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AN IMPORTANT TRUTH ABOUT THE ANXIETY - DEPRESSION EPIDEMIC

Researchers today are shouting that there is an anxiety and depression epidemic in America. They even have the statistics to back up the claim. So, is it true?

If you are a loyal reader you know what a research-driven nut I am. As well, I'm often joked about being the "King of Fair." What that means is simply this - I work at being fair as I look at all perspectives of a given situation. It's also a personal pet peeve that I not ignore what's right in front of my eyes. Additionally, I read everything with an open, critical eye. We all are all made with a beautiful computer in our heads. My hope is you use yours to critique even what I write to you today.

It's obvious that multitudes of you are suffering. The depth of depression and anxiety are quite real in your experience of life. The misery and pain that accompanies depression and anxiety rips the color palette of life into shreds, leaving a pale, black and white world for you to live in. The terrifying aspect is that this "epidemic" really is growing. But, I ask why? How is it that, at least in the United States of America, here in the Land of The Free, that this could be happening?

I believe that depression and anxiety are the tip of a much deeper iceberg. We're having an epidemic of the soul! I know many of my readers are from all over the world and I would love to hear if what I'm saying resonates with you and your culture too.

We have contracted a soul-sickness that threatens our lives, our happiness, our joy, our productivity, our physical health and so much more.

In other words, we are lost to our souls and live only by our egos. Please don't misunderstand, I honor the ego as far as it can take us, but it cannot keep us on our golden path without the guiding force of our soul. Without living soulfully, we feel empty, lonely, grievous and without meaning. 

I can almost hear all your egos speaking now in unison (Yes, I hear voices all the time ;-) )saying, "Okay, so give me the answer. Give it to me right now. I want it. I will have it. Immediately!" My first response is, NO! My second response is, NO! And my third response is, NO!

I refuse to feed the empty loop of the ego. In place of the void which is caused by loss of connection with soul, we instinctively stuff everything we can into it. Ever hear of addiction? Most addictions are instinctual attempts to reconnect with the soul. There's usually an immediate gratification with an addiction, but it does not last. This leads to stuffing in more and more in an attempt to maintain a certain level of euphoria.

Don't just imagine the average street drug addict here. I'm talking about you too. Ever buy a car that you knew you didn't need? How much credit card debt do you have? How often do you overeat? How many relationships have you gone through? How many retreats have you been on? Some stuff their void with anger and pessimism. How preoccupied have you become with your depression and/or anxiety? Your level of energy? All the aches and pains of the body? How do you stuff your void?

Keep in mind, as your level of anger rises with each word I say, that I know how debilitating and powerful depression and anxiety can become. I know not just professionally, but in my own life as well. Those who know me know how deeply I empathize with their pain. Feeling understood can be a vital first step in recovery. 

Living an inauthentic life, suffering from depression, unhappiness, anxiety, chronic pain... becomes like living in a "Fully Furnished Rut." We don't like it, but it becomes familiar. Too familiar! Sometimes it takes a camel prod just to get us to budge even a tiny bit.

Take the story of a man I'll call "Steve." Steve came to me experiencing anxiety attacks and depression. He was a successful investment banker, but he felt empty. There was something missing in his life. I asked him for a symbol to represent his pain. He said that it felt like he was a glorious eagle who had been tethered to the ground for years. We agreed the best intervention for him was to make quiet time for himself and to journal as a way to begin to re-awaken his intuition, that quiet voice of the soul.

Steve committed, took the time and began his soul work. Soon he was recalling a childhood love for the arts. The importance of family, both his birth family and his own family through marriage, came into sharp focus. He realized that he had become scared of following his dreams and was lured into the security of the banking industry. Where that industry might feed the soul of another, it only sucked his dry.

Steve's transformation was beautiful to witness. Through careful discernment (ego) and constant dialogue with his intuition (soul), he began to loosen the tethers holding him back. It was electrifying for him, sometimes even terrifying. This is a normal process when we align our egos with our soul's intentions.

Here's what I witnessed in his transformation. His worried, tension-filled face softened. Next, he stopped showing up in three-piece suits. He still looked sharply professional but was relaxing into his own style. He began writing poetry and painting. He began listening to classical music again, even began playing the piano. His depression dissipated. Eventually, with the support of his wife, he resigned as an investment banker. His first year he stayed home with his two girls and steeped himself in family and service work to assist other men towards soul-filled lives. After a while he opened an antiques shop.

Steve's is one story of a soul that came home. Is your soul home? What would it take in your life to become reacquainted with your soul's purpose? And then to act on that knowing?

Soulful living is the single most powerful answer to unhappiness, despair, loneliness and anxiety. 

 

 

 

 


Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer & Life Coach

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Ask Dave!

QUESTION

Hello Dave,

I want to feel GOOD about who and what I am.  I'd like to be my own best friend.  From there, maybe the other things will fall into place?

Thank you,

Patrick

RESPONSE

Hi Patrick,

First, you'll want to make sure to read the main article a couple of times.

Next, I would have you spend some time considering what in your life is NOT you.  

As you think about this, take into consideration your thoughts, feelings and behaviors... people, places and things in your life which are not reflective of who you really are.  

Trust your intuition here.  This exercise itself is a great way to be a good friend to yourself.  This work  helps in separating you out from those things that don't quite feel like a fit for you.  Those pieces which are not aligned with you usually will not "feel" right to you or will confuse you or sap energy and resources.

Life areas to consider may include:

Physical Environment
Personal/Spiritual Development
Social
Fun
Physical health
Self-care
Intimacy
Finances
Family
Friends
Career

The areas listed above, when working rightly, will reflect what you hold to dearest to your heart.

Best wishes on becoming your own best friend!

Dave Turo-Shields

QUESTION

Is depression really curable?  I have suffered from depression on and off for several yrs. now and even when I was taking medication and receiving counseling, I never really ever felt good.  I'm tired of just making it through each day and dodging people as I don't want them to figure out how depressed of a person I really am.

Thank you,

Erin

RESPONSE

Hi Erin,

I'm a hopeless optimist!  I feel that you can either wipe out depression's influence or at the very least you can manage it and have a very good life.

I have several suggestions.  Depending on the severity of physical symptoms you associate with depression, I strongly recommend ruling out a medical problem.  If you've tried that, then I recommend asking your family practitioner to make a recommendation for an endocrinologist to rule out any possible glandular/autoimmune disorders.

Pick up a copy of "Healing Anxiety and Depression" by Amen.  His research is impressive.  He's isolated "7" different subtypes of anxiety and depression in the brain.  There's also a self-diagnostic test in the book.  You can also find it online at:

Click Here For Online Checklist

Consider going through one of three centers for metabolic evaluation.  Metabolic Typing isn't just going to be the future of dieting and weight loss, it's also going to play a huge role in good mental health as well.  Food is the most powerful drug we put into our bodies on a daily basis.  Wouldn't you want to know EXACTLY what foods your body loves and needs, in contrast to those the body attacks like pathogens?  Metabolic Typing is curing things like obesity, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many other illnesses.

Learn more at the site below:

Click Here To Learn More

May peace be yours!

Dave Turo-Shields

 

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