Are You Depressed? Do You Know Someone Who Is Depressed?

Feeling depressed? What do you really know about depression – what causes it, where it comes from, how to cope with it, how to find your way out of it? Ever heard of “Intergenerational Depression”?

If you’ve never experienced depression, how do you relate to friends and family members who are depressed? Did you know that there are certain things you should never say to a depressed person?

What you’ll find on this page:

1. How Do You Know If You Are In Major Depression?
2. Diagnostic Criteria For Depression Used by Health Care Professionals
3. Intergenerational Depression
4. Where Does Your Emotional Pain and Sadness Come From?
5. Tony Robbins On Depression
6. Famous People Who Have Suffered From Depression
7. What is a Normal Childhood?
8. Where Do You Hold Emotional Pain in Your Body?
9. Coping Mechanisms for Depression
10. Is There Any Hope, Any Way Out of Depression?
11. How Does Hypnotic Regression Work?
12. Free Resources for Coping with Depression

How Do You Know If You Are In Major Depression?
We all feel depressed in life at times for short periods of time. Feelings of discouragement, frustration and despair are normal reactions to bad news, family misunderstandings, loss of a loved one, a job loss, or when a long-term relationship ends. These are significant disruptions to the normal flow of life, and it takes time to re-adjust and find one’s footing again. But this is not classed as “Major Depressive Disorder”.

Where Does Depression Come From?
Depression can be triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes it difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other. It can be linked to stressful events in your life.

Depression is not the result of a personal weakness, laziness or lack of will. It is recognized as a medical condition and can be treated with antidepressant medications. But you don’t have to stop there. Antidepressants are the first step to rebalancing yourself.

Depression is serious business. It can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you believe you are suffering from Depression, know that you don’t have to continue with this condition in your life. There are various approaches to dealing with depression, and since there is no one-size-fits all solution, you need to find which one works for you.

Diagnostic Criteria For Depression Used by Health Care Professionals
The graphic below shows the diagnostic criteria that a psychologist would use to diagnose Major Depressive Disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (AMA). This is the Reference Manual that all psychologists and psychiatrists are trained to refer to when diagnosing disorders of the mind.

Major Depressive Disorder Criteria

Depression That Has Always Been There
Emotional pain is part of being human and we all cope with it in different ways. But some people never seem to reach a resolution that permits them to move past the pain. It is deeply rooted in their past. There’s an undercurrent of depression which has followed them most of their lives. So much so, that it has become part of the fabric of their lives.

Intergenerational Depression
For example, the roots of your depression may have begun in a previous generation in your family. This inherited depression can overshadow your whole life, touching everything you do and everyone you meet. With this kind of depression, you may notice other members of the family seem to have that same sadness or low-grade depression hanging over them like a grey cloud, as well. And nobody seems to be able to pinpoint exactly when or why it started.

Could Grandma’s Life Experiences have Left an Epigenetic Imprint on Your Genes?
Research by a new branch of psychology called “Behavioral Epigenetics” has come to understand that “the causes of major depressive disorder (MDD) are poorly understood from a neuroscience perspective.” Behavioral epigenetics seeks to explain how our biological heredity – which has been passed down to us by our grandparents – may have been shaped by major environmental influences, such as catastrophic, traumatic, socio-political events and other significant disruptive influences, and severe stresses that occurred in their lives during their life span. This research brings to us a new way of looking at long-term depression.

The idea being put forward is, that epigenetic changes which took place in parents can be passed from one generation to the next. Similar to how diet and chemicals affect the DNA, it is posited that traumatic experiences in our recent ancestors’ past, leave scars on their DNA which are passed on to their descendants.

For example, we may see this in the descendants of those whose grandparents endured the ravages of the Cultural Revolution in China, or those whose grandparents and great-grandparents lived through the Jewish holocaust of the 1940’s. A genetic link to depression has been found in Chinese women with a severe form of depression called melancholia – where the person cannot feel any joy in life.

In the same way, we might also say that anyone, who grew up with alcoholic and abusive parents, may be carrying with them more than just memories.

What is “Epigenetics”?
“Epi” is Greek for “outside of”. Epigenetics then means outside of our genetics.
As a science Epigenetics looks at ways that our individual genetic makeup could have been modified by influences outside of the physical genetic code (the DNA) itself. These influences can be your emotions, the way you feel about your life, how upbeat and positive you are. You can keep your body healthy, by keeping your attitude and emotions positive, which sends signals to your body to take care of itself.

In this short one minute video, Dr. Bruce Lipton explains the importance of the role of perception – in maintaining our health.

Scientists have been seeing changes in an organism caused by the way the genes are expressed during an individual’s lifetime. These changes directly impact our epigenome – the record of changes that is held in our DNA.

The DNA passes these changes down to offspring via what is being called “transgenerational epigenetic inheritance”. 

So although the traumatic experiences in our past, or our recent ancestors’ past may be forgotten, they are still a part of us, in the sense of what epigeneticists are now calling a “molecular residue clinging to our genetic scaffolding”.

