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How to Break Through Depression

By Brenda Wade PhD

Audio Sample

Depression is like a cloud of fog that surrounds you, limiting you from seeing all things around you such as happiness, support, and love. Let Dr. Brenda Wade help clear the fog so you can see the sunshine again.

Track bwd01 - Depression: a Hero’s Journey
Dr. Wade’s view is not the typical idea that depression is just a mental illness we need to treat with medication. It is her view that everything we face on our life journey is there because it will help us to grow. This holistic approach to depression is powerful, effective and scientifically based. There is a way to make your existing program and treatment of depression more effective by bringing in this holistic attitude that we are more than just the brain. We can impact depression with other strategies that are physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual that have been proven to help treat depression and in many cases prevent depression. We are all on a hero’s journey that is going to have challenges. Everyone has experienced this challenge of depression; it seems to be quite universal. We will share with you heroic stories that we all live and how this hero’'s journey is about us overcoming those stumbling blocks and turning them into stepping stones so we can be bigger, better, more loving and more accepting versions of ourselves. You will be offered tools and insights into ways to cope with and break through so you can begin to make changes and feel better. Remember those heroes in mythical stories? No one went into battle without a shield, a sword, or comrades. It is an experience not to run from or be afraid of, but to understand and be absolutely prepared so you can take appropriate action to work through depression.
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Track bwd02 - Depression as a Tool (1st Intervention)
Depression can be thought of as three different kinds of feelings - mild, moderate and severe depression. Everything is energy and we can measure energy output from the nervous system and Dr. Wade thinks of depression as a form of energy pressed down — depressed energy. If you look at it that way, it begins to show another way of understanding what is happening when we feel depressed and it points toward what would restore your energy and allow you to lift this energy that is pressing down on you, this root cause of depression. Recognize that you have transcended the pressed down energy of depression during your life and you have within you the tools, wisdom, and the capacity to work through these challenges. You met it with courage and wisdom and you recognized that you were greater, bigger and more powerful than any situation or challenge you were facing. You deserve to recognize your own inner strength, your own persistent determination to keep moving on your life journey. Build on what you have already gotten as an individual; you already know how to cope with life's challenges. Depression is actually a tool you can use, it makes you pay attention, it makes you open that inner safe where you may have locked away feelings, memories, and experiences that need resolution - a part of yourself that needs to grow and be healed. This is a rich opportunity to grow and to learn, to move forward; it's a tool and what a valuable tool it is.
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Track bwd03 - Changing Your Brain Chemistry (2nd Intervention)
It is important to remember that as we move through this series, you will be given simple tools that are very powerful to help you change your brain chemistry. Knowledge is power; the more we understand something, especially something as mysterious as depression, the more likely we can do something to meet and master this challenge. When we think of the four areas of human consciousness — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, we know the greater is the spiritual realm — the part of you that is pure energy and light. By using the practice of chanting, you are actually beginning to reprogram your own brain with new neurological patterns. You know that your brain is impacted; life is a neurological event; there is a chemical change in your brain and you can change it with simple tools like chanting. With chanting, you bring your mind under control so you can stop dark thoughts and stop the obsessive thinking; you stop whatever is going on in your mind. This is the most powerful and simplest tool for creating mental and emotional space and we know that chanting also impacts the body. Use this tool over and over whenever you need it. Remember to visualize the Light, remember to feel the Light, remember that you are that Light, you are Energy — that's what "human" means — light being.
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Track bwd04 - Genogram, Behavioral Inheritance
Dr. Wade shows you how to create a genogram so you can see the patterns of not dealing with feelings that have filtered through your family. By looking at your genogram and these underlying historical patterns that we all have, you discover what emotional work didn't get completed that each succeeding generation repeated. All that a child brain can do is absorb what happens; that is why young children imitate whatever they've seen or heard and repeat it. You made decisions as a young child based on what you saw your parents or grandparents do. Those early patterns that our ancestors had became the behavior that we recorded in our young, immature brain. We recorded our parents' feelings; we picked up on cues that they were depressed or upset that we didn't even understand, but they got inside us and now we must go back and discover what might be triggering our own feelings and behaviors. Sketching out the family genogram will help unlock the causes of depression in ourselves and transform these old patterns so you don't pass them forward. The key to changing your life and healing your depression is to understand the journey of your family; all their feelings and behaviors came to rest with you. You don't have to act those feeling out anymore. Turn the key in the lock right now by doing your genogram.
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Track bwd05 - The Cause of Depression
We need to understand how genetics interacts with the genogram — the story of the lives of our ancestors. Genetics mean that we inherit a predisposition, such as a tendency toward depression. This is true anytime there is a genetic transference from one generation to the next. How much is nature (the genetic code) and how much is nurtured (what happens to you after you are born) is an even interaction; often the history and the genogram overlap. This is what causes depression — it is the interaction of the genes which bring about the chemical changes in the brain and interaction with the genogram. We make decisions as children and those decisions get buried deeply in our subconscious. Recognize that you have the power to look at those decisions and change them. Make a power choice — you have the power to make a new choice, to set a new pattern in motion in your life. Choose this new thought even though those who came before had both genetics and situations that created a history of depression in your family that you may have inherited physically, emotionally, mentally, or even spiritually. Know that right here and right now, you have the power to create a successful life, and you can make use of the tools to change the chemistry in your brain, to use your emotions to change your thoughts, and to use the spiritual tools so that you begin to feel better every day.
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Track bwd06 - Your Emotional Immunity
Anytime you face a stressful situation, there are chemical changes occurring in your brain and the body produces cortisol which suppresses those feel good neuro-transmitters. Getting emotional support by talking about what you are feeling does a tremendous amount to lower the levels of cortisol in the blood; you feel better because your brain starts to produce more of the feel good hormones. Talking about what is going on in our lives is one of the simplest, least expensive and one of the most powerful ways to lower cortisol and increase serotonin levels in the brain. Remind yourself that life is a neurological event. Your brain is going to produce the right balance of neuro-chemicals based on how you treat your body and take care of it, how you take care of your emotions, how you master or fail to master your mind, and whether you have some sort of spiritual life. Spirituality is recognition that there is something beyond ourselves, something greater than ourselves that connects all of life, connects all of us, so none of us is truly alone. Join support groups, anything that connects you with others. Community is a strong part of our emotional immunity. Think of your immune system not as something that just happens in our body, but we need an emotional immune system also. Your emotional immunity is critical.

