News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace for 2018

Attitiude Reconstruction  


    Dealing with Depression                                                      April 2018  


Jude Bijou 
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  

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Greetings dear ones
Well, spring and daylight saving are finally here. Taxes are filed and we're getting ready to dust off our summer outfits and have some outdoor fun. The birds are singing like there is no tomorrow and draining the seeds that are in the feeders.

In case you or someone you know isn't looking forward to the change of season but rather suffers from depression, I thought it would be good to offer some information and tips about how to deal with this often hidden condition. As you'll see, it's a popular topic for cartoonists. But first... 
A Few Articles of Interest

Lovely photos of 25 styling senior Asian-Americans guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Here's one I just came across. A study shows that too much sitting isn't good for your brain and your memory.

This article gives insight into what it is like for young North Koreans to adjust to South Korea living after having successfully fled from their native home.

Be careful if you decide to go the anti-depressants route. Studies now validate what I've heard from clients and friends about the tough time they have weaning off the stuff.

Videos Guaranteed to Bring a Smile!  

For those of you that enjoy watching inspiring videos, check out these 5 TED talks about how to create optimism.
Here's a cool cat video, of Didga doing unbelievable tricks.

50 Moms and 50 kids with one extra chromosome do a heartwarming carpool karaoke lip-synching to Christina Perri's multi-platinum selling track, "A Thousand Years". 
If you're feeling down, watch these outtakes of a Carol Burnett Show with Tim Conway as cast mates crack up while Tim tells his elephant story.
All cartoons "borrowed" from the Cartoonbank.  

Taking On Depression

According to Dr Vasant Lad, founder of the Ayurvedic Institute of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in Volume XXV, Number 4 of Ayurveda Today, Dr. Lad defines depression as a popular diagnosis characterized by "a loss of pleasure and interest in life... accompanied by a sense of pressure, hollowness or emptiness, and low self-esteem."  We all can feel down sometimes. But when it becomes our dominant attitude, it can feel hard to overcome.

Ayurveda, the science of life, views everything in terms of the play of three elements - Kapha, Pitta, and Vata.  Likewise, Attitude Reconstruction is built on the idea that we have 3 pairs of emotions and that these emotions are at the root of everything we think, feel, speak and act. You can take a short quiz at the Attitude Reconstruction website and determine what emotions are most dominant for you, and thus, what your emotional constitution is.

Our three pairs of emotions correlate with Kapha (sadness), Pitta (anger), and Vata (fear). I thought it would be interesting to share with you the three kinds of depression according to Ayurveda before I offer you my seven suggestions to free oneself of this debilitating condition. I hope you find this as insightful as I do.
Three Types of Depression According to Ayurveda
Kapha correlates with sadness, so if you have a strong sadness constitution, you are probably familiar with these symptoms, which include feeling heavy, sluggish and withdrawn.

Pitta depression is characterized by anger that is taken out on other people as well as on oneself. Maybe you recognize these qualities in yourself when you feel depressed.

The third kind of depression, Vata, is characterized by fear, anxiety, and restlessness, and mood swings. If fear is your most dominant emotion, you might be familiar with some of these symptoms.

Seven Ways to Lift Depression

There are concrete actions you can take. I know this because I've worked with people who believed their depression would never lift, and I've seen them take action to turn the corner and find the peace, love, and joy they'd been yearning for.
There is hope. You can dig yourself out of this over or under whelming feeling. Here are seven ways to do it.

1. Reach out to someone safe for support. Don't be alone with your feelings of hopelessness. You only have one perspective: yours. Two heads really are better than one, and other people can help you find new opportunities, solutions, and insights that you might not have otherwise seen. There's always someone out there--a family member, friend, counselor, or support group--ready to listen. Sometimes it's easier to seek support from a stranger, and that's exactly what community hotlines are good for.
2. Be open to medication. Don't judge yourself for needing help. Depression can deplete your energy and erode your health. It's a very real, physical condition, and there's no shame in admitting you can't heal yourself. Medication may help at times like this--even if it's short-term, to get you through some rough times. When you're feeling really bad, it's good to consult a doctor to determine if medication might help you manage these intense, down feelings that don't seem to lift. And know it might take trying out several before you find one that works for you.
3. Focus on specifics and take little doable steps. Don't lump all your woes together. This is called globalizing, and it will cause you to feel overwhelmed. Try not to use words like "always," "never," and "everything," as in, "I always get into this fix, and it never works out. Everything in my life is a total mess." You'll only sink deeper into despair. Instead, deal with one challenge at a time.

