A temporary fix

Gratifying to have sparked this conversation about depression, it is, especially so seeing all the lively feedback, a notable theme of which is the issue of anti-depressant drugs and the question of how to combine these with actually addressing the underlying problems, rather than just rely on them to mask the inner turmoil.

I’ve noticed over the years how certain topics, depression for one – M.E. is another – trigger a defensive reaction no matter how carefully I choose my words. So I firstly wish to clarify my position, as the last thing I want is an argument when I’m actually in agreement, as that’s a waste of time for all of us, and my intention here is to help not be controversial and enter a quasi political debate.

Perhaps if I recount a recent situation with a man I’ll call Eric, though that’s very different from his real name, it will help demonstrate my position as it could be helpful for you to get me properly here.

Eric is someone I’ve been friends with since I was 20 – that’s 42 years ago. He’s ten years my senior yet still has the spritely way about he had all those years back. That’s now. But a year ago was a different story. Triggered by a highly stressful situation with a close family member, he went into a rapid decline to the point he was semi-catatonic and edging closer and closer to suicide.

He’d always been subtle with his communication. He’s incredibly modest and self-contained, discreet and well-mannered and wouldn’t ever presume to dominate a conversation, even though if anyone was equipped with the wisdom and experience to do so it would be him.

However it turned out his natural reserve had been masking a huge unresolved complex of childhood trauma based existential turmoil he’d been suppressing since he was a boy. And once it got triggered the sensation of pain and heaviness of spirit, the sense of defeat, the sense of futility, the sense of having been betrayed by life, was so great it overwhelmed him, and he closed right down.

He lives far far away and I could only manage to get to him twice over a two week period, which clearly wasn’t enough to bring him through it and back to bouncing health and ebullience. Were we set up in society with enough people trained to process others in such conditions so they weren’t left stranded we’d not need antidepressants. But we’re not. And I actually recommended he take them as an expedient measure to tide him over between treatments, just so he wouldn’t top himself.

So don’t get the idea I’m against them. I’m not. As I said, they work as an expedient. And I know we don’t live in an ideal world, and the following is an idealistic thought, but were we to divert just 10% of the money spent annually on producing, selling and procuring antidepressants, on education from infant level through to adulthood, about how to address the underlying confusion causing the distress, we’d probably be able to reduce antidepressant use by 50%.

In any case surely we don’t really want to be dependent on substances of any sort if we can help it.

I have immense respect for the medical profession. We’d be in a proper pickle without one.

Likewise the people who produce the medicines we need. However that doesn’t mean I condone everything they do or omit to do. And I have never viewed holistic medicine as an alternative, but as a complement. As a rule of thumb, conventional medicine fixes you so you can carry on in the game, while holistic medicine heals you. The two are necessary companions, especially in acute situations, where the patent has no time to spend on the healing process and needs fixing fast.

So yes of course take the pills as an expedient. But rather than rely on them as a cure, see them as a temporary fix. And meanwhile take responsibility for addressing the actual underlying glitches causing the inner turmoil in the first place.

Another danger in the way depression is conventionally presented as a disease you catch or ‘get’ is that it encourages you to overlook dealing with the underlying issues. Depression is only a description of a state, and a very broad one at that. When you break it down into its composite parts, you find such elements as futility, loss of confidence, regret, self-doubt, self-hatred and so on. Each or any of these can be dealt with and relatively simply, provided someone’s on hand to help you talk through it and look at what needs addressing.

I can tell you more in more detail but this isn’t the place.

Of course take the pills to help you through the critical phase so you can do the healing .

Just be aware they don’t provide the cure, merely the temporary fix.

Fundamentally the cure consists in retrieving your true nature, your soul and establishing or reestablishing your connection with it , so you’re able to communicate with yourself and others from that depth of self.

And there’s more…but for now, I hope I’ve conveyed my position clearly and dispelled the notion I’m challenging you for taking the pills. Whatever gets you through the night, I say. But make sure you’re simultaneously sorting out your inner kit for when daytime comes is all.

PS Just thinking about as I walked away to do something else, I’ll take a headache pill if I have a headache and no time to be distracted by pain. Fortunately it’s a very rare occurrence because my system is well-balanced through the practice,. But simultaneously I’ll press various points related to liver and stomach functions (as disturbances of these are usually the origins of headaches) – otherwise the cause remains unaddressed, headaches will recur and you don’t want t spend your life taking headache pills just to feel normal.

