Category Archives: Depression

Are You Being Gaslighted? 

5 Tips For Empaths To Prevent Anxiety And Depression

By Amateo Ra| Empaths have now been scientifically proven to be more prone to anxiety, especially social anxiety, as well as depression. To be an Empath means you have the intuitive ability to interpret other’s emotions. However, while interpreting these others emotions, it’s very easy to take them on and let them affect you negatively. Soon, anxiety and depression set in, and life gets way harder than it needs to be. Here’s how to prevent that vicious cycle.

Being Empathic means you have a very powerful gift, the ability to feel what other people feel and use that emotion for good. This can make you a better communicator, a proactive humanitarian, proficient at marketing or simply support you in being a person who naturally understands others needs and feelings.

All gifts that we possess as humans come with great responsibility. Being an Empath is no different.

So, what’s your responsibility? To move through the emotion that gets bottled up in your body.

Since we were children most of us were told to stop crying, be quiet, sit still and shut-up. When we expressed our emotions, we were told to cut it out. Years of this behavior leads to us stifling our natural expression, and in time we become disconnected from our True Selves.

While everyone needs to express their Emotions, Empaths have a much greater responsibility than others? Why? Well, they aren’t just processing their emotions, they are processing others emotions as well.

As an Empath, here are several big tips which will truly support you in preventing anxiety and depression, as well as make great progress in living a happy, healthy & fulfilling life.

1) Create Movement

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I was once told that the majority of people have a backlog of unintegrated emotions and life experiences. The primary reason for that backlog? Emotional constipation.

People simply aren’t giving themselves permission to healthily channel and express the emotions that need to move through their bodies. There is a compounding effect to this emotional constipation. Once layer after layer of social anxiety and depression stack up on top of each other and are programmed into our mind & body, life becomes a constantly threatening avalanche of downward spirals.

The solution? To Express Emotion = Energy in Motion

We have to be willing to actually live our lives, and that starts by being brave enough to feel. Ever notice when a friend of yours who is depressed stays in bed watching dramatic movies or tv endlessly. Why? Well, they are secretly craving the emotional expression they are witnessing others have.

There are two ways to approach this. Create motion in your life by exercising, going on adventures or simply mixing up the monotony of your daily life. The other way is to literally practice creating a safe space to express your emotions, which I talk about in the next tip…

2) Practice Catharsis

The actual very definition of Catharsis is the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. It’s worth sharing this is a scientific, psychological understood principle, not just pseudo-spiritual science bs.

Here’s the thing: Repressed Emotions  = De-Pression

The more repressed emotions you are dealing and contending with, the much greater likelihood that you’ll be dealing with depression. The Cure = Expression

Catharsis can happen naturally or can be provoked. Anytime you are crying, screaming, shaking or even lots of laughing, you are releasing. The idea is to become more comfortable at releasing. One way to do that is to provoke catharsis and emotional release.

When I do this, I like to have a private space all to myself. Sometimes it’s in the car, bathtub or alone in my room. I like to cleanse the space and say a little intention. Then I start shaking, tapping pressure points (EFT), and simply start allowing my emotions to rise up and move through my body. Sometimes I weep or get really angry, experience immense joy, and usually it’s a combination of it all. Try it for yourself!

3) Talk to Your Emotions

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Did you know there is something called Emotional Literacy? Literally, there is an entire science developed to the ability to understand, interpret and relate to your feelings. In fact it was listed in as one of the core competencies in the book “Know Yourself.”

So here’s a big secret.  There is a firm limit on how far you can evolve spiritually and within your personal development if you’re not emotionally literate. This is especially important for empaths, as you aren’t just navigating your own emotional landscape, but you navigating everyone else’s as well. Better to have a map than be lost in the great watery depths.

Once you can identify and get to know your own feelings and emotions, you can start to create a dialogue. It could like like this:

“I feel angry & upset…Hmm, this is trying to show me something.
Anger, what are you trying to show me?
Oh, that I feel secretly sad. Why am I sad?
Oh, I am missing something..
What’s missing?
I am not getting enough time to be creative in my own space.
I need to be alone and be creative.
How do I feel? Better now. I’ll create that space tonight.”

