years of study and thousands of clinical hours working with depression it
appears that it could be all in the mind.
The reports suggest depression is a
growing concern among both teenagers and adults alike. While the problem itself
can be as complex as the individual, we therefore often find ourselves seeking
complex and lengthy solutions. Could the solution be simpler? Those suffering
the pain and anguish of depression are too often seen as victims of a disease
over which they have no control. But this view is misguided and damaging says
Rik Schnabel, Director of UnTraining at Life Beyond
Limits. ''I believe that depression is a choice and while that
those that believe they have depression, they clearly do not understand
manage their thoughts and seldom their lives. The solutions to
be taught and mastery over a better life is certainly possible.'' Life
Beyond Limits frequently run a free educational seminar on how you can
overcome depression and empower your life. It’s called, “The Journey
Limits” and runs from 9am to 6pm you can register free via:
As a practitioner specialising in the
area of depression, clinical therapist and author of “Life Beyond Limits”, Rik
Schnabel has worked with enough people claiming
to have depression to believe that depression is NOT genetic, modeled,
infectious or incurable. There is an answer, there is a solution and the
solution is inexpensive, quick and certainly possible.
months of depressive moods during the recession of the 80’s, Rik Schnabel
himself was a failed suicide and believes that it is vital that we make use of
this choice and we learn how to not only avoid the “Blackness of the mind” but
also empower our lives. In Australia each year, around 2,000 people commit
suicide. We also know that for each person that commits suicide, there are
another 30 people that attempted suicide.
Imagine a depressed person waking up
in the morning. Their minds hum manically,
the effect of possibly an alcohol-sodden night or hopelessness.They open their eyes and see once again their
problems, their anguish and again they tap into the blackness of their thoughts.They tap more easily into the hopelessness of
their past than an empowering vision of their future and recreate the
depressive thinking over and over and over again.
experience is in some sense self imposed as they choose to guide their mind
back to the nightmare they have been living. The darkness of their mind is
littered with remnants of pain from their past. These memories and
interpretations act as psychological litter over which they frequently trip
when stress and pain appear. It is almost as though through the cracks of their
life appear the wounds of their unhealed past. At these times the body kicks in
releasing chemicals affecting the biochemistry of the brain and nervous system.
Depression has many initial causes:
Stress and overwhelm caused by the myriad of demands from a modern life,
the effects of childhood trauma; environmental factors like poor nutrition,
hormonal imbalances, environmental toxins, the pressures of achievement and
Sociological factors like a change of job or social status, community
breakdown, dissolution of extended families, a disconnection from the natural
world and yes, this does often includes the modern sterile, fluorescent lit
offices with aggressive cultures. Spiritual crises triggered when life loses
its meaning and purpose or when money or status rules over all other values can
also be a factor.
The ‘legal’ drug industry also has its place in the dark land of depression.
Many cardiac drugs, sedatives, steroids, stimulants, antibiotics, analgesics
and the like are known to have ‘side effects,’ a term suggesting minor
influence. This is NOT the case. These symptoms or ‘side effects’ are often so
debilitating that depression ensues. And of course we cannot forget one of the
most highly used drugs; alcohol too is a major contributor to depression. In
fact a glass of alcohol a day coupled with feelings of hopelessness is a sure
fire way to create depression.
a habituation of life’s negations and to overcome depression we must challenge our
disempowerment by letting go of the “Depressed” label we have given ourselves
and who we think we are and begin to redesign our self image,'' Rik Schnabel
successfully move from depression, you must move your energy away from
the problem and we have the power to do this. In short, stop perpetuating
depressive thinking by learning to generate more productive thinking. Depression
in my view is stagnation and continuation of thinking that your life is less
than you imagined it to be. The key here is to move out of logic,
the logic that paints the grim picture that holds you in a depressed state. ''
think I mean that you should pretend you’re not depressed? You better believe
it!'' Rik Schnabel says.The mind forms
impressions of events and creates stories and stories that are often filled
with drama. These impressions of life form the submodalities or finer tuning of
our thinking, creating neurological pathways that shape our emotions.
imagination is the most potent solution to overcome depression. As Einstein
said 'Imagination is more important than knowledge.' ''
sad, frustrating or unfortunate occurred to you and your logical assumptions of
the event lead you to feel uncomfortable, then you are following of course a
natural neurological response to the situation. With training, we can however
intersect these neurological pathways and stimulate more preferable resulting
experiencing one of life’s downturns, subsequent emotions of discomfort are
determined by the meaning we place on our situation; in essence we
subconsciously choose to remain with feelings like overwhelm, sadness, anger, guilt,
blame or worthlessness. We associate the emotions with the event and here our
logical mind assists in creating the spiral of woe.
believe that the most powerful methods to overcoming depression is found in Neuro
Linguistic Programming (NLP) to positively change the pictures and the sounds
that we have constructed in our minds to represent the memories of past events
that trigger depressive thinking. Then we change our picture of the event and
its resulting emotions. This of course means that we must be prepared to make
the necessary changes consciously. Those who suffer depression can be guided
through this process to resume control and effective management of their
one of my clients had been suffering depression for 6 years after losing his
family business. He had been seeing a psychiatrist for 4 of those years and was
under medication. His problem in my view was not depression, but an ineffective
strategy for living. He was perpetuating the depression with a specific series
and sequence of internal and external representations that he ran through, that
provided him with a pre-determined outcome, one which he called ‘depression’.
In 3 hours
using NLP, together we interrupted his strategy for depression and provided a
new strategy to empower his life. As a result the depression lifted.
The mind will
only see what we allow it to see. So, if we can move our thoughts into a new
position, one where we can just consider for a mere moment that a solution may
be simple, then we immediately reduce the size of the problem and make easier
the resolution. Too often we see a problem as complicated and therefore search
for complicated solutions.
driving the bus? The answer is simple. It is us, we are the ones who are in
control of our lives when we choose to take ownership and make goal choices in
our lives our lives can change. Show me a person who chooses not to see a Life
Beyond Limits, one who doesn’t have a goal or a dream and I’ll show you someone
who is likely to find depression easier.
Much of what we see is due to how we code and store
the concepts of ourselves in our neurology. How we see ourselves in our mind is
paramount; it determines where we unconsciously steer our lives. Anything is
possible, when you have some good tools and a will to move from the old
concepts of yourself.
empowering your mind and better strategies for life at “The Journey Beyond
Limits”. Entry is free and for more information – go to: www.lifebeyondlimits.com.au/TheJourney
is available for interviews via +61 3 9836 2493 or 0414 797 275 and to find out
more about Rik Schnabel – see