A Permanent Cure for Depression
Part 1 - Going Down
I write this from a personal perspective without any guarantee that this will work for everybody but in the hope that some will understand and work through their depression without the need for medication.
The last thing anybody suffering from depression wants to hear is the tired, lame “pull yourself together” routine from some chirpy soul who is so busy being cheerful that they can't see how crap life is! This actually extends to all those self-help guides that show you a hundred ways to ignore your depression in the hope it will magically disappear. If only you could fill your life with displacement activities then maybe, just maybe, they will displace your depression.
Well, depression is like a warning sign that something is not right. Allergies are similar signals that something is not functioning, and often allergies and depression exist together. If an alarm system goes off in your house you wouldn't just ignore it hoping it will eventually fall silent – you would investigate why it was triggered. It could have been set off by an external event, or it could be suffering from some internal fault. Whether the cause is external or internal it needs investigating – it won't cure itself.
Similarly, some depressions start with a specific trigger, perhaps the death of a loved one or some hoped-for event that didn't quite materialize. Sometimes a depression will creep up on you slowly and silently until a pall has spread over your whole world. Either way, I don't think anybody is born depressed. It is therefore possible for everyone to remember a time when they were not depressed. There is a difference between then and now. That borderland between being and not being depressed could warrant greater scrutiny. Whether it happened quickly or slowly, something happened. Whether the trigger was external or internal what is important is your reaction. That reaction most probably led to a chain reaction, most likely an abreaction to something else that was hidden below the surface. This is a signal that you need to devote more time to yourself.
I see many articles on the internet about depression. From my own experience, none of them would have been useful. My reasoning was as follows. Depression is a state of mind. There was a time when I was not depressed. The change of state happened in my mind (or body or emotions or the whole psychophysical entity we call a human being). Therefore, if I fell down the rabbit-hole then there must also be a way out. Just like those Dungeons & Dragons games, there may be lots of adventures before you find the key and then the right door – just know that there is a key and there is a door. It is not as simple as merely reversing something – that would be far too easy – but about exploring something that you may have ignored: your self.
The word “depression” itself conjures up images of a hole or something concave like a bunker where the only way out is upwards. Staring up at the stars from the gutter is a typically depressing vision care of Oscar Wilde. Much of the literature and many of the drugs attempt the same fallacious solution: to somehow catapult the depressed up into the pure air of happiness. But without real wings gravity will soon win. Perhaps this is counter-intuitive but sometimes the only way out is to go down deeper and down. To reach the next mountain-top requires going firstly down into the valley below. Most think that being depressed is already a low enough point, but maybe you're only half way down. That door won't open without the right key. That door may well open up into a shaft of light, but that key is down in the depths of your psyche. That is what the depression is telling you – to look deeper inside yourself.
Part 2 coming soon... Prepare to Delve now published.