Joseph's Story: Shifting Thought & Inner Strength
Joseph explains that, “I suffered for 10 years, on the border line of being able to function at all. I saw nothing in living that I wanted. Each day spent was a day of waiting for the end to come. I barely held down a job working 10-15 hours a week, and couldn't stand to be out in public among people. Ten years of seeing psychiatrists and other therapists, of experimenting with drugs that shifted the mental landscape to the point where it was difficult for me to tell what was going on inside of me at all.” From Joseph’s perspective, “Depression, as far as I know, is a mystery to man. I do not pretend to understand the underlying cause of depression as it exists for everyone. However, during my ten years of debilitating suffering, it became apparent to me that there just doesn't seem to be information out there on how one may be able to beat it.” Although he was an agnostic, Joseph found himself standing in a house of faith and asked God to help relieve his suffering. He does not yet know whether or not that has had an effect, but he is open to the possibility that this has contributed to his recovery. However, he finally went to a psychiatrist and shared everything about his challenges, where Joseph chose medication as a last resort for alleviating his symptoms, but these did not provide him with the results that he needed.
Subsequently his psychiatrist recommended a book called Feeling Good, which provided him with a new approach to solving his problem. The solution? Controlling his thoughts.
The important thing to know about Joseph is that he was able to make significant progress through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is described in the book, Feeling Good. This is currently a popular publication in the psychiatric community, which has proven to be far more effective than antidepressant medication at providing long-term relief from depression.
Joseph read the book’s studies on the powerful effects of thought control and achieved success through using it’s techniques. Meanwhile, he described his depression as a cyclical state that required the development of inner strength, “it was like developing a muscle: the muscle would give, and I would fall into another spell of depression, but that spell would eventually lift, and the next time around, I could struggle longer. And the muscle built up much faster than I ever thought possible.”
Throughout his 10-year experience he finally concluded that he needs to monitor himself every day and that he continues to experience alternating feelings of hope and despair (But the hope is new). For years he struggled to control his state, and eventually he learned to do so through shaping his thoughts. One of the core components that helped him achieve an effective shift in his thoughts was through developing the “habit” of regularly checking-in on what he was thinking about on a daily basis. Feeling Good taught him to control his thoughts, and he explained that “It is this training that I believe is making it possible for me to enjoy life again.”
He was able to begin engaging more with his friends and experimenting with new communication skills with his close family members. According to Joseph, there was nothing mysterious about his solution, but it was simply through the process of experimentation with new approaches and committing to the best strategies that enabled him to take the next steps. Joseph now holds a full-time contracting job and has experienced 4 – 5 months of recovery from his depression since the time of his sharing.
Thus, it all depends on how you embrace your own problems, observe and conclude rational results which might lead you to a depression free world. This is what he recommends people who fight depression.
1. Change thoughts.
2. Monitor thoughts.
3. Integrate this strategy as a daily practice.
This article is about a person who shared their experience of the past 10-years of depression on Experience Project. For the sake of anonymity, we have referred to this person as Joseph.
Original Story: http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Am-Beating-Depression/311353
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