Depression, Bi-Polar & the Medicinal Qualities of Love & Choice

by Gina, Brisbane, Australia

For many years I have been diagnosed with depression: at one point in my thirties when my behaviours were even more erratic than usual, I was diagnosed with bi-polar. As a human being needing to operate in the world, I have sought medical advice from doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and counsellors. I have searched into the spiritual world for ways to help my personal angst and I have sought support from friends and family. Earlier in the year, I finally was able to admit to myself that although I have moments where things appear okay, the real truth of it was, at the very best each day was a painful upheaval and struggle, and at the very worst, there was little will to carry on.

A few months ago, I hit rock bottom. All my symptoms escalated, I was not coping and had no will to deal with my day. Life was impossible and I just wanted to check out; it was too painful, too hard. I was shouting a lot, in overwhelm, crying and just wanted to end it all. These symptoms were what had led to my diagnosis of bi-polar a few years previously. I saw my GP regularly at this time, who was very caring and supportive because I was scared. I also saw some practitioners from Universal Medicine (UniMed). All suggested I get on some anti-depressants to support me and give me some space to explore possible causes for these symptoms, which had arisen all my adult life.

I am not a stranger to anti-depressants. I had been on them for many years previously and after the birth of my second child I was on an extremely high dose. So, I went on a moderate dose of the brand I had used before. I was immediately nauseous and couldn’t get to sleep at night; in fact I was unable to get any sleep. Plus I would feel dizzy and disorientated. So I kept returning to my GP who worked with me trying to find a pill that worked. We tried taking, every second day, half a pill of the lowest dose of an anti-depressant that was mild on side-effects. But still I would immediately get all the side-effects I previously described.

So, frightened and still at rock bottom, with medication that seemed to intensify my symptoms (one of the side effects of one pill listed said that suicidal thoughts could occur in the first two weeks), I turned to my Universal Medicine practitioners, who helped me try a different approach. It’s not easy to admit in one’s life that at best it’s bloody awful. But in a loving and caring approach, because they could feel I was ready to hear some hard stuff, they socked it to me… they pointed out that I had turned up for my session and presented my symptoms to them with little will to get on top of them; I hadn’t actually said – “Okay, how do I fix this?”. They pointed out that I was stuck in the story of how my life was extremely tough, blaming events and people – and I wanted to stay there. I was a little affronted at first, to say the least. In fact, to be truthful, I wanted to walk out. But I had nothing to lose because I couldn’t find relief with the anti-depressants. So I continued to listen.

Next, they asked me to contemplate if it could be possible that exhaustion was playing a part in my depression and, more so, was I maybe making choices in my life to create the drama, thereby providing myself with the exhaustion and chaos – which in turn gave me the excuse to go into overwhelm and give up?

I understand, from twenty-five plus years of suffering depression symptoms, along with other family members suffering the same, that there is a lot of research on depression, in particular on the fact that it can be the result of chemical imbalances, which the anti-depressants assist with. I have done a lot of research myself on depression and how people who suffer it lead debilitating lives, with depression being brought on by an onslaught of abuse or tragic incidences (war, hijacking, terrorism, etc).

But this was my personal experience of depression and, as I had not suffered any of these events, I became open to looking at the possibility being presented to me that maybe I was setting up choices in my life to lead to events that would bring on the symptoms. I had to admit that when I fell into a depression cycle, which went deeper and deeper into that black hole as it is often described, it almost felt like a drug, a relief to finally give in, give up and lay in bed. I’ve never taken heroin but it was almost like taking a ‘hit’ of something which I knew wasn’t good for me but boy, did it feel great.

I can tell you, it was pretty painful to even contemplate for one second the possibility that I could be responsible for creating all the pain I’d been through, and had put my family through. But with patience and genuine true love and care, my GP and UniMed practitioners, with zero judgement, held my hand and allowed me the time and space to consider these possibilities more deeply.

About eight years ago, when I was experiencing these extreme symptoms, I was similarly scared and visited a counsellor, psychologist and psychiatrist. Each independently concluded I presented with bi-polar. I immediately became even more scared. In the sessions with them whilst I was pouring out my heart, concerned for mine and my family’s welfare, they didn’t seem to really engage with me or even look at me; they made notes then delivered their diagnosis, writing out a script for anti-depressants. The experience felt cold and unassuring.