And incidentally, Eric is thriving now, We finally got to the buried root of all the pain and he was able to stop the pills after a couple of months and is back buzzing on being alive again.

Leave a comment – let me know your thoughts.

Radical approach to depression, overview here

31 Responses to “A temporary fix

  • rachel
    1 year ago

    Hmmm….these flurry of sharings on depression have opened me to realising what a gift depression has been…I mean truly awful also…yet also realising how some of the key moments of awareness, or what could be called awakening, have come through depression.

    Some of this feel a tad vulnerable to share publically and hey, what the heck…

    My connection to the psychic was opened much more by depression / suicidal impusles and seeings…In recent years much of this I no longer see as suicidal impulses yet as spirits and energy’s i’m picking up- that want help or loving. This shift in perspective – a sort of other knowing – has turned this side of it totally around about. And they come in a clearer way now I acknowledge them in this other form.

    Long term depression for sure cultivated a deep compassion in me for others. So its changed my heart.

    The experience of the extreme of treatment of having electric shock therapy has so passionately propelled me towards practices and forms of healing that are nonviolent – for myself – and when offering healing to others. I know deeply that violence, force and such like does nothing to heal – and knowing we do this to people at their most vulnerable calls up in me what I can only describe as a sacred rage that longs to see love and kindness as the pillar stone of healing

    A suicide attempt where I really shouldn’t have made it – yet was brought back – gave me a knowing that actually we don’t choose to be here – or not be here. If its your time its your time. If they want you here your ass will be nailed to this mother earth. (I forget this – often – yet when I remember I feel a deep surrendering and safety).

    And one of the best experiences in my life to date – and this may sound strange – yet it was a profound moment of grace – was when an acute suicidal impulse came to act on – and instead of trying to fight it like i’d done thousands of times before – or like a few times before when i’d lost the fight and got taken over by it and followed it through – I turned to face it – knowing doing so could take me out – and I sensed into it – deeply – of what was at the heart of it – and then I got it – I realised it didn’t want me to feel more pain – not like this – not ‘living’ a life like this – it wanted to help release me, set me free.
    It was actually an energy here to help me – albeit in a raw course awfully painful way.
    Yet when I felt it, acknowledged it , it changed like a kalidescope before my eyes.
    And I realise that this, even this, was love in disguise

  • Thank you and bless you, BD, for all you are and all you do to help alleviate suffering. Depression and anxiety are of massive significance right now (I say this as a 64 year old who’s had a lot of ‘stuff’ to learn from over the years). My own drug story is that four years ago I took antidepressants for four days and felt I was being poisoned, so stopped – whereupon my GP recommended counselling, exercise and bananas – all of which helped me through the mire. I don’t have much to add, except that there’s controversy about the serotonin theory of depression. Rock on, Doc – much love 🙂

    • Hi dear Kay and bless you too. What a wonderful thing to say. Thankyou. And yes your body knew it didn’t want interfering with at a chemical level. And its important we flag up the power of the body’s intelligence – I say the body’s but I mean the subconscious that controls the autonomic system, which rejected the chemicals because it knew in your case they’d be poison. Though as I’ve said in many cases this poison is also the medicine or at least expedient while the real medicine of self-healing is being given/taken, so am not slamming its use (I reiterate for anyone who may think I mean otherwise – whatever gets you through). And the schoolboy in me is finding it very hard not coming up with some quip or other about the bananas, but I’ve just about got the handle on him so will desist.
      Thankyou and long may you prosper.
      All my love, Doc

