Ep. 167 Healing Depression with Amy Scher - theuncensoredempath.com

Ep. 167 Healing Depression with Amy Scher

Listen Here:

In this episode of the Uncensored Empath:

  • Key takeaways from Amy Scher’s new book “How to Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can”
  • How depression is the side effect of itself and not the problem
  • Tips for supporting a love with depression
  • The power of micromovements and how to gauge your healing

Additional Resources:

BOOK: How to Heal Yourself from Depression When No One Else Can

An internationally recognized energy therapist brings her accessible approach to helping anyone struggling with depression to reclaim a joyful life. If you or someone you know suffers from any form of depression–from feeling exhausted or blue to not being able to get out of bed–help is here. According to Amy B. Scher, depression can be confusing, but it’s not as much of a mystery as you might think. Depression happens on a spectrum and can affect anyone. It is the literal depression of self. It’s not all in your head. It’s not all in your body, either. It happens in the whole self. But just as depression happens in every part of you, so too does healing.


LMNT electrolytes have no added sugars, no artificial ingredients, no coloring, literally nothing that’s unhealthy or unneeded. As Uncensored Empath Podcast listeners, you can receive a free sample pack for just the cost of shipping, which in the US is just five dollars. Each sample pack has eight packets of the LMNT electrolytes.

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitive energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who want to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no-BS guide to navigating life, health, and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight-to-the-point, totally holistic tips from me in real-time as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you. This is a Soulfire production.

Welcome back to another episode. You all, I am really excited about today’s guest. Amy Scher is here with me and she’s been on the show before. And I just truly love her writing, her work, all the energy healing that she has to offer the world. And this is such an important topic around healing depression today. My guess is that we all know somebody or have personally experienced depression. And as you guys have heard in my journey, it’s something that has deeply affected my life and the loss of my brothers as well. So Amy is an award-winning and best-selling author of the How to Heal Yourself from Depression When No One Else Can book, as well as three other books in this series that I all personally own and have read. She was also named one of Advocates 40 under 40, and as an expert in mind-body healing, she helps people release emotional baggage to become their happiest, healthiest selves.

So we’re going to be diving into a conversation around depression today and you’ll hear Amy define this more specifically as depression of the self and all the different ways this can show up in our life and really, truly, how to look at navigating healing depression from a whole self-perspective. So this may be an episode that deeply resonates with you or that you may want to pass along and share with a friend today. All that being said, Amy is here and we are ready to dive in.

Sarah: Amy, welcome back to the show. I’m super excited to have you on today.

Amy: Thank you so much.

Key takeaways from Amy Scher’s new book “How to Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can”

Sarah: So you have been on the show before, but today we’re here to talk about your new book, How to Heal Yourself from Depression When No One Else Can. And I’m super curious, what inspired this topic and this book?

Amy: Yes. So this is actually the third and I think, dare I say, final book in the How to Heal Yourself series. And what inspired this book was, I always wanted to do three books. The first one is about healing from, what people call Chronic Illness or Ongoing Emotional or Physical Challenges. The second one is Anxiety. And the third one I planned even before the pandemic, which is How to Heal Yourself from Depression because I feel like depression is a topic that everyone can understand. And my own perspective of depression is that it happens on a spectrum, that depression isn’t just not being able to get out of bed. It’s often, and we’re not talking about clinical depression, but just the energy of depression and the term depression, which we use so casually, which is, I’m depressed I didn’t get the job or I’m depressed that this guy canceled, or I feel depressed, I don’t know what’s wrong. I feel like it is really something that everybody can relate to.

Some of us just go through periods of time where we feel blah or blue or lost. And so, I really wanted to cover this topic. It obviously is even more relevant than it was two years ago when I planned it. But I really wanted to cover this topic because I feel like it is something everybody has experienced or most everybody has experienced in some capacity and I felt, in some ways, it was going to be my most helpful book because of that. Because it’s for everyday people who might be feeling like they’re heavy or exhausted and not know what it’s from and maybe relate to, Hey, wait, maybe I do have some of these signs of, and again, we’re not really talking about clinical depression, although my book will be beneficial for those people too, but Hey, maybe I do have some of this that I could work on.

Sarah: Yes. Well, I love what you mentioned in the book, this question I think we’ve all asked ourselves: Am I just tired? Am I unmotivated? Am I depressed? And seeing depression as a spectrum and being able to potentially even fall different areas, different spots within that spectrum at different points in our life. So I’m curious if you can expand a little bit more on depression as a spectrum, and also just what we’ve seen over the last year especially. We were just talking about this before I hit record, the year of 2020. And I have observed even just within the people I know, increased rates of feeling depressed, but I’ve also seen some statistics on that as well.

