Taming the Black Dog of Depression - Vigyaa
Close

Delete Collection?

Are you sure you want to delete this collection permanently?

Close

Delete Collection?

Are you sure you want to delete this collection permanently?

Everyone has a Story to Tell and an Experience to Share!

Let’s Start Writing
8da9ccbb-9637-4088-b42f-1b7713a6d20f

25 views

Taming the Black Dog of Depression

Robert Kramer 24 mins · Sunlight is an anti-depressant. Read chapter 5 of my book taming the black dog of depression titled good morning sunshine. The book has gone viral around the globe look at the Facebook comments. I sure would appreciate it if you bought the book for somebody and gave it a review on Amazon or KINDLE....

529794_444374035577222_1274980228_n

Robert Kramer
24 mins ·
Sunlight is an anti-depressant.
Read chapter 5 of my book taming the black dog of depression titled good morning sunshine.
The book has gone viral around the globe look at the Facebook comments. I sure would appreciate it if you bought the book for somebody and gave it a review on Amazon or KINDLE....
www.facebook.com/tamingtheblackdogofdepression



Related Articles

Depression is anxiety. It is the constellation of symptoms caused by relentless anxiety. This is critical to understand because anxiety is simply the sensation you feel when your body is full of stress chemicals, such as cortisol, adrenaline and histamines. It is the essence of your body’s neurochemical unconscious survival response, which is approximately a million times stronger than your conscious brain.

“I know better”

So, anxiety is not primarily psychological and not solvable by your rational brain. Have you ever wondered why so many people (maybe all of us) act badly when we know better? How successful are we at keeping our New Year’s resolutions? Why would you treat your loved ones worse than you would treat a stranger? What about the atrocities that are commonly committed at a societal level? This list is endless because you can’t outrun or overpower your mind and need to survive.

I have known for many years that anxiety is the driving force behind depression, and have seen smatterings of it being discussed in the literature and news. I suffered from a major depression for over 15 years with the last eight of them being extreme. In 2002, I was actively suicidal, and am still not quite sure why I didn’t go through with my plan. I got lucky and have been given a second chance. About 18 months later, I pulled out of my downward spiral of anxiety and major depression. Little did I know that they were the same entity.

I eventually was able to live a fuller and richer life than I dreamed was possible. It is also the experience of many of my patients who escaped from the grips of chronic pain in that their quality of life is even better than before they developed chronic pain.

Why is depression just the expression of sustained anxiety?

  • All people with depression have anxiety (although it can be suppressed by anger), but not everyone with anxiety has depression.
  • One of the earliest signs of depression is waking up in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. This is usually from racing thoughts – connected to anxiety.
  • Then you can’t fall asleep. Again, from disruptive thoughts, but also from your body being full of stress chemicals. You are on high alert, which isn’t conducive to falling asleep.
  • You’re not sleeping – a cardinal symptom of depression.
  • Eventually, you have trouble concentrating, which is a combination of your racing thoughts and not being able to sleep.

You have already defined a minor to moderate depression – and the relentless anxiety continues and becomes increasingly intolerable. It was by far and away the worst part of my ordeal. From a survival perspective, the intention is to create such an unpleasant feeling that you are compelled to take action that to escape the threat. But I couldn’t escape my thoughts and they progressed to vivid, obsessive thought patterns, which is the core of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I was introduced to another realm of suffering I never would have imagined. It is beyond words, and that is why I use the term, “The Abyss.” I watched my patients try to describe how deep their suffering was, and all that kept coming up for me was the word, “dark”, and without any hope of light. The next word was, “despair.”

None

I also experienced the more advanced symptoms of a major depression (anxiety).

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss – adrenaline decreases the blood supply to your GI tract.
  • Lack of energy – being full of these chemicals keeps your body on high alert and it just wears you down. It is similar to attempting to sprint a mile.
  • Multiple diffuse physical symptoms – direct effect of your body’s hormones on the different organ systems. I was experiencing over 17 of them at the worst phase of my ordeal.
  • Social isolation – the one worst part of my journey, besides the anxiety, was loneliness. It was crushing and many self-deprecating thought patterns emerged. This occurred in spite of the fact that I am normally extremely social. It still took me down.
  • Suicidal ideation – and action plan.

You get the point. What we are calling depression is a set of symptoms created by sustained levels of stress chemicals (anxiety).

