I was recently diagnosed with clinical depression, But in hindsight I realize that clearly I’ve had the condition for a while probably years. I once posted something here about lack of magical progress or many results and now I find myself wondering if it’s depression that has this negative effect. I’m choosing to put off the use of antidepressent medication for now for the simple reason that I feel the condition may be at least in part environmental and situational. Anyway I thought I might start a discussion on depression and magical work. I know it’s so often said that the esoteric in general is not always a safe thing for somwone to involve themselves in while suffering from a mental illness but I am of the assumption that would mean something like paranoia or a disorder causing delusions or altered perceptions of reality more than something like depression. I do worry however that depression may effect positive results.
Sorry to hear that, I had depression for most of my life until quite recently, and it sucks.
It has come up on here before, if you do a search on the term “depression” you’ll turn up a bunch of posts about it, IMO depression alone doesn’t create any barriers to doing magick (as you said, where it’s not accompanied by other things that make the person lose contact with consensus reality), BUT the low self-respect, and belief you don’t deserve to be happy or have good things that sometimes accompanies it may cause a problem, so watch out for those.
Apologies if you;ve seen this but I typed a method to begin breaking free, regardless of your external circumstances, here - that’s one start to get your mind away from the realities it’s trying to deal with.
And lots of other people have posted about this as well, so have a search through the older stuff, as well.
I worked through this myself, using a different method. I was not diagnosed with clinical depression, having never sought for assistance (I was living alone, and mostly suppressed my feelings when in public.) Perhaps you or someone could benefit from it. I was at the extent of screaming in anguish and having neighbors call the police to check on me at one point, years ago.
I realized later the cause and the cure.
The method that worked for me was realizing that my expectations and desires were running counter to reality. In effect I was trying to live in an impossible world.
I used the method of direct confrontation, turning towards the issue within my own consciousness, and it was like a gate of sorrow that I passed through, chanting the mantra “This is how it is and I can’t change it.” Although this sounds self defeatist, especially in a forum about self empowerment and making changes, the reality is that in depression I was seeing reality through a distorted lens. The choices I was making and the methods of thinking were not balanced. I was staring at a map of reality that wasn’t even the same universe as the one I was in. Only by re-aligning myself in the here, now, hard cold truth of was ‘is’ could I hope to break free of these perceptual limitations and make choices that would actually be related to reality.
So as I repeated that mantra, I entered what I can only describe a s a realization of suffering. I saw myself as one of many, millions of others on the earth in much worse condition than myself, and I felt helpless and overwhelmed. In effect feeling bad about my own life was a buffer to even greater pain. The proverbial road forked once I accepted this clarifying realization.
There were at least three ways onward from there. One was delusion, going back the way I came, and wrapping myself in egotistical self defeating grief. Another was to shut myself off from the realization, and step into another delusional world, in effect deepening my shadow and regaining control. The third way was to accept reality, and realize how brutal and messed up the world really is, and pick myself up, and keep going. I chose the last one.
It took me about five years of focused effort and exercises in self mastery to change the psychological and physiological conditioning in my system. Mostly through acceptance, but not just acceptance of my feelings and emotions. I was accepting reality and the world including myself as a being in it as a whole. This created an anchor point that sobered me out of my intense narrow minded view of seeing only myself (the poor me mindset). Once I felt grounded in reality, in the mundane facts of body, place, and time, I could question myself. What CAN I do now, to make a difference. As I continued to focus and re-focus again and again on what I could do, and taking consistent action, I began to see my life become better and better. I started having goals and dreams.
The depression’s that lasted months turned to weeks. Then to days. Then hours. Then minutes. Then seconds. Now it’s like a wispy acknowledgement that lasts a fleeting instant.
When I tap into that realization of how the world sucks now, I use that intense realization of suffering as a battery of power that I transform into a massive drive to succeed.
You can succeed.
I’m being a prick and answering before reading the other answers;
but my best advice that i can think of at the moment is…
When you manage to have energy for it, take a notebook besides you… Even if you were so depressed that you lay on bed watching shitty tv shows all the day, write your thoughts and feelings to that notebook and add days when you wrote them.