Amy: Right. Absolutely. And it’s really interesting, in the last year, even before the pandemic and before 2020, our awareness of depression is getting better. More people are talking about mental health, more people are aware of the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, those types of things, but the problem is getting worse. So there’s some mismatch in how we are dealing with depression, which I typically see in all areas of medicine, that it’s not always a holistic approach. So we’re not always hitting on the things that need to be addressed in order to help people feel better. But depression can show up in any way. And what you’re saying is actually a really relevant question. How do I know if I am just tired? Not everybody’s depressed clearly, right? Sometimes we are just tired, we are unmotivated. But if you look back and you’re always asking yourself this question, or you’re very often asking yourself: Why am I so exhausted? Why do I feel so heavy? Why am I always so overwhelmed? That can be a sign of depression too.

If you look back, much of the time you are asking yourself that, that’s different than having a slump of a week or a few days, right? That’s different. That can be a pattern, that can be something more global going on in your energy field or your system. And so, I think if we’re always tired or always heavy, always sad or blah or feel like we’re dragging ourselves through, it’s a good question to ask, is this really something bigger? And maybe that’s depression, maybe it’s more. I feel like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, those types of things are often, very, very often linked in with this depressive energy. But it’s always a good idea to ask ourselves. We don’t want to give every symptom weight. I talk about that all the time. But we also don’t want to minimize everything so that one day we realize we never feel good and are talking it all the way either. There’s somewhere in between.

Sarah: I’m glad that you brought up at the beginning there that we’re talking more about mental health in the world today. And it’s something that was not really talked about at all back in the day. And you also mentioned in your book that you grew up with a dad with immense depression and were in a family where you were navigating those highs and those lows. And I’d love for you to reflect a little bit on how, not only mental health conversations have shifted over time, but also what it was like for you to have a father with depression and how that may have impacted you as well.

Amy: Yes. So my dad was actually a therapist, so within our house, we talked about mental health. And I’m sure that his own experience with depression did have in part to do with all that he carried for other people.

Sarah: My listeners are mostly empathic, highly sensitive human beings who, whether they’re in the world of coaching or therapy or not, they still really get that it’s so easy to pick up on everyone’s stuff.

Amy: It’s so easy. And I’ve found actually, over the years, there are two parts to it for me personally. And I don’t know how this will resonate with you or your audience, but for me, the more work I have done on myself to not quote-unquote, match up with other people’s stuff, the less sensitive I’ve become, for sure. The more work I’ve done to relate…not to relate, but to really resonate deeply at a cellular level with other people’s traumas, absolutely the more energetically independent I’ve become. But then also hugely empathic or not, when we are talking about and feeling and being in the energy of other people, especially when they’re going through things all the time, there’s a reality to that too. You’ll ask anybody who wouldn’t even consider themselves empathic and it’s a lot. It’s just a lot, right? That connection when you’re talking about and feeling those things. So I do think that that really affected my dad. And in those days, there wasn’t talk. There weren’t great leaders like you out there talking about what happens and how to address that empathic nature. So that wasn’t talked about either. Mental health wasn’t talked about the same.

And my dad used to see, those were the days where people, and I don’t know how you specifically work, but see eight or 10 patients a day. And when I first started seeing clients one-on-one, I would see about 15 a week. And now, knowing what I know, I would never do more than probably five one-on-ones. I don’t even do one-on-one sessions anymore for this reason. But I do feel like over the years it can be cumulative and we don’t realize. Although, everyone’s so lucky to have you because now we do realize what’s happening. But a lot of times people don’t realize and it catches up to you. There’s just that reality of no matter how much you’re doing; you still need to be mindful. Even though you have all the exercises and all the tools, you still need to be mindful about how much you’re swimming in other people’s energy every day, I think.

Sarah: Yes. I totally agree and think that if we can become aware of, and we notice how much we’re sponging up everyone else’s story, trauma, sadness, that we can start to at least separate that from what I’m actually feeling versus feeling what they’re going through is either mine to fix, mine to carry, mine to sit in, so on and so forth. So, yes, I totally agree.

