Do you think that there is something wrong with you when you are depressed? Suppose you are depressed because there is something right with you.
Depression And The Aching Heart
What is the message of depression?
Often when we think of depression we think of loss, disappointment and other feelings connected to our external lives. That is actually what it is. John Douillard so eloquently says in his article on depression on the Kripalu website, we operate from our hearts when we are children until someone hurts us and if we are sensitive the hurt is especially grave.
When we are young we are naturally heart centered, which means that we embrace the world and everything in it as our home. Animals operate this way all the time. When we are hurt by others, our heart and real self have been essentially devalued, and we feel an acute sense of loss. The loss we feel is an important one. What we have experienced is an important rejection and a rejection of what is important.
For most people, the rejection results in the creation of their “commercial” self, the self that is what is desired by others. That way we will not inconvenience anyone with our real self. Part of us wants to revolt, and another part of us recognizes that we need others to survive when we are young. And so our mind acts to keep us in a safe, unthreatening place, and we become half of what we could be – at best.
How To Treat Depression With Ayurveda
Ayurveda treats depression differently and in doing so helps highly sensitive people see their symptoms in a different light. As John Douillard says,
“Simply put, depression occurs when a person loses access to the essential Self as a result of this barrier. For a sensitive person, who by definition has more innate access to the heart and soul than most people, to lose this deep access is quite tragic. Fatigue is the first physiological response to a mind that has driven the body into exhaustion in the name of control and self-protection. Anxiety is a result of this exhaustion because the body and mind need energy and reserves to calm themselves down, stabilize moods, and initiate sleep. As the exhaustion persists, the body and mind ultimately become depressed or physiologically exhausted. The good news is that healing the cause of anxiety and depression is not a painful process of endurance and strain; it is a joyful discovery of your true, abiding nature.”
Ayurveda offers meditation, lifestyle support and herbal relief for all forms of illness. The best feature about Ayurveda is that it customizes natural treatments to suit the individual so being highly sensitive is not considered a fault or problem. It also treats the whole person which means you are not always dealing with the consequences of one failed medication after another.
I think it takes courage to allow yourself to feel depressed in a world that demands that you behave otherwise. We are well informed about how much there is to be depressed about. Being depressed lets you listen to your precious inner Self that wants to be heard, that wants to help you live well. Your inner Self is your natural source of protection, you inner and outer guide, your Soul seeking to live fully. Your depression is your natural response to the full living you are being denied for whatever reason. It is a message that you need to go in a different direction.
If depressed HSPs can come to see their depressive symptoms as a call from their true Self, and even their best self, then they may be able to find compassion for their condition and start to gradually welcome that true Self into the world.
Change to a more suitable way of life takes time. It is a gradual process. So respect your depression as a sign that change is necessary. Let your inner knowing speak to you and gently follow it to a new and better place.