  • Victoria Parsons
    1 year ago

    Halejulah – my heart sings – that you tread the brave Barefoot path into this mire – and long needed – a new way…
    Unfortunately for most of us the only place to put our feet, our aching minds, bewildered and broken and in desperate need of something to help us walk through another day – is indeed the Iron Age model of labelling our beautiful wonky selves and still thinking it space age to sedate us in a neurorinic soup with a blister pack of pills whilst leaving the inner self unattended and subdued…
    Medication has it’s place – sure- but after 20 yrs of being on psychiatric medication of most of the hues of the rainbow and getting no nearer to the pot of gold of being well – it’s long overdue we have a hard look at how people’s lives are coloured, clouded by the available options…
    I stand in testament – fractured in my prism of trauma but keeping myself on the light side of the moon from your teachings. Having been interned in the hospital of the bewildered, been mad, insane, 3 months apart from any shared reality, and some sojourns with the dubbed saneless befure that – I get the extremes, the harrowing hinterlands the dis ease of mind can take us to.
    Your teachings, have given me the strength to walk the path of examining my traumas – depression, anxiety and all the other umbrella terms of personal hell that the labels don’t encompass or scratch the surface of – with you’re teachings I’ve gone to the dark hinterlands in need of healing without my mind breaking and being institutionalised again..
    I wouldn’t be here without them and your wisdom.
    I’m a card carrying prescription junkie, even now, although relatively it’s a low dose antidepressant compared with the zombiefying meds I faithfully took previously …
    That’s a purely physical attachment to the delivering of chemicals each day – there may be warnings on the pack “avoid alcohol, do not drive …” There should be ” this is not the only thing you can do for your beautiful self…”
    Understanding myself, my mechanics, my operative systems born of pain to survive and knowing I grew into being sweetly culpable and simultaneously unaware of my emotions. Who teaches us to truly examine ourselves? Standing in the I that was me with the strength of the big one, my untouched pure essence, the Tao, the divine, the glistening gold fish in the bowl of bewildering – that delivers me to a place no diagnosis, no little pebble on the tongue could ever take me to…
    We stand alone in our interior worlds, no matter the external factors to our foundations, ulitimately we are the the architects of our own experience and at times in dire need of deciphering our unconscious outdated plans …
    Thank you for your enlightened blueprint…
    A contentious place – to stand up against the constant storm of our systems and forge another way…
    hallelujah you stand there dear Stephen.
    May it touch those in need of another way to see…
    Love and elastic bands to all…

    • Hi dearest V, I’ve said it before and will say it again, you really are the most exquisite writer. Thankyou for your utterly exceptional comment, your bravery in exposing yourself, your grace and dignity in doing so, your inspiration to all of us to be courageous, and your immense kindness in your acknowledgement of me. As always my help is always here for you.
      Two bits jumped out: “architects of our own experience and at times in dire need of deciphering our unconscious outdated plans” – damn brilliant that and I can’t say more to add to it, and also your inference of the necessity to reestablish and uphold a primary dialogue so to speak (pardon the pun) with the Tao inside – behind all of it, this is the most important thing of all, even though not necessarily, and not usually the first place to start the process as the mind is generally too jumbled at the start for that.
      And that displays clearly how in one sense the issues we discuss, no matter how poignant or radical, depression being a perfect case in point it seems the real game going on here is us looking at all the different ways being at one with the Tao come into play in our lives.
      Thankyou so much for sharing and is it out of order to mention I’m so proud that Wayward Publications is going to publish your book about all this because as far as I’m concerned you’re a master of communicating (it) – obviously if you’ve changed your mind in the interim just say shuddaupa your mouth Barefoot, but otherwise I can hardly wait.
      All my love, Doc

      • Victoria Parsons
        1 year ago

        That’s it isn’t it – nail in the jumbled head – how do we begin with ourselves when it’s so noisy and screwed up at the front that –that very front has to dismantle with gentle love before we can begin the breakthrough to any place where we see the holes for what they are beyond the torment – o commune with our biggest place that will be our biggest strength… it’s so darned hard… and so complex … it took time for me to find that conservation that sustains me – right now this very reading second…I wrestle …
        It’s here in all these beautiful brave voices speaking from their pain to share and commune, see, aspire to undo the screw… Sweet complete complex unique creatures –no wonder our experience of depression and suffering is hued so individually that we baulk at any “umbrella” that doesn’t encompass the thunder of our own unique experience … but the rain, the rain is always the same.
        … and never a shuddaupa of your beauteous Barefoot mouth! – honour to have you publish my growing scribbles with Wayward Publications – in echo of the discussion I scribe it with such care for each word and how it lands, of one being I and we, all the branches, all the delicate sprouts and intertwining roots of commenting on such a labyrinthine milieu… May we forge a conversation out of the tangles and taboos …Hallelujah you stand amidst the contention and brave the way…
        What an honest, brave, heart funking forum for conversation has been opened up here, I’ve never felt so compelled to join a conversation, never done it in fact but I feel the immense reach of the words so courageously, thoughtfully placed by others and may every hand that has typed be beside comfort, grace and an opening space for your teachings to bring succour…
        Love and bouncing back elastic bands to all

  • Yes indeed …. Basic psychology & philosophy should be included in all basic educational programs! We all need to attend to our mental health and assure that our physical and mental immune systems can withstand the demons of futility, self-doubt, regret, propaganda, etc, etc,……& so that we can stand in our own brightness and not be afraid.
    Thank you for the clarification, dear doctor. I agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee wholeheartedly!!!!