Amy: Yes. And it’s so different for everybody. I know people who see multiple clients a day and it doesn’t seem to affect them how it would affect me. So everybody’s so different as well that we have to pay attention to that. But I definitely think that in my house, mental health was something we talked about. It wasn’t a hidden thing or anything. But outside, most of my friends didn’t know what was going on. My teachers, I wouldn’t have told. So also we do that and empaths do that too, is we go, even at some subconscious level, I’ll carry it all, I can do it all. Right? And empaths are actually usually really like the rock in everybody’s life and really good at helping everybody else and carrying it all. But what I’ve learned is that doesn’t mean we have to. I am so much better than most people in my life that I know, about dealing with a crisis, but wait, that doesn’t mean I have to be the one to carry the crisis. Just because I’m good at it, doesn’t mean I have to do it. Right? Which is such a ”I remember that lightbulb moment.”

So, I think, obviously as I was growing up, I didn’t realize so much of how everything was impacting me until I got a little bit older and then had to deal with the lifetime of carrying all that or living in all that. My childhood and all the struggles of it also has helped me immensely in my work as well and understanding, especially working with teenagers and young adults, how that affects people.

Quick story time for you all. Around Christmas this year, I was starting to work out more and do some of these prenatal workouts with some light weight, with some bands and honestly just was feeling so proud of my body for all the things that it’s doing, all the functions that it’s taking on right now. But what I noticed was that my blood pressure actually got really low and I was not hydrating properly. And though I was feeling really strong, there was an opportunity to be able to get and replenish the electrolytes in my body from these prenatal workouts; for you guys, whatever type of workout you’re doing. And so, literally two days after I called my midwife asking, what can I do, I need some more fluids and nutrients in my body? This shipment from LMNT, pronounced Element, came in the mail. And I literally thought this is the most perfect timing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And they have flavors that I had honestly never heard of before that are so delicious. And so, these little packets, you just put into your water. And it’s for anyone who sweats, it’s for anyone who does any intermittent fasting, anyone who is looking to curb carb cravings, or like myself, you are just trying to take care of your body that is doing so many different things and performing so many different functions right now.

The thing that I noticed right away and love most about LMNT electrolytes is that there are no sugars, no added sugars, no artificial ingredients, no coloring, literally just nothing that’s unhealthy or unneeded. None of it is an element. They have lots of science and research on their blog that goes into all the reasons why the replenishment of electrolytes in your body is so helpful and so needed. And honestly, I always thought that electrolytes were something that were more appropriate for my husband who works out super hard, but it’s also important for everyday health and even the gentle exercises that I’m doing in my pregnancy journey. So you guys better bet I’ve got a gift for you. As Uncensored Empath Podcast listeners, you can receive a free sample pack for just the cost of shipping, which in the US is just five dollars. Each sample pack has eight packets of the LMNT electrolytes. There’s two citrus, two raspberry, two orange, and two raw unflavored that you can put into anything. So if you want to try it out, simply go over to our special link. It’s drinklmnt.com/empath that’s also in the show notes and you can get your free eight-pack sampler. And then tag me on Instagram, let me know what you think. We can cheers over Instagram.

Sarah: Well, this really opens up another conversation I want to have with you, which is that depression can pop up during moments when we do expect it, like after a loss, after a major stressful event in life. But it can also pop up when you least expect it and air quotes over here, should be the happiest, or people, at least from the exterior looking in, think you should be so happy because all of these things are working out for you in life. But that doesn’t exclude the potential for depression. Can we talk a little bit about it showing up at any point?

Amy: Yes, definitely. A lot of times people will say to me, It just seemed like it just suddenly happened. And I’d say, No, it probably happened over months or years, but it suddenly showed up, it suddenly manifested. I think we could all relate to when you’re working really hard and then you take a vacation and suddenly when you’re relaxed, you get a cold. Sometimes the body doesn’t have the capacity to deal with trauma within the midst of trauma because you’re in fight-flight-or-freeze, you have the adrenaline. So a lot of times, once we’ve come out of the time period where we think we would be more likely to be depressed, that’s when the energy can hit us because the body then has the capacity to be aware of it, to process it, to deal with it. So a lot of times we can’t actually link how we’re feeling in this moment with something that happened in the last hour or the last day.

