Barbara on Healing "Depression" or Sadness

There’s a big difference between being depressed and being sad. When we grieve, sadness overtakes us and rules our life for quite a while. But there is movement in our "depression" when we grieve our losses in a healthy way, with safe and supportive people.

Eventually we move through sadness and make meaning out of our loss. When I am depressed, I am numb and there is no movement. I have what’s called "stuck grief." Over the years I have worked with many people who have been told that they are "depressed," and in most cases they had losses to grieve. When they identified and worked through their grief, their "depression" lifted.

Our societies used to make room for the grieving process. We had periods of time where we were supported on many levels by our group. Now, grieving has been reduced to a few days off work and then back to business as usual. Rather than honor healthy grieving, our society, as exemplified by drug companies, has convinced us that we are depressed and that drugs will relieve our pain. Prescription drugs only put our grief work on "hold" where it will remain until we stop the drugs and let go into feeling the pain.

It takes courage to face our losses, but from that process can come new ways of being that are our gift.

If you have been labeled or feel that you are "depressed," you could consider whether or not you may have loss or grief that needs to be addressed. I talk more about depression and sadness in my book, The Natural Soul and my husband, Charles Whitfield, M.D., talks at length about it in his books, The Truth About Depression and The Truth About Mental Illness.

I wish you the best in your quest to heal your sadness and grief. It can be done. I help others to discover how to make that happen and, because I see their success, I can assure you that there is hope.

What have your experiences been with healing depression or sadness?

Click the word "comments," below, and share your thoughts.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,

I suffered from depression for a long time. It's been since I was a teenager. A few years ago I read one of your husband's books and found out that the medicines I was taking were keeping me from feeling and getting better. That was a revelation. I'd been on lots of antidepressants for a long time and just felt like I would never get better. It was like I was stuck and I dreaded getting out of bed.

So I found a new therapist who knew about sadness and grief work and I was able to work on my grief and loss and was able to get off of the medicines. It hasn't been easy, but I grieve my losses now and, even though I get sad now and then, I don't stay sad and depressed and I don't feel like it will never end.

Thanks you both for the good news.
Janie Lee Mets