Below is an exchange of communication which I had with a seminar participant who was following up about Depression

Below is an exchange of communication which I had with a seminar participant who was following up about Depression:

I am writing to you in the hope that you might be able to offer me some advice. I did the CALM Life Skills Seminar a while ago and have found that I got a lot out of it. I have been focusing on a healing goal around a health problem, namely depression, which I have had off and on for more than 20 years now. I have a firm belief that I can use the tools from the workshop, primarily going to Peaceful place and working on the goal with my emotional anchor etc., to get to a point where I can live depression free.

Sandy: Good one! 

I have however had a few problems recently, with the depression with anxiety resurfacing again. There are a number of symptoms that I instantly recognize, that are a kind of precursor to a full on bout. Without going into too much detail these include anxiety with feelings of irritability, confusion, forgetfulness and an inability to plan tasks and make decisions. Often even simple chores such as cleaning and cooking seem like huge tasks. Though I must explain that these don't happen in a flash or necessarily happen concurrently but rather kind of build over time or coexist by degrees and often come and go at different times of the day. I have a fairly high pressure job and these symptoms tend to lead to further anxiety and, in the past, a kind of a spiral downward begins which leads to a full-blown bout of depression.

Sandy: At each time that you have symptoms of irritability then that's the time, immediately, to use your "circuit breaker" - in other words, your "Peaceful Place" (PP). Basically you're using this as an interrupt mechanism, telling yourself that you're aware of being irritable and that you CAN do something about it.

I have worked on a couple of goals since the seminar, the first was focusing on the words " I am powerfully experiencing positive and clear thinking" I found this to be highly effective, especially in matters surrounding work. After about a couple of months I switched to another goal which I felt was highly relevant and a bit broader. Initially I worked with the words " I am motivated, energetic and enthusiastic about life." I worked on this for several weeks visualizing my joy and energy in a number of areas of my life. However I found a lot of negative thoughts and self talk increasingly arose. After discussing this with my partner, who had also taken the workshop, she pointed out that there wasn't a strong emotional element to this goal. I
then modified it to include the word joyously so that it now is "I am joyously motivated, energetic and enthusiastic about life"

Sandy: I think that the approach you've taken is fine - even including the word "joyously". Remember, you have been working with depression for 20 years - it is likely that it will take a little while to completely eradicate it. I have heard of a high profile businessman battling depression, whereby he says that he has learned techniques that he can use to handle his depression. Apparently he still sometimes has 2 or 3 days at a time of depression and I understand that he stays at home during this time, using the techniques much more frequently. He has said that the frequency of the bouts of depression is decreasing. To me, I think that by you continually using PP and Goals, plus positive self-talk, this will have a cumulative, beneficial effect. Please don't be disappointed if you appear to "regress" at times. Just know that you will overcome it.

I have worked on this goal going to peaceful place five times a day, applying my emotional anchor while visualizing myself being energetic and joyous in a variety of areas of my life for at least three weeks now. However there seems to be an increase in the types of aforementioned
symptoms that I have experienced and I really want to avoid getting into a deep depression. I have, as I have said, continued to work with my goal regularly and so I am having a variety of mixed feelings including doubts, misgivings and questions, which have prompted me to write to you.

Sandy: Keep doing this and the answer above this paragraph is relevant.

I should mention, that I had been on medication prior to taking the workshop but had decided to stop taking it as I felt a need to prove that it was clearly the goal, and my own will power that will make this work for me.

Sandy: Congratulations ! This is an enormous step. Have you acknowledged what you've done and congratulated "your child within" ? By the way, I have heard other people tell me that they have found it helpful to go back onto a reduced level of medication on occasions when they appear to have a particularly challenging spell - I don't know if this is relevant to you, perhaps you should discuss it with your doctor ?

Is it usual for the subconscious to fight so hard and to throw up challenges to my goal in the way that the depression symptoms might reappear in a kind of last-ditch fight to throw me off my goal focus? Or, am I missing the point with something around the goal and healing and not working it in the correct way?

Sandy: Yes, this is absolutely normal - remember, you've had depression for 20 years, it might take a while to overcome it. Keep up the good work.

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