Anger – stepping it up a notch

Then the story gets worse – a lot worse. One antidote to anxiety is control, and normally when a physical threat is solved, the anxiety drops, and you’ll live another day. However, when you can’t escape (your thoughts for example), your body will secrete more adrenaline, cortisol and histamines in an effort to regain control, and you’ll feel angry (trapped). So, anger is anxiety with a chemical kick and is the same entity. The problem is that anger is truly the last-ditch effort to survive and is destructive. An animal will do whatever it has to do to stay alive. Humans have the same need, but the destructive behavior doesn’t have an endpoint because we have consciousness. Additionally, it is self-destructive.

Sustained anger will drive you deep into the hole, cause more intense physical symptoms, and to me felt like a pile driver was driving my soul right into the center of the earth. Then, since you may be beyond caring, you might neglect your health. Complete disregard for your physical health is akin to a slow suicide. Talk about knowing better and then doing something different, is the classic illustration of the unconscious behavioral patterns winning out over willpower. Why else would you not want to feel physically great and live life to the fullest?

Medicine has missed it

I will get a lot of push back on this article from almost every corner of the medical world. But, they have missed this one – badly. Anxiety and depression are conceptualized, labeled and treated differently. They are not only the same entity, but neither are truly solvable with isolated psychological interventions. Although, psychological treatments are important aspects of care by providing support, wisdom, guidance and symptom control they must be combined with other strategies that teach you how to develop your own individualized way of regulating your body’s chemistry. Learning how to change your hormonal profile to “play”, which includes oxytocin (love drug), dopamine (rewards), GABA chemicals (anti-anxiety), and serotonin (antidepressant) is simple, effective, easily learned and will change your life.

Anxiety and depression are the same entity. The core driver is anxiety, which is not primarily a psychological problem. We can’t get rid of it or we wouldn’t survive. Understanding the nature of any problem will allow you to address the root issue. It is a solvable problem using strategies that stimulate your brain to rewire.

Depression is anxiety. It is the constellation of symptoms caused by relentless anxiety. This is critical to understand because anxiety is simply the sensation you feel when your body is full of stress chemicals, such as cortisol, adrenaline and histamines. It is the essence of your body’s neurochemical unconscious survival response, which is approximately a million times stronger than your conscious brain.

“I know better”

So, anxiety is not primarily psychological and not solvable by your rational brain. Have you ever wondered why so many people (maybe all of us) act badly when we know better? How successful are we at keeping our New Year’s resolutions? Why would you treat your loved ones worse than you would treat a stranger? What about the atrocities that are commonly committed at a societal level? This list is endless because you can’t outrun or overpower your mind and need to survive.

I have known for many years that anxiety is the driving force behind depression, and have seen smatterings of it being discussed in the literature and news. I suffered from a major depression for over 15 years with the last eight of them being extreme. In 2002, I was actively suicidal, and am still not quite sure why I didn’t go through with my plan. I got lucky and have been given a second chance. About 18 months later, I pulled out of my downward spiral of anxiety and major depression. Little did I know that they were the same entity.

I eventually was able to live a fuller and richer life than I dreamed was possible. It is also the experience of many of my patients who escaped from the grips of chronic pain in that their quality of life is even better than before they developed chronic pain.

Why is depression just the expression of sustained anxiety?

  • All people with depression have anxiety (although it can be suppressed by anger), but not everyone with anxiety has depression.
  • One of the earliest signs of depression is waking up in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep. This is usually from racing thoughts – connected to anxiety.
  • Then you can’t fall asleep. Again, from disruptive thoughts, but also from your body being full of stress chemicals. You are on high alert, which isn’t conducive to falling asleep.
  • You’re not sleeping – a cardinal symptom of depression.
  • Eventually, you have trouble concentrating, which is a combination of your racing thoughts and not being able to sleep.

You have already defined a minor to moderate depression – and the relentless anxiety continues and becomes increasingly intolerable. It was by far and away the worst part of my ordeal. From a survival perspective, the intention is to create such an unpleasant feeling that you are compelled to take action that to escape the threat. But I couldn’t escape my thoughts and they progressed to vivid, obsessive thought patterns, which is the core of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I was introduced to another realm of suffering I never would have imagined. It is beyond words, and that is why I use the term, “The Abyss.” I watched my patients try to describe how deep their suffering was, and all that kept coming up for me was the word, “dark”, and without any hope of light. The next word was, “despair.”

None

I also experienced the more advanced symptoms of a major depression (anxiety).

