By Ingrid Vasquez

Being sad is not easy. Being diagnosed as depressed is even worse.

When I first was diagnosed with depression in the Fall of 2011, I was just a 18-year-old kid starting out her journey as a freshman in college. I was in my dream university away from home with a partial scholarship and dreams as big as anyone else’s. I had nothing to be depressed about but I fell into it.

After suffering from emotions of loneliness, anxiety, helplessness, and much seclusion, I finally sought help. It was only about 2 weeks into these feelings that I visited my school’s mental health office, but I had no idea of what I was getting into. Once I received my diagnosis, I accepted the fact that I needed to start attending both individual and group therapy sessions.

Having attended therapy for about 2 years, I knew that getting control of my mental health was not the finish line. I learned that depression was a lifelong battle and that just like an addiction, relapsing was always a possibility. Because of this, I adopted four spiritual healing techniques to assist me in both times of need and my daily routine.

Amethyst Healing Gemstones

This is a fairly recent technique I have tried. Having gone through a major surgery where three benign tumors were removed from my abdomen this past January, the state of my physical health had a major strain on my mental health. Two amethyst stones were given to me by my grandmother. I began rubbing these two stones on each side of my head (respectfully) every time I felt my anxiety kicking in at home for a few minutes. Slowly but surely they helped ease the mental strain I was going through. I also have an amethyst bracelet I wear.

Incense Sticks

Sometimes the most relaxing place to be is in our home. Whether it be a long day of work, or just the general comfort of being in your home, being inside the four walls that you call your own is the best place to be. When you deal with mental health issues however, sometimes they can make you feel even more alone. That is why aromatherapy was a great therapy technique for me. Whenever I feel like my emotions are getting to be too much and I am at home, I alternate between burning incense sticks and lighting candles to ease my anxieties.

Meditation Books

As a precautionary measure, I enjoy reading meditation books and articles that help guide me during my meditation practices. While I have electronic media to help guide my meditation, I find that reading helps present everything from a stronger perspective. This is also a way to get mindfulness thinking in your day if you have the schedule that allows you to read bits and pieces.

Mindful Eating

Eating three meals a day is both important 

 and recommended, but how many times do we eat one of these meals interrupted by the time constraints of the day, or events up ahead? After realizing, this I adopted a mindful eating diet. I eat between 5 to 6 times a day and proportion out my meals to both healthy and equal amounts each time. This gives me both something to look forward to and be thankful for.

With a more balanced eating schedule, I am also able to appreciate each and every piece of my meal and practice mindfulness while doing so, both through scanning my body and examining my five senses while I eat my meal.  In addition, I drink natural and organic teas. While these techniques have helped maintain a healthy battle with depression, they are ultimately techniques that can be used by anyone to be in touch with both their spiritual and mental health.

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Replies to This Discussion

I've actually done these, while not actually thinking about it.  Many times I like to keep crystals touching my skin, inside my bra.  It just seems stronger that way, though I do know as long as you are within 6 feet, they work.  The only one I don;t do is the mindful eating, though I use the herbal tea.  Actually, with the coming of spring(hopefully)and summer, I tend to get too busy and end up with a granola bar and greek yogurt all day.

I have meds, which I don't use to be honest. They're on repeat prescription if I need them. I've got a thyroid problem and that can tip me over into depression.

I self 'medicate' by walking or crafting.It just works. Actually walking does a lot for me, but I know it doesn't work for everyone. I

Brilliant and helpful discussion for those in need Linda - thank you!

when Geoffrey was in placement, I got so bad, I decided to try depression pills, just for a bit.  BIG mistake....I was allergic to them.  I got all hot and felt like I was outside myself.  After that experience, I decided to do it on my own.  And I only get really bad, suicidal bad a few times a year.  BUT, now I know it will pass in a few days.(it's been happening for years, now)So I just try to keep busy.


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