Over the years, I have identified ten core thoughts that always pass through my mind as I build up to a full blown clinical depression. As the depression deepens, the thoughts become more all consuming until finally, they define my mental condition completely. The first five, with some affirmations to try, are:
Mind Trap One: The real reason I’m depressed is my circumstances. When I get my act together again and once these problems are behind me, I’ll feel better. Just about everybody who is clinically depressed goes through some kind of denial about their illness. Especially since depression usually builds over time and is frequently triggered by personal difficulties and challenges. Be watchful as to whether or not you have gone “over an edge” in terms of sadness and hopelessness and pray for assistance and support to see you through.
Affirmation: “I am willing to accept that I can do something about my depressed mood.”
Mind Trap Two: I refuse to be depressed. I am a strong person and will be able to overcome this myself. This illness has nothing to do with whether or not you are a strong person. It is a diagnosable illness of the body and a hurt in the soul. If you had diabetes, you’d take medication to restore your body’s chemical balance. If you were diagnosed with brain cancer, you would consider surgery. If you broke your leg, you would wear a cast until it healed. A spiritual path includes asking God for help when you need it and turning to people when they can help. Don’t hesitate to turn to the medical community and know that, like any other kind of healing, recovering from depression takes time and patience.
Affirmation: “I trust divine guidance to see me through.”
Mind Trap Three: I will never feel good again. I am not getting any better. I am going to be hopelessly depressed for the rest of my life.
One of the symptoms of depression is an overriding hopelessness that seems to have no end. Many people have experienced these same symptoms and are fine today. When you see only a future of despair in front of you, you are probably wrong. You need to hang on, take care of yourself and trust that the future will be different.
Affirmation: “I am willing to open up to change.”
Mind Trap Four: I should be happy and normal…experiencing life the way everyone around me does. What is wrong with me?
Remember, you are not alone. There are 15 to 20 million others in the U.S. who suffer from depression too. When it comes to spiritual development, there is no such thing as “normal.” Here are a few who have inspired us, entertained us, and delighted us with their creativity and accomplishments: Jim Carrey…Winston Churchill… Natalie Cole…Joseph Conrad…Sheryl Crowe… Richard Dreyfus… Anne Hathaway…Billy Joel…Ashley Judd… Olivia Newton John… Rosie O’Donnell and hundreds of others.
Affirmation: “I am not alone in dealing with this illness – there is plenty of support to see me through.”
Mind Trap Five: Depression seems to be a part of who I am. I have always felt things deeply and my personality has a sad side that I can’t seem to change. Your sadness may have taken center stage for now, but it is only temporary. You may feel wounded but you are not fatally so – you have reserves of strength that don’t feel accessible right now, but they will return soon. You soul is much bigger than your current hurt; your strong feelings are also what make you a loving, caring, empathetic person. Choose to think positive thoughts rather than negative ones by training your mind
Affirmation: “I am being divinely guided and my way is made smooth and easy.”