    • And thankyou for yours, dearest Zoe, most succinctly put – and makes me remember I keep thinking, but then again stop saying because this too required education and where do we start with it all, but anyway, education in operating the equipment as it were must/could/should come initially and mainly from the parent/s whenever possible, as in we mustn’t rely solely on any educational systems to do it though this of course will help enormously once they do, and I am hearing of more and more instances of proof it’s beginning.
      Love, Doc

  • Hi again, Doc,

    OK, re: my previous comment – in my brevity I, like you, possibly gave the idea that I’m a ‘stick your hands in the earth and all will be well’ kind of guy, or that I’m against a/ds. I’m not, because they’re both part of my psychotherapist’s armamentarium. On very rare occasions I might send a profoundly affected client to get a six-week course of a/ds: that will zombify them (a ‘technical’ term we use meaning as Dr Dave said before, to “depress the depression” enough to give me a chance to get inside their head. What do I find there? Almost always there will be an element of anxiety (which, if chronic, will often have resulted in digestive disorders, which of course in turn exacerbates the depressed state); there will be sleep issues; there may be unresolved issues from the past; but there will always be one (or more) of these: The client’s environment will be sick in some way; they will be misusing their imagination in some way, or there may be actual damage to their brain in some way.

    And there will always be a lack of one or more of these: a sense of security; control; giving and receiving attention; privacy; emotional/physical intimacy; community (in the form of family/friends as a support network); a sense of status (as in feeling valued), being stretched in a way that allows a sense of achievement, and, perhaps most importantly a sense of purpose.

    I invite our beautiful siblings to test their individual experiences against this list and see how many of these they tick… How can a tablet fix these? Good therapy requires that these innate needs are simply and fully met. If they aren’t then anxiety and depression will remain, even if only as potential.

    And by way of example, like the Doc intimates, sitting in front of a computer thinking you’re ‘the man’ ‘cos you’ve got a hundred ‘friends’ on Facebook or whatever ain’t a substitute for one real actual flesh and blood person that you physically spend quality time with. It’s utterly bizarre: we can communicate with anybody anywhere on the planet, yet loneliness is endemic!

    Finally, .Just to put it into perspective, I suggest that our brothers and sisters do some proper research (try starting with NICE’s interesting own papers!), what they will find is that a/ds work very well in about a third of those who take them, another third find little or no relief from their symptoms, and the last third can find themselves adversely affected. Equally if they are so effective, why do my colleagues and I regularly get clients who have been taking a/ds for decades who come to us because they are still depressed? Actually that applies equally to anxiolytics and panic attacks, but let’s not even go there…

    This is only meant as food for thought; meanwhile my thoughts and love are with every one of you here,and especially to you Doc, as I said to you in Bury St Eds, for shining a light on on track I’d fallen off! 😉

    PS – a little ‘in’ joke for you given that you used an image of Hotei Buddha – ironically HE was happy enough to have found the pill! 😉

    • Blue, you’re a wonderful man and I’m sure the most wonderful therapist. Thankyou so much for saying all that so clearly – having the context of the holistic backdrop and connection is paramount yes. Though you’d not given the impression of being a hand-in-the-mud guy at all – to the contrary, though it can’t be denied that sticking them into the mud, or even just touching the ground (as say for me when doing some of the quigongo moves), not to mention seeing the open sky above and so on, is vital to us knowing where and what we are, which in itself does take care of at least one fat layer of delusion and afford us moments of clarity for better processing of the internal state. And yes no doubt the laughing Buddha had found the pill – sorting ourselves out naturally is one thing – smiling that big has to be chemically induced. (Kidding everyone just in case my sardonic tone isn’t translating – Buddha and all the rest of us are perfectly capable of the hugest smiles quite naturally, promise). And I hadn’t realized you’d fallen off the track – well it evidently was a necessary derailment because the resulting clarity and radiance is evident sir.
      Love, Doc