Sources for this section:

Where Does Your Emotional Pain and Sadness Come From?
– Whether it be pain that we inherited from events that happened long before we were born.
– Whether it be pain originating from events in our family of origin, stemming from early childhood
– Whether it be from the school system where we were exposed to bullying from peers, abuse from teachers, administrators, counsellors
– Whether it is associated with a religious community where abuse was common and a blind eye was turned to it.
– Whether we grew up as a ward of the social system, where we were shuffled around in foster homes, and had no voice that could be heard in the system.

There are many different scenarios. And it’s important to note that not everyone develops depression from these circumstances. Whether you develop one disorder or another, or emerge relatively unscathed, has a lot to do with environment, your personality type, your socio-economic status, the society that you grew up in, the support you have received from the community and your friends and family.

Some people have the odds stacked against them right from the get-go, yet they flourish with strong personalities, upbeat attitudes, and a practical mindset. Something in their life equips them to survive, and not only survive but thrive. Tony Robbins is a well-known example.

Tony Robbins On Depression:
How to Correct Your Mind to Get Out of a Funk

Famous People Who Have Suffered From Depression

Comediennes Roseanne Barr, Jim Carrey, and Rosie O’Donnell all dealt with depression with medication and therapy.
Abraham Lincoln struggled with depression most of his life.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, overcame depression that hit her after her first marriage ended in divorce.
Lady Gaga battles depression every day.
Angelina Jolie and Catherine Zeta-Jones have lived with depression.
And we are all aware of the role depression played in the life of comedienne Robin Williams.

What is a Normal Childhood?
Few if any of us have had idyllic childhoods where parents were always alert and aware enough to tend to the fears, anxieties, worries, panic, grief, trauma, and feelings of abandonment that children experience growing up, as they were happening.

All most busy parents can hope for is that their love will be enough to heal the wounds during the growing up years. And for some, the love of family and extended family is enough. Even when the home is a broken home, if there is love, the woundedness can be healed.

But what if the pain, fear, and anxiety never go away?
What if you feel persistent and unrelenting anger, seething just beneath the surface?
What if the fears you feel are illogical and make living a calm, rational life impossible?
What if there is recurring physical pain, or sensations in the body that can’t be explained?
What if there is such emotional numbness that a satisfying emotional relationship is out of reach?

These could be signs that you have unresolved pain in your life?

Where Do You Hold Emotional Pain in Your Body?
The graphic below shows where emotional pain is stored in the body. If you or your kids are experiencing pain in certain areas of the body, be aware that this may not just have a physical cause behind it. It could be a sign of emotional pain. When you are aware of this, you can check into it and find out what the real underlying cause might be.

emotions stored in the body

For example, liver problems have been known to be aggravated by anger, rage, jealousy, resentment, and bitterness.

It is not just an old saying to hear someone say: “He died of a broken heart”. Heart problems can be exacerbated by grief, sorrow, loss, feelings of abandonment, lack of love, and emptiness. The heart is also where ancient memories from past generations are held. It is in your best interest to seek help to move past these emotions as soon as you begin to understand what might be going on.

Coping Mechanisms for Depression
Emotions like those that never go away, trap us in reactive patterns that keep us stuck and disconnected from being able to participate in a normal life.

Sometimes unconscious coping patterns form when we are hurt in situations that are beyond our control, such as in early childhood. They develop as crude protective mechanisms that are put in place to keep from experiencing more pain.

Unconscious Coping Patterns
When we reach adulthood, we may notice that having these dysfunctional behaviors in our life can be limiting, in that they interfere with the natural enjoyment of life. This happens when we get stuck in these unconscious coping mechanisms or patterns which continue to disrupt our lives. Unconscious coping patterns are those which have been such a part of one’s life for so long, that they are not easily noticed, which is why they are called “unconscious”. These patterns are disturbing at the soul level, and they may involve soul-loss.

Is There Any Hope, Any Way Out of Depression?
When you are mired in this kind of loop day in, day out, there is a lethargy that sets in, that overshadows your life. And it makes it almost impossible to motivate oneself to get out of it, without some external intervention.

Antidepressants are a temporary intervention that numbs the pain, and allows you to live your life with some semblance of normalcy. But this only masks the symptoms. It’s not a true cure.

However, for some this is enough, until they are ready to go further.

For others, it could just be what they need to allow them to gather together enough momentum to get past the inertia and into therapy, perhaps a past life regression session, where they can lie back and just relax, and let their imagination take them back to another time, another place, where the cause of the pain began. In regression you can move through the mirror, so to speak, to the other side where you can look at the source of it all.

The insight you gain in regressive therapy, where you have the chance to go back and view it all again, allows you to let go of those limiting behavioural patterns, those restrictive thoughts and fears that have bound you up for so long.

