The underlying theme in my approach to healing in depression is: G.E.T. Healthy! This is about healing in depression or overcoming oppression from symptoms.
The G.E.T. acronym encompass what I identify are three progressive stages to healing, or in other words, to overcoming depressive symptoms: “G” stands for Gain knowledge, “E” stands for Establish perspective, and “T” stands for Take action!
G.E.T. Healthy! Stage 1: Gain knowledge
In my personal experience, the first stage to healing in depression requires leveraging the power of knowledge. It is my belief that the more we learn about this disorder and its debilitating symptoms, the more effective we can be in dealing with them, and eventually overcoming their oppressive forces.
- defining what depression is and what it is not
- acknowledging what I call the “grey area” of depression
- identifying the many causes of depression
- understanding the symptoms of depression
G.E.T. Healthy! Stage 2: Establish perspective
In my experience, establishing perspective is the second progressive stage in the healing process. It requires leveraging the knowledge gained in the first stage in order to help establish a proactive and responsible process of thinking in this second stage of my G.E.T. Healthy! approach.
Key focus: to establish and adopt in our thinking, three fundamental beliefs about this disorder and our own personal circumstances:
Perspective #1: Depression is a place that has a way out.
- The purpose of this perspective is to not only establish a conceptual understanding of what it is like living with depression, but to establish a condition of hope in this disorder. In my approach, adopting this first perspective is critical to overcoming depressive symptoms because unless we are able to replace this conceptual ‘dark place’ in depression with a perspective with defined features, it will in my opinion, remain a dark, mysterious place with no conceivable way out.
Perspective #2: Your circumstances are not the worst case.
- The purpose of this perspective is to establish what one might consider by today’s standards, a “worst case” scenario in depression, or in other words, an extreme standard for suffering against which we can measure our own depressive experience. The extent of our physical, emotional and spiritual suffering associated with depression is relative and individual, and in the absence of something comparable to relate our suffering to, we may perceive our challenges to be larger than what they truly are. And in a contaminated mindset, we may even perceive them to be larger than life itself.
Perspective #3: You possess the freedom to choose.
- The purpose of this perspective is to learn how to leverage the last of the human freedoms, a fundamental principle that is introduced in Perspective #2 above. I believe that this is the single most important principle to leverage before we can truly liberate ourselves from the debilitating symptoms of depression.
G.E.T. Healthy! Stage 3: Take Action
In my experience, the third stage to overcoming depressive symptoms is taking action. Gaining knowledge in Stage 1, and establishing proactive and responsible perspectives in Stage 2, prepares us mentally for the third and final stage of the G.E.T. Healthy approach to healing in depression.
I identify 7 action steps that lead up and out of my conceived “deep well of depression”:
- Defibrillate your mental illness
- Get help
- Forgive yourself
- Create a goal to look forward to
- Exercise to alleviate symptoms
- Embrace the good in your life
- Give back and help others.