About depression and why we get depressive

Jeurg,

Couldn't you write your thoughts about why so many people get depressive? The reason why depression is a widespread disease, etc.

Is there an answer in your philosophie for this? Maybe some advice for people affected?

Depression - reasons for getting depressive

While it is relatively easy to talk about depression in a very general way, it is impossible to generally conclude about the reason for depressions of an individual person. In order to draw conclusions about someone's depression, you have to look individually (case by case) at the potential reasons for the particular person's depression.

What is depression

Generally speaking, depression is a divergence between expectation and the reality. The expectation leading to depression can either be known or be in our subconscious. An example of an expectation we are aware of is e.g. a long expected promotion in business life. On the other hand an expectation of our subconscious could have to do with our purpose of life, e.g. to solve some issues with our relatives.

Depression doesn't start within parts of a second like a fracture - it normally builds up over weeks, months and mostly even years. Healing from depression therefore normally needs time, too. Earlier signs from our subconscious and from our body to point us to the specific problems have been ignored over a longer period of time. And then suddenly we become depressive from one day to the other...

Often depression breaks out at important changes in or around our life: events like loss of the job, change of jobs, end of a personal partnership, death of another person, retirement, move out of the children and so forth, can act like catalysts. But this does not at all mean that the above mentioned changes are the true cause of the respective depression.

It looks like we would see an ever increasing number of people getting or being depressed. According to my personal opinion this has to do with our hectic in daily life. We are getting more and more busy in the material world without being compelled by any external forces to do so . For most of us it is our free will decision to work more and more and to spend our spare time on «special events», with shopping or in front of the television.

We don't take the time to deeply think about what we are doing in our daily life, what makes us happy and what meaning our life has for us. Instead, most of us have become consumers, who do what we are told to do e.g. by advertisment, television, so-called leaders, talented entertainers, and so on.

Isn't it strange: only 50 years ago, people were really busy for a good reason: otherwise they would not have had enough to survive. Nowadays we would have much more time for ourselves and for our personal development - but we don't take it. We prefer to distract our minds with other things.

Depression as a chance

In the light of the above, depression can be looked at as an important hint from the subconscious to face some issues we have been indifferent about so far. What exactly we have been indifferent about needs to be found out individually in each case, however.

A last warning

I would again like to take your attention to the fact that this text is not meant as guide how to deal with either your own depression (depression self help) nor with the depression of others! Nor are the above mentioned reasons for becoming depressive comprehensive. The idea was to show some potential links between personal development and depression.

You can find further information about this topic at the following places:

A good starting point is the book «ABC of awareness - personal development as the meaning of life». You can read it on-line or download as pdf (it's free). But to read the book you really need to spend some time and you will be confronted with thoughts about purpose and meaning of our being here.

Here are some further texts, which can give you some insights about personal development and the illness depression:

Juerg

Why are people depressed?

I noticed a gaping hole in the commentary about depression. Or should be call it by its proper name: clinical depression. Depression isn't the typical reaction to not getting that promotion. That would be called sadness or frustration, in my view. Depression is a serious illness/condition related to brain chemistry. It can be exacerbated by life's difficulties, but it is a stand-alone disease which may not relate to anything else at all. Some depressions are caused by changes in the weather, so perhaps the rampant occurance of it currently might be yet another result of the degradation of our environment.