Depression And Suicidal Thoughts Since Age 11
Author: Amy A.
Word Count: 1,563
Questions Received: 16
Testimonial ID: 10418-OR
Scientific Studies: 18
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This was the original writeup of my testimony to my friends and family, and I can think of no better or more authentic way to share my story than my heartfelt words to them. Since I wrote this, I have furthered my success with Dragon Time essential oil blend as well, which has really helped with anxiety. Here is my original testimony:
"I shared the short version of this testimony tonight, August 14, 2014, with a room full of people who already love essential oils. I thought to myself, "This is a safe place. People will understand, and they will know exactly what I am talking about; and no one knows me, so I won't have to explain the embarrassment attached to this testimony." This is what I thought.
What I did not expect was that there were several people in the room that would want to know how I resolved 20 years of depression. What I did not expect was that people would ask because they were struggling with the same thing. After the third person approached me regarding my regimen for depression, it occurred to me in a very emotional way that I needed to share this with more people than just those who already use essential oils.
What THEY did not know was that they would inspire me and empower me, via their questions, to share my freedom with my entire social network. My mind wandered to the recent loss of the beloved Robin Williams and, not only the heartbreak that surfaced with this tragedy, but also the number of people who struggle with the heavy reality of chronic depression.
It occurred to me how selfish it was to allow my embarrassment and desire to protect myself to keep me from sharing the most real and vibrant solution that has ever been offered to anyone -- freedom from debilitating sadness and hopelessness. True. Real. Freedom. I am shaking even as I write this. I am having trouble articulating my thoughts because of the overwhelming emotion that I feel in regards to my emotional healing -- and what that has meant for my life and my relationships.
I am stepping over the naysayers, the skeptics, the people who will judge me for admitting that I was depressed for 20 years, and those that may be potentially hurt by my sharing this. But I feel like what I may offer is far bigger than myself, and I would be remiss if I denied you all the right to discover the same healing. I am tired of hiding myself. I am tired of people not knowing me for who I am, and I am tired of being embarrassed by what I was.
So here I am in full color, full exposure, sharing that I, Amy Altstatt, have suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts since I was 11 years old -- or at least I did until April of last year. Allow me to start by sharing what it felt like, though I doubt I will be able to do it justice. It's CRUSHING. I am uncertain that I will be able to describe it in better terms than that.
I come from a wonderful family, an industrious family, a talented family, a loving family, a problem-solving family, a STRONG family. And so I saw my depression as a horrible weakness that I needed to find a solution to, a weakness I could never show.
It manifested in different ways, many of which, if you have known me for years, you might recognize if I were to mention them. Mainly I secluded myself from the world with every tidal wave of depression that hit. I needed to hide myself because people wouldn't like the person that I was if they knew that I was depressed, I couldn't burden people with my sadness, and I needed to "fix" it; I needed to find a solution.
I would have days where I laid in bed crying, canceling plans with friends and sobbing into my pillow. Strangely enough, the depression hit the hardest when things were at their best in my life, which only made the depression more confusing and increased my level of guilt about being depressed. I would go for weeks without being depressed and then... BAM... another black hole.
I tried changing my diet, and I tried blaming it on different things, trying to keep myself busy in an effort to ward off the next episode -- always staying in denial. In fact, I was never ever able to fully admit to myself that I was chronically depressed until I had not been depressed for over a year. It wasn't until I was OVER it -- and knew I was finished with it -- that I was able to look back and say, "Yes, I was suffering from chronic depression."
I was a coward. The first person I admitted it to was my husband (it came as no surprise to him). The second person I admitted it to was my dear friend who introduced me to essential oils (originally to address other health issues seemingly unrelated to the depression).
The third admission was my parents. There was silence on the other end of the line for a good 20 minutes while I proceeded to tell them that, at the age of 11, I wanted to take my own life. They had never known.
So tonight when they asked, "Whose lives have been TRANSFORMED by the oils?" I raised my hand. Truly, my life has been transformed, and I have FOUND myself. I have a long-lasting joy that I had not known since I was almost too young to remember it. I feel like I have awakened to myself, and I would like to share with you the healing power of essential oils.
