Emerging from Living Death

By Marita Nazareth

June 2007

An experiential account of encountering and surviving depression

Pitch black darkness? the experience of being in an endless, damp, dark tunnel... hopelessness? exhaustion? sleeplessness? lowered self- esteem? inability to trust... fearfulness... panic attacks? suicidal thoughts?

An unbelievably large percentage of people are said to be experiencing depression. They may outwardly seem to be ?normal? and functional, but that is because they shy away from declaring their problem for fear of being ?labelled?, laughed at, and rejected.

I was in a clinical depression for close to two years. As it grew worse, the symptoms included indigestion, giddiness, and all the aspects mentioned earlier. I also felt ?guilty? ? why was I feeling this way, when outwardly ?I had it all?. This guilt was compounded by people who insisted that I get myself together and ?snap out? of the feeling. In short ? I lived in hell.

Here is the story of my recovery and transition to wholeness. My hope is that it might help people in this ?black pit?.

The first step in my recovery was to acknowledge the ?dis-ease? and then embark on a slow process of recovery (no quick-fix solutions).

To begin with, I was on allopathic medication ? I am still unclear whether that was the best option. There was the dilemma: Should I take the advice of medically qualified mainstream doctors? Or go with my own body wisdom, which revolted against drugs with side-effects, and opt instead for ?alternative? therapies like aromatherapy or dance therapy? I know that every type of medicine has a role to play, but for a strong non-believer in allopathy, the decision to go for the ?harshest alternative? was very traumatic.

And worse still, once I embarked on this course, I had well-wishers warn ? ?Oh, stop it?drugs only do you harm.? Nothing could be more harmful than this kind of advice, once you have decided the course of action. You must not stop drugs suddenly. They have to be tapered off gradually under the direct supervision of your consulting psychiatrist. Knowing this, I used to feel even more anxious about my situation.

I was fortunate to have a support structure provided by my family. They were open to guidance from counsellors who cautioned them not to get sucked into the situation, to see the larger perspective, to downplay the seriousness of the situation rather than heighten it. Following this, my family remained calm and centred, and consequently aided my healing. They offered less advice, and more empathy. They were pillars of patience, caring, strength.

I can now see that the universe always provides a resource, when it throws you a challenge ? the resource being equal to the challenge.

In addition, a zoo of assorted ?friends? spent time with me: There
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Comments [ 6 ]

linking google plus and facebook

Good article. I certainly love this site. Keep it up!

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louise anderson

Thank you for this inspiring story. I too lived in hell and felt so misunderstood, pushed aside, hopeless and lost. I almost didnt want to help myself because anything more than just being alive every moment seemed like an unbearable task. I started recovering when i started to meditate, begrudgingly, initially just 5 minutes a day. It stopped the messy thoughts spinning around which felt like bliss, and very soon i was changed, refreshed, motivated, disciplined,and better. I too remembered to dance, sing, laugh and create. I too would love to focus my energy on helping depressed people to feel better, no matter how impossible that seems. No small task but so worthy. Our western minds must be cared for and opened to allow all else to follow.

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Thank you Marita for this wonderful article.I am going through hell right now. It is that the man i married recentlty and his family did not meet my expectation(he behaves weird). I dont know if my concerns are genuine or i am just messing things up.its been two months and i could so much relate to what you have written.In Indian culture walking out of a marriage is even worst than committing suicide. you have to put up with everything. Hope iam able to accept things...and things turn out better.

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Ken Featherlkite

I am spellbound, Marita... What is seen is what we show ‘all iz well‘ facade carried by every Tom Dick n Harries. It takes lots of efforts to acknowledge and accept the condition one is as “dis-ease” :)

Thank you for letting me know of this.

and I love you. Hugz.

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lovey shettigar

but guess no one can help this soul....cant say more here but one day when v meet .... my soul might be repaired...till then I speak.... Jesus hear!

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Jennifer Menezes

An inspiring article Marieta! God Bless and may you continue to inspire us with your dancing and cheerful attitude!

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