Balancing Your Body and Mind

Depression: How My Body Healed Me

This is my attempt at communicating my own experience with depression and postpartum depression. It’s really challenging to translate feeling into words or through a video, but I hope what is helping me will help others too.

Depression feels very different from sadness. The same way that happiness is different than indifference. Depression is like a chronic numbness with a life of it’s own. It’s not a personal choice. You don’t wake up and say, I’m going to be depressed. Depression builds up over time, and usually stems all the way back to childhood.

Depression became overwhelming in a way I couldn’t feel. But it’s not a choice to make. Willpower becomes useless. So when people encourage you to think about how much your life has going for it, it doesn’t matter. Depression remains as soon as their encourage wears off (after an hour). It feels like every day is a broken record, where you can only feel 5% of life before you go back to bed and repeat it again the next day. That lasted for a long time with me. I think my way out started with finding Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen books.

Even though I read other psychology books describing how anger and sadness from childhood stayed in my, nothing was written how to let it out, how to release it. And I refuse to take medication with all the side effects. Reich and Lowen gave new descriptions of depression and provided [radical] steps to take in private (called bioenergetics techniques) to break up the tension and stagnation slowly started a domino effect in my life. A lot of anger and sadness was stored up in my body, in my abdomen, pelvis, chest, making it almost impossible to breath deeply.

I never knew there was a way to discharge the root of depression, to break apart deep neurological emotional holding patterns in my muscle tissue. Discharging is what breaks the cycle. Once I began opening up and expressing, which was very awkward at first, my feelings slowly started to return. It took a year before I was disciplined enough to stick to weekly sessions.

Some say ex-pression is the opposite of de-pression.

Healing from depression using bioenergetics didn’t result in non-stop pleasure or excitement all the time. Rather I simply began to “feel” again. Chronic muscle tension suffocated my feeling, even when my heart wanted to love. I now realize the importance of shaking myself, not avoiding it, letting my emotions flow so they don’t get trapped inside. Even though as a new mother, I barely have personal time, but these depression exercises are too important NOT to do.

I want to give special thanks to the amazing outreaches of:

Forever grateful for the courage of Wilhelm Reich — how he went outside the box of conventional psychotherapy to discover the truth behind vitality.

I would encourage anyone to read “Depression and the Body” by Alexander Lowen. Followed by Fear of Life. And I’m here if you ever want to talk about it. 🙂 I wish you all the best in your efforts.

Thank you for watching, Katya