    1 year ago

    Hi – Struggled with bereavements, work pressures/stress (Care Work, would you believe). Work paid for six counselling sessions. Then I was left high and dry, on long-term sick leave. Needed something, so went to the GP. Citalopram. I was always a keen runner, so looked to that to help. I broke my hip, in May 2009. No more running. Bit the bullet : no alcohol, no caffeine, gone veggie, meditation and Qi Gong. Still carried on with lower doses of anti-depressants – then stopped them. Very well, now, although I can easily recall the bad days, should I meet old work colleagues or a family crisis arises. It was tough.
    Good Wishes to all that have difficulties,
    Love You All.

  • Marilyne St-Georges
    1 year ago

    Dear Doctor,

    Thank you first of all for addressing the issue of Depression. I’m also glad you clarified your position about doctors and medication since I am in ‘obligation’ to see a psychologist and psychiatrist for my deep depression. I have stopped all anti-depressants since they didn’t help me at all. My depression is chakra-based, energy based. I also do feel like the Tao’s stopped loving me. Anyway. I’m glad you said you weren’t ‘anti-doctors’ because sometimes I feel like I should reject all of their advice since they’re not holistic, and can’t understand anything I say about soul and energy. But I’m also tired of being angry at them. Anyways Enough of that for now, but I will say I am very much looking forward to your next articles on the subject. Love from Canada.

    • Hi Marilyne,

      please excuse me for writing to you, and I hope The Doc won’t mind, but always remember that The Tao never forgets you – it’s always present through and with you. If life is tough – and it is pretty tough with me at the moment, think of it as ‘fierce love’; there is something really important and fundamental that you need to see/ witness or experience to bring you back to your true nature. Perhaps you’re still holding onto beliefs or conditioning that needs to fall away – notice how you’re feeling and allow it; it will change and when you’re no longer attached to any thoughts and you find some space in your mind, clarity and peace will emerge as your natural groundstate.
      I hope that helps in the meantime.
      With love

    • Hey Marilyn, I’m so sorry to hear you’re in that position and if there’s anything I can do to help I’m here so don’t hesitate to speak to me.
      Meantime it provides powerful training in many things, particularly in this instance, developing more and more trust in your own intuition, because ultimately it’s only you who can choose which way to go with it all.
      The anger is natural. Interestingly ‘anyway’ is a flag word for me when working with people – a lid which if lifted reveals the real story. Which leads me to wonder whether with you the depression, or self-depressing habit arose as an ‘anyway’ to cap anger you were feeling towards someone, something or life in general but were unable to express at the time, so did the opposite and de-pressed it/yourself instead.
      Your mentioning chakras is also apt – chakras or energy centers are a crucial aspect of the mechanism by which we gain or regain psycho-emotional balance – in the sense that where and how we position ourselves within our skin directly determines the experience we’re having.
      So for instance if there’s a tendency for mania, this indicates excessive heat in the upper parts (heart, throat, third eye and crown) and a need to draw heat down to the lower parts again (solar plexus, navel and root).
      And as crucially if not even more so, that when we lean back instead of forwards inside so we can bear witness to our experience as if from behind it all, we’re then able to take command of it, something we can’t when immersed in it.
      Thanks for contributing so kindly to this conversation.
      And do be in touch if you think it can help provide support.
      Love, Doc

  • Hi BD, whilst I am in agreement that med’s need to be seen as a last resort I have to say that in my own case they have kept me out of the hell that is depressive illness and have probably prolonged my life and continue to do so. The crux of it for me is that I no more want to take anti d’s than I want to take my blood pressure tablets however I have found it very hard to find an alternative remedy. I’ve tried acupuncture, talking therapy etc all without great success. My doctor tells me that I have an imbalance in my serotonin levels and that the ssri’s correct this ? Is this the case ? I’m sure I don’t really know. I would welcome your opinion , or anyone else who has one for that matter.

