Question for Bernie:
I am a 34-year-old female living in Dublin, Ireland. I have suffered depression my whole life. Even as a child at school when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember my answer was, “Happy.” I would have been only around six years old when I gave that answer.
My mother was very ill with depression and eventually took her own life after losing custody of her kids. My father, in my opinion, also suffers depression. He would sleep all day and only get out of bed at dinner time. Even now he shuts himself off from the world in a smelly, dirty house with curtains drawn.
My life now is poles apart from my childhood. I have a decent enough job, a stunning gift of a son who is six years old, and a good partner. I have done a lot of work on myself but sometimes this depression rears its head. Antidepressants only worked for me when I had postnatal depression. At other times when they have been prescribed, they did not agree with me and I would be taken off one kind to try another. Now I can say that it really is me who has pushed myself to get better without antidepressant medication.
The last bout back in 2009 was cured by practicing Reiki along with some other treatments the doctor gave me referrals to try. Talk therapy, art therapy, drama therapy and yoga are among the other things he has asked me to try. All of these things helped. But over the last few months depression has crept back in.
I have moved away from the area where I lived in 2009. In my new home, I have been to three different doctors and all have prescribed antidepressants even though I told them about my negative history with them and they all have the medical notes from my old doctor.
I used to be of the opinion that my mother got so ill because depression was treated differently back in the eighties, and they really didn’t really understand it. She became there guinea pig while they tried umpteen drugs out. But here I am in 2013 astounded at the similarities! At my lowest point last week I took one of the pills. That night my eyes were wide open even though I was tired, and when I did close my eyes I could see colored confetti dancing around. So, I have made the conscious choice to help myself again, only this time not just to the point of “getting by” but to be truly happy.
I figured that I must love myself and retrain 34 years of thinking. Deep down I have a fear of being happy because it is something I have never had. It is an alien concept. So I have taken some time off work, I am out walking every day; I am doing mindfulness meditation and calming my mind. I have started doing Reiki again. I am recognizing thoughts as just thoughts and incorporating more positive ones into my life with affirmations. I am trying to live more for the moment. All of these things reinforce self-love.
Since doing all this I am realizing how strong my unconscious mind is! Part of it does not want this change. Self-doubt and negative thinking even come into my dreams. I only discovered you last night while browsing online and am utterly astounded by your compassion and empathy. I will probably be purchasing all of your books because what you write about is right up my street.
The mind-body- connection fascinates me, and I feel it is an area I eventually want to work in. I have always felt that I can help others by using my experiences to teach and to hopefully heal. But first I must heal myself.
My question I guess is this: Is there anything else you would suggest that I can do to help myself?
Thank you for your time.
Your very difficult childhood hypnotized you into the state you are in now. You have shown amazing strength in pursuing health and well-being. What I would suggest for you now is to completely abandon your past which is stored within you.
To begin performing differently in your everyday life, it is important to make it impossible to feel fear, anxiety, or depression. Humor truly does heal by changing your body chemistry. One of the most effective things to do is search your memory for something that made you laugh out loud. It doesn’t matter what or when it was. Just bring it to mind several times a day and laugh for several minutes each time you think of it. The mind cannot harbor fear, anxiety, or depression when it is engaged in laughter.
Next, using visualization, start to act and behave as if you are now the person you want to be. Think about the characteristics you want to have like confidence, being a good listener, having knowledge of areas you are interested in, and being helpful to others without expecting anything in return. Imagine having the feelings of happiness and fulfillment as someone who is teaching others about the mind-body-connection, and how they can heal themselves. Keep rehearsing being the person you want to be until one day you will realize that you are, indeed, that person.
Create a mantra or prayer to help you focus you—something like
Thank you for everything,
I have no complaints whatsoever.
Remember, only you decide how you feel and what you think, so take charge as you are already doing and keep going. Re-parent yourself by treating yourself as you treat your son—with loving support. Banish all negative self-talk, and eliminate any negative people or situations from your life. Live with joy and love.
Question for Bernie
I have some ongoing symptoms of neuropathies and fatigue of unknown origin. I grew up with severe allergies and a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis. I’m now 51 years old. I’m wondering how much my physical symptoms may be connected to other issues. I grew up in an alcoholic household as a closeted gay person until the age of 35. My mother suffered from substantial anxiety.
I’m currently following a gluten free diet and really working on “gut health.” But I’m wondering, Bernie, if you feel that more (most?) attention needs to be paid to emotional/psychological issues with maybe more meditation or other similar approaches? Please let me know what you think. Thank you!
Alice Miller was a Swiss psychologist who wrote about childhood abuse. She said that our childhood is stored up in our bodies. You need to cleanse your body of the abusive past so that your body will stop tormenting you.
Yes, keep working on forgiveness and self-love through meditation and visualization. Self-worth will flourish when you love yourself.
Taking care of our physical body and emotional needs sends the message to your body that you want to live the fulfilling life that you deserve. Once your body gets that message, your body will work through the immune system at keeping you healthy.
I can be your CD, too, and guarantee to give you the love you need and deserve.
CD = chosen dad
Question for Bernie
I had a right lower lobectomy for lung cancer in March 2012. I have taken natural IV therapy and supplements. I was free of cancer for one year then it showed up as a 1 mm mass.
I saw an oncologist who seemed to have no problem with me continuing natural IV therapy and supplements, but the surgeon continues to push for traditional, targeted therapy. They offered radiation and chemo, but I took the natural route as I followed my heart and my research. In my heart I feel the original surgery was not necessary. I also feel that chemo is not the correct therapy.
I have continued my path of natural medication and supplements. I added mistletoe therapy recently. Bernie, I believe in my natural therapy, but I need some help to ward of the fears that come into my dreams and thoughts in the early morning. These fears came home with me after my operation.
My family acts as if this has not happened and provides no spiritual or any other support. I must find that strength in my heart and keep strong. My grandmother taught me about natural healing and I have good memories of her and this approach. I have her picture always with me.
I need my heart to be strong again for the next scan in January 2014. I know it is important for healing, so please help me to find that strength and how to hold on to those positive, wonderful thoughts. I feel I am very close to a cure and need to stay strong. I walk every day and gave up my car to do natural treatments.
I love nature and the way it helps me forget. Winter is harder with cold winds. I need an outlet. I read your book a year ago. An elderly lady from Germany told me about you and has assisted me on my naturopathic journey to reach a cure. She had breast cancer without recurrence in 30 years. She had a lumpectomy and she refused chemo. The hospital could not believe her great outcome.
I simply had to write to you and ask for your thoughts and advice on my situation. Thank you so much.
Please read my latest book, The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing. The book will guide you in the use of drawings you make to discover options for healing the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of your life. Send them to me and I can help you understand the meaning within your drawings. They reveal your true feelings and also can point to decisions that you are struggling to make.
You must also love your life and love your body. Send you body the strong message that you want to LIVE by caring for it lovingly just as it is. Eliminate negative people and situations from your life. Insist that those around you stop talking in negative terms. Surround yourself with positive people and activities.
Think of something that was very funny in your life—in the distant past or more recently—something that made you laugh out loud. Then, whenever you feel fear or worry approaching, think about that incident that made you laugh, and laugh again. It is impossible for your brain to process fear and worry when you are laughing, and also laughing changes your body chemistry, boosting your immune system.
There are many good anticancer supplements. Go to www.lifeextension.com for guidance. Check with your doctor about using metformin which is a drug used by diabetics. In cancer, it affects the use of glucose for energy in cells.