Depression is a debilitating mental condition of overwhelming sadness and disinterest in activity. The victim may feel hopeless, tearfulness, lack of energy to engage in even the smallest tasks, worthlessness, anxiety, anger, restlessness, and have trouble focusing and may even have frequent thoughts of suicide.
If one has been in a traumatic event, depression often accompanies Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can also be understood as one of the symptoms of PTSD.
Without support, each episode of depression may be a painful, prolonged and possibly life-threatening time.
For Michael Phelps, depression is both a problem that many athletes face and also a personal challenge. Despite being the world’s most decorated swimmer and the Olympian with the most medals of all time, with 28 Olympic medals (23 gold), he has faced depression over and over.
In 2004 Phelps got his first DUI (arrest for Driving Under the Influence); in 2008 Phelps is photographed taking a bong hit; and in 2014 Phelps received a second DUI. The days following his second DUI were the lowest point in his life. Phelps explained that he was on the brink of ending his life in those days between his arrest and court date. “I’m somebody who’s gone through at least three or four major depression spells after [Olympic] Games that, you know, I’ve put my life in danger,” .
Psychopharmacology is commonly used, but may produce unwanted side effects. It is often ineffective in not only solving one’s original depression or in preventing the next depression. And with extended long-term use, the side effects may have devastating health effects.
Complementary medicine may make mental health care more accessible, without risk of severe side effects. It includes such approaches as taking herbs (e.g. St. John’sWort, Valerian, or S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)), improving sleep, diet, exercise and adding yogic postures, as well as effective, evidence-based meditation, among many possibilities.
One highly effective, evidence-based meditation is Transcendental Meditation (TM). Ten scientific studies show that TM produces systematic reduction in depression and even PTSD-related depression. ( TM.org section on depression relief)
With TM, practiced twice a day every day, the brain chemistry improves and EEG shows a regular rise in brain coherence. In addition, TM helps improve sleep. With improved rest from sleep, people tend to feel less impulsive and eat in a more balanced way. Because they feel more settled, they can plan for their future and implement daily exercise regimes. So TM acts as a basis for a life shift towards more inner balance and stability, away from causes of depression.
TM can be used along with the standard treatments to accelerate the return to happy life, or may be used on its own.
If you or loved ones are suffering from depression or PTSD-based depression, you may wish to consider adopting an integrated, complementary approach to reduce both short and long-term depression with the support of a clinician. By making lifestyle changes such as these and by regularly practicing Transcendental Meditation you may begin to live life with fewer or no bouts of debilitating depression. Michael Phelps, Dwayne Johnson, and many other famous people, have called out for help. Here is an effective strategy to help them and millions of other people around the world, to enjoy happiness, success and progress.