It is apt that October ,the month of Halloween, ghosts, witches and all things scary is the time chosen to broadcast information about this very frightening illness.
I thought I would do my small part in spreading awareness of this medical condition. It is more common than you might think and I’m sure that if you don’t suffer from it yourself, you certainly know someone who does.
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- Globally 350,000,000 people are affected by some form of depression.
- 11% of teens have a depressive incident by the age of 18.
- The estimated annual cost due to lost productivity and health care is $80,000,000,000.
- According to the World Health Organization, depression is projected to become the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020.
- An estimated 1 in 10 U.S. Adults Report Depression.
- Depression is more common than AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined.
In general people affected with depression are sensitive empaths, people who think and feel deeply. I love these people! I am one of them! We are in good company. Here is just a smattering of the well-known geniuses afflicted with this disease:
|Woody Allen||John Bon Jovi||Edgar Degas||Isaac Asimov|
|Alan Alda||Kurt Cobain|
|Jim Carey||Mary Chapin||Vincent Van Gogh||Charles Darwin|
|Rick Springfield||Eddie Veder|
|Billy Joel||Isaac Newton|
|John Lennon||Buzz Aldrin|
|HEADS OF STATE||WRITERS||ATHLETES|
|John Adams||William Blake||Terry Bradshaw|
|Abraham Lincoln||Mark Twain|
|Winston Churchhill||Ernest Hemingway||Serena Williams|
And of course Robin Williams who’s illness lead to death this past year.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Changes in sleep
- Change in appetite
- Poor Concentration
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Loss of energy
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling empty
- Weight gain/loss
- Heightened pain
- Enhanced addictions: drinking, social media, etc.
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Take an on-line screening test here. (If symptoms are persistent be sure to get professional assistance.)
There are myriad reasons for depression –chemical, hormonal, situational or a combination. Whatever the cause, it is not the fault of the sufferer and they cannot just ‘snap out of it’ as some people think!
10 Natural Remedies For Depression
Of course if you are in it deep you need to get to a psychiatrist for evaluation for medication and to a therapist to work on relevant issues. During and after those 2 steps, or, if you get better but then feel that black cloud creeping back again try these natural remedies right away! You may feel relief immediately with some of these remedies (especially with #’s 1, 4, 5 and 10) but if not, do not despair; try them for at least 2 weeks before you yell at me.
Any kind of movement will do. Jump up and down on your bed (my favorite), walk, stretch in place, take a movement class, dance to some songs on the radio.
- St. John’s Wort
- Fish Oil
3. YOGA POSES*
Yoga practice in general will help with depression by teaching you how to become a witness to your actions and thoughts and ultimately to the motivation for those actions and thoughts but if you don’t have the inclination to begin a full practice at least try these asanas to ease your sadness.
Head Stand (Use wall for support)
4. BREATH WORK*
Breath of Joy – WATCH My 2 minute Video Demo of this quick and simple breathing exercise that will bring you a bit of energy and happiness.
5. FIND YOUR JOY
This is easier said than done and I am happy to guide you there when you come for your Reiki sessions but until then try reuniting yourself with an activity that used to bring you happiness when you were younger. Were you happy climbing trees, riding bikes, painting, drawing, singing, playing hockey, dressing dolls, playing with color-forms or etch-a-sketch. Whatever you loved doing before you were a ‘responsible adult’, try it again. Allow yourself this little treat and see if it gets your motor running again.
6. TWEAK YOUR DIET
The things I want to eat when I’m ‘crashing,’ like chocolate cake and cinnamon buns are not ideal as I’m sure you know. Yes they feel good emotionally in the short term but for longer term benefit try eating:
- Protein (hormone free turkey, chicken, fish)
- High in Fatty Acid Foods: Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon
- Reduce the Caffeine
7. GET OUT!
Expose yourself to the sun and/or take some Vitamin D.
8. DETACH FROM MEDIA
Try not using your computer for a day. It will not kill you! It will feel like you are dying but you will be recharging your battery.
Shut your phone off as soon as you get home from work and don’t turn it on again until you get to work the next morning.
For one full week Do Not Watch Television. I personally do not watch, listen to or read any news. It makes me anxious and sad. The down side to this is that you are a bit more ignorant to events but the upside is worth it especially for sensitive souls.
Although this works for many people it makes me retreat more so you’ll have to try it for yourself. Go out with one, a few or a group of friends may make you feel a part of something larger than yourself and give you some laughs or camaraderie.
As a Reiki Therapist my belief is that illness, including depression is related in part to unresolved emotions. Over time these emotions cause energy blockages and a buildup of toxins. With Reiki treatments we move the body back to a neutral state so that it can heal. Several studies report those who received Reiki treatment had significant improvement in their depressive symptoms compared to those who had no Reiki treatment and this improvement held when the participants were tested a year later. Consider adding Reiki to your ‘get happy’ toolbox to prevent, lessen or eradicate your depression.
*Please contact me with questions on dosages and modifications.
Lisa Hassett, Reiki Therapist, CYT
Healing For Body, Mind & Spirit
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Reiki of Greater Boston
Healing for Body, Mind & Spirit
505 Waltham Street, Suite 2
West Newton, MA 02465