    • Hi Dave I completely relate and of course we must do what needs to be done to keep the show on the road, otherwise we’re done. However I’d refer us to the response I gave D. Yes of course chemical imbalance affects the state but that doesn’t preclude success for the rebalancing healing power of all-powerful mind (once given its head so to speak). Serotonin levels respond to the inner state as much as vice versa in other words. But of course the way to proceed is to continue on medication while going through the healing process and if by the end sufficient balance and resilience has been reestablished the choice to continue or discontinue medication becomes a lot easier to make one way or the other.
      Love, Doc

  • Lynn Marsh-Jones Marsh-jones
    1 year ago

    A most sensitive topic indeed – I must confess I initially found myself quite triggered by the first article simply due to the fact that early last year I experienced a bout of crippling ‘depression’ – I spent from early January ‘tll late May in a complete state of despair and disrepair and whilst I believe I’m a fairly conscious kind of body I really couldn’t shake the feelings off, I had many tools at my finger tips but I felt so low I was unable to engage with them, throughout the whole experience I knew exactly what I was doing which was for the most part either reflecting upon that which was gone or projecting into a future, which to me at the time looked most bleak though of course it was my own doing that was making it so and I could even see that too, I knew that the issue lay in not either being in the present nor engaging in the gift of simply what is. The first route I took was seeking counselling but was refused on the basis of some silly score on a useless questionnaire thus ended up on prescription drugs which calmed me enough and gave me the space to get back to understanding that I am fine as I am, don’t need to have this or do that, and to remember that ’tis what ’tis and always will be as it’s meant to be and thus it’s a waste of time even trying to argue with it, would I have eventually have come back to my truth without having taken the medication, well I shall of course never know the answer to that but as I’m still here to tell the story then to me at least it really doesn’t matter much does it? The second article written is how I see it to be for sure and whilst it feels a wee bit uncomfortable for me to show up as vulnerable by way of sharing my story I am doing so as it’s a topic that’s quite often swept under the carpet, always has been though I think far more so these days of social media and marketing, so I thank you BD for raising the issue initially and then following it up – I think the second article should be sent to GP’s far and wide.

    • Hi Lynn, how beautifully put and thankyou so much for sharing – it will be helpful to so many, and while you have the courage to show vulnerability, what shines through in your writing is a remarkable dignity.
      Also you’ve expressed the nub in such succinct terms – “projecting into a future, which to me at the time looked most bleak though of course it was my own doing that was making it so and I could even see that too, I knew that the issue lay in not either being in the present nor engaging in the gift of simply what is”.
      That’s what jumped out at me. And how incredibly intricate is the rebalancing mechanism, yet so simple. In that one of the striking effects of feeling depressed is seeing a bleak horrid future. It’s also one of its causes. Yet as you point out so eloquently, rather than initially going at it from the outside in by conjuring a positive outlook, which may or may not work, for varying durations, the key to a beautiful future and seeing a beautiful future lies not in the future but in being here right now, exclusively – because anything else, however real it feels is only imagination, and so prey to coloration, dark or light.
      And again then it’s all about having the method for remaining fully here now at our fingertips for which my gratitude goes to those wily old Taoists of yore.
      Love, Doc

      • Lynn Marsh-Jones Marsh-jones
        1 year ago

        and mine too – I do so hope that that which I wrote of will be helpful to someone as when a person is suffering quite often the last thing they wish to do is let anyone know of it, a person can feel much shame which only exacerbates the pain, we blame ourselves for the things that we perceive to be our inadequacies, it’s a tiring spiral and one that can be quite difficult to find release from. If we can but lift ourselves up to be in the now, moment by gentle moment and graciously let ourselves go with the flow, it’s absolutely the best present we can ever gift to ourselves. I believe also that by gaining an understanding that it’s perfectly acceptable to have certain desires, tangible or otherwise and to wish for life to be a certain way, as long as we realise that the attainment of such does not to a path of happiness lead, indeed as long as we don’t become slaves to our cravings we can then become masters of non-attachment and find peace with what simply is. Like the Taoist masters gone before it takes much practice but well worth investing the time and energy to do so in order that we can come back to the truth we were born with and recall that we are all divine beings and perfect in our imperfections – on the days that we forget to remember to do so and get ourselves in a bit of a flap it’s helpful to laugh at that whilst at the same time realising it’s just the Tao having fun playing hide and seek but it never stops loving us. Love to you too dear Sir along with one and all, and before I go may I say to anyone out there who may be suffering and needing help then do talk to the Doc as he can assist in a way that the pills can’t, take them if needed in the interim but best not to become slaves to them as that won’t help in the long run and I speak from my vulnerable but still beating heart and my own previous humble experience – Lmj xxx

        • Lynn Marsh-Jones Marsh-jones
          1 year ago

          as a PS – if you don’t feel up to talking, as I know that when one’s in despair and in a state of disrepair then read BD’s books, Twisted Fables for Twisted Minds did it for me and if nowt else it will raise a smile the while.