I was so skeptical, but I was desperate. I was dealing with excruciating hormonal imbalances that caused searing and violent pain for me that left me bedridden for no less than 2 days every single month for the last 12 years. I was dealing with kidney stones, digestive issues, fatigue, and back and neck pain. The list goes on and on.
Phillip and I were told by doctors that the ONLY solution for my menstrual pain was birth control. We were trying to conceive. That wasn't an option. But the pain was getting worse. So I contacted my friend (after rolling my eyes over a year of testimonies from her Facebook page that had been invading my feed) and asked her if essential oils could help with menstrual pain.
Of course her answer was yes, and, about a month after my inquiry, I had my hands on my first four essential oils. Within six months I experienced my first period pain free. And even before that first month free of cramps, I had begun to experience mental clarity and consistency. After months of research and testing which essential oils were addressing my needs, I noticed I was no longer depressed.
After six months I felt an intense joy that I hadn't felt since I was a child; but I wasn't ready to make any claims about my depression being "gone" because I had gone 4-5 months without depression before. However, after 16 months of being depression free, I can safely say that I am confident that the Young Living essential oils have resolved my depression and have given me the longest time period of my life without debilitating, life-sucking depression.
My regimen included the following:
Progessence Plus Serum
I use many other oils to address various additional health issues, but these are the ones that I have particularly noticed have made a difference in my depression and anxiety (goodbye meltdowns!). The fact is that this is something that, at the age of 32, I was finally ready to come to terms with and am finally ready, through tears, to be transparent about.
I don't know that I ever would have sought help if it had not been for essential oils. I don't know if I would have ever been able to feel this exhilarating freedom. I now feel terrified of what might have become of me had I not found the oils, and I feel hyper-aware of those in my life that could easily take charge of their lives with these oils.
I thank God for making this connection in my life, for waking me up (even if indirectly at the time) to the very real struggle that I was dealing with in my life. I can safely say that I would not be in graduate school had I not found the oils. There is absolutely no way, in my previous state, that I could have survived the last year of my life without these oils.
I continue to discover new testimonies every day, as these oils bring further healing to different areas of my life. I would love to be the help and support for anyone in my life that is currently struggling with similar issues, and I hope that you would be able to approach the threshold of that conversation with me in order to find this healing.
If you know me, you know my heart and my deep, deep love for the people in my life. In fact, if you know me and are not aware of that love, I apologize for not expressing it more clearly. Please know that, if you are reading this, I love you."
Additional keyword(s) assigned by the editor: anxious, sadness, less, antidepressant, antidepresssants, uplifting, moody, bipolar, manic, motivate, motivated, meltdown, suicidal, dysmenorrhea, hormonal, hormones.
|Supporting Scientific Studies|
|1.||"Results of bone density, bone mineral content, bone tensile strength and histological analysis also showed similar trend of results, which supported initial observations of this study. It is proposed that hydroalcoholic extract of dried clove buds has bone-preserving efficacy against hypogonadal [hormonally deficient] osteoporosis."||Link|
|2.||"Therapy with beta-caryophyllene [present in many essential oils] may present a promising novel, non-toxic therapeutic option for patients with endometriosis."||Link|
|3.||"After inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels were significantly decreased.... Thyroid stimulating hormone was also reduced.... Clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect...."||Link|
|4.||"DHEA [a component of PD 80/20], an androstene hormone [precursor to estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisone, and other hormones], has been shown to possess a wide range of beneficial biological effects mainly attributed to immune system modulation.... thus leading to beneficial effects in diverse human diseases including resistance to infection, neuroprotection, wound healing, diabetes, hepatic injury, cardiovascular disease, and cancer."||Link|
|5.||"Most studies, as well as clinically applied experience, have indicated that various essential oils, such as lavender, lemon and bergamot can help to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. Most notably, inhalation of essential oils can communicate signals to the olfactory system and stimulate the brain to exert neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin and dopamine), thereby further regulating mood."||Link|
