The Roots of Depression written by: padhia
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There are many obvious things such as traumatic events and the death of loved ones that cause long term depression and anxiety disorders if they are not treated properly. Perhaps in the case of trauma or certain types of situations the short term use of an antidepressant would be beneficial. However, what we are seeing more and more frequently is people suffering from depression without having a specific traumatic event that triggered it. The current methodology for treating the average person is prescribing medication and perhaps suggesting counseling. This is irresponsible, dangerous, and will never cure the origin of the problem. It is the modern day version of committing someone to a mental institute. It is just as inhumane and detrimental. By this treatment method, we are creating a society of partially functional people, chained to a bottle, whose lives can never open up, never unfold magically, and they can never live up to their full potential.

The medical profession will tell you that a chemical imbalance creates depression and anxiety. But what causes the chemical imbalance? They don’t want you to consider that because then you will soon realize you are actually in control of a situation that they want you to believe is hopeless. There are a number of factors, which create this chemical imbalance all of which feed each other and create more depression. It is the way we interpret and reaction to situations, based on how we have been shaped, that causes the chemical imbalance we define as depression. It is also consuming things that alter the brain’s ability to function and hormones to regulate themselves that causes chemical imbalance. I do not believe that anyone is just “born depressed”.  This had been my sneaking suspicion for quite sometime, and I am starting to realize that practitioners of preventative or holistic medicine agree. It is only mainstream America, driven by profit and convenience that will tell you differently. The more you think about it the more disgusting it becomes. Especially when I think of the 10 years+  that I lost and will never have again. Here are some of my conclusions:

NO TOOLS TO MAKE “IT” HAPPEN

My depression was two-fold. It certainly stemmed from my past, but that translated to depression and anxiety about the future as well. There are so many things I have wanted to accomplish in my life, but I didn’t have the foggiest notion of how to make those things happen. I did not see them as possible, which was very overwhelming, frustrating, and sad. All around, I saw people making the lifestyle for themselves that they dream of. Their outward environment is a direct reflection of how they view the world, its possibilities, and most importantly themselves. I was still running an old operating system that said “those things are for other people, for reasons I can’t put into words, I have to suffer- knowing what I want, and never being able to have it”. I had never learned how to tackle challenges and make things happen. I grew up in an environment where the unspoken message was that when things are unknown they are not an exciting challenge that I am capable of championing over, but a source of anxiety and pain. More so now then ever, we live in a world where anything is possible. People who did not grow up in an environment that takes recognizes that and embraces it, may experience a huge gap between their actual life and the life they long for. They simply have no tools and no confidence that the life they imagine in their heart is possible. Often depression over the unfulfillment of dreams is something that can strike us at anytime especially with triggers such as having a baby, reaching a certain age, or reaching a milestone in our life that makes us realize it (even subconsciously). Some people realize this, and decide to do something about it, others continue to sink into a depression. It is learned behavior that makes all the difference.

LEARNED BEHAVIOR

We can all clearly see things about the people who raised us that we have decided consciously not to emulate. But often it is the things we don’t see so clearly that have shaped us. It is what you have learned to believe about yourself as a result of this early environment that plays a big part in determining where you go in life. You learned who you are based on these experiences. You also learned a lifetime of lessons by example, on how to interpret things and how to react to different stimulus. It shapes how you think about yourself, how you see yourself in relation to others, and how you perceive all types of experiences, and therefore your reactions. Even if you don’t copy the examples that were set for you, being subjected to them for so many years early in life shapes you in ways that are very powerful. It is imperative that if you suffer from depression and or anxiety, that you explore this. So many answers to the mystery of ourselves lie in these early years, in these first experiences and relationships.

LACK OF NOURISHMENT

The greatest parents in the world celebrate their children’s individuality and encourage their strengths and interests. Unfortunately a lot of parents are unable to do this. Maybe they are genuinely not aware of these needs, maybe they have circumstances of their own that get in the way, maybe they were conditioned by their parents to be a certain way, or maybe they flat out didn’t care. Whatever the reason, if you grew up in an environment that did not celebrate and encourage you, you need to deal with that. Acknowledge it, explore it, and decide how you will rise above living the life as a product of an unnourishing & unsupportive environment. You may even need to feel anger or allow yourself to grieve for a while. I highly recommend seeking a qualified therapist who can help you work on this. Even the smartest and most self-aware people cannot see things about themselves and make the connections between the past & the present that are made in therapy. Having found an aggressive, insightful and experienced doctor has made all the difference in the world for me. I let go of years and years of pain in months, and really began to understand what I didn’t have and why I needed it. This allowed me to start providing it for myself. Now that i have a clear definition of what my needs are I have the power to address them. I make sense to myself, am freer, more peaceful, just all around doing better than I ever have been in my life.

TOO BIG FOR THE POND

This is really a similar concept to the above. I know so many amazing & talented people today who are depressed; many brilliant minds in history have suffered from depression. It is almost as if who they are and what they have to offer is bigger than the confines their mind perceives as reality. They don’t know how to take what is inside of them and integrate it into their life. They are stifled by a cage that they can’t seem to push out of, and the unfortunate thing is that this cage, this definition of who they are and what they are “capable” of, exists purely in their mind. It seems like depression at times is a sign of a mind that is desperate to grow beyond the confines that have been set forth for it by early conditioning. It is our mind or spirit’s way of telling us something is not right about our life. It can be more. Much more.

TRAUMA or ABUSE
Abused: treated in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way.

I saved this for last, because I want this site to be welcoming to all people not just those who were abused. There are no reasons that are more valid than others to suffer from depression. It is completely subjective. Things that cause trauma are subjective. The interesting thing about abuse is that we often can’t see how abusive situations were in our pasts- we are taught to deny or move on, be thankful it wasn’t worse, and suck it up because we are adults now. Often people mistakenly think they were not abused, because it was not physical violence. Denying, ignoring, or down playing abuse of any form translates to one thing: depression. Not dealing with trauma, anger and grief all leads to the same thing: depression. Depression grows when there is a disconnect between our experiences and our feelings. Depression is inner conflict, turmoil, a call to action to address what is bothering you so deeply that you can’t deal with it on a conscious level. I think there is a big difference between a victim and a survivor. A victim is powerless and continues to suffer. A survivor has the courage to face whatever happened and learn to make it part of their journey.

Depression makes sense. When you dig within the depths of yourself and your experiences, you can clearly see how a depressed response system began to take shape in your life.

 

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