Healing Depression and PTSD, Part 1
The constantly recurring question in the minds of those who are even just a little bit depressed, has got to be, “Why Do I feel like this?” And then, immediately following that, “What’s wrong with me?”
Now I’m not a doctor so I am not going to say that severe clinical depression is not a matter of brain chemistry getting out of whack.
I can also see that medication can be very helpful to people who are suffering this debilitating condition. No doubt about it.
But is the glitch in brain chemistry the cause or the effect? Surely there has to be a reason why our brain is producing chemicals that make us feel like we are not worth anything, we’re a total failure and that life is not worth living?
It’s not like there is a depression germ that you catch. It arises from within. But from where? What causes it? And, what is the remedy?
It seems clear to me from my experience with people who come to my workshops suffering from depression, that it has its origins in childhood wounds and traumas suffered in any stage of life.
I believe, too, that depression is our mind giving us a very strong message to radically heal the repressed and suppressed memories of those events and to deal with the emotions linked to them. And that, if we heed that message using Radical Forgiveness therapy, the depression goes away.
The high rate of suicide among soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an indication of how overwhelming trauma can be.
Who wouldn’t be traumatized, being shot at all the time and threatened by bombs and roadside IEDs that might take off your legs and arms?
The unrelenting emotional pain and the feeling of helplessness, self-recrimination, anger and guilt that goes along with it, even after arriving back home, is so great that for some at least, suicide must seem to be the only way to find peace.
That they should see this as the only way out makes me very sad, because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Radical Forgiveness Therapy will enable them to heal and get on with life.
This is why I am offering any veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars who is suffering in this way, to attend my upcoming Radical Self-Forgiveness/Self-Acceptance Workshop, March 13-15, at half price. (To register, call 1-972-202-9926.)
Of course, there are many ways, other than war, in which we can become traumatized, especially when we are children.
Trauma is caused by events that destroy our sense of security, and/or our trust in everyone around us and even threaten our lives. It can be caused by a one-time event like a natural disaster or a violent attack. Sexual abuse is almost always traumatic.
Trauma can also come from being in an ongoing, highly stressful situation, such as living with an abusive, dysfunctional family, living in a crime-ridden area or fighting a cancer diagnosis.
The sudden death of a loved one can be very traumatic, too, and can throw a person into depression especially if the grief is suppressed.
We all use natural defense mechanisms like denial, suppression or repression of the emotional pain to help us cope with the shock and the fear experienced in traumatic situations.
But if they become permanent, we store up trouble for ourselves. The price we pay for not dealing with the pain is inevitably things like depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, addiction and other behavioural problems.
At the Institute for Radical Forgiveness Therapy and Coaching, we have found over the years that depression yields to the Radical Forgiveness and Radical Self-Forgiveness/Self-Acceptance process very quickly
Bringing the memories and the feelings of guilt, anger, resentment and fear attached to the trauma to the surface and transforming it in the way we do at the workshops does the trick most of the time. Even if you need to take medication to keep you functional, Radical Forgiveness should be at least part of your protocol.
In next week’s blog, I will explain in more detail exactly how we work with people with depression and PTSD. Stay tuned.