Write down specific issues you're bummed about: relationship, job, death, made a mistake, health, not having friends, no money, etc. This will enable you to deal with one specific loss, hurt, regret, injustice, violation, or threat at a time. It may take some time, but the progress you make in one area will help in other troublesome areas.
4. Don't dismiss your emotions as unimportant. When you deny your emotions, you start to create blocks that will deplete you. Soon you'll be spending all of your energy trying to act different from how you really feel--and avoiding the sadness, fear, and anger that is trapped inside of you.

Get that emotional energy out of your body physically (even if it feels like the last thing you want to do) by crying, pounding, and shivering. Make sounds to voice your emotions. If you're crying about a loss, say "Good-bye!" to what you lost while you cry or just say "I feel sad." For feelings of anxiety, shiver while saying, "I'm feeling scared." Acknowledge your rightful anger by pounding the heck out of something inanimate, like a mattress, while just making sounds (like growling, for example) or saying, "I feel so angry!" You'll feel so much better.
5. Wage a battle against downer thoughts. Don't let
negative thoughts go unchallenged. Practice interrupting old spin and stretch your brain to find something positive from every interaction. Take control over downer thoughts, such as "There's no hope" or "Life is bleak."

Interrupt and replace future-oriented thoughts by repeating a statement such as, "Be here now. I don't know the future. What's one positive thing I can do for myself today/right now?" Quickly replace thoughts of unworthiness with "I'm doing the best I can. I'm a good person. I'm whole and complete. My job is to take care of myself."
6. Abandon "waiting." Don't wait for someone to rescue you. Pulling yourself out of despair can't happen until you acknowledge that you need to take action. Behavioral and emotional change has to start with you.

Work to give up unfounded hopes or waiting for others to change. Write down all the things you wish were different, then take the first statement and put before it, "I give up all hope that..."For example, "I give up all hope that my parents will ever understand me," or "I give up all hope that my boyfriend will be faithful." Keep repeating the statement, constructively express any anger or sadness that arises, interrupt destructive thinking, and focus on what you are saying. Soon you'll be able to see what's true for you and what's in your control to do right now about each item.
7. Refocus on connecting to yourself. Don't judge yourself harshly. It may have taken many months or years of accumulated disappointments, missteps, and life circumstances to get to the state of despair in which you find yourself.

Ask yourself, "What's my purpose? What are my goals?" Keep asking daily. Write your answers. Persist until you come up with ones that resonate as true. Then remind yourself of your goals and purpose daily. Set out a series of small steps to get to your goal and just do one or two little steps daily.
Concluding Remarks

In addition to these seven Attitude Reconstruction strategies, Dr. Lad and Ayurvedic medicine recommend several other practical suggestions that are helpful to overcome feeling depressed. Worthy of mention is to get up early and watch the morning sun. (The dominance of pink, orange, and golden colored rays increase feelings of happiness, joy, and creativity,) Furthermore, don't stay alone all the time, get up and be active. Also, do regular spiritual practices, such as yoga, pranayama (regulated breathing), and meditation. And finally eat fresh foods and avoid negative behaviors that can promote depression. (This means avoiding smoking, alcohol, drugs, staying up late at night, fasting, and frequent sexual activities.)
Recovering from feeling depressed is not out of your reach once you decide you want to feel differently and start to implement some of these suggestions. Start small. The prognosis is good if you do your part to heal.

Hey Jude!
What if I've tried everything but still often feel like life isn't worth living?
If you've genuinely made an effort to try these suggestions but continue to feel stuck, hopeless, and helpless, please reach out to someone trustworthy and seek professional assistance. Persist in your search to find a good health-care professional who you can talk to honestly and who seems to understand you and your particular situation.
        I'm sending you best wishes for a lovely spring and summer.  
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                           With love,