Article by Ranjini Rao
The most common belief when it comes to depression is that if we’re sad all the time, we’re depressed, or if we prefer being alone and feel like crying most of the time, we’re depressed as well. But that’s more or less not right.
Depression is that feeling of wanting everything to end, even if it means the world stops and so do you. There’s a loss in interest of activities that you once enjoyed doing all the time, such as playing a sport or writing. There’s constant fatigue and you just don’t feel like doing anything.
Depression doesn’t involve just crying and being sad, it includes major appetite changes, be it a loss or a gain and quite extreme mood swings.
The most common symptoms are the ones listed below:
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Increase in energy (to achieve drastic measures to beat the feeling)
- Change in appetite
- Touchiness (more irritable with common things)
- An emerging dark side (becoming more preoccupied with death and other dark topics)
Depression may be caused by the smallest of triggers, such as failing a subject or fighting with a good friend, or a big trigger such as facing losses in your venture or the loss of a job you’ve been in for a long time.
Last year, I had a friend who was experiencing a lot of pressure at home as well as at work. It could be seen in her sunken eyes, or her stooping posture. She would never laugh at jokes she usually did enjoy, and she ate much lesser than someone who enjoyed food more than anything else in life. Her sadness was unwavering, which is one of the warning signals for depression. I hadn’t realized she was depressed until she missed office for about 5 days, which was when I got worried and inquired about her immediately. Her lack of interest in singing (one of her many hobbies), constant fatigue, very prominent dark circles due to change in sleeping patterns, a short temper, and change in eating patterns were the hidden signs of depression that none of us saw until I heard that she tried to end her own life just for all the stress to end. When she came to office the next day, she looked worse than any other day and that told me she needed someone to talk to.
This incident got me wondering about one question only. How would you cope with depression?
Coping with depression differs from one person to another. For one person it may involve being made to spend more time with close friends and doing activities they used to love, and for another, it may involve the use of anti-depressants.
According to me, the most effective way to at least find your way towards recovery is through Reiki and expressive art therapy. Giving a Reiki touch therapy session on the physical body, sometimes brings to light some issues that you didn’t even realize were present, and due to this, you may even come up with solutions for it on your own! Reiki heals the cause thereby heals the effect.
Another solution that I find incredibly helpful and different is drawing or art. Drawing & Painting what you feel, if you can/want to, can be so relieving. Making your hardships art is also a way of keeping yourself occupied, which results in dark thoughts staying away from your mind. If you are a Reiki healer or therapist and are your client is unwilling to speak, then expressive art therapy is another way of helping them release blocked energy within –It could be anger, pain, grief, guilt, shame or any emotion.
Art therapy is a kind of coping with stress/depression/anxiety/any mental or health issues by way of drawing. Draw exactly what you feel and imagine how it would look when the problem is solved.
Apart from the experience from my sessions with clients, the more tested and successful solutions are as follows:
- Assess the severity; get immediate help if it’s too severe like call a national helpline, go to a Psychologist or Psychiatrist
- Create a safe environment, get rid of any tools that can be used for self-harm
- Seek help of a mental health professional along with an alternative healer or therapist
- Be kind, reminding people they’re depressed doesn’t help them at all.
But most importantly, Smile.
Smile your way through the dark days and the light will be found in no time. And be patient, don’t give up too soon. Love yourself and the ones trying to help you.
In my next article, I will be sharing some strategies using Reiki and art therapy to heal your clients.
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Ranjini Rao is an independent wellness counselor, who imparts Reiki knowledge and other self-empowerment techniques to individuals looking for serving their life’s purpose and to unlock the potential of their mind. She coaches on mindfulness practices through NLP, meditation, and mandala art painting. Prior to this, she was serving as a Marketing strategy Consultant @ IBM Interactive Experience & Mobile, Global Delivery Services. She has served in several roles within IBM India over 15 years and has over 20+ years of Industry experience and her specialization is Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategy coaching and consulting. Her personal experiences around Reiki have been life-changing and transformational in nature.
She has been a pious person and spiritually inclined soul since a young age. She was an intuitive channel since 1995 even before she realized it. She has been associated with various philanthropy community activities and developed her interests in holistic healing since 2008. She is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Certified Master, Certified Holistic Well-being Counsellor, TA101 Certified by ITAA, Angel therapy practitioner, Certified NLP practitioner, self-taught artist, and Silva Method Practitioner.