  • Hi, BD

    I get it, I really do. I have unresolved childhood traumas which lead to unhealthy mental patterns. Counselling helped, kinda, far more than pills ever did. In fact pills triggered panic & anxiety attacks which I had never experienced before but still, to this day, have them. Your wisdom helps keep those uncomfy times in their right place and for that I thank you 🙂

    BUT sometimes depression isn’t caused by trauma alone.

    My gut is damaged, due to a vicious bout of food poisoning. It caused the development of pernicious anaemia, my diet was/is rich in B12 but the section of my gut which processed it was gone, bascially. I cannot absorb enough trace elements in my food. I also developed the wide ranging, and completely misunderstood, fibromyalgia – a terrible blanket term for so many issues. Anyway, what I found was if I took a folic acid supplement my moods levelled out. If, for whatever reason, I skip said folic acid – within 2 days my mood nose dives and it’s awful.

    When it is a chemical issue, as well as, or instead of, a traumatic issue – pills of whatever nature are a godsend. Do I want to have to keep taking painkillers and/or supplements? Oh, no – BUT parts of my body are damaged and I really don’t think they will repair themselves, all I can hope for is to remain as balanced as I can given the circumstances I find myself in. If I want to function in even a remotely “normal” way, I have to take them. Trust me, I tried coming off the painkillers and supplements and, well, crippled is probably the closest term to how I became.

    I think that’s what I want to point out – sometimes pills are the answer because how else is a person in need supposed to get the chemicals the brain needs to function correctly?

    If you do have an answer to that one, I would be really pleased to hear it. (That may sound sarcastic, but it isn’t. I’d love to be free of the pain, the injections, the pills etc etc etc.)

    With much love and respect.


    • Hi D, that’s a beautiful message and succinctly put. And yes this is a hugely fascinating and important issue, the apparent chicken and egg conundrum, of whether chemical imbalance initiates the state or the mind triggers the chemical imbalance, and in practice it’s both, and in your case, evidently primarily the former. However this doesn’t preclude the mind still being all-powerful once harnessed. In Tulum in November I found myself obliged to partake as a passenger in a high-speed car chase, followed by a 1 kilometer sprint barefoot on sand, faster than I’ve ever run in my life. My friend, who’d been driving and who was leading the action, were sprinting with excitement rather than fear, even though not making an escape at that point would have resulted in a hugely longwinded and potentially dangerous waste of quite a lot of time and vast measures of unpleasantness to negotiate – and we’d each have dealt with that if necessary, hence the absence of panic, nonetheless…
      So there I was sprinting faster than ever in my life for longer than I’ve ever sprinted in my life. And when we reached safety and regrouped, I wasn’t even out of breath, nor was I perspiring even though we were in the heat of a tropical night. I was laughing a lot but wasn’t out of breath at all. It took me a while to register that and note the significance, I’m 62. Had I thought of going out for a 1 km sprint with a brief to run faster than when I unofficially broke the world record for the 400 meters, also barefoot as it happens, at the age of 21, I’d have seen me being completely slammed and totally out of breath by the end – and sure enough I would have been. But the demands of this situation required me to bypass the limiting conditioning and proved irrefutably yet again, how the mind is all-powerful. Take from that what you will, but it’s an interesting insight.
      All my love, Doc

  • Depression, tragedy and illness can certainly create a lot of turmoil and quick fixes can help ( sometimes ) but it feels like we must bring a more reflective approach to mental healing into the mainstream. We’ve all been conditioned to believe in the literal, dualistic reality that presents itself to us everyday – and why wouldn’t we but, increasingly, it seems that we’ve become so far removed from our natural and true natures that it’s time for a rebalancing. Space and time to allow thoughts and beliefs to arise, without judgement and with guidance to reassess all the layers of conditioning that have become our deeply held truths are far more valuable than rushing to merely cover- up the pain and return a traumatised soul back into the melee. The natural healing mechanisms that the body/mind instigates need to be nurtured and honoured rather than shunned or suppressed. Bring on the village shaman, the wise woman , the gentle listening ear – something deeply loving desires to be born.

