Depression is not bipolar disorder and bipolar disorder is not depression. Mania, along with depression combined is bipolar disorder
Being diagnosed with bipolar depression aka bipolar II, I actually enjoy my manic episodes. The excessive energy, the restlessness, the racing thoughts, and rapid talking—they all bring me this extreme sense of euphoria. It is in these moments I feel so productive, so alive, and so unstoppable.
Depression however, is an entirely different story. Unlike mania, depression is not productive. Depression will have you so far from feeling alive and euphoric. It literally stops everything in your life from being worth anything.
Before we go into more detail about what depression is, let’s go over what depression is not.
Depression is a serious illness that’s shrouded in many misconceptions. Some of these misconceptions contribute to the stigma around depression, as well as medications, and therapy. All of which maybe necessary to help manage when the depression is diagnosed as clinical to save lives.
Depression is not just mental or a feeling of sadness, it’s also physical. Contrary to popular belief, depression is in fact visible. Depressions weighs down on your your upper body. It wrestles with your mind until your muscles ache. And depression shows itself candidly from the dark circles and bags beneath your eyes.
Depression is one of the leading causes of diseases around the world. It’s the battle within our subconscious that is reacting to all the negative events we encountered early in life. It’s even the negative events that our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors encountered in life, and how they interpreted those events. It’s a war that I call the battle between your True-Self and your False-Self.
Clinical depression such as Bipolar II disorder is a chronic brain disorder that isn’t curable per professionals. My theory of why clinical depression can’t be cured by medical professionals is because it is, in fact, a brain disorder. The organ of our makeup that is so complex that it controls ever shred of our being. From our behaviors to our character. From our body functioning to our biology.
Our brain chemistry is made up of chemicals based on our genetics, environment, and conditioning. The chemicals in our brain cannot be measured and everyone’s different. Scientists have, however, conducted brain scans that showed many people who live with depression have a smaller hippocampus than those who do not.
Our hippocampus is a part of our brain that is deep-seated into the temporal lobe of our brain. The temporal lobe of our brain is believed to be associated with how we process our affective emotions.
Our emotions stem from our affective system— the part of our brain that is reactive to certain events subconsciously while our cognitive system reacts to those events consciously.
Our behaviors are driven by our emotions. Meaning when we experience negative events early in life while our brain is in its early stage of development, the part of our brain that is impacted most by how we interpret those events is going to be affected and/or changed.
This is probably why people who live with depression have a smaller hippocampus than people who don’t live with clinical depression.
There’s a lot of different therapeutic treatments out there and new ones coming in. However, for the past ten years these three therapeutic approaches have directed my life on a path that has broken generational curses off my kids and changed the trajectory of my kids kids, and their kids kids path in life.
Our behaviors are a response to our emotions subconsciously and consciously. Therefore, it is necessary to recondition how we interpret negative events consciously to combat and bring to the forefront those subconscious beliefs that are driving negative behaviors?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of treatment that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior and emotions. But CBT is more than just recognizing thought patterns.
It is also focused on making use of a wide range of strategies and techniques to help people overcome these negative thought patterns.
Such techniques might include journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and mental distractions.
I didn’t learn about the True-Self vs. False-Self concept in school. I learned about it while undergoing my first psychotherapy treatment, Reparenting Therapy. Now you might wonder, what do I mean by reparenting? It’s parenting, nurturing, and loving oneself. It’s giving the little girl in you some love, care, and grace like a parent would a child.
It was this treatment that first started to challenge the beliefs of what I thought about myself and why.
Skincare routines, meditations, exercising, going out shopping, girls’ nights outs, treating yourself like you are your own child, are all steps to reparenting yourself. You will be shocked at how effective self care is. Conditioning yourself to believe that you are in fact deserving and worthy of optimal care.
Spiritual therapy is a protective factor against depression and has been proven to be beneficial in treating mild to moderate depression. In a randomized clinical trial that compared conventional CBT and spiritual therapy, scientists found that spiritual therapy and conventional CBT were equally effective in increasing optimism in patients with major depressive disorder and chronic medical illness.
Having belief of a higher power to overcome the struggles I’ve endured has been noting short of life changing.
My belief in a God who sees value in me, worthiness of mercy and grace, and love has been the only arm at times and the strongest arm every time to pull me back up. Had it not been for the word of God I don’t know where I’d be. And that’s tea niece.
Your pain isn’t the event you went through. It is however stemming from how you interpreted that event. And what that event subconsciously impacted your belief-system about yourself, the world, and life in general. Above all else, pain develops false beliefs.
It’s time to start challenging those false beliefs about yourself so that your trueness, who you really are and WHY you exist can emerge.
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