared to make the necessary changes consciously. Those who suffer depression can be guided through this process to resume control and effective management of their lives.”
For example one of my clients had been suffering depression for 6 years after losing his family business. He had been seeing a psychiatrist for 4 of those years and was under medication. His problem in my view was not depression, but an ineffective strategy for living. He was perpetuating the depression with a specific series and sequence of internal and external representations that he ran through mentally, that provided him with a pre-determined outcome, one which he called ‘depression.’
In 3 hours using NLP and process that Schnabel designed, his patterns were interrupted, his strategy for depression was broken and a new strategy was provided to empower his life. As a result the depression lifted.
“Most of my clients come out of the sessions confused and that’s perfect. The mind hates confusion and will do all it can for clarity. Soon, my clients are much clearer as they rebuild a personality without depression and walk their new inner talk,” says Schnabel.
The mind will only see what we allow it to see. So, if we can move our thoughts into a new position, one where we can just consider for a mere moment that a solution may be simple, then we immediately reduce the size of the problem and make easier the resolution. Too often we see a problem as complicated and therefore search for complicated solutions.
Who is driving the bus? The answer is simple. It is us, we are the ones who are in control of our lives when we choose to take ownership and make goal choices in our lives our lives can change. Show me a person who chooses not to see a Life Beyond Limits, one who doesn’t have a goal or a dream and I’ll show you someone who is likely to find depression easier.
Much of what we see is due to how we code and store the concepts of ourselves in our neurology. How we see ourselves in our mind is paramount; it determines where we unconsciously steer our lives. Anything is possible, when you have some good tools and a will to move from the old concepts of yourself.
If you are ready to move out of depression, find out more here.