What is depression and the causes of depression? How we can handle depression?
These are some questions that over the years of handling thousands of conversations, I have had with multiple people.
What I have seen over these years is that about 30 percent of the people today complain that they are suffering from some kind of depression. My question to them is do you know the meaning of depression? What is depression all about? And if you know about depression and understand depression, do you think you can cure yourself?
My analysis is that a lot of them do not even understand what depression is. They have heard the word depression. They know that sadness, loneliness, anxiety and a sense of helplessness all put together is depression. They know that the feeling of not eating, having insomnia, low attention span or being in a zone is depression.
The actual definition of depression is something much deeper. If somebody is depressed they are not just depressed for a period of one week or two weeks, but they are depressed for a prolonged period of time. People go through depression because they feel rejected, lonely, “unwanted in this world”, and also feel “why do I even exist?” The very understanding of having no self-worth gives rise to various problems which people don’t even understand. They lose sight of the present reality and start staying in the Past, which is not going to change.
If we do not change our present we will not change our future. People do not understand this and continue to be in depression.
A lifestyle which doesn’t give them a sense of worth is what makes them feel depressed. A job where you’re not satisfied with, a relationship which is so demanding that you burn yourself. Situations, where you have no control over all these, can make someone depressed.
In the second part, I’m going to talk about how do we handle depression and what are the ways through which we can get out of depression?
There are various ways that we get into depression but that’s not the main point. The point is that we should be able to get out of depression. Before we get into that, we need to understand why we fall into depression?
One of the main reason to get into depression is a sense of failure. We need to understand that failure is not your future but it is just an event in life and like the poet, Rudyard Kipling says “ if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two Impostors just the same you will be a man” that’s what exactly it is. We need to understand what failure is.
The second thing is that the person stops thinking rationally, but starts thinking emotionally. And when they start thinking emotionally the rational thinking goes for a toss and this leads to the whole sense of failure again.
The third reason that I have seen for depression is because of family issues with problems in families there is a sense of rejection, abandonment by parents, siblings, from people around you and all this gives rise to a major depressive cycle. This kind of depression is one of the most difficult ones to handle. The situation that they are present is usually something that is very difficult to change and as this does not change what happens is, they tend to keep falling into depression, even if you get therapy to get out of it.
Having talked about all these things. I would like to talk about how do we get out of depression. Getting out of depression is not an easy thing because your feelings and emotions are being challenged.
You are not ready to give up your emotional being. What we try to do is we try to keep the emotional being active. We do not try to get rational thinking at that point in time in our life. We thereby are not able to get out of depression.
It is because of the emotional factors we get into the cycles of depression. If we are able to comprehend that depression is a lie which we have created in our mind, saying that things cannot change, my situation will not be the same again. “Yes”, things might not be ever the same again. You’ve lost someone close to you, have had a death in the family; situations like this will not change; it is a fact. We do not have the power to change it. The event has taken place and has left a scar in our mind and our very being but that doesn’t mean that we cannot move ahead from this situation.
For moving ahead, one way is that we need to reconcile with the situation and start thinking rationally. We need to start thinking in an objective manner. At this point, something that is very important is a friend to talk to. This is where therapy comes into the picture. We might need a life coach, a counselor or a therapist.
We need to take responsibility for our situation that has happened in the past, which has left us with a sense of sadness. Mourning is an essential part of our life. We need to mourn. There is nothing wrong in mourning, there is a time that we are supposed to mourn for.
Almost all the Holy Scriptures talk about a time of mourning. If you look at the Hindu Vedas they talk about 14 days of mourning and then they also have 40 days of mourning and then a year of mourning. In each circumstance, a different level of mourning is required and a different remedy is required. Even in the Christian Biblical format we can find when people died there was a time of mourning that was required.
It need not be just with death. If your girlfriend has left you and you feel betrayed, rejected, there is nothing that can happen now. She will never come back. You have lost a job or have gone into a deep dive of credit. In all these situations, I would say a time of mourning is required. This is the time to recoup and recuperate . Once we have gone through that period of mourning we need to start looking forward. Look ahead in our life, look at the bigger picture. There is a whole life that is left .
There is a job still available for you, just find it. It might be that you were stuck, you were doing a job which was a just a job, but now that job is gone. You can look for something that is actually not a job but a calling or a passion. You have a passion for doing painting or being a musician or an artist. It’s not an easy job becoming a self-employed entrepreneur. It’s hard work with a lot of pain and sweat. With sweat comes success. When we keep moving ahead we can do and achieve what we set out to achieve. There is hope at the other end of the tunnel.
We are not a failure until we give up, or our body has gone into the ground, or till we are alive. There is hope and we can still do something out of our life.
We can get into depression, be there or move ahead in our life. The choice is ours to take.