How Does Hypnotic Regression Work?
Hypnotic regression takes you back into the subconscious where trapped memories can be retrieved and seen from your adult perspective, so you can see where it all started. Insights gained during these sessions bring a new level of awareness and understanding that gives you the missing pieces that allow you to see the events in their original state, and release the emotional loop around them, thus resolving the pain, once and for all.

You can see your part in the events, or realize how you were influenced by others. And you know deep inside there is no need to hold onto the pain anymore.

The Benefits of Regression Hypnosis
You can also free yourself from phobias, fears and traumas from your early childhood and even past lives, if that is where it all began.

You can find more peace, joy and health in your current life, by accessing past memories that hold the key to unblocking your enjoyment of your present life now. This can give you a whole new lease on life.

We heal ourselves when we are ready.
The inner child emerges into adulthood with a coping program forged out of the challenges met growing up. And it sometimes takes a long time before you start to recognize what has been going on in your life.

There are a number of roads to resolving these issues and you will recognize the one that resonates with you when you come to cross it. Hypnotic regression can provide a long-lasting resolution of depression because it allows you to get to the root cause of when and where it all began. But it works only when you are ready.

depressed-deep rest

What One Woman Did
One client of mine decided she was ready to take a look at the root cause of her depression through having a hypnotic regression.

She had been experiencing depression ever since she could remember. She was now retired and reaching the point where she felt she was at a crossroads in her life.

She knew this was the right time to commit to making a concerted effort to resolve some long-standing issues, having suffered from a low-grade depression, on and off, most of her life

She went on meds to give herself some breathing room, to do the research she needed to do, to find out what options were available to her to deal with depression in her life. She didn’t want to stay on medications indefinitely, but she couldn’t get going without some outside help.

After looking at what was available and attending one of Dr. Brian Weiss’s Weekend Workshops she decided that she would try a regression, to see if she could get to the root of the problem.

It worked for her because she was ready. She is now experiencing some welcome changes in her life and beginning to find some relief from as she described it: “the long dark night of the soul that I had been living with”.

Free Resources for Coping with Depression

You Can Heal Your Life

You Can Heal Your Life
If you would like to check out any physical symptoms you may have, a good place to start might be Louise Hay’s classic book: You Can Heal Your Life.

Chapter 15 has 45 pages, giving a comprehensive list of physical illnesses that show up in the body and the emotional health issues they may stem from, along with what to do about them.

By checking out this book, you may find a correlation between symptoms you are currently experiencing or have felt in the past and their probable causes. Get a Free copy, or buy the book from

Depression – An Alternative-Doctor Report

alternative doctor's reportDr. Keith Scott-Mumby wrote a comprehensive report describing some holistic approaches to treating depression that are worth looking at. It gives the background thinking and history of how treatment programs have developed.

Several mechanisms of depression are covered such as the effects of inflammation, homocysteine levels, the cortisol connection, the link between obesity and depression, melatonin and hormonal factors, nutrient deficiencies, and toxic burdens the body may be carrying.

Download this Free 22 page Alternative-Doctor Report.

The Self Care Depression Program Patient Guide

This Free Patient Guide comes as a 44 page pdf published by the University of British Columbia. It gives you some concrete steps to follow to regain some control over your life. It contains a plan for setting realistic goals to follow.

It shows you how to challenge negative thinking patterns. One example of this is the Three-Column Technique which provides a strategy for replacing negative thoughts with fair and more realistic thoughts. The goal is to catch yourself in negative automatic thoughts and deliberately replace them with more realistic and fair thinking.

It needs to be used together with antidepressant medication and with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
For those who would like to follow this path, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) holds promise for treating depression. For more on this check out the American Psychological Association’s page on Mindfulness for Treating Depression

Mirrors of Time ebookMirrors of Time
Hay House offers this as a Free Ebook by Dr. Brian Weiss, a well-known psychiatrist who has been doing Hypnotic Regression since 1980.

In this ebook, on page 77, he lays out a very effective hypnotic regression that you can do for yourself. This regression will take you back into your past and you will find memories that will help you with your present life.

A Complimentary Audio of the regression in this ebook, is available from Hay House with the details of the Product ID and Download Code that you will find on page 91 of this ebook.

Pull Yourself Together – Bridging the Communication Gap Between The Depressed and Those Who Love Them
~ Noch Noch Li & Dai Cameron

bearapy-bookFor those who are living with someone who is depressed, or know someone who is living with depression.

If you would like to better understand how to respond to those who are living with this mood disorder, what to say and what is not helpful to say to them, this ebook gives the answers, from someone who has been on both sides. She writes from her heart with great love, compassion, and insight into what it’s like to be depressed.

Her inspiration for this book came from the many comments on her blog, NochNoch, “10 Things Not to Say to a Depressed Person”, as she realized that there was a marked misunderstanding between the depressed and those who are not. Her book offers help to improve communications between the depressed and those who love them and want to reach them.

Noch Noch has generously made this ebook available as a Free Download for those who would like to have it.

All is not lost, we can improve communication between the depressed and those around them, but it takes effort, patience and thought on both sides. ~ Noch Noch Li