Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Help for Addiction - Overcoming Depression

Depression is defined as a state of sadness, unhappiness and hopelessness. Imagination is defined as the ability to form images and ideas in the mind, especially of things never seen or experienced directly, which generally occurs in the right or creative non-linear side of the brain. Research has shown that depressed individuals often exhibit thinning of the right-side cerebral cortex, influencing mood, attention, awareness, levels of consciousness, creativity and imagination.

There is also usually a reduction in pineal gland function. The pineal gland, more commonly known as the "Minds Eye," is our portal for creativity and manifestation. This, I believe, further substantiates that depression is a result of not only the absence of self- love, but also a lack of true meaning, purpose and creativity. However, in my opinion, depression is incorrectly diagnosed as a chemical imbalance and treated with antidepressants.

Over the past several decades, the term chemical imbalance has become well known and is commonly perceived by the general public to be the direct cause of depression and other psychological conditions. This, in my opinion, is categorically untrue! First, there is no known pathology for diagnosing a chemical imbalance.

Second, if you can't test for it, how does one confirm that it even exists? Well, to be honest, it's purely hypothetical in nature. In fact, there is no empirical evidence to support this theory or, moreover, to prove that it's the basis for depression, addiction, or any other psychological condition. The chemical imbalance theory was created in the early sixties when a group of prominent psychiatrists conducted a study using various psychoactive and hallucinogenic drugs including the likes of LSD. After administering these drugs to laboratory rodents, clinicians confirmed that brain chemistry had, in fact, been altered. From that observation, the researchers somehow concluded that any abnormality in psychological and emotional behavior must be contributed to a chemical imbalance! To most reasonable and rational people, this conclusion defies common sense and questions the researcher's intent. This is not factual science. It's fictional science!

Ironically, anti-depressant usage has more than tripled over the past two decades. Is this purely coincidental? You're free to draw your own conclusion.

Without question, depression is a component of addiction - one that can be intricately entwined with any of the following emotional issues:

1. Self-esteem
2. Personal Power
3. Personal Identity
4. True Life Purpose

And certainly, if one is to overcome depression, they must address them. In the chapters ahead, I will provide specific tools for tackling those issues. For now, let's focus on the core components of depression, which are unhappiness, sadness and hopelessness.

First, let's talk about unhappiness. If you are unhappy, why is that your state of mind? Are you unhappy that you haven't excelled in your professional life, or do you feel lost because you are unclear about the correct career path? Is meaning and purpose absent from your life? Have you failed at one relationship after another? Do you feel unloved and alone? Have you been overly critical of yourself and, as a result, have you failed to embrace self-love? Let's face it, if you had meaning and purpose in your life, a great relationship, and you loved and valued yourself, you wouldn't be unhappy, would you? If you're depressed, how are you going to become happy? Do you honestly believe that someone else is responsible for your happiness? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they aren't. You're responsible for it!

Everyone experiences sadness from time to time. This is often attributed to some form of loss or disappointment. However, when it persists, there's usually a hidden agenda. For example, sadness and broken heartedness is often a result of losing a loved one. This only stands to reason. Although, when the normal process of grieving is perpetuated, the fear of failure, success, rejection or abandonment is usually present. In other words, it's easier to continue grieving than it is to face one's deepest fear. If you have lost a loved one, that is both sad and unfortunate. But, you do have a choice; either move forward by celebrating the positive aspects of that person's life or continue to grieve and carry on as a wounded soul for the remainder of your days.

Feelings of hopelessness are commonly associated with depression, but that is not where they originate. Hopelessness is born in patterns of verbal abuse, part-time parenting and control. These dysfunctional patterns cause self-esteem, personal power and personal identity issues. If you don't love or value yourself, how can you feel hopeful about a bright future? If you don't possess a high level of self-confidence, then you're not likely to take the action required to change your situation. Once again, you have a choice; build confidence, embrace self-love, and take the action required to create a bright future or continue to feel hopeless!

After reading the preceding paragraphs, you may have concluded that my approach is somewhat harsh and unsympathetic. There is a reason for my bluntness, though. Candidly speaking, folks who are struggling with depression do not require coddling. They need empowerment. Sure, you can try and mask your depression with psychoactive drugs, or you can attempt to talk through it in psychotherapy. Those methods will offer some temporary relief. But, to be honest, action is the only thing that will eliminate depression entirely!

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