I was reading this article last night and I really found it to be true.
There Is No Simple Solution for Depression
In it Therese talks about how she went through so many “cures” in dealing with her depression, and that none of them really cured much of anything, some even made her worse. She makes the point that there simply is no one simple thing you can do to cure depression, it requires more than that.
As I read it I was reminded of all the headlines we read online these days. There a lots of medical studies out there that come to reasonable conclusions, but are sensationalized by headline writers. So when a study shows that some people seem to deal with depression a little better by doing yoga, eating better, exercising, etc. suddenly there are a rash of headlines about how that is the “secret to overcoming depression and anxiety!”
Maybe not. Maybe we can stop to consider that in actuality what the study says is that exercising, or changing your diet, or any number of other things, might help a little, but they aren’t the secret to overcoming depression. Depression is a complex thing, that occurs inside the most complex organ in the body. One we are only scratching the surface of in terms of understanding how it works. Depression is also something that manifests itself, and is caused by different things, in different people. To say that there is s simple “fix” is ridiculous. But, there are readers to attract, so I doubt we’ll see any less sensational headlines anytime soon.
The same can be said for healing from childhood abuse, or any type of trauma really. I’ve known one thing to work wonders with one person, and the same exact thing do more damage than good to another. Because their trauma isn’t the same, and their brains are not handling trauma the same way. We don’t know why, necessarily, but it’s clear that people are very different in the ways that trauma affects them, trying to treat them all the same way, with the same “cure”, doesn’t work.
Sure, there are some things you can do that will generally help you feel better about yourself. Taking care of yourself physically is a good thing, and is something that makes us feel better about ourselves. But it’s not going to cure mental illness, or PTSD anymore than doing those things would somehow prevent them. As Therese points out, nothing worth having comes easy, if it was that easy, we wouldn’t have the epidemic of depression and anxiety that we do.
So, as a survivor, understand that there are no shortcuts, and there is no right way to heal. Don’t expect there to be a quick way to heal from something that has impacted your entire life up until now. As I always say, we didn’t get to this point overnight, we won’t heal overnight either. It’s work.
On the other hand, know that you can heal, and that starting down that path is maybe one of the hardest things you’ve done, but it will be worth it. Nothing worth having comes easy, but you’ve survived the trauma, you will survive to healing work too.