You’ll be amazed at how much you can receive by simply creating a dialogue and asking questions to yourself.

4) Keep a Clear Container

Often our external reality can reflect our internal World. What we are feeling inside can manifest outward in our lives.  As an empath, you must be extra careful with this, as if you are taking on other’s emotions and internalizing them, then you can be seeing other people’s emotions governing your life.

Anxiety can easily come about when we are worried or uneasy about something, especially in the future. Often, this has to do to how we are relating with the natural uncertainty we have in our lives, which can lead to us feeling out of control.

To prevent these bouts of anxiety, consider the what things you are in control of….your internal self and your surroundings. So keep your internal & external space clean, clear & organized!

I start each day with cleaning my room and house, it symbolizes the inner-cleanliness I am working to maintain in my mind, body and heart. Whether the container is you or your own space, you’ll be so surprised how keeping things well maintained, can truly support keeping you level-headed.

5) Ask for Help & Energetic Support

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Lastly, and often most important of all, ask for help. As an empath, it’s not just negative emotion that you are sensitive to picking up. I’d even dare say positive emotion is much more highly infectious.

To prevent anxiety and depression, become familiar with the triggers of when you feel like it’s creeping in. And when you barely start to experience that trigger, that’s exactly when you want to ask for help.

Remember, help comes in a lot of forms. For instance, calling your friend to let them know you feel an emotional funk coming on and you want some positive energy to uplift your spirits, so you go on a hike together. Boom, depression averted, and you go spend time in nature, which is a one of the best tools to prevent and treat depression and anxiety.

Also, as an empath, you are going to be extra-sensitive to energetic support, so remember you can call on your friends to send you prayers and blessings, and you can soak up that good energy to break through those walls.

Here’s to the upwards Spirals of You as an Empathic Super Hero!

About the authorAmateo Ra is a Conscious Entrepreneur & Business Coach, supporting others build thriving brands & products to support humanity ascend to higher levels of existence. Amateo is also the founder of Creator Course, an Online School & Publisher for Conscious Living which is currently being built.

Fifty Shades of Grey?

Dee02_135x150Fifty Shades of Reality,

Through the eyes of someone who has lived it 

By Dee Roman

Fifty Shades of Grey is not reality.

I spent 22 years working in the sex industry, 14 of which were spent solely as a Dominatrix. So, I feel like I am an expert on a subject most people only narrowly understand, if at all.

While Fifty Shades is “entertainment”, the danger is that it is enticing people to join a dark world in which they know nothing about. And it is inviting women to do it as a sexual slave under the guise of finding Mr. Wrong and turning him into Mr. Right.

The reality of the S&M (Sadism and Masochism) world is this, when you are someone’s slave, you give them COMPLETE power over you. The nature of the relationship is that the dominant person controls you and punishes you whenever they wish. They find your limits and push you past them.

imagesYou are not whisked off in jets and helicopters like some sort of celebrity who has won a prize. You are beaten and stuck in cages and dungeons. You are handcuffed and whipped until your skin bleeds and then when your master makes you beg for more, you are pushed beyond your limits of pain and left in a little ball on the floor. BROKEN! There is no mercy, there is no makeup artist, YOU have no control.

The truth is, some people like to feel pain.

I did a documentary a few years ago and one of the questions I was asked was why do people seek out pain? In my experience there are six main reasons why.

  1. LOSS: Some people have experienced so much loss and betrayal in life that they no longer feel anything. They are literally numb. Like all of us they are looking to belong and be loved. The only thing they can feel is PAIN. So the person who offers them pain is the one they love.
  2. ABUSE: Some people are taught from a very early age that pain IS love. Abuse from a parent or sibling that has never been addressed confuses the person. They have been taught that love equals pain. So if someone causes you pain, they must love you. This person will literally look for reasons to be punished so that they feel more loved.
  3. CONTROL A: Someone who was sexually abused may look to being a dominant so that they can work through their control issues. Being raped or sexually abused causes constant feelings of loss of control. In order to gain some sort of control over their life they choose to be the one (The Dominatrix) who gives the pain. The one who does the raping. Although it is technically not raping someone if they pay you to do it.
  4.  CONTROL B: People who have a lot of power often end up abusing it. Money usually comes with power and the person gets a sense of not being able to hear the word no. They treat everyone around them poorly. Deep inside they know what they are doing is wrong and they seek out a dominant. Someone they can pay to punish them for how hateful they are to everyone else. Someone who will make them hear the word NO! and enforce it.
  5. MONEY: Some people do it just for the money. In the S&M world these people don’t last long because they run into people who will happily break them and realize that no amount of money is worth the abuse they have just received. Still I will never forget the words of one of my slaves when I asked her why she liked to be abused. She said, “Sometimes it’s just easier to lie there and take a beating.”
  6. BOREDOM: Lets face it, people get bored easily. Everyone wants to try the new and improved trendy way of, well everything. You want to add a little spice to your sex life so you go out and buy some handcuffs. Next thing you know you are at swingers party with your husband and then divorced.