|6.||"[T]he level and duration of menstrual pain and the amount of menstrual bleeding were significantly lower in the aromatherapy group than in the placebo group. These results suggest that aromatherapy is effective in alleviating menstrual pain, its duration, and excessive menstrual bleeding. Aromatherapy can be provided as a nonpharmacological pain relief measure and as a part of nursing care given to girls suffering of dysmenorrhea or excessive menstrual bleeding."||Link|
|7.||"Peppermint oil is harmless and acts locally to inhibit GI [gastrointestinal] smooth muscle contraction.... Peppermint oil solution administered intraluminally can be used as an antispasmodic agent with superior efficacy and fewer side effects than hyoscine-N-butylbromide...."||Link|
|8.||"[I]dentifying... the effects of YYA [ylang ylang aroma] on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) is important in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of YYA. The present results demonstrated that inhalation of YYA significantly decreased the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Inhalation of YYA also significantly decreased the HRs in 10 leads.... In the present results, YYA caused a reduction of HR and BP, and a relief of the arousal level in healthy men. The present results show a sedative effect of YYA, and this study provides some evidences for the usage of YYA [as a] medicinal agent."||Link|
|9.||"[One] method employed for wound healing is the application of lavender oil. Due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties, it is thought to prevent wound infections and to play a role in reducing pain by lowering inflammation.... Lavender oil is known to have antibacterial, antifungal, sedative, and/or antidepressant effects.... In addition to its antimicrobial effects, the anti-inflammatory analgesic properties of lavender oil have also been emphasized... The use of L. Angustifolia [lavender] is particularly recommended in chronically infected wounds due to its immune-stimulating and antimicrobial effects. There are also reports that lavender oil reduces scar tissue."||Link|
|10.||"[P]re-clinical and clinical research available today demonstrat[es] the power, safety, and effectiveness of natural compounds [particularly aromatherapy] for relieving stress and anxiety.... [S]imple inhalation of patchouli and rose oil reduced sympathetic nervous activity by 40%, with rose oil reducing adrenaline concentrations by 30%.... Lavender oil... has also been studied for the ability to reduce stress, anxiety, aggression,and cortisol levels, among two dozen other potential therapeutic properties."||Link|
|11.||Valerian improves the sleep of insomniacs after benzodiazepine (tranquilizer) withdrawal. "Valerian subjects reported significantly better subjective sleep quality than placebo ones...."||Link|
|12.||"Aromatherapy... [consisting of] a blend of oils of lemon (Citrus limonum), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)... is effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and sympathetic nerve system activity... of heart rate variability."||Link|
|13.||"Lavender, mint [peppermint], orange, rose, chamomile, rosemary, and sage were used.... Depression levels in the touch-music-aroma therapy group... showed a larger decrease than in the... control groups [that did not include aromatherapy].... [FMS] symptoms such as restless sleep, headache, morning fatigue, exhaustion, feeling like crying, and bowel complaints were also significantly reduced."||Link|
|14.||"Beta-Caryophyllene [component of cannabis, clove, copaiba], a CB2 [cannabinoid] receptor agonist produces multiple behavioral changes relevant to anxiety and depression in mice.... these preclinical results suggest that CB2 receptors may provide alternative therapeutic targets for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The possibility that BCP may ameliorate the symptoms of these mood disorders offers exciting prospects for future studies."||Link|
|15.||"Lavender essential oil has been used as an anxiolytic [anxiety] drug, a mood stabilizer, a sedative, spasmolytic [muscle spasms], antihypertensive [high blood pressure], antimicrobial, analgesic [pain] agent as well as a wound healing accelerator.... The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches."||Link|
|16.||"The ylang ylang oil caused a significant decrease of blood pressure and a significant increase of skin temperature. At the behavioral level, subjects in the ylang ylang oil group rated themselves more calm and more relaxed than subjects in the control group. These findings are likely to represent a relaxing effect of the ylang ylang oil and provide some evidence for the usage of the ylang ylang oil in aromatherapy such as causing a relief of depression and stress in humans."||Link|
|17.||"A number of essential oils are currently in use as aromatherapy agents to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. Popular anxiolytic oils include lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), rose (Rosa damascena), orange (Citrus sinensis), bergamot (Citrus aurantium), lemon (Citrus limon), sandalwood (Santalum album), clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), and rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.)."||Link|
|18.||"[T]he lavender fragrance had a beneficial effect on insomnia and depression in women college students."||Link|
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