I tell my clients, if you’re feeling depressed, if you’re feeling fatigued, then you can look anywhere from now until 18 months ago and probably see where the link is. But it’s the same as food allergies. I have people that say, Well, I didn’t eat anything weird today. And I say, I know, but three days ago. You know what I mean? So that’s important to look at too. And it’s not to be scared if you’re going through a hard time. A lot of people go through a really hard time and they come out and they do feel better. And then they stay feeling better, right? Because their body processed it. But it’s not something to feel scared about. But things can definitely be delayed. Things can be brewing in the energy system and then the manifestation of what happened or the physical or emotional reaction to that could come to light when you’re out of the woods, so to speak. And that can be typical.

And when you’re out of the woods, it can feel like, Wait, but I’m not having a hard time now. I just got through that hard time and now I have everything I want. And now I do have the job I love. Now I am getting married. Now I am… So it can show up in a time where everything feels like it should be amazing and you should be happy, but you’re not. And the reason is it’s just a delayed manifestation.

Sarah: Yes. So many of my listeners also have experience with autoimmune and chronic illness and understand that there’s an analogy there with that and that those things, those symptoms that popped up one day weren’t because of this morning. It happened as a cumulation over time. And I find that oftentimes the pathway then is this mindset of what can I do to fix this? Maybe if I go to yoga or if I meditate more, if I start going to therapy, if I take more walks outside in nature, or I call a friend or see friends. And it’s not that those things aren’t helpful. But you mentioned in the book that all this doing doesn’t necessarily fix the belief or heal, resolve the belief of, “I don’t matter.” And that’s what I’ve heard from friends and family members who have struggled with depression is, almost overwhelmingly so, I don’t feel like I matter. And so, you, in the book, write about your three-step approach that really looks at the whole self and the whole body and not just doing the one thing. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Amy: Yes, sure. So, I think that the self-care we truly require is not the yoga, the meditation, the whatever, and whatever it may be. Although those things are all supportive and amazing and everybody should keep doing them. But the real calling when we’re feeling depressed in any capacity, if you’re anywhere on that spectrum, is to be attentive to your own life, to go deeper than the yoga, the meditation, to actually change your inner landscape, to change your emotional terrain, to change the things that aren’t working in your life. And this is my first book that I really talk about, in addition to healing trauma, releasing stress, dealing with your emotions, we have to take action. And the action that’s necessary is changing the things you can and are able to change in your life that aren’t working for you. And I think that’s very, very important because I think those of us that are spiritual can sometimes lean more toward the universe has my back, which I totally believe it does, and say intention prayers for what I want, and I can do yoga and I can meditate and I can do all these things and then just let it go.

But then what happens often, and I have been guilty of this myself so I can speak to it personally, is that we become inactive participants in our own life because we’re always trusting the universe. We’re always waiting for a sign; we’re always leaving everything to fate. And I think there is some portion of surrender that can be really healthy, but also, sometimes the thing to do, if you are able, is to leave the toxic relationship, is to think about making a career change. Because we are driven by action in our lives. We are driven by deciding for ourselves what feels good. And a lot of what depression is, is the belief that “I don’t matter,” and we end up making decisions driven by that belief that we don’t matter. We don’t listen to our hearts; we don’t follow the path that we want to. We can sometimes surrender our free will in a way that can cause depression because what happens is we end up last on our list. And there is nothing that says “I don’t matter” more to the body or the heart and soul than ending up last on our list. So while yoga and meditation and even the energy-therapy techniques that I use are tools, we have to really change at a core level. We have to do things differently, we have to feel things differently instead of going to the hour yoga class and then calling it a day.

Sarah: Yes. I resonate with that as well, because especially before I lost both my brothers, first Jordan, I was very much guilty of the Band-Aid fixes, where I was going to yoga and I was meditating and I was really fucking frustrated because I thought: Why am I not happy? I’m doing the things. And it’s not that they weren’t supportive because they were, and I still do those things, they’re part of my practice, but I wasn’t changing the core belief and the core programming underneath that and that feeling like I wasn’t worthy or wasn’t good enough in this world. And once I experienced actually the death of my brother, that was the light bulb moment for me. And it’s unfortunate that had to be the moment, but in many ways, I’m grateful for that being that moment where I realized that I was just putting the Band-Aid on and I wasn’t looking at the root. And there’s a quote that I pulled from your book, it says, “Depression is not all in our head. It’s not all in our body either. Depression happens in the whole self. As I see it, depression is not the problem, it’s a side effect of itself.” I’d love for you to expand more on getting to the root and seeing depression as part of the side effect of what might be deeper going on in somebody’s life.