    You’re doing a grand job, S. XX

    • Hi dear Di, couldn’t have put it more eloquently or succinctly myself – in fact the anti-depressant route isn’t really such a quick fix anyway – it takes a few weeks to retrieve some stability, in fact often longer than it takes (approximately 6 weeks in the case of this system) to actually address and properly manage the condition once and for all. In practice I’ve usually been working with people over a three month period during which they were taking the drugs and were off them by the time we’d done, never at my suggestion incidentally, always spontaneously off their own bats, which is always the best 9and ultimately only) way. Love, S-Doc

  • Margarita
    1 year ago

    Hi BD 🙂
    This is one sensitive topic, and yet so in need of attention.
    I hadn’t even realised what it was invoking for me until a minute ago. I’ve already bought your upcoming training on skipping de-pressing oneself, so I’m already ‘sold’ on wanting a better way to handle life.
    My first encounter with anti-depressants was at the age of 10-15, and I have keenly avoided them since, as my memory of their effect was of spending my days as though I’d been hit on the head with a cushioned mallet, dull and unable to think. In fact, the effect persisted for a long time after I’d stopped taking the pills, leaving me extra vulnerable and perplexed.
    So I have actively favoured counselling and holistic approaches since, and am enormously appreciative of your efforts to equip people with better ways to keep themselves and others thriving.
    A friend’s daughter is recovering from an attempted suicide, at the age of 16 – and she’s going to need more than pills to create a vibrant life for herself – as do we all!
    This second article of yours came across to me as conveying a much clearer message than the first. Clarity is always worthwhile, even though sometimes hard-won, so here’s an energy boost to your elbow! 🙂
    Big love, Margarita the White Witch *:)

  • rachel
    1 year ago

    My aunt was put on anti-depressants last year. She is in her 80’s. Her daughter, my cousin had just died at the age of 63 who had severe learning difficulties and physical disabilities. My aunt had cared for her all her life. Within 8 weeks they decided she was not over it and therefore depressed. And then gave her pills
    Made me outraged and full of heartache hearing this. Of course she isn’t over it. She spent a lifetime caring for her child. She was heartbroken, devastated. There would of course have been no space for her to scream, rage, collapse and be cared for herself for months while she went through a tremendous grief and huge life shift.
    If she and others aren’t allowed to feel this intensity then of course all they can do is repress, supress and become depressed.

  • Beppie Adams
    1 year ago

    Excellent explanation! Due to miscellaneous corcumstances, such as death of my child, serious illness, divorce, etc i have battled depression but taken very few pills. Looking clearly at what is happening and obtaining the insight of others (you being one of them) I have been able to survive these depressions and I am doing very well now.
    Clearly, it gets easier with time to deal with this issue when maham strikes. Thank you dear Barefoot.

  • Anne Russell
    1 year ago

    P.S you helped a lot by the way

  • Anne Russell
    1 year ago

    I love you Doc ! you get it so spot on .. right on target , so direct ! soul to soul … thanks for all your help . I worked through some dark times as you recommend herein . I live with highs ,lows and everything in between … drug free and yes I had help for a while where I learned how to manage the journey to wholeness . I still cry easily and get anxious too. …” so sue me , sue me what can you do me ” ,tis simply so when you are alive .

  • What I meant to say was that I ‘fell in love with the Tao’ (not fell with the Tao) Marie

  • Hi Doc, for me you hit the nail on the head when you said that the essential cure is retrieving your true nature, and soul, and communing with that part of oneself, and from there with others. And yes, if one takes a lozenge for a sore throat its no big deal. Equally depressive states can in my experience flit in and out of one’s life for all kinds of reasons, particularly if one is an Empath, as a lot of us are. Add to that,
    however, there can be profound psycho-spiritual reasons for not being in touch with our true nature or indeed with the majesty of the soul – deep imprints of various kinds, and the crippling effect of what some call ‘soul contracts’. This is where your work and your expertise and wisdom is so important now. And I am reminded that I fell with the Tao years ago after doing some work with you, but just occasionally I feel the Tao’s forgotten me. Of course, I can hear you chuckling, even as I chuckle myself. Simple, isn’t, we just have to ‘remember’, and you help us do that brilliantly. Cosy, loving, Taoist hugs, as ever, LMH

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