This kind of stuff helped me when i was depressed, also listening to your favourite music can help but that’s quite obvious.
If you have any interest for outdoor activities like biking,running,or whatever do that too. I guess even indoor acitivies like lifting weights can be positive if you don’t make it a stressful obsession.
I always try to stress the importance of how your emotions can affect your magickal abilities in either a good or a bad way. If you are depressed, chances are you’re just not feeling up to the challenges that need to be faced when you perform magick. So yes, your depression could be contributing to your lack of progression just a little or it may be the sole cause behind it.
I would recommend counseling and possibly some medications, or they have vitamins you can take to help regulate your seratonin and dopamine levels and get you back on track if you prefer a more natural cure. You don’t have to live with depression, it’s the worst feeling ever, and the longer you let it get you down the more hopeless you feel until the point you may be contemplating suicide. If you are not in the U.S. I know that with the socialist based free healthcare some other countries have, it can be a pain getting in to see a doctor but they do have programs that can help if this is an emergency.
I mean, don’t go telling them you are going to kill yourself as that will just land you in the psych ward for a few weeks, but if the wait to see a doc is bad, there must be somewhere you can go and tell them you are almost to the point of giving up completely, they will take that to mean you may end up doing something harmful to yourself if a solution is not found quickly, and they will be more likely to get you some therapy and meds right away, without sending you off somewhere.
I’d say that most people don’t even need doctor for it, it will pass if you find ways to “Let it out” like writing, and then slowly gain more and more interest in positive things and it sort of vanishes itself - i used to get depressed often when i was younger (Well i’m still young i know) but then after i got over it times enough i sort of came immune to it, i mean i can still feel anxious about stuff and all sorts of emotions but i don’t “go into depression” which is the state when person goes for at least several days into this thing where you don’t want to do anything and most likely just lay on a bed or coach feelig shit about anything possible, and nothing feels good even food has no taste to it.
But even then its something that is entirely possible to overcome, and i think it has sort of beauty in it - at least then you have experienced how it feels to be depressed and you know what truly depressed people are talking about.
of course there is also milder cases of depression, where for an example food does give you comfort and you tend to do the exact opposite and eat too much ( as in that more serious case you most probably eat too little since nothing has taste)
Depression is no joke. I have had it my whole life. Sometimes eating a bullet seems like the best option. However, it is not. Physical exercise helps me the most. And stay the fuck away from alcohol.
Take supplements of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B complex for at least 6 month it really helps.
Also, I am a big believer in having a hobby. It might be RC cars, skatboarding, mma, chess, or pretty much anything that you can enjoy and talk with people about. Staying at home drinking (which im not saying you are doing) is a perfect recipe for your lovedones to find you at the end of a rope.
I used B complex, it helped.
Good suggestion. You’d be surprised what all vitamin B can help you with. It can make you go from tired and sluggish all the time to having normal energy again, feeling healthy, no headaches, it can strengthen your kidneys and bladder, and for me it just makes me feel good all over but you have to take it for a few days before you feel better.
I don’t take supplements I actually use energy drinks. The Monster low-carb drinks (black can, blue M logo) they have no sugar, like 2 carbs, no fat, like hardly any calories at all (next to none) it’s not bad for you calories and carb wise like the monsters with the green M logo, so they won’t make you gain weight or have a caffeine crash in the evenings.
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I was diagnosed with the depression and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, now in regression. I don’t have (all) the symptoms of it. I would like to share how I dealt with it. I took antidepressants and it helped in the beginning, it just took the edge of it. Than I went into therapy. It also helped, but I was still not cured. Than I took another route: I began to heal myself of depression en PTSD through the body. Like others had said: vitamins, good nutrition helps a lot. I did Mindfullness, it helped also. Especially, the body scan when you really feel your body. I read excellent book by dr. Bessel van der Kolk: “The Body keeps the Score”. It’s about feeling stuck in your body concerning the emotions. Magicians would maybe say “energy”. So, I had massages, cold showers in the morning to strenghten my central nervous system (an advice from Azazel ) And now I am practicing mixed marshal arts to get the repressed anxiety and anger out of my body. And it helps A LOT! I got to the point that I don’t need antidepressants and even no more therapy, and my therapist said that my symptoms are not present any more. I hope this helps.