How depression is the side effect of itself and not the problem

Amy: Yes. So I see depression as the literal depression of self, the suppression of who you really are. And that’s something different to everybody. That will mean something different to everybody. But I think that the core of what we need to look at is how are we depressed as a spirit? How are we depressed as how are we suppressed? And sometimes the things that depress us or suppress us are our beliefs like “I don’t matter,” “I’m not good enough,” all of these things. Sometimes it’s trauma that literally weighs on our spirit that we need to let go of to let ourselves rise. Sometimes it’s something in our lives that we aren’t able to make a decision about. Living in limbo is one of the worst things. And again, I want to be really sensitive too. We all have our financial and socioeconomic and all of those sort of limitations so I’m not telling anybody that to be happy or to make peace in your life, you need to throw your life up and move across the country or get a divorce right now, or none of that. But we do need to be responsible for doing what is within our power to change the things we know we need to change.

And a lot of times we can do the deeper work like releasing trauma and shifting beliefs to help us get to a better place in order to be able to make those decisions or to be able to make peace when we can’t make a decision when we aren’t able to leave a job or a relationship. But I think all of it needs to be looked at. And if you just ask yourself if you are feeling depressed today, heavy energy, if you feel like something is suppressing you, ask yourself what that may be. Are you carrying your past? Are you buried by the life that has been for the last year? Are you feeling suppressed or depressed because you’re in a relationship that doesn’t allow you to be who you are? I think there are different routes to depression for everybody, but I think that global question of, what is depressing me, what is pushing me down? is a good one to ask because most people know somewhere inside what it is.

Sarah: This is so interesting because I think part of the path to feel better is dealing with our feelings and building the emotional intelligence just to understand how we’re feeling and be able to put words to that. Yet, I’m thinking of a specific family member where I’ve asked: How are you? How are you doing? And her answer’s often, I just don’t know. I don’t even know how I feel right now. And I’m curious, especially as a friend and family member perspective as well, not just the person who’s going through it, how do we start to crack that open so that there is an understanding or maybe a safe enough environment to feel so that you can deal with the feelings?

Amy: Yes. So when somebody tells me they don’t know how they feel, what I hear is that they’re overwhelmed. They’re totally overwhelmed by their feelings. So they probably feel them all at once or they haven’t been in touch with their feelings so they don’t know which one they’re feeling or which ones they’re feeling. But that “I don’t know,” if anybody tells you, even when you would say: What can I do to help? “I don’t know,” that’s such a sign of somebody being overwhelmed. So what you can do as a family member or friend is start really small. And you can ask somebody, this is an approach that I take with people, if you had to pick one thing, do you think you would resonate with feeling? And there are three emotions that I’ve experienced typically go along with depression, which is anger, grief, and fear. And you can ask: Do you think you feel angry? Do you think there’s something that you feel angry about? Are you scared? If you name it for people, they can usually feel in their body which one is true for them. But if you—

Sarah: That’s a great point. Yes.

Amy: Yes. If you ask them an open-ended question and you get something like, “I don’t know,” that person is saying to you, I’m too overwhelmed to figure it out, I’m too overwhelmed to understand, I’m too overwhelmed to identify it. So I try to go specific. Many lifetimes ago, I was a nanny. And primarily for really little kids from right when they were born, I would start, and then up until a few years old. But it’s like you ask a kid, what do they want for breakfast? They don’t know. But if you ask them if they want cereal or whatever, then they know. It’s the same thing, right? I used to sort of be a toddler whisperer and it’s the same thing with toddlers. They don’t want to wear anything. They will destroy their whole closet because they don’t like anything. But if you’re like, Do you want the red shirt or the blue shirt? Suddenly they know which one they want out of those two, but they don’t know out of an entire closet.

So it’s the same thing with our emotions when we’re overwhelmed. We don’t know when we’re overwhelmed but if we can bring it down to just a few choices, we can usually identify how we feel. And so, that’s what I recommend. Or if you ask somebody: How can I help you? and they don’t know, you can say: Would it be helpful if I brought you dinner tonight? or Would it be helpful if I made a couple of phone calls for you? Even releasing that small amount of overwhelm when somebody feels depressed is huge. Take something off their plate if you want to help.