I am sure we have all had experiences when things were going bad, life felt hard and you shared it with a friend or family member and suddenly, supported by their sincere concern and listening, it lifted a cloud. They might not have provided a solution, but the love and care somehow fixed some things. This was what my GP provided when I shared my anxieties with her; I cried because I felt her genuine care – this care and talking with her felt like medicine in itself. There are many medical practitioners in the world who naturally present themselves in this caring manner. There are also many who don’t, due to stress, overwork, frustrating medical systems etc. I have no judgement of any of them; however, this time round with my depression I wanted to surround myself with a little bit more cushioning and care. I don’t just align myself to only seeing Universal Medicine health practitioners – that would be foolish. But on occasions I do seek them because I know that I will consistently receive genuine care, love and concern for my symptoms – but neither sympathy nor pandering; this care is part of their work ethos because they feel it can play an important part in the overall care and treatment of the patient. And when you’re dealing with the kind of issues I was dealing with, I felt it was advantageous to share these issues with someone in whose company I felt like I was with family or a friend – someone that cared and who knew me to be more than the mess I was in. As I journeyed through finding a suitable anti-depressant with my GP, I shared with her what I was exploring with my Universal Medicine psychologist practitioners and how it was really helping – she was super supportive of the efforts I was making, praised me for confronting the hard stuff and expressed to me directly that it was great that I was getting “so much support”.

Very gently, I considered my part in my life. Slowly it began to help and make sense. One of the dramas and distractions which I created and was able to look at, was being caught up in getting things done, especially since having children. Each day I created a to-do list, which set me up for failure as I put myself into a drive or busy-ness, which overrode my body telling me that it could not physically undertake such an impossible list. To compensate, I would be constantly reaching for comfort foods and felt exhausted, irritated and frustrated, which often led to rage directed at my innocent children and husband. This to-do list of mine was debilitating.

Could this be one of the ways I created chaos and overwhelm in my life – by generating circumstances and situations that made life so hard and so difficult that giving up felt like the only option? What if, for added drama, I threw in sabotaging thoughts of being a failure for not ever achieving the unachievable, plus a range of judgemental, self-loathing thoughts? And how could I profess to love my family when I treated myself so appallingly?

So, as I began to attempt each day to bring a simplicity to that day’s activities, I slowly started to see something else. Although I was making my life more simple and less complicated and my quality of life started to improve, I still was having shouting outbursts at my family. Now, my relationship with my practitioners was different, in as much as I could now go along and rather than look for them to fix it for me, I would rock up and say, “Okay, life’s better but I’m still yelling – I want to stop this, why is it still happening?”. Again, gently with no judgement, I received the possibility that I was only committing to making my life better, but not actually addressing the relationship I had with myself: my opinion of myself was still terrible and because I could still be mean to me, it was easy to be mean to others too.

So, I contemplated this for a while and BINGO! Finally a light went on; my internal voice was still running me down, judging me, chastising me all the time. So I might have been making better choices, but I was just ‘doing’ them to make things better rather than because I really felt I was worth it. Now I was getting somewhere.

I had been running two lives: a physically exhausting one, and another in my head running non-stop commentaries on how useless I was. So although I was changing the physically exhausting part of my life, the low self-worth part was still running the show: I still hadn’t committed to genuinely loving me and making that the reason for every choice I made in my day.

Stopping the merry-go-round, allowing the discomfort and pain of those unloving choices to be felt was not, and still is not, easy. But I now give myself some stillness and quiet, just to feel me. Now that I’ve allowed myself to feel my brutally low opinion of myself, I can see past that part and see the real me – this beautiful woman who is just busting to be given permission to come out into the world.

I would like to show my appreciation to Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine and all its wonderful practitioners for their unwavering love and support. This, however, is not a rah–rah for UniMed; this is a rah–rah for the growing awareness of the healing power of love, which is at the core of what UniMed endorses but is obviously not exclusive to UniMed; this is a rah–rah to the medicinal qualities of love and care – the love and care from my GP, the love and care from UniMed practitioners, the love and care from my family and friends and the love and care from me. It was me that made the choice to see qualified medical practitioners, highly trained in their field of mental illness, choosing to administer their medicine with love and care – the vital ingredient which was missing from my last foray into fixing this debilitating condition. All of the above helped bring me back to ME, showing me that I always had a choice, even when I had dug my heels in pretty deep, thinking I had no choice, believing that the dramatic events in my life were outside of my control and that I was a lost cause.