I think it is very dangerous to glamorize this lifestyle. Women and more importantly, young girls may entire this dark world thinking they will find their Mr. Grey and nothing could be further from the truth.

What they may find is that they are whisked away to a house and stuck in a room, never to see the light of day again. They will be forced to have sex with upwards of 20 men a day and when they are all used up, they will either be tossed to the side of the road, or get a bullet in their brain.

I know these words are hard to swallow, but this is the reality of the S&M world. Not the whole reality, because quite frankly, you couldn’t handle the whole truth; the truth that some people enjoy being hung by hooks that have pierced their skin and oh so much more. However, I hope it is enough to open your eyes to the fact that this is NOT a glamorous world where the girl gets whisked away by the rich and powerful man for a happily ever after. That she somehow changes him. That he falls in love with her and changes his wicked ways. The world of S&M is very black and white, there is not room for 50 shades of gray.

book signing treasures copyDee Roman

Author, Coach, Motivational Speaker

Bio: Dee Roman is an author, coach and motivational speaker.  She is an avid story teller and uses her natural gift of encouragement to help people overcome insurmountable obstacles.  She believes in miracles because she is one! Nearly five years ago, Dee walked into Oasis Church deeply scarred from her life in the sex industry and a  30-year drug addiction.  It was there she came face to face with the truth: she was valued by God and had a purpose. Dee dove head first into her recovery process and started attending a variety of recovery programs, The Bondage Breakers, Celebrate Recovery, Grief Recovery and a pirate support group for ex sex industry workers, run by the Treasures Ministry in Los Angeles.  She was surrounded by love and found the courage to work through her healing so that she could use her story to help others heal. Dee has coached survivors of sex trafficking at the Los Angeles Dream Center’s Project Hope.  She is currently mentoring several women from Treasures who are transitioning out of the sex industry.  Dee also teaches The Grief Recovery Method at Oasis Church.  Read Dee’s Story. – See more at: http://iamatreasure.com/ourevents/speakers-bios/#sthash.iZKiOL8M.1tYPBFA1.dpuf

– See more at: http://iamatreasure.com/2015/02/fifty-shades-of-reality-through-the-eyes-of-someone-who-has-lived-it/#sthash.kNHmFTsM.eoshCmys.dpuf

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered

by Johann Hari

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned — and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs, to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong — and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.

If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We will have to change ourselves.

I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels. From the surviving friends of Billie Holiday, who helped me to learn how the founder of the war on drugs stalked and helped to kill her. From a Jewish doctor who was smuggled out of the Budapest ghetto as a baby, only to unlock the secrets of addiction as a grown man. From a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who was conceived when his mother, a crack-addict, was raped by his father, an NYPD officer. From a man who was kept at the bottom of a well for two years by a torturing dictatorship, only to emerge to be elected President of Uruguay and to begin the last days of the war on drugs.

I had a quite personal reason to set out for these answers. One of my earliest memories as a kid is trying to wake up one of my relatives, and not being able to. Ever since then, I have been turning over the essential mystery of addiction in my mind — what causes some people to become fixated on a drug or a behavior until they can’t stop? How do we help those people to come back to us? As I got older, another of my close relatives developed a cocaine addiction, and I fell into a relationship with a heroin addict. I guess addiction felt like home to me.