Sarah: That’s such good advice. And it is so much easier to answer a multiple-choice question like that than feel like you have to find the answer or tap into the emotion to figure out what the answer is, if that’s not comfortable. And that really just brings me back to having a safe space in which to feel, in which to heal. And it goes back to the point where you’re saying, sometimes it does take action and that, you, to the extent possible, leave the relationship, leave the toxic job, whatever it is, that’s creating the trauma. And you talk about the freak-out response in your book as well and I just think that that’s so important. And maybe something that is not always highlighted in the healing process is that we have to downregulate our nervous systems enough to be able to access deeper states of consciousness into our emotional plane and our emotional body. If we’re in this toxic, traumatizing environment in that moment, to me, it seems like accessing the healing would be almost impossible, if not just extra, extra challenging.

Amy: Yes. And the entire first section of the book is actually dedicated to working on this aspect because this is part of why I think so many treatments and approaches to depression fail and actually are true for experiencing ongoing illness or anxiety, whatever it is. It is because in order to heal, you have to come out of fight-flight-or-freeze mode, which I call freak-out mode, to some extent. So if you decide you’re just going to jump into trauma therapy and you don’t do any work on the nervous system, or if you decide you’re going to take medication and don’t do any work on your nervous system, or if you decide X, Y, or Z, all of those are good choices, but if you do them without the piece of calming and balancing the nervous system, it is going to be a huge uphill climb. Because if you can get, and when you can get, the nervous system to chill out a little bit, you are so much more in healing and receptive mode than you would ever be doing any kind of therapy or medication. So I always want people, whatever your choice of treatment and therapy is, is great, but you need to also incorporate the piece of working with the nervous system and releasing the emotional stress from the nervous system that helps it come into a place where it’s helping you heal, not blocking you from healing.

Sarah: I couldn’t agree more. And I do feel like if we bypass that first really integral step, that then there can be frustration, and that I feel like I’m doing it and I’m in the trauma therapy, let’s say, but there was no emphasis on downregulating the nervous system by creating safety. Well, why am I not feeling better? I’m going to all these sessions. I’m not feeling better. Nothing’s changing. And feeling really discouraged for understandable reasons. And that brings me to the next question, which is, yes, let’s emphasize the sense of safety and downregulating, getting out of fight-flight-freeze, but also how do we start to measure progress in something that we feel so internally? How do we start to notice that we are doing better, feeling better, making progress? It’s just like you were talking about. The depression doesn’t necessarily pop up because of something that happened this morning. It was from six months ago, for example. And when we start to do the healing, then we want to see the thing we did this morning, the results by later today, of course, but that can be challenging to measure and also to start to really notice that, Hey, things are shifting. I am feeling better. Do you have any thoughts on that, Amy?

Amy: Yes, definitely. And I have been there where it’s like, I’m doing all this stuff, I just want to see a result. I think, along the way, I did miss some subtle signs of improvement because what I wanted was to be healed. What I wanted was to feel better, what I wanted was for my nerve pain to suddenly not be there. And those things do not happen overnight. I’ve seen situations where I always say that I’m jealous of some of my clients because, or envious I should say, they’re one-session wonders where we did something and it’s like, Oh my gosh, I feel better. And that does happen. But typically what we’re doing when we’re doing the emotional work or the energy work is we’re releasing the burden from the system so that the immune system and nervous system and all of the systems in our body can then function properly. And once they start to function properly, the body can be healed.

So with depression, it’s similar in where we’re releasing the emotional stress so that the nervous system can regulate itself, can become balanced, and can help us to feel better, and our brain chemicals and hormones can start to balance. But it’s like when you have a sunburn and you put on salve or aloe or whatever, and you look five minutes later, you still have a sunburn. That isn’t going to go away. But you’ve put on that healing remedy that’s then slowly going to help the burn go away. That’s what you’re doing when you’re doing the inner work. You are offering the supportive remedy to help heal at a deep level, to help heal the wound, but it doesn’t mean the wound is gone right away. So what I tell people to do is don’t look to go from feeling like shit to, Oh my gosh, I feel so happy. Look for subtle signs like, Oh, even though I still don’t want to do anything, I’m actually thinking about what I might want to do. Maybe you can’t get out of bed, but you’re thinking about getting out of bed. That could be an improvement from a few days before.

One of the big ones is you just feel a little more hopeful. You even feel like, Oh, this might work or, Oh, maybe I feel 1% less shitty than I did yesterday. That is a shift. You’re probably not going to go from feeling terrible to feeling totally relieved, but just a little bit of relief, a little bit of feeling less bad, is what we’re looking for. Having a tiny bit more energy. I tell people, maybe you don’t have the energy to take a shower even, because you feel so down and horrible, but you want to put fresh pajamas on, those types of things. Even having the impetus to do those tiny types of things. Or maybe you usually only have the energy to walk around the block and now you walk two blocks. Maybe you’re feeling like while you’re out, you weren’t checking the clock as much for how long have— You know, a lot of times when people start to exercise to feel better, they’re watching the clock like, Okay, I’ve been out for five minutes, that’s all I needed to do. Then maybe you’re feeling a little more relaxed in those types of ways, which actually are showing that there’s a healing going on. There’s a shift, there’s an energetic shift.

