Depression AKA major depressive disorder, is a serious medical condition that negatively affects how one feels, how one thinks and how one acts. Depression causes overwhelming feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in activities and in life in general. It can lead to many emotional and physical problems and can remove a person’s ability to function in every area of their life i.e. Work, relationships, maintaining health, home life etc. Severe depression can often result in one taking their own life.
The severity of depression can vary tremendously from mild to severe. Below are the main symptoms of depression:
Feeling sad or having a depressed attitude or mood
Loss of interest in life and within activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Prolonged thoughts of death or suicide
Extreme behaviours being used to escape the depressive state such as; drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and over eating etc
The four key factors which are believed to play role in depression
Depression can affect anyone (internally) – even a person who appears on the surface to live in relatively ideal (external) circumstances.
Treatment may include lifestyle changes, counselling, developing techniques, acquiring information and working towards a solution and taking certain medications.
In my experience like anything; Depression can be used as a positive thing, and lessons can be drawn from it. It is all about our perspective and attitude towards it. Depression is horrible, and it destroys many aspects of one’s life, depending on the severity of the condition. However, only because of the down and unfulfilled times can we truly appreciate the days and moments where joy or purpose may be blessed upon us. Like Anxiety, depression may insist that one meditates daily, that one socially interacts more, expresses themselves through music or poetry, creates healthy consumption habits, that one exercises and engages in activities such as Yoga or Tai Chi. These are all positive things which may only be regularly practiced by the sufferer to alleviate their depression but in undertaking these activities and rituals, they are benefiting other areas of their life and personal well-being in fantastic ways. They may never have had practiced any of these things if they didn’t have too. (This is true in my case).
Depression was a key factor in myself connecting with a higher power or guiding presence. By directing my faith towards something bigger, it enabled me to escape the morbid and suicidal thoughts of my mind and gain a different perspective and sense of purpose and worthiness. As with others, one may attune themselves to their soul’s purpose of living by spiritual or religious principles and living in accordance with their highest values. Only through suffering with Depression would this type of life have been lived. Ultimately, we can work naturally with ourselves to create a fulfilling and meaningful existence and if something like Depression impedes that, there is a higher reason and higher purpose for it. (That is almost impossible to see when one is in a state of depression but with hope and perseverance, one may gain back their freedom and see this perspective for themselves). The sufferer may have many milestones to reach and mountains to climb within their own subjective world and every day of improvement is a day of personal growth. One may suffer with Depression, but once we accept it and try and make it work with us, we can try and understand why do we feel this way? What is out of alignment? What needs to change? and what life changes are necessary to maintain in order for us to keep moving forward? when we are in a state of pain or comfortableness, only then will one truly want to change and make the drastic effort to do so – we do this because it is the only option, we either change or stay the same. Change can be difficult, however, it is nothing towards the pain of living with years of severe depression.