Chances are you or somebody you know is or has been Depressed. 350 million people globally and 7% of Americans are diagnosed with major depression. But 50% of all people with major depression go without diagnosis or treatment.Women are 70% more likely to be depressed than men, 11% of children by age 18, 30% of college students report it, and 11% of 65+ yr. elders. Why so? What is our problem?
Let’s ask a different question. What if depression isn’t the problem but is our innate intelligence working on a solution? I have helped many people with depression from this one change of perspective: Depression is not a weakness or a failure, but rather a catalyst. Let’s see if we can find the wisdom in Depression by looking at its symptoms to reveal what it’s trying to do for us.
There’s a loss of energy so you can’t run around and do what you did or how you did it before. There’s a sense of giving up, of not caring, that has us not do anything at all. You become unproductive; you just sit there with your hopeless thoughts and dark helpless feelings.So what are these qualities in response to; what are our prevailing energies? Mostly we are very busy, stimulated, pressured and overwhelmed. We are very competitive and everything is moving fast. There’s a lot we have to accomplish and get done. It’s hard keeping up with all of that. And maybe we never even stop to think about what we really want and need and how we want to spend our time. Maybe the treadmill we are on is no longer satisfying or what we really wanted in the first place. There are a lot of expectations for stimulation, excitement and emotion. We are often plagued with many constant emotions and don’t know what to do with them. Sometimes we just get tired and want to take a break from running, striving, caring or feeling anything at all… but are afraid we’ll lose out and get further behind.When there is a No Win, Depression Will Come In! You can begin to see that Depression is a brilliant natural remedy to our high-speed, hard-charging modern world. Depression is a brilliant safety mechanism when we are in these conditions and don’t know how to manage them. it takes over and takes away our energy and our drive so we can rest, reflect and even give up on some game that we are not winning. When we surrender and work with it consciously. We can let go of what’s not working and begin a new rejuvenated approach to something more in line with our deepest needs and desires.
But in our ambitious culture, surrender means giving up and giving in. In our very driven masculine culture the feminine qualities patience, acceptance, yielding and introspective self-awareness are under-appreciated and under-utilized. Depression is slow, dark, interior and empty, but so is the creative void where new life begins!Now I know that the deeper or more long-lasting depression has been, the more frightening the idea to let it have its way with you. But whether you consciously work with depression or just indulge and let it take over makes all the difference in the world. As with all emotions, we need openness and inquisitive awareness to work WITH feelings and benefit from their wisdom.Next week I’ll look more at how to work intelligently with Depression. For now I hope this fresh perspective can help you turn a corner with your ingenious Apathy.