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Holistic Solutions to Depression

depressed3.jpegIt's interesting that both Western and Eastern systems of traditional medicine associate the liver with the emotion of anger. Depression and anger are closely connected.

Anger is the emotion we experience when we feel threatened and want to fight back to defend ourselves. Depression is what we feel when the situation is hopeless and we don't feel there is any way we can win. In other words, I see these emotions as the flip sides of the same coin—an excess and a deficiency of the same energy.

It's interesting that the organ located under our right rib cage is called the liver. In other words it is the live-er, the center of the drive to live life to its fullest. In many traditional systems of medicine, the liver, not the heart, is seen as the emotional center of the body.

When our life is threatened, the first response of the liver inside us is to fight back, to defend us. That desire generates feelings of irritability and anger. But, when the liver gets battle weary, it wants to give up the fight. It feels overwhelmed and defeated. That situation gives rise to feelings of discouragement and depression.

In fact, the ultimate loss of liver energy is to become so depressed that one is suicidal. Feeling suicidal is feeling the loss of the desire to live, but it is also a form of anger—anger turned inward against the self, instead of outward against an external enemy. This is why I believe that depression is suppressed or underactive liver energy. It is anger turned inward.

Most of the people I've seen who suffer from chronic problems with depression were abused as children. They were severely hurt when they were unable to fight back, and the very people who should have helped protect and defend them were the source of their pain. Since getting angry with an abusive parent only generates more abuse, the anger energy may turn inward and become depression or it may explode in later years by the injured child becoming an adult abuser of others.

However, it doesn't matter whether the factor that is trying to defeat us is an external experience or problem, or internal toxins; the core element is that the body wants to defend itself. If we help the body defend itself in a healthy way, the cause is removed and the problem will be resolved. I don't see drugs accomplishing this, but I do see a well thought-out program of holistic health care being able to offer real solutions.

In summary, I see the following as critical in helping someone overcome depression.

1. You need to strengthen the liver, cleanse the colon and detoxify the body. Mood Elevator or some other herbal Anti-Depressant Formula, used along with a colon cleanse, should help most people. Letting go of all that waste immediately helps a person feel lighter and freer.  You may also need to use remedies to balance the thyroid or reproductive glands.

2. You need to put good food in the body and stop abusing it with chemicals, drugs, alcohol and junk foods. This is a form of self-attack or self-defeating behavior that is a sign that one is turning against one's own body and one's own life. Nourishing oneself is a form of self-care and self-love.

3. The person needs to go inward and find what is emotionally defeating them. I've found flower essences like borage, scarlet monkeyflower and others to be helpful in this process. Keeping a journal about one's feelings can also be helpful. The process involves getting in touch with the repressed anger, allowing oneself to feel it, then releasing it through forgiveness work.

4. Anger dissipates when one learns to set appropriate boundaries in one's life.  To understand this concept better take my Introduction to Emotional Healing Course or read The Heart's Key to Health, Happiness and Success. I explain how to set boundaries in both of these.

Much more could be written about the subject, but suffice it to say that I completely disagree with the way our society as a whole is handling the problem of depression. The above approach really works, but you probably need to seek outside help from a skilled therapist to assist in this process when depression is severe. (And be patient, healing takes time, that's what both pain and depression are trying to do—force us to stop and take the time we need to heal.)