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss – adrenaline decreases the blood supply to your GI tract.
  • Lack of energy – being full of these chemicals keeps your body on high alert and it just wears you down. It is similar to attempting to sprint a mile.
  • Multiple diffuse physical symptoms – direct effect of your body’s hormones on the different organ systems. I was experiencing over 17 of them at the worst phase of my ordeal.
  • Social isolation – the one worst part of my journey, besides the anxiety, was loneliness. It was crushing and many self-deprecating thought patterns emerged. This occurred in spite of the fact that I am normally extremely social. It still took me down.
  • Suicidal ideation – and action plan.

You get the point. What we are calling depression is a set of symptoms created by sustained levels of stress chemicals (anxiety).

Anger – stepping it up a notch

Then the story gets worse – a lot worse. One antidote to anxiety is control, and normally when a physical threat is solved, the anxiety drops, and you’ll live another day. However, when you can’t escape (your thoughts for example), your body will secrete more adrenaline, cortisol and histamines in an effort to regain control, and you’ll feel angry (trapped). So, anger is anxiety with a chemical kick and is the same entity. The problem is that anger is truly the last-ditch effort to survive and is destructive. An animal will do whatever it has to do to stay alive. Humans have the same need, but the destructive behavior doesn’t have an endpoint because we have consciousness. Additionally, it is self-destructive.

Sustained anger will drive you deep into the hole, cause more intense physical symptoms, and to me felt like a pile driver was driving my soul right into the center of the earth. Then, since you may be beyond caring, you might neglect your health. Complete disregard for your physical health is akin to a slow suicide. Talk about knowing better and then doing something different, is the classic illustration of the unconscious behavioral patterns winning out over willpower. Why else would you not want to feel physically great and live life to the fullest?

Medicine has missed it

I will get a lot of push back on this article from almost every corner of the medical world. But, they have missed this one – badly. Anxiety and depression are conceptualized, labeled and treated differently. They are not only the same entity, but neither are truly solvable with isolated psychological interventions. Although, psychological treatments are important aspects of care by providing support, wisdom, guidance and symptom control they must be combined with other strategies that teach you how to develop your own individualized way of regulating your body’s chemistry. Learning how to change your hormonal profile to “play”, which includes oxytocin (love drug), dopamine (rewards), GABA chemicals (anti-anxiety), and serotonin (antidepressant) is simple, effective, easily learned and will change your life.

Anxiety and depression are the same entity. The core driver is anxiety, which is not primarily a psychological problem. We can’t get rid of it or we wouldn’t survive. Understanding the nature of any problem will allow you to address the root issue. It is a solvable problem using strategies that stimulate your brain to rewire.

Over the years I have heard a number of people say that the only reason someone would be depressed is because their life lacks meaning. I even heard a yoga teacher come out with the same view.

But before I go into what my thoughts are on this, I will go along with what these people believed. It could be said that there is no denying the fact that, if someone’s life lacks meaning, they can experience a number of symptoms that are associated with being depressed.

Nothing to Live For

Through having no reason to live, they can find it hard to get out of bed, have no interest in life or pleasure and feel very low. Therefore, if they were to gain a sense of meaning, there is the chance that most of these symptoms would slowly disappear.

In this case, they didn’t need to take anything or to have years of therapy – they simply found a reason for being on this earth. Their reason for being here is likely to involve serving others in some shape or form, which will enable them to feel connected to something greater than themselves.

A New Outlook

Through having something to focus on, it will stop them from getting caught up in the trivialities of life and it will stop their mind from creating problems. Ergo, what annoyed them before might not even enter their mind and their mind will have a bone to play with, so to speak.

One is then going to on the same planet as they were before, but it could seem as though they have woken up somewhere else. And thanks to how their energy has shifted, other people may respond differently to them.

It’s not black and white

However, while part of me thought that there is some truth to what these people came out with, another part of me couldn’t completely accept it. What came to my mind were the athletes who had a purposeful existence but who suffered from depression.

Or is there a chance that these athletes are just making it up and actually lead lives that lack meaning, with this being the reason why they are depressed? To say that someone would only be depressed because their life lacks meaning is no different to saying that someone is only overweight because they eat too much – it has no basis in reality.

A Number of Reasons

If someone comes out with someone like this it could show that this was the case for them or perhaps they have just read it in a book. There are, of course, all kinds of reasons as to why someone would suffer from depression.

Someone like this may have experienced trauma as a child, and this would have had a negative effect on the brain in their head and their stomach. Then again, they may have recently lost a loved one or experienced a break up.

Final Thoughts

​If someone is in a bad way, it will be vital for them to receive the right support. To tell someone why they are depressed without even taking a closer look at their life or their history, for instance, is not going to allow them to feel understood and it might not solve anything.

Reference Image
Close