When they come near, you freeze up. You are drained, immobilized. Your very life, your soul is consumed. Every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you.
But that is not their worst. Dementors will find your worst memories and turn these into torture, using them against you. “For Dementors, your pain becomes their power.” Professor Remus Lupin
For many, their depression is their Dementor. Three years ago I experienced a depression that felt like a Dementor was living in my brain.
The only known defense against a Dementor is the Patronus spell. The way it works is to recall your happiest memory and then shout “Expecto Patronum.” All spells require practice, specially the Patronus. You find your strongest, happiest times. You feel the memory. Smell it. Sense it on your skin. You let it live somewhere inside you.
The Patronus isn’t a ‘think good thoughts’ spell. It takes a great deal of practice, scanning your life for the good, the grateful, the growth. Dark times come. Failures. Disappointments. Amidst everything that you face, you also continue your practice of looking also for what is good, where you are growing, and what you are grateful for.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult depression, seeing a mental health professional is one the best investments they can make. It takes time and work to improve a depression. For me, I felt better after about three months, but the work wasn’t over. Staying healthy is about accepting the difficult and even the dark, while also drawing on the light around you: time with friends and family, exercise, diet, medication, counseling, reading, regular health checks, self-care. Different things work for each person, so helping a loved one through their depression can take time.
Today, I leave you with one more thought:
“Remember this, you have friends here. You’re not alone.”
For a related article, see “Depression is A Universe of Darkness.”
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Geek Therapy: Getting High with Geek Therapy
In the new year, I will be offering Geek Therapy using popular culture and superheroes. My specialties include addiction and mental health recovery, parent-teen relationships, emotions and communication skill-building, family counseling, trauma support and spirituality in counseling. If you would like to experiment with Geek Therapy and how it can benefit you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep it Real!
Dementor drawing credit: katinthehat13