I look around and I see many people struggling with depression in my circle. It is not linked to unsuccessful ones but even the accomplished lot suffers from this. This blog is a guide for them to take action and learn more about your their mental being.
In past, any kind of mental illness was confused with superstitious beliefs and considered a curse by evil forces. Thus they used to seclude them to a room where they were untouchable or unseen. It wasn’t until the likes of Plato and Hippocrates brought some sanity into the world that things got better. Though they were still centuries away from learning the treatments to deal with mental illnesses.
“Madness, provided it comes as the gift of heaven, is the channel by which we receive the greatest blessings … the men of old who gave things their names saw no disgrace or reproach in madness; otherwise, they would not have connected it with it the name of the noblest of arts, the art of discerning the future, and called it the manic art … So, according to the evidence provided by our ancestors, madness is a nobler thing than sober sense … madness comes from God, whereas sober sense is merely human.” ~ Plato, Phaedrus
The science has been so advanced yet on topics like depression, there are still ambiguities about what works and what doesn’t. On top of all that, now we’ve social media – a place to network with your friends and family which should ideally bring happiness. Although it brings with it comparisons and a need to feel validated on every post. When you see that your friend is getting married but you are single, your cousin is getting an award while you’ve been fired or your acquaintance has lost so much weight while you’ve gained more – this adds a void in you which won’t be filled till you get all the perfect things in your life. You don’t realise at that moment that what you want is the best of every person, which isn’t there in one person in the first place.
I was watching a TedTalk by Johann Hari in which he very smartly makes a point that addiction isn’t a problem of being addicted to drugs. It is actually a social disorder where a person forgets how to connect with another person so he can’t feel good about himself anymore. The drug triggers the release of dopamine and several other pleasure-related neurochemicals into the brain. In other words, potentially addictive substances make us feel good, and because we like to feel good, we tend to go back for more. I personally feel that same is the case with depression.
You need to connect with other humans when you feel depressed. Although that is the last thing that you want to do at that time. It is going to be hard but you need to come out of your shell and try. It doesn’t mean having mundane routine conversations. It means actually expressing your thoughts that you won’t otherwise in public. Saying how you feel or what you feel is unfair to you. A connection that provides you not only comfort but also validation that you aren’t a psychopath in having those thoughts. Sometimes in one close friend/husband/lover/sister/mother/brother is enough to form a true connection so don’t think that you need to have at least a number of friends to excel in life. Below are the examples of forming a connection:
– Having a personal conversation about what is important to you with someone and feeling listened to and understood
– Taking the time to listen to someone else and feeling real empathy for them
-Helping someone else out of unconditional goodwill
-Offering sincere gratitude to another and receiving gratitude from others
– A shared experience with others that involves laughter and goodwill.
When you actually a form a connection you will be; in the moment, surer of yourself, feel open whether happy or sad, feel empathy and kindness, a sense of trust between you and your connection.
This blog in no way suggests that you should stop taking medical assistance and treat depression solely based on points mentioned above. In some cases like childhood traumas, autism, Aspergers, personality disorders etc, you need medical help. However, if you also focus on forming a true human connection with it then that ensure a speedy recovery.
Share your thoughts or stories if you’ve dealt with depression.