Loving Yourself Heals DepressionBy Dr. Margaret Paul
June 20, 2017
Discover the various ways you might be abandoning yourself that are causing depression, and how loving yourself heals depression.
Depression is a huge problem, with at least 10% of Americans taking antidepressants. Depressed people often go from one drug to another trying to find relief, but the truth is that depression isn’t caused by a lack of a drug, nor is it healed by a drug.
There is one major underlying cause of depression: various forms of self-abandonment.
One form of self-abandonment that can be an underlying cause of depression may be unhealed trauma from childhood. When a person takes a drug rather than receiving the help they need to heal from childhood abuse and trauma, they are abandoning themselves rather than being loving to themselves. Trauma CAN be healed, but not with a drug. Loving yourself means doing Inner Bonding as well as seeking out other forms of trauma therapy.
Another form of self-abandonment that is major cause of depression is a toxic gut, which creates a toxic brain, which can create depression. When you eat sugar and processed foods, you create a toxic bacterial imbalance in your gut that wreaks havoc with your physical and emotional health. Eating badly is a form of self-abandonment. Loving yourself means learning how to feed yourself well by reading books on what creates health, and taking action on what you learn. Antidepressants create more gut toxicity and add to the underlying problem rather than heal it. Despite what the drug companies say, depression isn’t caused by an imbalance in your brain. It’s caused by an imbalance in your gut that causes toxicity in your brain.
Another form of self-abandonment that causes depression is self-judgment. When you judge yourself to try to have control over getting yourself to do things ‘right’ so that you can get others’ approval or avoid disapproval, or to avoid other, deeper painful feelings, you are abandoning yourself. Just as a child will get depressed if you are constantly judging the child, so will your inner child.
Another form of self-abandonment that causes depression is turning to various addictions to avoid responsibility for your feelings. When you turn to food, drugs, alcohol, sugar and other junk food, spending, sex, TV, work, or trying to get love and attention from someone else, you are abandoning yourself. Loving yourself means attending to your feelings with love, compassion and an intention to learn about what your feelings are telling you, rather than avoiding them. If you open to learning from your depression, rather than avoid it with addictions and antidepressants, you can learn about how you are emotionally abandoning yourself that may be causing your depression.
- Another form of self-abandonment that can cause depression is avoiding your feelings by staying focused in your mind rather than in your body. By staying focused in your mind, you are ignoring your feelings—and your feelings always have important information for you. Your inner child, which is your feeling self, may get depressed when you ignore him or her. Loving yourself means learning to stay present in your body so you can lovingly attend to your feelings.
Depression is different than grief, and it’s important not to confuse these two feelings. We will feel grief over loss – loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of financial stability or other major losses. It’s important to compassionately embrace grief as a natural feeling that occurs in the face of loss. It takes time for grief to move through us, but trying to stop grief with antidepressants only delays the expression and release of this normal pain of life.
In my many years of working with people, I have seen countless times that learning to love yourself, which is what gradually occurs when you practice Inner Bonding, heals depression.
Our society is often focused on an instant fix – just take a pill and everything will be fine. Except it won’t. Not only are there huge negative side effects from drugs like antidepressants and antianxiety meds, but they don’t address the real causes of depression. If you believe that antidepressants actually help, then you might want to read, “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” by Dr. Irving Kirsch. He has proved that any positive effect of these drugs is a placebo effect and that the drug companies made up the idea of an imbalance in the brain. It’s the gut imbalance that cause the brain toxicity that can cause depression.
I hope you start to learn to love yourself. You will be amazed at what happens to your depression!
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.
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Today, ask yourself throughout the day, "What does my inner child need from me as a loving Adult to feel safe in interactions with people? Does my child need me to not take rejection personally? Does my child need me to stay strong in my truth and not give myself up to anyone?" Focus today on creating a safe inner space for your inner child to feel connected with others.
By Dr. Margaret Paul