January 7, 2015
In all of my years in practice as a life coach and clinical hypnotherapist (27 years), I have met many people who have suffered from some sort of depression. However, the difference between depression onset by a traumatic event, such as a death, or a divorce, or business loss, may go away in due time. But, clinical depression is a malfunction of the chemicals in the brain, so it has no onset, but may be triggered into worse depression with a tragic event. For some people with clinical depression, just like any kind neurological disorder, medication is required to stay afloat and keep a healthy amount of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine functioning in the body.
I remember the day clearly, some thirty years ago, when a psychiatrist told me that I would probably have to be on an antidepressant for the rest of my life. I thought to myself, this can’t be. I do everything that I can to stay healthy, workout, do therapy, stay spiritually grounded… how can I be depressed?
But the truth is that clinical depression has little or nothing to do with you personally. Most times it is inherited. Almost my entire family has some amount of it. It’s like a thyroid problem or weakened eyesight. We don’t blame ourselves for these malfunctions, but most people get very conscious of the stigma of taking an antidepressant. I have had many clients over the years use marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs of choice, but refuse to take an antidepressant. Maybe the stigma of depression was too much for them to face. These days, most antidepressants cost less for a month’s dosage than going out to lunch once.
Recently, I had a major change in my life. Everything was different. And I was grieving a break-up from someone I loved. A few people around me who were close enough to see me when my smiling veneer wasn’t plastered on my face could see that something was wrong. But, my defining moments were two things: I began to fear the things I don’t usually fear, and I had crying spells that seemed to come from nowhere or from minor difficulties. I had a close friend suggest that I go back to the doctors and get checked to see if my dosage was correct. (It hadn’t been changed in 15 years.)
Just thinking about going back to a place who diagnosed me of having this lifelong illness was traumatic. But, I knew that the friend was right. Almost immediately upon getting my medication adjusted—ever so slightly—I felt like my old self again. Literally, I wake up with a smile on my face as I had been doing until the trauma.
I’m not saying that every depressive bout needs a drug to take it away. Processing your grief is important, and I will continue to look at my grief and listen to my heart about how to deal with it. But taking an antidepressant to make me feel normal enough to cope with the grief was an important step to recovery.
Periodically, I like to remind people who suffer from depression that they are okay. Really, no one is judging you for having a clinical problem. In fact, if they are judging you, you have no room in your life for someone like that. More importantly, the only person’s opinions you should consider greatly are your own. You can’t control anyone else’s opinions, so you might as well get used to creating your own sense of security and truth. Life will treat you with the respect that you give yourself—always!
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Chosen to show his new hypnotherapeutic techniques on The Learning Channel (TLC) and also given the opportunity to teach at the world conference for Learning, and received the award of excellence for Helping Overcome Obesity in Nashville, Bo Sebastian is the writer and director of Finding Authentic You and Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warrior. Go directly to Amazon/Amazon Kindle to buy any of his wonderfully inspired books: ]