Personal Growth

How To Pull Out Of Depression

By Albert PerryNov 02, 2021


    Biology of Depression and How To Pull Out

Depression is a difficult imbalance. While the common theory centers around a chemical imbalance in the brain, perhaps low serotonin or Norepinephrine, new imaging research may show a more complex issue.

I’d like to explore here, the belief about themselves and their circumstances of a depressed individual. When the belief is strong enough to weight someone down in the deep hole of depression, it’s difficult to convince that person that it’s their perception that needs to change, not their circumstances, brain chemistry or anything about themselves.

When that person tries to discover how to pull out of depression, perhaps a more informed choice may help.

A Deeper Look

Let’s look at some recent research regarding the hippocampus. The hippocampus is complex. It is a brain structure that is embedded deep in the temporal lobe. The major role of the hippocampus is in learning and memory. It’s incredibly malleable and also a vulnerable structure. It can be damaged by various kinds of stimulation.

In one particular fMRI study that was published in The Journal of Neuroscience, a group of women who showed a history of depression were tested. The hippocampus average size was up to 13% smaller in women had current symptoms of depression compared with those who showed no symptoms. The deeper the depression, the smaller the hippocampus.

Within the results and conclusions of the study, stress, which is a significant role player in the depressed population, was a major factor. Experts believe stress suppresses the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. This is significant for treatment options as we attempt to discover how to pull out of depression.

Production of new neurons

The brain’s ability to maintain and develop neuron connections is rooted in the movement and play in young children (Choosy Kids, IMIL 2016). When activity is limited, the neuron connections, or dendrite branches get pruned. This shrinks the hippocampus and depression can set in.

This is no different for adults. Therefore, “Move it or lose it,” is an apt term for all of us!

There are two ways that we create new dendrite branches for our brain’s neuron cells (dendrites are the branch like structures protruding from the neuron. They cluster, and send messages called “firing” which is brain activity). One is repetition, especially in movement, the other is imagination.

Within my method of Qigong, we use repetitive movements, synchronized with the breath, while using imagery, or imagination along with affirmations. This creates neuron production and a feeling of well-being.

With both the repetition and movement, as well as the imagery and affirmations, we can pull ourselves out of depression and create a feeling of well-being!

Then it just comes down to a choice

As I led off this article, Depression is a difficult imbalance. However, the imbalance at least in part comes down to a choice.

The role of the victim is well-played by the archetype of the depressed individual. It’s many times stated, by those diagnosed with depression that it’s genetics, due to inherited brain chemistry issues, or circumstances that didn’t “play fair” to this victim of those circumstances that cause the problems that person faces.

Perhaps it’s someone else to blame, a parent or sibling. I surmise that much of it is a choice to stay in the conditioning that provides a shield to do anything about it.

As long as the victim role holds out, there is no self responsibility to be taken, just take the drugs that are prescribed and maybe talk therapy that focuses on past issues instead of imagining the possibilities if one would just get up and, move, breath and dance to the rhythm of life!

There’s the choice.

To stay in the cesspool of self-doubt, created by the conditioned mind, then cemented by inactivity. This is where the Hippocampus shrinks, the body withdraws, and the mood darkens. Or, one could get up, imagine something silly, child-like.

Perhaps today you will be a bird. What would that feel like? What if you will could really fly? Soaring in the clouds, you will would’t care about anything, you will’d be aware of new sensations, vistas to explore.

But, “I can’t fly,” you will might say… I’ll tell you will that in your mind you will can!

You can fly in your imagination! Feel the wind lifting you will as your arms raise up. Included at the end of this article is a short QIgong video, with this very exercise. It’s just’s 5 minutes.

What do you will have to lose? No side effects, no cost. Just maybe, if you will make the choice to be a child again for those 5 minutes, and find some joy in your imaginary flight, you will’ll feel better.

Your hippocampus will again grow with neuron activity, making new dendrite clusters, to inform the rest of your mind, body and spirit that you’ll be back, discovering you will true authentic self, as you will realize how to pull out of depression.


I don’t infer that there are any right or wrong choices, there are just choices.

You can choose to stay in the stagnant pool of self-doubt and loneliness, or you will can use movement, breath, imagination and affirmations to pull you will out of depression.

Maybe there is more to learn in that cocoon of inaction. The moth or butterfly have to use a lot of self will and strength to break out of their cocoon prisons of their own making.

However, when they do, they are transformed! There is a time for transformation and a time for just being, sitting in the muck, contemplating the situation, analyzing how you got there.

Then, there’s a time to transform and fly like the butterfly!

Which choice is yours? Are you will ready to be alive? Or is there more contemplation yet to be done? The choice is yours!

I’ll leave you with this video:

Getting out of Depression Without Drugs

Enjoy this life, and here’s To Your Health!

Al Perry

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  1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this topic with us. It has been good get a bird sight view about all the things involved in depression. I found particularly helpful the recent researches on the hippocampus.

    Now, I have a question concerning not being right or wrong decisions. I personally disagree. But how does having this viewpoint (that there is no right or wrong decisions) benefit a person with depression? Doesn’t it keep them in the loop of making bad decisions?

    1. Thanks Abel. I’m glad you found the info helpful.

      Re; the decisions,,,, What I’ve found is that you can’t force folks to do anything. So, while it doesn’t at all benefit that person who chooses, as you put it so well, to stay in the loop of bad decisions, it is a choice. Someone has to be ready to change. They have to get so sick of being sick, that they finally make a decision to get up and really do something for their health. 

