Ever experience a sense of hopeless for a prolonged period of time? Ever feel like the “dark cloud of gloom?visits you much too often and sticks around way too long? Think that it could be depression rather than the “blues?we all get from time to time? If so, you’re not alone. Depression is a worldwide illness that affects millions. It cuts across all borders of race, creed and socioeconomic status. But what’s most important to know about depression is ?there’s hope for healing it!

Depression comes for a multitude of reasons for each individual. And since it comes for different reasons there are many treatment approaches to healing it. How do we discover why depression comes and which treatment works best for each person? The wholistic Depression Network, a non-profit organization in Seattle, helps people find answers to these very questions.

The wholistic Depression Network was founded by Mariah Mannia ?a Reiki Master / Counselor who suffered from depression for many years. After using a wholistic approach for her depression, she wanted to create a service for others to do the same. The Network is a support and resource service rather than a clinic or a counseling service. Their mission is to educate, support and connect those interested in a wholistic approach for depression. They provide educational material, a library, workshops, wellness support groups, wellness days and connections to wholistic resources and practitioners.

Many of us recognize that we are more than a body, we are also a mind and a spirit as well. This is the fundamental principal of a wholistic approach, however it’s not the only one. A wholistic approach also works toward prevention of illness by addressing the underlying causes, focuses on healthy lifestyles and creates a partnership between the client and the practitioner. It may even involve some medical practices such as medication. But most importantly, a wholistic approach is focused on individual care. It works to discover why depression comes for each person and what can be done to alleviate it at the source.

Depression affects all aspects of our life - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and environmental. Therefore, we need to address each one to discover the underlying factors of it. (While we explore these aspects keep in mind that each person has different needs. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you work with qualified health professionals. The Network can connect you with many such professionals)

First the physical aspect. What we put into our body is important. Alot of food is filled with chemicals (or it can be genetically engineered). Toxins from food build up in our bodies and can affect the way we think and feel. Therefore, eating organic foods and drinking filtered water is important. Adding supplements and vitamins is another step in the healing process. Essential fatty acids, B vitamins and amino acids have been found to help those with depression.

Exercise such as yoga has been found to help improve moods. It helps motivate us when we make it fun and enjoyable. Remember when you liked to run, bike, dance or swim as a kid? Resurrect some of these fun activities and try them again as an adult!

Caring for our emotional body is easier when we learn how to move through it as a positive experience. Emotion is really just energy in motion. We can release stuck emotions in order to prevent dis-ease. Emotional release work is a good way to explore our emotions and there are many forms available. Breathwork, inner child work, body movement therapies and energy work are a few examples.

The mental aspect includes our thoughts, imagination and creativity. Our thoughts lead us to the experiences we have in life. Positive self-talk is challenging, to say the least, for those with depression. However, when we learn how to create more positive thoughts, we usually find our life goes more smoothly. There are many methods for changing thought structures or self-limiting beliefs. A well-known method is positive self-affirmation. There are many other methods available such as neurolinguistic programming, hypnotherapy or thought field therapy.

Many times, depression is accompanied by a spiritual crisis. Therefore, getting in touch with our spirituality is an important key. Spirituality is that indefinable aspect of our lives where magic occurs. It is the place of prayers, miracles, humility and gratitude. Being connected is a very individual experience. Some people go to a church to pray; others meditate while others may take walks in nature. Numerous research studies have found spiritual practices such as these to be helpful for those with depression.

Social support is another aspect to address. Our relationships are meant to help us grow and become better people. Kindness, understanding and compassion are things people with depression often lack in their life. Surrounding ourselves with people who care and love us helps us feel appreciated and important. The Network’s wellness support group may help you surround yourself with people such as this.

Environmental awareness is also an important aspect. Unfortunately, our planet has noticeable pollution in the water, food and air today, which is why organic food and filtered water is helpful. Getting out into nature can also help us feel better due to the negative ions in the air. And using products that are natural help us as well as the earth.

Treating depression wholistically is a process not an event. It involves taking responsibility for our own health ?bit by bit. It includes discovering what the unique factors are for each person’s depression and creating a wellness plan that addresses these factors. It’s not easy which is why support is crucial. It takes time, energy and commitment. But it is possible to heal depression wholistically and rediscover our own inner-light.

Author's Bio: 

Contact The Depression Wellness Network at 206-528-9975 www.depressionwellness.net or email them at dwnetwork@uswest.net.