I am understanding more and more the meaning of true love and what that encompasses: it is true love to gently, without judgement, lovingly help people when they are ready to begin to entertain the possibility that we are responsible for our choices and the events that happen in our lives: it is true love to present the ‘tough’ stuff – to bring people back to who they really are so they, in turn, can help others return back to who they really are. This to me is the bigger picture, this to me is all part of true love. This is what personally helped me understand my depression and my part in it.

515 thoughts on “Depression, Bi-Polar & the Medicinal Qualities of Love & Choice

  1. Taking responsibility to support ourselves when it comes to our health is absolutely key, rather than looking to others to do it for us, which sadly, is often the case.

  2. The realisation that we have a part to play in everything that happens to us can either be very inspiring, or daunting. It entirely depends on how we take it, however if we realise that the fact that we have a part to play in everything gives us the power to create a wonderful life for ourselves, things in our life may begin to change.

  3. Taking responsibility is the inevitable fork in the road to our own self salvation or demise. We all have that choice.

  4. There is such a crucial distinction shared here between doing self-loving things and being love itself. It seems that until we embrace the latter and choose to understand our responsibility to be love nothing will really heal. Great sharing Gina, thank you.

    1. Yes Richard, Being Love itself is taking self-love to a whole new level, a really delicious level that truly supports us to make those all important different choices about – well – everything.

  5. This difference between wanting to make life better and actually addressing our relationship with ourselves is monumental. They are entirely different processes with entirely different outcomes. Bingo is right. This is where true healing can occur, when we are willing to address our relationship with ourselves rather than apply a short-term fix. Being mean with ourselves is something that can slip under the radar if we are not being vigilant. Yet it is very destructive of any sense of self-love and equally draining of our energy. No wonder we end up feeling unwell.

  6. So interesting isn’t it when we really start to look at our part in things which come to unfold in our lives and in our bodies. Beautiful to see how in such a relatively short time it seems you were able to start taking responsibility for those choices and choose loving support to start to turn it all around. I would think the doctors are pretty impressed too, as yours seems an uncommon story for someone diagnosed with Bipolar.

    1. Change does happen even if we cannot see it immediately – hence we can never underestimate the little steps we make because they are the foundation for the big steps we take to grow.

  7. Gina, thank you for sharing your experience with depression – in our stories of how we have found Truth, we offer others much inspiration to make true change as well.
    In my life I have observed people who have depression, and it was confronting to see them lying in bed not wanting to get up in the morning and just crying. I used to feel so helpless, but at the same time I just knew I had to ‘get on’ with my life. Perhaps in not indulging in this behaviour allowed them then later on to bring themselves out of it…who knows… I do know as well that after I gave birth with the lack of sleep, the lack of immediate support and the overwhelm and exhaustion I was in, I did have what I would call post natal depression. But interestingly I can now see how I played into it, and made it far worse than what it was and ‘needed’ to be. More recently I have also felt much sadness, a sadness that feels old and has no obvious cause to it, and this has affected me on a day to day basis where I could say ‘I feel depressed’ – in other words I have recognised that this overwhelm is a form of depression. But thankfully, I have come to realise that though this is there, it is about not giving into it – it is about acknowledging the sadness and as you have said Gina, taking the time to appreciate myself, respect and care for myself and deepen my love and self worth, and to live from this rather than from the sadness. I have also felt that the sadness is an opportunity offered to connect deeper with myself, rather than use it to take me further away from myself. When we see it this way, we get to see that everything in life is an opportunity offered for growth.

  8. Those voices in our head that are a constant sabotaging commentary have to be addressed… And they can be! It’s just that we have given them a momentum, but like anything with momentum, it can be, with constant choices, changed diametrically in its path… Nothing is inevitable.