Your heart is not just an organ that pumps blood; this beautiful, physical heart also has emotional capacity; it has emotional memory, emotional sensation. Your heart can feel, it can remember. "My heart knows that I am a worthy and deserving person, my heart knows that it is important for me to put that sense of self-worth into action and to connect heart to heart with those I care for and to allow myself to be cared for." That is the wisdom of the heart. Let your heart be your guide.

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Track bwd07 - The Mental Challenge of Depression
By having a deeper understanding of depression, we are blending science and spirituality. Depression challenges us to be open to help, to support, to love; being aware that the heart has its own information, that it can be a guide and the heart without the head is a very poor guide. It takes the head and the heart working together that we have a power called wisdom. Wisdom is one of the wonderful results we can create when we work through depression. In this session, we focus on the mental challenges and some of the mental tools used in working through depression. The father of cognitive psychology, Dr. Erin Beck's greatest discovery was he noticed people who were experiencing depression had a negative downward spiral of thoughts. By the time the person had thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness with a lot of resentment and anger, that person was experiencing significant depression. In teaching people to speak in an upward spiral in a positive way, cognitive therapy was born. Cognitive therapy simply says that my thoughts and my words must be positive and must align with one another. You can learn to master your mind and it takes careful attention. It was discovered that patterned thoughts called chanting were a very effective way to stop the mind, to keep it busy with positive thoughts. Those who use chanting not only have less depression, they have less anxiety and stronger immune systems. Chanting can even lower blood pressure. Know that you have the power to master your mind and that it is one of the great gifts and challenges of this experience of depression; you can learn to choose your own thoughts and that is truly a gift.
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Track bwd08 - Dealing With Your Emotions
What does emotion have to do with depression? An emotion is always a response to something that gets triggered by a situation or something buried in the subconscious mind. Emotion that is unexpressed creates a weak spot in our emotional, psychological, mental, and physical well being. If there is a situation that is challenging you, that is bringing out feelings of sadness, of grief, of loss or loneliness, there is a 3-part forgiveness process that is very powerful to help you release the emotion of anger and resentment, and it is a wonderful way to deal with the emotion of fear that has gotten embeddeded. It involves forgiving that person or situation for anything that may have hurt you from any time or any space, then asking them to forgive you. The final part is the hardest part - forgiving yourself. You know what you haven’t forgiven yourself for, what you feel guilty or ashamed of; let it go. You can’t afford these emotions; it plunges you into the cold waters of depression. Another powerful tool for working through feelings is to keep a feeling journal and writing down what you feel each day and your understanding of that feeling and where it comes from. Don’t shut your feelings down, don’t run from them; embrace them, accept them, do your forgiveness work, and get those feelings up and out. It's safe to have your feelings and that is one of the secrets to breaking through depression.
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