That looks fascinating, thanks for the tip.
ETA, this article by the author closely resembles stuff I saw in people when I was doing a lot of healing work, https://www.psychotherapy.net/article/body-keeps-score-van-der-kolk
One of the things I seemed to see a lot was women with chronic fatigue, and bear in mind here I’m not saying there isn’t a physical component, but there’s also a spiritual level where things usually start out, and often the fatigue was like what he’s calling a “conversion reaction,” where people “express their conflicts by losing function in some part of their body” - I’ve even seen this happen with animals. Definitely buying that book next month, thanks!
Yes, there is certainly a spiritual level, I agree. I suspect that that’s how it all started for me. I tried to heal my depression from all sides, that’s why I went into therapy, talked a lot about stuff, wrote down my thoughts etc. But I also approached this condition “bottom-up”, through the body. Not just “top-down” (cognitive).
i suffered from Depression for some years.
and, to get as simple as possible, DEPRESSION is a state of LACK OF PRESSURE
FRESH CHI - CREATES THE PRESSURE
is this understandable?
one CAN NOT project oneself out of the Depression at will, because of lack of launching pad. you need a firm launching pad for you to jump off.
you want a simple, funny but serious way out of the depression?
couple this with whatever you do, and observe the improvement over 2-3 months. do this every day for as many times possible.
INHALE AS HARD AS YOU CAN.
KEEP PRESSING YOUR MUSCLES
HOLD, ACTIVATE ALL THE MUSCLES, MAKE UGLY FACE, HOLD
in general, strenghten your core muscles by doing this and enduring the pain of pressure. after some time, your system will get to like the feeling of fresh chi under pressure. magick will happen.
[quote=“bahamuthat, post:16, topic:5872”]i suffered from Depression for some years.
and, to get as simple as possible, DEPRESSION is a state of LACK OF PRESSURE[/quote]
This makes some sense - I’ve posted about my experience with it here and the core of that was the belief I’d received through various channels that there was something WRONG - with me, with the world, with the manifest reality.
So yeah, it makes sense that could create a lack of chi, both within and also me pushing it away when I felt it, because what was the point of being excited about life, or some project, when everything around me was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG?
I fixed mine through abandoning those crappy beliefs, I might try that exercise though because I have a lot of catching up to do…
yes… this is the Great Catch
why bother with anything while there is everything wrong with the world?
if only one would realize that the “world” is in all actuallity, the mirror of one’s soul…
Humans have a tendency to diagnose everything nowadays, whether it’s about alcoholism, ADD, ADHD or depression. With all those diagnosis at hand, the actual problem isn’t get resolved, since responsibility is laid on the “disease” rather than backtracking the problem on an individual level. Alcoholism and in some extent ADD/ADHD is a fine example were diagnosis just make it worse and complex were it shouldn’t be. That raises questions: “Are your “diagnosis” holding back your own responsibilities of making a change?” Alcoholism is a fine example were the “diagnosis” takes away the responsibility to get sober. That is just my opinion.
Depression is a state that I’m very familiar with, but does it always have to be that bad? Sensitive personalities, like myself, get into that depressive emotion quite often, mostly because of worldly matters that you can’t change. Or other things you can’t change, either. But it also affect me when I don’t progress on an individual level, or when my economy get strained because of unexpected bills, or other social commodities that I don’t wanna be a part of. Luckily, I’m not alone in my struggles anymore, and that is a true bliss and a gift that surpasses all wealth in the world.
I have been diagnosed with bipolar in my mid teens. It has recently developed into anxiety and paranoia. I don’t take medications because they have never worked for me and gave me nast side-effects; it is my personal viewpoint. My depression has given me a lot of trouble in my pathworking, especially since I work with spiritual entities. So I take it easy and take breaks. I usually take a break of nearly one month. I am not going into advanced meditation either at this stage.
I suggest you work on getting aura cleansings and elemental balancing on a regular basis. You can also work with ‘Initiation Into the Hermetics’ by Franz Bardon. A practitioner recommended it to me who used to suffer from ADD.