If you had asked me what causes drug addiction at the start, I would have looked at you as if you were an idiot, and said: “Drugs. Duh.” It’s not difficult to grasp. I thought I had seen it in my own life. We can all explain it. Imagine if you and I and the next twenty people to pass us on the street take a really potent drug for twenty days. There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.

One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments — ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexandernoticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was — at the same time as the Rat Park experiment — a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers — according to the same study — simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in the book.)

When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense — unless you take account of this new approach.

Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right — it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them — then it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.

But here’s the strange thing: It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected.

If you still believe — as I used to — that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, this makes no sense. But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts. Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find — the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me — you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.

But still, surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology.

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism — cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about The Cause of Addiction lying with chemical hooks is, in fact, real, but only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the one-hundred-year-old war on drugs. This massive war — which, as I saw, kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool — is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction — if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction — then this makes no sense.

Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. For example, I went to a prison in Arizona — ‘Tent City’ — where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (‘The Hole’) for weeks and weeks on end to punish them for drug use. It is as close to a human recreation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. And when those prisoners get out, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record — guaranteeing they with be cut off even more. I watched this playing out in the human stories I met across the world.

There is an alternative. You can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts to reconnect with the world — and so leave behind their addictions.

This isn’t theoretical. It is happening. I have seen it. Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them — to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

One example I learned about was a group of addicts who were given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other, and to the society, and responsible for each other’s care.

The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass — and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.

This isn’t only relevant to the addicts I love. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s — “only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live — constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. Bruce Alexander — the creator of Rat Park — told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery — how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.

Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention — tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives. But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction — and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever — to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t.

When I returned from my long journey, I looked at my ex-boyfriend, in withdrawal, trembling on my spare bed, and I thought about him differently. For a century now, we have been singing war songs about addicts. It occurred to me as I wiped his brow, we should have been singing love songs to them all along.

The full story of Johann Hari’s journey — told through the stories of the people he met — can be read in Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, published by Bloomsbury. The book has been praised by everyone from Elton John to Glenn Greenwald to Naomi Klein. You can buy it at all good bookstores and read more at www.chasingthescream.com.

Johann Hari will be talking about his book at 7pm at Politics and Prose in Washington DC on the 29th of January, at lunchtime at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on the 30th January, and in the evening at Red Emma’s in Baltimore on the 4th February.

The full references and sources for all the information cited in this article can be found in the book’s extensive end-notes.

If you would like more updates on the book and this issue, you can like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chasingthescream

 

Hidden Depression

11 Habits of People With Concealed Depression 

There will be two main types of people reading this blog: those finding themselves better equipped to understand some of the people they love and those who see their own reflections in these habits. Depression often goes unseen, unrecognized, and undiagnosed. A person with concealed depression is someone who is conditioned to deal with their inner demons in a way that doesn’t make them clearly visible. They may or may not be diagnosed, and this may or may not be something they’ve shared with even their closest of companions. The problem is that the world becomes darkest when we all stop being able to understand each other. We tend to believe that hardship is worn openly upon one’s chest like a battle scar, but many of these wounds do not easily reveal themselves to those that do not take the time to look.

1. They may intentionally make efforts to appear OK and maybe even seem exponentially happy and upbeat.
The idea that those with depression all have one similarly dreary personality is false. Depression is more than just a mood. Those who live with depression have learned to alter their apparent moods, and may even be some of the most seemingly “happy” people that you know. Personalities can vary. Often those with depression try to stick with the positive and public parts of their demeanor regardless of what they’re going through on the inside. No one wants to bring others down, even if that means hiding how he or she is truly feeling.

2. They may have habitual remedies.
There are serious ways to treat depression, including therapy and medication. However, in addition to these remedies, there are lifestyle habits that those with depression use to treat their everyday state-of-mind. This can be in the form of music, exercise, driving, walks, or basically anything they know can get themselves out of a sinking set of emotions. Concealed depression has a lot to do with the ways people try to personally conquer their own demons.

3.They may have trouble with abandonment.
Anyone who has experienced depression understands the burden it can be. It can also be a burden for those closest to them. Sometimes when you let someone in enough to see the struggles you have, they walk the other way. Though it’s hard to blame these people for leaving, it creates a serious feeling of abandonment for those with depression. It forges a need for secrecy, out of fear of the recession of those they love. There is nothing more heartbreaking than finding out your ugliest layer of self is too ugly for someone you love to handle.