  9. Thank you for sharing honestly the game of drama and emotion that is rife in the world today and one of the major factors we have an alarming rate of depression and exhaustion. The willingness to not walk away was your awareness that for the first time you were being presented with the truth and your commitment to hearing and living this now needs to be appreciated. This example is a great blog for all to read as we can so easily stay in “the rut if irresponsibility” or bring more understanding, openness and be prepared for a much needed change.

  10. Taking responsibility for the life we have created can at times seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but ultimately frees us from the creation itself.

  11. ‘I can tell you, it was pretty painful to even contemplate for one second the possibility that I could be responsible for creating all the pain I’d been through, and had put my family through.’ I love your honesty Gina, this can’t be an easy thing to admit and yet, I expect this truth applies to us all in one form or another. Thank you for your upfront sharing.

  12. Thank you Gina for sharing your story of challenges, courage, love, truth, wisdom and above all self responsibility. I deeply appreciate what you have expressed and shared, thank you.

  13. Absolutely amazing Gina. With mental illness I’ve observed a lot of people become extremely insular and shut off from people, family and friends, but it’s incredible how one of the best remedies is actually opening up to love and care and not taking the depression, anxiety or sadness on solo.

  14. Whenever we feel scared about something, we can be assured that we are not our true self. Because anyone who has felt their own confidence and shine know that being timid and panicky is not their natural self. So when I feel scared, I would ask myself–who on earth is this? It is obviously not me, and therefore it is silly to indulge in this emotion or to even criticise myself.

  15. A lot of us have an attitude because the world has been cruel to us; we close down to those around us and wallow in a cocoon of being a victim. I know this well and the seeking of sympathy; I also know well that sympathy and being a victim only makes things worse. It takes self love and self care to look with honesty at ones choices and take responsibility and control of your life like you have so well described here Gina.

  16. I heard today that a school was wanting to raise money as more and more kids were facing depression. These students were from year 9. It made me really stop and see that depression is a huge issue that we are not really wanting to see. What I love about this sharing is that it brings it back to self responsibility and our role in what is going on with our lives. Do we express from an issue we have or do we look to see what we could do to support ourselves? A big question for all of us to ask.

    1. Yes, and how important it is to allow support from others. In depression we can hide ourselves away in a corner and shut out the world. We may need time on our own but we also need connection with others where we can open up and uncover what is really going on. Universal Medicine Practitioners are an awesome support in this way.

  17. If we do not consider our part there is no other option other than to blame others or our circumstances for our woes, and then seek solutions to take away the symptoms.

    1. I agree Brendan. If we continue to blame ourselves and others for our circumstances it feeds a vicious cycle of abuse, depression, anxiety, stress, overwhelm and the list goes on. Choosing to let go of blame and take responsibility for all our choices and everything that happens to us with love and understanding then life becomes empowering, joyful and we are able to develop a deeper level of love the more we choose a deeper level of responsibility. Amazing how this works, so simple, so accessible and always available for everyone to choose.

  18. Gina, thank you for sharing so openly and honestly about your experience with depression and bi-polar. Your story will support and inspire so many people to understand the root cause of depression. Yes scientifically it has been proven to be related to a chemical imbalance in our body but what you have clearly shared from experience is that there is much more to it than that. My understanding is that antidepressants doesn’t cure depression but acts as a relief and support for most people. You demonstrated how important it is to seek support that is truly loving and caring, and then also being willing to take responsibility for all your choices. Also choosing to look deeper into your relationship with yourself and developing self-love, self-care and self-nurture to help understand what was driving and creating your symptoms. The biggest part that stood out for me was realising how much of what happens to us is all a result of our choices. That we are responsible for choosing to feel joyful and we are equally responsible for feeling depressed, anxious or overwhelmed. Understanding this has changed my life.

  19. ‘I had been running two lives: a physically exhausting one, and another in my head running non-stop commentaries on how useless I was’ – Imagine if our commentator alter-ego was another person, who followed us everywhere we went, criticised everything we did and picked out everything we do ‘wrong’… this person could easily be charged for harassment and we wouldn’t want them in our lives, yet so many people accept this every day?

