Michael Byrne, ND, MA
Psychotherapist, Naturopathic Physician
Seattle Healing Arts Center
6300 9th Ave. NE, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98115 [map]
(206) 428-2067

Depression


Do you find yourself wondering if this is what life is really about? Do you feel like you’ve somehow lost your way? Does it seem like there is no way forward? Is it a challenge to even get out of bed some days? Perhaps things have just gotten so crazy or painful that it all seems hopeless. Don’t give up! There is always a way. When depression gets a hold of us, it can make us feel and think that there is no way to make our situation better or bearable. That simply is not true. As long as we are still breathing, there is always something we can do to make things better. In fact, there are usually many things we can do, but in the thick of a depressed state it can be tough to see them, or think they will make a difference. Help is closer than you might think.

For starters, self-help books can be extremely effective in helping people heal from many types of mental and emotional challenges. You’ll need to be sure you truly read the book and do the exercises at the end of each chapter, of course, but it can be every bit as effective as seeing a therapist.

If you feel that you would rather get help from a live person, there are many ways to go. Many different kinds of professions can be helpful. Take some time to think about what kinds of approaches you are interested in. What are you willing to do in order to help yourself. Are you interested in exploring your emotions and thoughts, addressing your diet, finding a spiritual approach or a medical perspective?  Don’t worry if you are not sure what would be best, you can change your mind as you go forward. This is just a place to begin. Next you need to find a provider you feel comfortable with. Read the following article for or advice on finding the right practitioner.

I have worked with people in extreme states of hopelessness as well as those who have had a low level of dissatisfaction in life for a long time. I have walked with people as they explore the dark places, and passed through to find light again. Sometimes it is not an easy journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. As we face and conquer our demons, we begin to gain confidence and some hope. If you have lost faith in yourself, I will lend you some of mine. Because I have faith in you. I have faith in the healing power of Nature. What heals us is ultimately beyond any of us, and it is also something that is right there within us. It is hidden at times, but can be uncovered with the help and presence of another person or people. And so by joining together, we can generate healing for each of us.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. And here’s a little secret about the number one antidepressant (actually it’s quite well known and researched). It is exercise. Yes. Exercise has been shown again and again to be one of the most effective antidepressants that exists. Here’s a way to think about it. Depression is like putting on the brakes in life. Well, if you go out and exercise, you are now stepping on the gas instead. Following that analogy, getting out and doing anything is a way of taking your foot off the brakes and starting to press on the gas. Sure, sometimes we need to put on the brakes, slow down, and go within. But if you are finding that you are beginning to make a home of that brake pedal, then switch it up. It really doesn’t matter too much what you do (although you should skip the bar or other unhealthy habits), just that you do something. Go buy a present for someone you love. Mow the lawn. Buy some fresh vegetables. Go for a walk. Just get moving. If you can break a sweat while you do it, all the better. Just get moving.

May your hope be renewed, again and again.