Depression and Anxiety

Published on 9 August 2023 at 12:30

Depression is something I have struggled with most of my life. I am really unsure if I was born this way and that's why my life sucks or if I am this way because my life sucks. My mom told me that my grandmother "cried all the time, just like you" but I don't know if she had depression, when she was growing up the Depression was a whole other calamady. Medications did not help me, in fact most had the opposite effect on me that they reportedly have on others, as well as physical side effects.

One of my issues as stated above is that the circumstances of my life have been less than pleasant so sometimes I have reasons that other people can understand that bring on a depressive episode. What other people don't seem to understand is that I struggle with those same feelings anytime I'm awake. Other people only realize I'm struggling when I have been fighting so hard and long that I'm too exhausted to put on my mask of OK.

Many times depression is comorbid with another "mental disorder," in my case I have extreme anxiety and PTSD as guests at my party. Once again, I don't know if anxiety was something I was born with or developed, but the PTSD I was not born with and I am all to well aware of it's causes. Having both major depression and severe anxiety is what earned me a false diagnosis as bipolar early on, leading to a barrage of mismatched psych meds. I don't really like the use of these labels and I think that labeling people by these diagnoses is both dangerous and wrong but I include them so that you can see where I am coming from.  

The difference that is most prominent to me between bipolar and having depression and anxiety is in the mania, the depression experienced by bipolars is similar to that of depressives. Mania however is quite different from anxiety but on the surface it can seem similar. What I mean is that I am always depressed, to some degree or another, and when it's bad all I want to do is sleep, because otherwise all I can do is cry. But when my anxiety is also bad I may not be able to sleep for days, even weeks, overthinking every issue and problem I currently am experiencing as well as a plethora of bad memories. A bipolar (as best as I understand it) gets very depressed during lows and may sleep excessively as well, but when they are manic they feel sort of invincible and everything is pleasant, which can lead to some pretty bad decisions and actions but in the moment it feels great. That is not at all my experience, when I can't sleep everything gets worse, the physical pain, the depression, and there's no relief at all if I can't sleep.

Just like how meds help a lot of people, the same goes for counseling. neither panned out for me. So how do I cope? 

I became a Reiki Master many years ago, I was in so much physical and emotional pain and the meds only made things worse so I went in search of something better. Reiki is where I started my healing journey, I have come a great distance from the basic Reiki Master course that I began with. Learning about the chakras, their functions and associations made so many things in my life make sense. Especially all the ailments, the buried rot inside my chakras. At that time I was fairly young and fairly healthy so to feel so bad so much just didn't seem right. I'm a lot older now, but have learned some things.

Although I have had to, and still, work on all my chakras, the heart chakra is a place I have devoted the most time to. Depression has everything to do with the heart chakra, but what I have learned is that the heart chakra has to do with everything. The heart chakra is where love enters and exits the body, it is the middle chakra, it connects the lower material chakras to the upper ethereal chakras, and as such has do with both. The color in the 13 Chakra system is pink, a blend of the red of flesh (physical) and the white of spirit (ethereal).

While studying Reiki I learned about meditation. This was a very hard thing for me, until I learned that there are so many ways to meditate, that my inability to completely clear my mind, is something that others struggle with as well. Walking in nature is one of my favorite meditations, and it's very rare that I have time and energy to do it, so it's an even more special thing for me. But when you are as stressed out as I usually am, with no chance of reprieve, meditation won't help you if you don't do it. Recorded meditations helped me to fit in more meditation, and lead me to binaural beats. I love music and sound healing is one of the most interesting and life changing tools, as well as easy to implement in even the busiest of lives, that I use to heal myself.  

Binaural beats help me a lot. I regularly use recorded meditations (am creating some of my own) but sometimes hearing someone's voice can be quite counterintuitive to relaxation for me. There are many meditations that are simply relaxing music, but binaural beats are different, it's a combination of two tones, one in the right ear and one in the left ear and the result is that your brain "hears" a binaural tone. The tone isn't really there, but you perceive it as if it is. These frequencies can be used to heal. One of my favorite binaural beats is called digital painkiller  and if I can fall asleep listening to it, I almost always wake up feeling much better.

I have recently put together a meditation beat for me to use in both remote and in person healing sessions. I'm listening to it as I'm writing this. I use the frequency of "OM", 136. 1 hz as a backdrop. This tone is said to be "'The Sound Of The Universe'. Enhance mind, body and spirit with energy clearing, balancing and healing music for physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. Ideal for energy work, body scan, healing session, deep meditation, contemplation, visualisation and to promote healthy sleep." I set my beat up with 3 minute intervals punctuated by a bell, to remind me to move on if appropriate. I gave myself enough time to do a thorough sound bath with the 9 Solfeggio frequencies as well as time for clearing the 7 main chakras, (and 2 more intervals in case) so it runs just under an hour. This gives me the freedom to improvise in a healing session without going beyond an appropriate amount of time. An hour can be a very long time for some people, while others find it short, we always have to keep a client's comfort level in mind.

I was hopeful to participate in a program that uses magnetic energy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, and I hope I explain it correctly. This procedure uses magnetic pulses to stimulate growth in the neural pathways in the brain, opening new paths for thought to travel. It is believed that in someone with Major Depressive Disorder (as well as some other mental health diagnoses, that I won't mention since they haven't been approved) the neural pathways that lead to negative memories, negative feelings (both emotional and physical)  are reinforced by use while other pathways that aren't used as much can disappear. To me it's like paths through a forest, the already beaten path continues to get the most use and the others eventually fade away. Just as with the forest, the beaten path is not necessarily the "best" path, simply the one we use most, so it could be safest, it could be quickest, it could be easiest and that's why it get used more, or it could be because we are used to it, anything else is a risk, we already know what we will encounter on this path, but familiar and best are not always the same. 

My insurance no longer covers this program and I am disappointed because the vast majority of participants see a big difference. In order to qualfy for the program one must have tried, and had problems with psych meds. This is absolutely true, I tried countless meds for depression, and anxiety, as well as anything else my psychiatrist thought might work over my lifetime, but the catch is I stopped. About 8 years ago I stopped taking all the psych meds as well as all the other prescription meds I was on for conditions that were mostly side effects caused by the psych meds. Now when I'm in pain, feel sick or fatigued, I usually know why, and I know it's not a chemical side effect. Likewise, my emotions, as chaotic and dark as they can be, are mine not a chemical reaction. So the hang up with insurance is that since I haven't tried any "new" psych meds, I would have to do two trials of meds before my insurance would pay for me to get the treatments. I was unsure whether I would do that, but it's not an issue now. This treatment takes about 6 weeks of 5 days a week, the treatments take less than 30 minutes, I was told. 

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