Tips for supporting a love with depression

Sarah: Yes. I think we can sense or desire this force, this forcing myself to change. And also, I literally just got this question from a client who has a friend who’s struggling with depression, this past week. And her question was, how do we support our loved ones? And coming from my personal experience, life experience with having two brothers who experienced and really struggled with depression to the point that it took their lives, and wanting to force, wanting to come in and be the fixer and the savior and see them happy and smiling again, but why does forcing, whether you’re the person who’s experiencing depression or you’re the loved one, why does forcing this change not work?

Amy: Yes, I wish it did. But I think we’ve all learned at some point in our life that forcing doesn’t work. And the reason is because it puts you more into fight-flight-or-freeze. It will cause people to freeze more than they already are. So it causes a resistance. So when we force ourselves… There’s a difference though. I feel like it makes a huge difference to shift some energy so I always say, if you can, change route. If you are typically sitting in a dark den all day or your bedroom when you don’t feel good, do try to force yourself to go into the living room where maybe there’s more windows. Those type of things are okay because that, I see as a shift in energy. But forcing someone, to drag them out on a long walk, or forcing them into therapy, or whatever us loving people try to force people to do when we are feeling uncomfortable with not being able to help, typically makes it worse, because you are creating a further resistance than they already have within them. And it is better to gently plant a seed and help them shift their energy. Help them if there’s a way to try to make them laugh, or if you can shift the energy in a room, or if you can ask them if you can help them.

There’s lots of techniques in my book that you could do on somebody else if you wanted, really gently, like tapping a certain place or reading something to them. Those are ways in which you can help them shift without causing any resistance and without forcing. And typically, even really depressed people, if you say: Can I tap this point on the side of your head? or Would it be okay if I read something to you, you don’t have to participate? Typically, if it’s a non-participatory thing, somebody will agree. And of course, then we come to, everybody has to help themselves in a way, so you can’t do everything for somebody. You can’t go through the entire book for somebody. But there are certainly things we can do to help somebody get out of fight-flight-or-freeze enough that they may be able to help themselves.

Sarah: Yes. I love the pieces of advice that you just offered because sometimes I notice, even in my own journey with having loved ones with depression, I would swing to one side or the other of a spectrum where it was like, I’d put on the fixer hat and I would jump in and be like, All right, something needs to fricking change. Here I am, let’s do it. And it was more forceful. And on the other side of the spectrum, it was like, I can’t do anything, therefore, I’m going to do nothing. But I’m not going to feel good doing nothing because I’m actually terrified and so worried about this person who I love so much. And I think what you just offered us is a little bit of a middle ground where we can help shift or change the energy. We can plant the seeds. We can do some things where not as much participation is required on their end.

Even just those multiple-choice questions. I remember being in the car one time with my brother, Joe and he was going through a really, really hard time. And my now husband and I just went and picked him up and he got in the back seat and we went for a long drive. And at the end, we gave him three options. And we’re like, Hey, we know you’re struggling. What feels most supportive to you, this, this, or this? And he was able to make a decision. He chose one of those things. And I remember just feeling like, Oh my God, such relief that he chose a thing, but also that I felt like I could help in some way without having to come in and be like, This is what you’re doing and I’m forcing you to do this. So finding that middle ground, I think there’s an art to it and also it allows us to not feel totally helpless. And at the same time, it’s not our responsibility to fix people or heal people so, I love that.

The power of micromovements and how to gauge your healing

Amy: Absolutely. Which is a hard thing to swallow sometimes. But I sort of think of humans, we’re each on our own journey and we’re a little bit like puppies in a way, that if a puppy runs away from you and you go after them, the first thing they do is run further away, and humans tend to do that too. So it’s sort of like if you want to help and bring somebody into your embrace to try to help them, you need to just stand in your own power and your own supportive energy and offer to provide the help if they come to you. And that’s really the best way to do it. Because if you force or chase, they’re going to get further away from you. And that happens with anything we try to overhelp, right? Where somebody has an ongoing illness and we have 4,000 suggestions for them. Does that usually work? No. It’s the same thing for depression, anxiety, and all of those challenges.

