Depression. The Sad Truth! Blog Series on Mental Health Part 2

We all experience depression in our lives, a natural human reaction when something has been taxing our minds for an abnormal amount of time.  A job going nowhere, finances and relationship woes.  As an adult, depression can render us incapable of taking a hold of our lives.  During my childhood, depression existed throughout my teen years, as it does for many.  Bullied at school, the playground and misunderstood at home; I had very little self-confidence and less self esteem.  I thought I was worthless and would never amount to anything.  My parents were ministers, my dad, was what I would call fanatical in his beliefs and it did not bode well for a child like myself.

I believed it was inescapable, without an outlet for my constant sorrow.  No one listened, no one cared.  I realize now it was untrue and later in life understood why I felt that way.  My parents loved me; there is no doubt about that.  They did the best they could with what they knew and who am I, to judge them.  Would I make the same mistakes as they did?  However, differently?  Would I handle the issues any better for my child?  I realized, that although loved as a child, I needed to be loved a different way.  Whose lap, could that blame possibly fall on?  Depression was the only way I knew how to deal.  Throughout life, I blamed everyone other than myself for my shortcomings.  I rarely took internal inventory, no knew how, to understand my only shortcoming in life, was myself.

Through study, soul-searching and deep analysis of my inner self, I un-raveled the mysteries surrounding my own inability to rise above the steep slope of sadness.  A tiny ray of light shone through the unsettling ash within my core that eradicated, the ideals of helplessness.  A moment of transparency flooded the well of darkness and revealed a notion that palpitated my very foundation of belief.  “There was no cure for depression.”

Disconcerting as it may sound, I unveiled a truth. To cure depression one must cure sadness.  Happiness cannot exist without sadness; therefore, indifference would dominate humanity.  Many of us live in a state of numbness, unmoved by the rippling river of life.  Numbness is a form of suppression, a cousin to depression.  We flip the switch to life, its ups and its downs, in hopes to preserve our sanity.  We simply choose not to feel.  Feeling, would be accepting that life can be difficult and often without happiness.  Whomever said life was easy, never felt “our” sadness.

Depression is within us.  It co-exists with our ability to feel and to emote.  Depression is a classical lie we tell ourselves, an explanation of inability to own our own emotions.  Life is experiences enveloped in emotion.  A car accident, a negative experience because of fear, shock, sadness, worry and disbelief.  An accomplishment, a positive experience because of happiness, contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment.  Life, an assemblage of emotions encased within our consciousness, can dethrone a king from the castle of his mind.  Yet if there were no emotion, how would humanity differentiate from what is good and what is bad?  How would we know enjoyment or discomfort?

There is an emotion tag appended to everything that happens throughout our lives.  We have trained our brains to label every moment with an emotion whether good or bad.  Sadness, labelled bad, because we have told ourselves so.  We seek happiness because we believe we have to strive for it.  How about just being?  Experiencing life as it happens, embracing emotions as they come along.  If we did not feel emotion then would we not feel alive?  Emotions tend to pass and cycle through our consciousness.  Something that can make you happy today, may make you sad tomorrow.  Why is a happy day the only day considered a good day?  Why is a sad day not deemed a good day also?  It is a day in which we feel, we are alive and experiencing life.  Why is it that if we experience sadness for a week or two, we label it depression?  Why consider depression any worse than sadness?  Why is it sadness can go unnoticed when occurring sporadically; and then, become an issue when it is perpetual?

There are two types of definitive depression; Situational and Clinical.  Clinical depression can be convoluted at times.  I have suffered from it for years and can testify that it can make the premise of this blog harder to swallow.  I will speak more on clinical depression in another post.  “Clinical depression, a capacity of unprocessed functionality hindering the creation and release of the necessary chemicals required for optimal mental welfare.”

All of humanity should participate on an even playing field but for some of us; drug use, improper dieting and/or genealogical factors have depleted our pre-determined supply of serotonin and other vital chemicals that sustain mental regulation.  My clinical depression stems primarily through previous drug use and genealogy.  Medication, once one is found to be effective, helps re-establish our chemical deficiencies and re-instates our even playing field.  A chemical imbalance impedes a clear mindset that is required to own ones emotions and retrain our brain to operate at optimal performance.  I have been, effectively medicated, for seven years and have restored my chemical imbalance and corrected the normal operations of my brain functionality.  However, with medication, depression and sadness have remained a part of normal living.  The medications is not at fault, nor is it the fault of essential brain chemicals but rather the way I think, my thought patterns and how I deduce what is happening in my life.

How long have you suffered?  How long will you continue to suffer?  This is entirely up to you.  How long I allowed myself to suffer and fall victim to myself, was entirely up to me.  To be honest, it took a long time for me, and I had become accustomed to the feeling of defeat.  I accepted that depression was who I was and that I would suffer for the rest of my life.  Then I realized, at least one part of that was truth.  Depression was me; I am letting it happen, I allowed it to happen all along and only I could change it.

The first bit of information that I hope you find useful; Depression is you, you are letting it happen, you have allowed it to happen this long and only you can change it.

Don’t put the click the “X” because you disagree!  Continue reading because my truth may be your truth and I will tell you why.

Therapists, counselors, psychologist and psychiatrists listen to our thoughts, analyze them and make suggestions as to why we feel the way we feel.  I have tried them all and where I found answers was with a counselor.  My community has a federally funded mental outreach center available to anyone who requires guidance. They are not available as a once a week crutch, they exist to help as long as “NEEDED”.  They believe a short-term model is more effective as long-term models cripple humanities mental abilities; which you see quite often with the PhD’s.  PhD’s earn their living on our inability to own our emotions.  Long term counselling enables the patient and conveys that they require the PhD’s to function within society.

The counsellor gave me tools to fix myself.  Easy, broken down truths on how to become a mental warrior and take back the life I let slip away..  What I learned, is that you need to “OWN” your life and not allow your life to “OWN” you!

What does that mean you ask?  Simple!  If you are obese, then “OWN” it.  If you are poor then “OWN” it.  If you are a single mother with three kids and work two fulltime jobs to make ends meet, “OWN” it.  It is not ideal, but you need to accept who you are in this moment and “OWN” it, because it is yours!  Your battles are your own, they belong to no one else and when it counts, no one else will stand and fight them for you.  No one can!

It is lonely inside ourselves, for within we stand alone; no one can fight our emotional battles for us.  Counsellors can help strategize but it is up to us to put them in to play, take on the forces and aim for victory.  “I’m not strong enough,” you say.  Well I am telling you, you are!  Stop lying to yourself; own your life, own your mind and stand up to “yourself”.  Each day isn’t how we feel but how we choose to feed our moods with our thoughts.  Become a thought warrior and fight for your life.  It is up to you to reprogram yourself, overcome and dominate your depression.