It is a cold winter day here in Vancouver. The height of what I call The Canadian Depression Season. I am not depressed this season like I have been in some winters past. I attribute part of this to a regular meditation practice.
It is no wonder people hesitate to go for assistance with depression or other conditions as once you enter the medical system you are given labels that stay in your mind and become absolutes. Once a person in authority like a Physician (or other expert) labels you this or that – it goes deep into the subconscious. I know they need to do this to make sense of an issue but the downside is that it comes to be a fixed story that you and the system fixate on.
I took hypnotherapy training a long time after my “diagnosis” and this phenomena of a person in authority programming the unconscious was explained. It is known as Waking Hypnosis and Hyper-suggestibility.
It is usually covert … everyone is subject to suggestions made by others, especially those in a place of greater authority or expertise. When a patient seeks an opinion from a doctor, what the doctor tells the client can be very powerful.1
The part of the mind that normally filters and critiques is bypassed when in a heightened state of emotion like anxiety. The information goes straight to the subconscious as a fact.
In spite of my dislike of labels and authority, I owned the idea that I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with a dose of mood disorder. I took physician recommended steps to deal with it. I still use a big Daylight Lamp each day through Depression Season and I take medication as needed. I eat right now and keep a normal sleep schedule. Unless I intend to hibernate like a bear all winter and get all moody – I need to keep an eye on the “condition”. But … I also realize that when I was initially labeled I bought into a sense of despair about being damaged “forever” that did not help the situation.
Since I took up a regular practice of Mindfulness Meditation I have become aware of the states of my mind. I see them shift and change and I know they are not absolute. I also see the story lines that the labels created. Like weather systems the states and stories of the mind pass and I have ceased to fear that they rule me. I have become more confident in myself again as I see the transience of thoughts and emotions. The meditation practice is part of an overall lifestyle change that I have been working on – for quite some time. A work in progress. I appreciate the assistance I received from the medical community – particularly the lifestyle guidance. I value the meditation training very much.