Updated: Apr 25, 2019
I've really ummed and ahhed about putting this out there. But, this is me.
Pick the odd one out..
Someone who likes pink?
Someone wearing a white jumper?
Someone who is is smiling?
It is sunny where she is?
ANSWER: I am smiling but I was actually manic. 24 hours later I went to bed and didn't leave the house for two days.
All the signs, for me, had been there - but I chose to ignore them. It was Easter holidays and we had lots planned. I didn't want to let my kids down.
But, in fact I made it worse.
My worst depression was during my 20's, just as I had arrived in London. I remember at the time saying to an ex-boyfriend that I didn't know if I was depressed because I drank, or I drank because I was depressed. But that was the most I ever said out loud.
I felt it would be a stigma to voice these times of despair. In fact, I think I still feel that stigma. Mental health makes me feel like I am not a complete person. That I am not capable. It makes me feel guilty, because "why should I be depressed"?
It has been really interesting, as part of our course, to examine the type of practitioner we want to be. It was during this time I heard and read about the concept of a Wounded Healer. The idea that practitioners themselves have wounds that consciously/unconsciously then lead them to professions where they can then heal. Alison Barr has done an amazing study on this in which she found that
"73.9% of respondents believe that one or more psychologically wounding experience(s) inspired them to become a counsellor or psychotherapist"
I think, to be the best practitioner I can be, I want to acknowledge my experience with depression. I need to be aware of my own needs and triggers so that I make sure that this does not interfere with my patients needs.
Things that have worked for my depression, and I need to constantly work on to maintain brain health.
My periods can be linked to my depression. Since studying acupuncture that has seemed to make more sense. I bleed heavily for 3 days, but my period is close to 14 days in total. If I'm losing that much Blood (which is stamped by the Heart, which houses the Mind (Shen)) then of course it makes sense that my Mind is not where it should be. I try and eat blood building foods e.g. red meat and Chinese red dates. I also take Spatone throughout the month. I need to do more research in to the blood building foods (I think offal is meant to be good).
Acupuncture really helps ground me.
Qi gong has been really helpful and breath exercises. In Jill Blakeway's book she offers a number of different breath exercises which were a fantastic find. This article by The Chalkboard also gives some simple exercises at the end.
I'm giving Seed cycling a go. I'll keep you posted on the results of that (below for pictures of what you do)
I require walking in solitude (well my dogs always come). It is as essential to me as eating. It allows me time to be calm and go through my feelings.
I am virtually tee-total now.
My experience of depression is that I believe it will always be a silent and invisible backpack I carry around. But I do know the triggers, I just need to acknowledge them in time and make sure I prioritise my own self care during those times.
Thank goodness I have an acupuncture appointment soon.
If you have any thoughts/questions or tips please feel free to send through.