Sarah: Thank you so much, Amy. I really appreciate it. I want to just offer up the table one more time to see if there’s anything you feel like we skipped over or didn’t touch on today that’s important in this conversation. And I’d also love for you to let the listeners know about where to find the book and some bonuses you have coming up for them.

Amy: Sure. And thank you so much. It’s always so much fun to be here and you are so easy to talk to. I do a lot of podcasts and radio shows and it’s always such a fun time and it flies by with you, which is a compliment.

Sarah: Thank you. Thank you.

Amy: Yes, of course. So there’s nothing really. I think we covered everything. I think I love how this conversation naturally unfolded. And I think the only other thing I would want people to know is just baby steps. It doesn’t matter how you feel, but my work and my philosophy and my book, especially, How to Heal Yourself from Depression When No One Else Can, even above and beyond the others, are all about making what I call micro-movements, which is tiny little movements. Because when you are able to feel a little bit better or get a little bit of relief, it’s easier to feel a little bit better and to get a little bit of relief and to help yourself a little bit more. So just want to tell anybody out there who is struggling with anything, really getting to the next step, moving one more inch, will get you to the next inch and the next inch. And it actually is more effective and efficient than trying to go jump from point A to point B and point C. If you’re trying to leap too far, it usually backfires. So feel good about the tiny movements that you make, the micro-movements that you make every day or every week.

And anybody can find out about me on my website, amybscher.com. My YouTube channel has tons of little mini energy therapy sessions to release some of this stress and energy we’ve been talking about today, to help you make those micro-movements. And if you are so inclined to grab a copy of the book and you do so before March 1st, I am doing a free 90-minute group-deep-healing-session where we’ll be going through some of the techniques and deep-healing sessions linked to releasing depressive energy, to help you reconnect to your joy. And you can find that on my website, but I always do some fun thing linked to the book release too. I like the idea of us all starting off together on the journey and so, that’s my way, once everybody has the book. It comes out February 23rd, but you can order at any time. And then once I’ve given people a week or two to get the book, we all sort of start off together. And it’s just a nice way to create that community and feeling that superpower of healing in a tribe.

Sarah: I love that. That’s so powerful. And I think more than ever, we need that space for connection and community. So thank you so much for providing that. And I know that that deep healing, both in that session and also what I’ve been able to see and experience inside, not just this book, honestly, all of your books that I’ve been reading for a while, it’s just all so powerful and it’s accessible too. I think you lay it out in such clear, concise detail that allows people to, as it says in the titles of your book, “when no one else can,” meaning, you get to do it, you get to be your own greatest healer. And I think that’s so powerful. So thank you again for being on the show, for participating in this conversation, and for sharing all of your magic today, Amy. Thank you.

Amy: Thanks so much, Sarah.

I want to tell you about a podcast that I have been loving. It is hosted by McLean McGown and it is called Mother the Mother Podcast. McLean has some amazing, real talk, solo episodes that have really just been speaking to my soul as somebody who is expecting. You guys, my due date is May 14th, 2021. And honestly, I am just in an information-gathering state and it’s so helpful to hear stories and experiences from other mothers. McLean had a recent episode in January called We Can Do Better Than “Healthy Baby, Healthy Mama.” Yes, and that one really spoke to my soul. She holds this online space for women to gather energetically sister to sister and mother to mother, to focus on the powers of motherhood and real-life advice and experiences of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum shift, which is a crucial time for new mothers to heal, not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. And this is a major transition that I’m about to go through in my life that is often regarded as negative or challenging in the way that our current society portrays it. And so, it’s so nice to have women, mothers like McLean who are willing to have these real conversations. You can find her over on Apple Podcasts. And again, it’s called Mother the Mother Podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of The Uncensored Empath Podcast. I would so appreciate if you could take a couple minutes to rate, review, and subscribe. And if you loved this episode, please share it on social media. Tag me, let your friends know about it. And I will see you on the next episode.

Connect with Amy:

Website: https://amybscher.com/

Youtube: Amy Scher

Purchase: How to Heal Yourself From Depression When No One Else Can

Instagram: @amybscher

Connect with Sarah:

Instagram | Facebook Community | Pinterest | YouTube

Work with Sarah:

Online courses | 1:1 coaching | Send show requests to sarah@theuncensoredempath.com!

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February 26, 2021


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