Edie Stone, MA, LPC

Edie Stone, MA, LPC

2027 Broadway, Suite H, Boulder, CO 80304
Return to www.ediestone.com

Winter getting you down? See the note below about winter blues, winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Find Relief from Depression

Discover effective holistic techniques to help you ...

Don't wait to start feeling better.
Call now to arrange a free consultation with Edie Stone, MA, LPC: 303-415-3755
Or email me at estone@ediestone.com

Winter getting you down? See the note below about winter blues, winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

How to Recover from Depression:
Holistic, Integrated Treatment
Tailored to Your Unique Needs

by Edie Stone, MA, LPC

Depression is a complex state which has mental, emotional, physical, energetic, and spiritual aspects. I encourage you to look at all areas of your life that may be stuck or out of balance.

Shift Negative Self-Talk -- The Mental Level

Language is powerful. Chronic, negative self-judgments have a powerful effect on your body and mind.

Want to try an experiment? Stand up, stretch and move a little, then stand or sit in a different place in the room. Bring to mind a pleasant memory, and let yourself play with it for a minute or two. Then notice the sensations in your body. Is your breath flowing? Chest and belly relaxed? Shoulders lower? Neck and jaw looser?

Come back to your first position. Now repeat several times a typical phrase of negative self-talk, such as, "It's hopeless,"or "I'm so stupid," or "I don't deserve any better." Notice what just happened in your body. The effect is usually dramatic -- Did your breath get shallow? Throat tighten? Chest feel heavy? Shoulders up or forward? Neck or back stiff? Stomach tight? All of the above? If one negative phrase has such power, it is easy to understand how days of negative self-talk contribute to depression. Now come back to the second position. Breathe, stretch, remember the pleasant memory.

The next step at the mental level is to challenge and shift distorted, negative thinking. Affirmations help, but only if they ring true for you. I can help you examine old rules or self-judgments that you absorbed as a child or in difficult situations. Journaling, writing with the non-dominant hand, role-playing a dialogue, visualizing, and drawing are some of the tools we can use to discover the roots of negative self-talk. As old thoughts and judgments are challenged, you gain a clearer understanding of your true worth and feelings.

Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is often intertwined with depression. I will help you to develop relaxation and stress management skills. For example, I use a grounding meditation, which will help you reconnect with breath, body, feet, and Earth. This helps shift the panic, isolation, dissociation, or numbness which sometimes accompany anxious depression.

Recover Emotional Expression

Depression has an emotionally flat quality. I support you in giving yourself permission to recover feelings and express emotions. Gentle body awareness will support emotional flow. Giving voice to neglected parts of the self, such as the inner child, will bring back emotional spontaneity. Assertiveness techniques channel anger that is turned against the self into appropriate expression in the outer world. Art, movement, music, poetry, journaling -- all expressive forms support the return of emotional energy.

Feel Better Physically

Attending to the physical level of depression can improve your mood. Increasing physical exercise, improving sleep patterns, and improving nutrition all support your recovery from depression. Start with setting a small, doable goal of increasing any movement or exercise that you enjoy, including walking outdoors. Note how your mood improves as you meet your small goal, then increase and vary it with other exercise.

If you are depressed, you should have a medical checkup. Food allergies, yeast infections, hormone dysfunction, hypoglycemia, low thyroid function, and other biological imbalances often set the stage for depression. Even dental infections can trigger depression. I have seen amazing shifts in mood after clients discover that they are allergic to certain foods (most often wheat, dairy, corn, or soy).

Serotonin is just one of many neurotransmitters that affect mood. Others include GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, endorphins, and oxytocin.

Sometimes medications are necessary, but supplements often produce improvement with fewer side effects. I often recommend that clients see a nutritionist or naturopath who specializes in mood disorders for assessment of neurotransmitter levels and nutritional guidance. (NOTE: If you are already taking anti-depressant medication, get professional advice before adding a serotonin supplement such as 5-HTP or St. John's wort. You may need to taper off the medication and taper onto the supplement, to avoid the dangers of serotonin syndrome.)

Increase Your Energy

At the energetic level, depression can be affected by blocks or imbalances in meridians or chakras. Sometimes we absorb other people's negative energy.

Learning to set clearer boundaries helps reduce energy loss. I can demonstrate easy energy medicine techniques that raise energy, improve mood, and protect the core self from taking in toxic thoughts, feelings, or energy from other people.

Visualization and body-mind awareness techniques can also increase your flow of energy, and support emotional and physical healing.

I sometimes recommend that depressed clients see a naturopath or acupuncturist. Some clients decide to explore tai chi, yoga, or energy medicine practices.

Strengthen Spiritual Connections

The spiritual level of depression often manifests in a sense of disconnection, alienation, or lack of purpose. Addictive behaviors also often have a sense of spiritual emptiness at their core.

Developing a spiritual practice supports recovery from depression. Meditation and prayer have mental, emotional, physical, and energetic benefits, in addition to supporting spiritual growth.

Healing depression starts with inner work. But our healing is not complete without reconnecting to a sacred path in the outer world, such as service, participating in healthy community, or spending more time in nature.

Don't wait to start feeling better. Call now for a free introductory consultation: 303-415-3755.

Or email me at estone@ediestone.com

A note about the winter blues

Some people get the blues as winter approaches. In others, the dark days of winter can trigger a full depression.

Winter depression, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a recurring variety of depression that occurs between the months of October and March in Colorado. Researchers believe that decreased sunlight and more time spent indoors trigger changes in brain chemistry, especially levels of melatonin and seratonin.

Clients with winter blues or seasonal depression benefit from increasing physical activity during the winter months. I know, easier said than done when you are feeling low and slow in the winter. But even if you can't go out, put on a CD and dance or even do arm movements for 15 minutes, then notice the difference in your mood.

Light therapy, using a full-spectrum lamp in the morning, can often be very helpful for seasonal depression. I have a large SAD lamp called a "Happy Lite" in my office, so clients can experience during a session the effect that light therapy might have on their mood.

As with any form of depression, if you have tried self-help techniques and you aren't feeling better, please seek professional assistance. I offer a free consultation and a range of holistic treatments to help you feel better.

You don't need to wait until spring to start feeling better. Please contact me at 303-415-3755 or estone@ediestone.com for a free consultation.

Return to How to Recover from Depression, above.

Edie Stone, MA, LPC
2027 Broadway, Suite H, Boulder, CO 80302

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