Remission from depression brings about a noticeable improvement in the emotional quality of life. Some people are able to experience pleasure from previous passions, reconnect with loved ones, or simply see the beauty in a flower. Healing from depression is a precious opportunity to be reborn into new ways of relating to the world.
Experiencing New Emotions and States of Mind
The emotional stress of depression causes wear and tear on the body known as allostatic load, so it is important to give patients the opportunity to have genuine control of their emotions. After Deep TMS (dTMS) treatment patient’s subjective experiences can become more pleasant and healthy emotions can bubble up for the first time in years. Experiencing positive emotions is healthy for both the body and mind.
Research shows that TMS works by non-invasively stimulating areas of the brain responsible for cognitive control of emotion, meaning patient’s will have more feelings of control over their emotional and internal states. This can manifest itself in healthier ways of managing stress and navigating life. The absence of negative emotions leaves room for positive emotions to develop and flourish.
Allowing oneself to be touched by experiences of joy, love or pleasure will create new horizons. Simply watching a comedy, taking a walk or talking to a friend can help to reconnect and feel centered. After treatment, these activities may become more engaging as patient’s emotional baseline rises above depression levels. Experiencing positive emotions helps one to connect with people, creatively solve problems and become flexible in thinking. Experiencing the absence of depressive symptoms is a huge relief of a difficult burden.
Establishing Healthy Routines
Though a patient experiencing complete remission of depressive symptoms will feel better, it is still important that they keep practicing self-care and building resilience throughout life. Taking care of the body through healthy exercise and diet will aid in healing from the physical effects of depression. Eating certain anti-inflammatory foods helps to maintain health and wellness. Continuing to see a therapist or counselor is part of a healthy mental health self-care routine. A mental health care professional can provide tools such as cognitive behavioral therapy that aid one in maintaining healthy thought patterns. TMS changes the emotional experience of life and gives you the opportunity to change.
Connecting with Loved Ones & Building Community
Reconnecting with feelings of love helps to spark new feelings and perspectives. Getting close to a voice of love can be simple: watch a heartwarming movie, spend time with children, or find a person who loves you unconditionally — a therapist, friend or even a pet. Building trusting relationships and social support makes one feel safe and helps build resilience, preventing relapse.
Consider reaching out to friends who may have been neglected during a depressive episode. Some will be willing to understand the depression recovery process and provide care and support. Letting the world know about the story of recovery is laudable and courageous. Furthermore, building community and discovering strength through social interrelatedness aids both in recovery and in finding meaning after depression.
The Rediscovery of Old Hobbies
One of the most difficult parts of depression is the anhedonia, or lack of pleasure from normal activities. Reconnecting with the things, activities, or people that once provided pleasure is an important aspect of healing. It is different for every person and everyone should allow themselves an opportunity to explore what they love.
After TMS treatment, people who were once hopeless rediscover favorite hobbies. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things, especially when passions have been ignored. Depression makes inactivity and fatigue a habit. A person in remission from depression does not need to jump back into the big things too quickly. Giving oneself time during remission will allow changes to slowly and comfortably unfold.
Enjoying the small moments in life such as view of sunsets, the scents of flowers or children laughing can reconnect one to what they hold precious or sacred. It can be helpful to express recovery in an artistic or creative way. Depression is a universal feeling that affects people all over the world, and there is hope for recovery.
Forgiving Oneself for the Past
Feelings of guilt and shame are sometimes part of depression. Shame is described as the overall sense of “I am a bad person”, while guilt is related to the negative feelings associated with past transgressions. Looking back on these conditions from a new perspective helps heal the wounds. It is important to remember that a person is not defined by their depression; normal people experience mental disabilities such as depression. It is normal to experience a range of negative emotions throughout life including sadness and anger, so it is better to feel the emotions fully and safely, rather than to suppress them.
Self-forgiveness involves the releasing of resentment towards self for perceived wrongdoing or faults. Resentment towards the self decreases self-esteem and prevents one from finding the motivation to grow or change. Self-forgiveness opens the doors for new attitudes towards self and news ways of being. It does not release you from the responsibility of loving and caring for others, rather it releases self-hatred that is counterproductive and obscuring one’s ability to see truth. Letting go of the past allows one to embrace a new future.
Living a full and flourishing life after depression is possible. The opportunity to recover and rediscover your true self is a precious gift. Every person is deserving of a positive life incuding contentment, peace, joy, love and overall life satisfaction. Relish the opportunity to grow into this state.. Every life involves metamorphosis; TMS treatments accelerate the process of healing and growth, truly providing new hope.