4. They can be pros at “cover-up” stories.
This can be for anything from the cuts on their arms to the reason they skipped dinner. People who live with different forms of depression experience various hardships that can at times impede the normalcy of their daily lives. In these low instances, they know what to say to avoid attention from others to those displays of pain. Often they don’t want to recognize that they are hitting a low point either, so they know how to hide it.

5. They may have abnormal sleeping and eating habits.
This may seem like a small sign or factor, but it has a grave effect. Those who live with depression in an unrevealing way can sometimes only let the little signs show. Sleeping too much or too little are textbook examples. The same goes goes for eating too little or too much. Sleep and nutrition are two critical elements to health. They are also two elements that the human mind can attempt to control. Depression creates a suffocating lack of control, and being able to control at least something, can be all a person has. Sleep can be nearly impossible, or it can be the only escape. The same goes for eating.

6. They may understand substances differently.
A person who handles their depression also knows how to monitor what they put into their body. They know alcohol is a depressant, and drinking it over an extended period of time can create a mental state of low that they are less equipped to handle than the average person. They know that caffeine and sugar are uppers for their moods. They know what medications do what. They know what doesn’t mix well. They know all of this because altering their state of mind in any way is much more of a responsibility than it may be for other people.

7. They may exhibit a very involved perception of life and death.
Not every person with depression has felt suicidal. However, depression often invokes a unique and complex thought process about life in general. Facing one’s mortality often comes at moments of desperation. It happens when you are furiously seeking answers to all of life’s questions. Being dragged in and out of horrible mindsets can cause these kind of thoughts to be more frequent.

8. They are often uniquely talented and expressive.
Many of the most inspired and life-changing artists, musicians, and leaders of this world were also plagued by mental illness. I use the word “plagued” in a contradicting fashion, because having a serious depth of emotions can also lead to profound greatness. People who live with depression that may not be visible to the naked-eye, often express themselves in incredible ways. They are in touch with the good and bad pieces of their souls. They are able to formulate and illustrate beauty through the shadows of the emotions they carry.

9. They are often searching for a purpose.
Everyone wants a purpose in life. We want to know that what we are doing is worthwhile. We want to know that we are moving in the right direction. Those who live with unseen depression want this as well, and in a way that attempts to satisfy something inside of them that may always be hungry for more. Feelings of inadequacy and fear are no stranger to the depressed mind. People with hidden depression are almost always trying to compensate in their life for the frailties that they have inside. They may change directions often. They may become incredibly involved in the pursuit of true happiness. They are also striving and searching for more.

10. They at some times will release subtle cries for help.
Even a person who knows how to live with the burden of their own mind can need help. Outcries from people you aren’t expecting are easily overlooked. Sometimes it isn’t safe for people to be on their own with their depression; as much as they say differently. Sometimes they will reach out. Sometimes they will open up. These moments are the most crucial, because they are especially powerful. They are what builds a bridge between people who have different levels of emotions and mindsets. They are what creates a closeness and trust among friends and lovers that isn’t always easy if some feel they have to camouflage their true selves.

11. They seek love and acceptance, as every person does.
Shielding the world from one’s personal demons is not done so for the sake of dishonesty. People who live with depression in a private and undisclosed way do so for protection. This is for the protection of their hearts. This is for the protection of the people around them. This is for the protection of the success of their dreams. Some of those reading this may have felt an eerie connection to these habits. Whether you have been treated for depression, or you simply have treated yourself, you know how easy it is to feel alone. I entitled this article about those with unseen depression, but the truth is that most depression goes unseen by our human nature. We live in a world that encourages us to hide what is dark and unpleasant. We don’t have to.

The most important habit and motivation of those with unseen depression to understand is that they search for love and acceptance. We all do. The only way to gain it is to spread it. Never turn away from a person who seems to be struggling. Love when it’s difficult. Cry when you need to. Reach out when someone closes the door. Open your heart, even if it feels terrifying to do so. If we keep forcing the bad to go unseen, the good will also go unseen.

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