  20. “In the sessions with them whilst I was pouring out my heart, concerned for mine and my family’s welfare, they didn’t seem to really engage with me or even look at me; they made notes then delivered their diagnosis, writing out a script for anti-depressants. The experience felt cold and unassuring.”
    I think so many of us have had this experience when we have reached out for help and been met with knowledgeable professionals who may have the technically correct answers, but are unable to connect with us in a human way where we feel met and feel able to let go enough to surrender. When we feel met we are able to find a space in which to turn the trajectory of our lives around. This is the foundation I have found for true healing.

  21. “I still hadn’t committed to genuinely loving me and making that the reason for every choice I made in my day.”
    This very much is a commitment, for the reasons to not are forever there on the peripheral of our lives, it is only the deep commitment that will hold us and support us to say no to what lies peripherally and yes to genuinely loving ourselves every day.

  22. When we consider our choices we are not blaming ourselves but empowered to feel that if we dug ourselves into a hole, so to speak, we can dig ourselves out of it.

  23. I agree, the state of our health begins first with us taking responsibility for it, nothing can shift unless we choose it to be so. This is so significant concerning mental health, as so often people think it is about a victim hood and ‘why me’….I know that horrible situations and hurts can trigger why someone may have a mental health issue, but still the choice to heal, the choice to look at why and make different choices, has to begin with ourselves first. Very powerfully and clearly stated in this article.

  24. taking responsibility for our choices is an exercise in discernment and love, there is no place for judgement or blame of ourselves or anyone, only the offer of a greater awareness and greater freedom from the ties that previously bound us, incarcerating us in a misery of our own making. Responsibility and love for ourselves is the first step towards true freedom.

  25. Thank you, Gina, for sharing with us all how true love and true care has supported you. And no matter how great it may be, it can only support, it is your choice to come to the truth and heal that makes a true change possible. You are an absolute inspiration.

  26. ‘…could be possible that exhaustion was playing a part in my depression and, more so, was I maybe making choices in my life to create the drama, thereby providing myself with the exhaustion and chaos – which in turn gave me the excuse to go into overwhelm and give up?’ This is enormous in terms of realisation and that we are in fact creators of all that we experience…even if on the surface it doesn’t look that way. To consider that we set ourselves up is a gigantic leap, but when really felt into the truth of it, it cannot be denied.

  27. ‘the medicinal qualities of love and care ‘ – Beautifully said Gina, Truly caring, nurturing and loving ourselves is medicine.

  28. If I do not feel a sense of purpose in my day and when I wake then I can feel the energy of depression trying to come in. Yet the moment I reconnect back to the purpose I know it lifts. For me one of the best ways to do this is connecting with others and making life about people rather than simply about what I can get out of the situation and better my life.

  29. When we consider the magic of God that is all around us, we need to ask ourselves the question of why do we resists embracing it and choose to be obedient to something that will only create complications and pain in our lives? when we look at it this way we realise we have been played all along by letting our heads run our lives rampant when we have everything that is needed when we live with an open heart.

  30. Sometimes it takes someone holding our hand firmly and asking us if we are committed to changing the behaviour not just wanting a change.

  31. How great that you had support from Universal Medicine practitioners and your Doctor, ‘I felt her genuine care – this care and talking with her felt like medicine in itself.’

  32. We can be our own worst taskmaster, ‘I threw in sabotaging thoughts of being a failure for not ever achieving the unachievable, plus a range of judgemental, self-loathing thoughts?’. Why are we so harsh with ourselves? I love how you brought in responsibility; taking time to appreciate and care for ourselves whilst deepening our self love and self worth are fundamental steps for all of us in my experience.

  33. It’s amazing that we have this voice playing in our minds that is so self destructive and what’s more we listen to this seemingly over all the confirmation and affirmation we are given by our friends and family. Why is this and where on earth do these negative thoughts come from? They must come from somewhere.
    I have been learning that everything is energy and there are two types of energy we could say positive and negative and to me the vast majority of us have got caught up in the negative energy that then feeds us the negative thoughts. Some times these thoughts are so negative that we don’t feel that we can continue with life. It feels to me that there is something else unseen that is controlling our lives and because we cannot see it we feel that there is something wrong with us rather than understanding that these negative thoughts are not ours but we are constantly being fed them. If humanity could get to this understanding we could then take the next step by actively looking to understand where this negative energy is coming from and why.

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