      It’s not up to me to tell someone it’s wrong to stay in that endless loop. They have to see it, so maybe if they’re not yet ready to get out, they are supposed to feel what they feel until they are ready. Everything in the timing of the Universe. I just offer a way out. each person has to choose to do it or not on their own.

      I don’t think it’s aright or wrong thing, it just is what it is, a choice.

  2. What knowledge about this topic !. I like The Legend of the Eagle related to this topic. Recent research on the brain is welcome.

    To be or not to be in the truth ?. How we get out of depression I think is a miracle!
    I came out of depression several times and I think it’s a miracle.
    It is not possible without meditation.
    It’s also a brain chemistry problem, but it’s also an iron will!

  3. Hmmmm. What an interesting article. I have always believed that if you are feeling down and depressed that the best thing to do is stand up, move around and do something, like exercise. And it seems your article also promotes this idea. I have never really thought about doing something child-like to change my mood but when I think about it, singing out loud in a daft voice when in the car does put me in a good mood – so maybe there is more at work than just my dulcet tones. I am going to try and remember this whenever I am feeling a bit ‘yuk’ so thank you. I love the flying like a bird idea. 

    1. I’m glad that the article was helpful! Yes, nothing like being a little silly. laughing at the big bad issues rather that allowing them to swallow us. Thanks so much for commenting, and here’s to YOUR health!

  4. I have a friend who is currently suffering from depression and I don’t know how to help her. I tried everything but I’ve failed. This article has given me a few tips that I can now use. A lot of people suffer from depression and have no one to talk to about it, so this article will help those who don’t have anyone to talk to 

  5. This is a very interesting post on depression and some recent research on the hippocampus. So, do I understand correctly, that if we can reduce stress, we can increase the amount of neurons in the hippocampus? 

    I would certainly prefer to get out of depression without the use of drugs, so would exercise be a good way? Or is exercise on it’s own not enough to increase the production of neurons?

    1. Exercise will absolutely help create neuron production and reduce stress. Is it enough to get off your drugs? That depends on a number of factors that is impossible to broach in a comment. I am happy to talk more about it with you. Email me at: al@qigong4mindset.com and we can look at your specific situation. Thanks for your interest, and here’s to your optimum health!

  6. Thank you so much for this article .. I have suffered from depression and managed to pull myself out by making intentional choices throughout my day. I hope your article reaches as many people as possible and helps them through a tough time. Especially now that we are bouncing back into a relatively normal state post COVID. What are some mindfulness techniques that can help make new connections to battle off depressive behaviors?

  7. Interesting approach, but I think there is so much more that science does not understand about the brain and how it can manifest harmful emotions like depression. 

    I recently watched a news segment by CBS Sunday Morning about a new therapy for severe depression that uses focused energy (magnets, i believe) to provide targeted therapy to a specific part of the brain that was observed (during an MRI) as being underactive during depressive episodes. This is still going through trials, but preliminary results have been impressive. 

    Have you studied any of these therapies? The video I saw is on the YouTube channel of CBS Sunday Morning and was released on Nov 7 2021. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these therapies that treat brain issues as a physical, treatable ailment!

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if magnets could help. I use magnetic balls in my healing practice to bring more blood flow to dense tissue when it’s bundled.  Of course, it’s out of my scope to use on the brain. However, movement combined with synchronized deep breathing and creating imagery while doing repetitive movements  does affect change. 

      Yes, it is treatable. Diet and genetics can play roles as well. Those born with MTHFR gene mutations have difficulty absorbing folate, because their bodies don’t convert folate to methyl folate, which our bodies use to create serotonin,  a neurotransmitter. Methyl folate can be taken at a supplement, in these folks, and help support their brain function so they feel better in their body and about themselves.

  8. This is a very interesting article.  You are suggesting a natural means of combating even depression caused by a chemical imbalance as well as that wish is circumstantial or environmental.  I agree.  Too often chemical solutions are offered which often cause symptoms as difficult to deal with as the depression.  The process you describe to rebuild dendrites is a choice but a tough choice in the midst of depression.  Somehow, even a deeply depressed state can become familiar and comfortable.  I hope that people reading your article decide to make that initial choice. Each time it is made, it becomes easier.  Thanks for this insightful, helpful article.

  9. Great content, Albert. Yes, it is interesting how we can be unaware of our playing role of victim, at least in one aspect of our life. And definitely, it appears when we refuse to accept our own responsibility for the quality of situations we are dealing with and refuse to take action, no matter how hard it is. But still, life serves us more burden to care, in order to open our eyes and to say I don’t want to carry this anymore. But of course, it depends on our choice, as you say, and on our decisions. One minute of doing things in a different way makes us closer to another step to another perspective.

    I am not so much in Qi gong so am interested is it usual to work it with affirmations? Or you make some synthesis? And please help me to find this 5 minutes video, I don`t see a link. I want to move around:).Thank you in advance. And keep moving (in your great direction)!

  10. Over time I have noticed most of us feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times. It’s a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or injured self-esteem. But when these feelings become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life. How does someone overcome clinical depression. 

    1. Hi Nelson. Or I apologize if your first name is David.

      Clinical depression can be a combination of things. Perhaps it’s a lack of Serotonin or Norepinephrine in the brain.   This chemical imbalance may be genetic. The correct nutrients such as methylated folate could be helpful if the MTHFR gene is mutated. This can be discovered in a cheek swap DNA test. 

      Exercise is always helpful. It produces endorphins to keep the hippocampus active with neuron production so it doesn’t shrink. Adding imagery adds to that. Here’s a link to a 5 minute YouTube video that may help. I hope this is helpful, let me know! Al

      Link for YouTube Video on depression

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