Good Grief

Saturday, January 28, 2012 • Boise, ID 83703

I recently read an article in the New York Times on the proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  This Psychiatrist’s Bible has not been updated since 1994.  Under the current edition, bereavement, or the suffering that occurs after the loss of a loved one is not included in the diagnosis of depression.  In the new manual there is debate over whether that exclusion is to remain.  This would mean that someone grieving over the loss of the loved one could be put on antidepressants. In the case of grieving, it is a healing process.  It is part of what is healthy and necessary to go through.   I say this as someone who has lost many people in my life.  It is our job to sit with the sorrow, not mask it or hold it in.  It is this, our conscious awareness of our emotions and our actions that make us uniquely human.  We can never truly let go, if we don’t let it in. Let’s not drug our senses, they serve us.  It is time for us to get comfortable again, with being uncomfortable.

To give this issue a little girth.  The use of anti depressants has increased 400 times in the last 20 years alone.  It is estimated that 1 in 10 people worldwide are considered as having depression.  Is our only option to mass medicate our population?  There are times, like in the instance of persisting severe depression, that I am all for medication, but I don’t think there is any reason you could give me that would justify a 400% increase.  I found all these statistics, by the way, while listening to the news on NBC.  I found it not the least bit coincidental that every 3rd commercial was a drug ad.  We are normalizing medication; we are normalizing that which should be quite abnormal, mental illness.  We are convincing people that is not okay to be uncomfortable and never for a moment questioning why?  Why the increase, why the need?

In reality, I think the issue is twofold.  First we are being trained into thinking that all of our problems can be solved in pill form.  No need to struggle or feel upset, when we can numb those feelings with medication.  We are being sold a lie; those feeling are a necessary part of our growth and development.  Even physical illness has a message for us that work needs to be done.  The second issue, which is compounded by the first, is that the rise in depression needs to be looked at globally. We rarely ever want to look for a cause. What is happening that is creating all these feelings of sadness, fear and helplessness?

Let’s say for a moment that the increase in depression is real, what is going on that are leaving so many people unhappy?  This needs to be looked at.  There is not only an increase in depression, but also anxiety.  Instead of just doling out the meds, shouldn’t we look at the cause both individually and culturally?   As an Energy Healer, I see this anxiety in almost all of my clients.  Maybe something bigger is going on, something that we just haven’t been taught to look at and this uncertainty is coming from a much larger place then ourselves.  As a society, we should embrace our intuitive sides, teach people to remain still for periods of time to connect through meditation, then maybe all these changes wouldn’t seem so scary or abrupt, but welcomed.

Want to learn more about this topic? Listen to my interview guest Elaine Seiler as we talk about her new book Multi-Dimensional You.  We will discuss an energetic reason for these emotions people are experiencing. Elaine is at the forefront of explaining energetic evolution and revealing how people can cope and thrive as they face this newly emerging world. She will provide a roadmap to help people feel more balanced, peaceful, confident, and hopeful as they cope with changes in their lives, bodies and environments.

Angela Levesque is an Exercise Physiologist, Mind/Body Educator and Energy Healer. Join her every Thursday night as she hosts On Health & Healing Radio at 11pm EST on a2zen.fm. Or download her podcasts for free on iTunes.