What is Depression?
- Depression: a lessening of self, a negative time as the possibilities of life seem to dissipate.
A truth: human beings are incredible vibrant living beings! It takes quite a bit to knock a person down it turns out. So on average, depression is caused by multiple vectors at once that combine up to move a person into a negative path in their life. This makes working with depression tricky since it means usually multiple steps are required in counteracting the various negative flows in a person’s life.
So many different factors can come into play when talking about depression. As a result multiple answers, over time need to be applied to help a person step their way out of depression.
Attitude and Depression
Lets start with a simple statement.
I suffer from depression.
Suffer is a good word to use, since as those with depression know, when you are in the negative spiral of depression, it does a pretty good job of shredding your mind.
I don’t suffer from depression
Taoism teaches how to flip everything around. So I don’t suffer from depression. Instead I embrace it (only very very lightly I might add), understand it, accept it, work with it and modify my life accordingly , in potential to shift my life in a positive manner.
This lesson goes beyond depression:
All in all learning how not to be defined by anything which can limit or diminish you. To rather use it to help you be more.
It isn’t easy to tackle depression in this manner since depression is the process of becoming less. I do experience “depression” and I do have to mitigate its effects. I won’t take medication since medication goes against my philosophy. Fortunately, my Taoist practice mitigates quite a bit of the effects of the depression when I do feel it with Qi Gong and other teachings. It’s a dynamic process full of practice, exercises, actions, nutritional balancing, living arrangements, philosophy and life style modifications to balance out my nature in a fuller manner.
I am not telling people they don’t need medication or miracle cures exist. What I am saying is: Depression requires a definite understanding and acceptance of how you live life. That by shifting life, using positive actions, it’s possible to shift how any ailment impacts your life. A simple truth: life flows to lifestyle, this means we can shift the way we live to become the medication that can cure many ailments.
Now notice I say: positive actions. Most people make the mistake to think attitude comes before action. This is not the case! In depression the first thing to go is your attitude. A person stops caring anymore and attitude comes all out of the caring… So the time to use attitude is before you get depressed. Once getting depressed you fall in a different world than everyone else. Bridging the gap between depression and non depression is not a trivial matter. The path between these two worlds is often very different for each person.
Not Mind over Body
Let me make one thing clear, You don’t cure depression by out thinking it. All too many people who don’t suffer depression will try to convince people all they need is a positive attitude. This is a lie. The deeper your depression goes, the less likely you can power your way thru it with good intentions.
However, long before you hit depression, it is possible to avoid a bout of depression by how you hold yourself.
So the time of attitude is before depression kicks into gear.
I hold myself carefully because of this truth. I know long before depression happens, it is possible to feel its threads wrap around me. So instead, when possible, before the depression kicks into gear I strive to be proactive in my life: to pace myself properly. This includes not use the terms that dig the hole before I even enter it. If you state out loud you suffer depression, people all around you will shift and change how they act. Ironically they will help foster your depression. So it’s important to not pre-define oneself either.
I don’t suffer depression, nor will I think of myself in that way. I have my great days, my low days and the tides of my life ebb and flow. I walk the beach (stormy or sunny) every day, and that beach is my life.
The Poetic Depths of Depression.
Lets not be a Scientist, rather lets be a poet for a second.
Depression: A rip tide of the soul. Swim against it: is to only struggle, getting worn down, and then being left further out to sea to drown. To Swim with it: whoa… getting slammed into deeper waters: leading to the conditions that lead a person to drowning in their depression.
In Taoism we always look for the other options. So instead: you can swim sideways to the depression to arrive at calmer waters.
So the question becomes: How do you swim sideways to Depression?
A Taoist answer
- Don’t dive into it
- Don’t resist it
- Follow whimsy
- Somewhere along the way, begin to explore again.
Since depression is a negative cycle, many answers seemingly slip out and away, as the empty space drains out rapidly.
If a bowl breaks it’s impossible to grasp the water pouring out. This is Depression, when the bowl of your mind/body is broken enough to no longer hold the waters of spirit.
It’s possible to
1) Catch it in a new bowl if you are fortunate enough to have a slow leak -OR-
2) Let it pour out to make a new bowl later to refill -OR-
3) Let the bowl break leaving it behind and with time discover a totally new way to hold onto water.
Hmmm, So really, it’s all about time, isn’t it? Having time to move on and fill in the empty space.
So the answer to depression is simply: be wise enough to give yourself time to be yourself.
In time with time rediscovering… yourself.
In an age of instant answers, it’s not surprising that people get more depressed, when no answers to how to get out of depression can be answered instantly. Rather the soul requires time to rebuild into something new, to find new direction towards something greater again.
Patience and love to you and anyone you know working through such times.
Patience is the greatest gift in these times.
With patience you can assemble up the combination of answers you will require to tackle your depression, or help another find a path out from the depths lost from their spirit.