Navigating Depression with Nudity

Weighed down

It is hard for me to understand which came first, the tendency towards depression, or the trauma that was visited upon me during my childhood, boyhood and youth. I guess it doesn’t really matter. But at times I wonder. Did I have a genetic inheritance of depression? Was that predisposition to depression a factor in marking me as a candidate for abuse by others? Or, was the realities of being abused the root source of depression? I am lucky; I survived where many others didn’t including one of my brothers who couldn’t handle the shame and the pain.

Nudity is one of the reasons that has allowed me to navigate through depression and emerge back into the light. I consciously made the choice to make time for myself while clothes-free time. I learned this strategy at an early age, in my teenage years. It wasn’t a reasoned or conscious choice. Rather, it was more about rebelling against and finding sanctuary in my body, in nature.

Over the years, I have met many who have turned to nudity as a “feel good” place whether it is in a tiny apartment, withing a locked bedroom, or in a quiet place in some secluded nature setting. Nudity has this surprising side effect of being a light in the darkness. In a state of depression, there is a heavy darkness that steals one’s energy. It seems there is little one can do to escape the gloomy situation. Yet, within very little time, being nude somehow creates a condition where the repetitive scripts that haunt one’s head is short-circuited. The body begins to feel awakening awareness that one is more than one’s thoughts.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is yet another face of depression that steals life from those who suffer the disorder. Nudity has become one method of therapy that works:

“Several Vietnam veterans living in Tampa Bay, Florida say that being nude relieves feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear more than any other treatment they had received before.” Marie Meador

For most people, depression is not a very serious problem. This isn’t to say that one doesn’t experience depression, but the depression doesn’t interfere too much in one’s life. Among many I have met who have no issues with depression, nudity still ends up creating a better sense of wellness, even a sense of joy. When one feels the spread of wellness within, one wonders why the world has such a hard time with nudity.  But that, is a different story completely.

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8 Responses to Navigating Depression with Nudity

  1. David says:

    I’m so glad you shared this and how nudity has helped you deal with depression . I have , like you , questioned , which came first the depression or the circumstances that undoubtedly would cause anyone to become depressed . And like you I came to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter – I came thru it – it may always be with me to some degree , and I’m alright knowing that .

    The experience of being nude , especially with others , is liberating in a sense that’s had to describe . I’ve been reading lately about a new generation of shame around being naked in front of others . I must have felt that too at one time . Maybe it’s about living in ” the world of appearances ” that isn’t really the real world at all .

    Therapy has taught me to forgive myself for so much that happened to me over which I had no control . And to stop searching for answers for how I might have been responsible for others behavior . Being nude has allowed me to accept those parts of myself which may have been hidden from myself and let go of expectations others may have had of me .

  2. Vittorio Volpi says:

    I think that our body has some secret reasons or energy or resources, independently from our decisions or will. It lives its secret life (breathing, digest, heart, growth, sleep…). It is a real and secure base to our life. Over time you trust more and more in your body, in your Health. The body has more reasons than society and moral rules. So, being naked means your secret consciousness that there are truths more valuable than those of established social rules. Body and nature go together, symbiotically. You change your mind, have other thoughts, and rest quite in your firm opinions. That’s why I say nakedness is a “matter per se” because it’s basically a personal matter, not regarding, concerning social conveniencies, conditioning, blackmail. Nudity provides you exactly your path to go. Feeling so secure in yourself about the right way to go, you have the strength not to depend on social judgement and rules, which require most of your energy. Therefore there is no place for depression: nothing, nobody “depresses” you, and you live your own life in peace.

  3. Karl says:

    I have no problems with depression. In fact, I lead a very productive, rewarding, and fulfilling life. But I do find that being nude in nature, or in social settings where nudity is welcome, to be refreshing and even cathartic. I enjoy fishing at my favorite secluded spot deep in a nearby forest with my skin exposed, allowing me to experience the natural surroundings with all of my senses. I also enjoy gathering with like-minded friends as part of a local nudist organization when we reserve a local bowling alley exclusively for an afternoon of recreation (bowling) without the burden of clothing. Activities like these definitely elevate my mood. I attribute the good health that I enjoy being due in large part to living a naked lifestyle as much as possible, allowing the largest organ on my body (skin) to be unrestricted and uncovered, thus functioning optimally as it was intended. I can only dream of a society that accepts the human body in its natural (unclothed) state as normal. I imagine everyone in my neighborhood taking a walk, jogging, mowing the grass, washing the cars, taking out the garbage – going about our everyday lives – completely naked and thinking nothing of it.

  4. David Harold says:

    For over 30 years I have navigated this same road. I can relate very much to the sort of chicken and egg scenario you describe – did the depression come first? Or is it a result of what came before? I can attest to what you claim. That, for me at least, embracing nudity/naturism has been a source of liberation that has enabled me to release (bit by bit) the psychological baggage that I’ve carried for far too long. Along with the clothes, I’ve managed to shed many of the complexes that are at the root of my depression. It’s a lifelong journey for me. But when I free my body of clothes, especially in a natural setting, I always feel a weigh lift and depressive thoughts tend to fall away. Some forget to come back.

    • rglongpre says:

      It is a lifelong journey, David. It’s amazing how being clothing free helps. Perhaps the being “natural” connects us to the earth which then tells us that we are not alone, that we are one with our world.

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