By Julia Nguyen
Although approximately 264 million people in the world suffer from depression, it remains a health problem swept under the rug. If someone is suffering from a physical illness like diabetes or hypertension, then it is deemed worthy of treatment. Depression, being an unseen illness that impacts our minds, is something that many choose to disregard as a legitimate issue despite it being a problem that plagues both those who need treatment and those who interact with the afflicted.
What Exactly Is Depression? My Story
Despite many of the misconceptions surrounding depression – about it being “all in our heads” – it’s far more pervasive than that. It transcends the feeling of unhappiness. It is a deep sadness that lasts for days, months, or even years. Those who have never suffered can’t quite grasp the concept. They think that it is a feeling that can be easily brushed off without realising its complexities.
Depression goes beyond sadness. It is a sense that there is no hope and that there never will be. It consists of endless nights spent crying and falling asleep to numb the pain just to wake up again and repeat the vicious cycle over again. It is a perpetual downward spiral, a terrible mental web that wraps you in its cocoon and tightening its grip every day, leaving no room for you to breathe.
It’s a debilitating pain that grounds you in an endless cycle of darkness.
It’s waking up every morning wanting to go back to bed because you just can’t stand the pain.
It’s being around people yet feeling a sense of isolation and that you do not belong.
It’s looking at the world through sorrowful eyes, seeing only darkness. It is a dense cloud that weighs you down.
It’s pretending to be happy and hiding away your pain while you secretly wish to leave the physical world behind.
That was my reality for over 13 years. Depression took away my capacity to enjoy life, causing me to slowly lose my ability to maintain my daily activities and taking away any chance of happiness in the process. The opportunity for happiness always felt like it was near – but as soon as I reached my hands out, it slipped through my fingers, leaving me behind with my depression. The few moments of happiness I experienced were fleeting.
After a while, it seemed as though being depressed was easier. It had a magnetising appeal. Most days, it was a deep melancholy that I begged release from that eventually transformed into absolute numbness. While I did want to escape it, it had a stronghold on me by making me feel safe and hidden away from the world.
While I would like to blame a specific event that led to my depression, it was ultimately the result of various things in my life. I had extraordinarily low-self-esteem and was constantly criticising myself every day. I was disconnected from myself and those around me – often isolating myself from the world. At the crux of my depression, there was unprocessed trauma from the past that I never dealt with. I didn’t understand it at the time, but, in retrospect, I can see how all of these manifested into a full-blown depression. Depression isn’t something that just happens. It builds over time, finally escalating to a peak where everything begins to fall apart as misery sets in. However, it is at the height of my depression that I found the ability to crawl out of it.
The Miraculous Call for Change
At the peak of my depressive episode, I finally saw a glimpse of hope. Something sparked within me. I asked myself, “Why am I depressed, and how can I get better? Life has to be much more than just suffering.”
This question remained in my mind. It was so impactful that I began my quest for answers and meaning in my depression.
This was the key to change for me. I soon began a self-discovery journey, which led me to overcome the depression that kept me frozen in time for so long. I slowly regained my power and worked on no longer being a victim to this monster. My self-development journey involved unpacking my trauma and beliefs that had kept me trapped for so long. It helped me realise that I no longer had to be a victim. It forced me to look within to uncover the depths of who I was and find the reason behind my pain.
Uncovering the pain meant that I had to face the trauma I experienced when I was a child and the unhealed parts of me that I had obtained over the years. Years of silent suffering and suppressed emotions finally showed as I peeled back the layers. I faced the feelings I avoided for many years: the guilt, the shame, the feeling of not being good enough. I began to cultivate a sense of awareness and understanding of what led me to experience my depressive episode.
This journey has led me to where I am today. I am healed and finally free from the grips of depression. Through meditation and reading a myriad of self-development books, I finally understood the silver lining to my depression. I didn’t have to let it take hold of me. Instead, I took back control. I’ve learned to love myself and accept myself. I’ve learned to be kind to myself. I’ve learned that it’s okay to be sad and that it will all pass eventually. I’m happy to say that sadness is no longer my default. I’m happy to say that most days are brighter than others, and that – through my pain – I’ve learned so much.
Although I felt like depression robbed me of most of my life, I’ve come to learn that there was a reason for my pain. The experience taught me more about who I am and how to heal my pain so that I can help other people do the same.
Transforming My Pain Into Change: My Experience (and Work) With RTT
Like Rumi said, “The wound is where the light enters you.” If it weren’t for the depression, I wouldn’t have learned everything that I know now. I wouldn’t have discovered that life has so much beauty in it, waiting to be discovered.
This experience is why I decided to become a therapist. I wanted to help people realise that there is so much more to life than suffering and subduing to the voice of the ego. You don’t have to be a victim of your thoughts. You can transcend those thoughts if you give yourself a fighting chance.
That’s when I found Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), a hybrid therapy that included hypnotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy. RTT is one of the most powerful methods I’ve ever encountered. I was amazed at how incredibly deep and effective it is. RTT helped me dive deeper into the recesses of my mind, uncovering deeply rooted beliefs that formed when I was much younger. I felt how powerful the therapy was. I knew I had found my calling. I knew that RTT could be the answer to solving other people’s problems as well.
With RTT, we can access the events we have endured that led us to this deeply ingrained belief through hypnosis and regression. We review these memories and tie them together to understand how these memories formed a belief. When the client discover how they developed their negative beliefs, it guides them to shift their perspective and realise that they are no longer a helpless child or victim.
RTT is healing in its ability to free people from their past by systematically uncovering the meaning and interpretation of events and then changing them. This results in the mind telling the body what to do (such as work on achieving health, turn fear into excitement, becoming indifferent to junk food, cigarettes, or even alcohol). It can tell the body how to react and how to feel. In turn, it can improve the messages the body sends to the mind.
Although depression and similar addictions and mental illnesses can leave you feeling trapped, I have experienced firsthand what the right kind of therapy can do for your life and your mindset. Through my work, I have been lucky to have been able to help countless people overcome their challenges.
Julia Nguyen is a nurse, Rapid Transformational Therapist, and Life Coach. Obsessed with self-improvement and fascinated by the power of the mind, her mission is to help people realise their full potential and reach higher levels of fulfilment and consciousness. Through her work as a hypnotherapist, she helps her clients to overcome issues like addiction, depression, lack of confidence and many more. You can follow her journey on Instagram (@ih3artjulie).