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  • What is Depression?

    While Laying In Bed One Night
    by Doug Miller

    What is depression? Most of us are familiar with the knowledge that there are chemical imbalances in the brain brought on by a host of reasons. The chemical changes, and reasons for depression, and ways to fix it, are not what this essay is about. We will look at the effects, and living with depression.

    Depression robs us of the appreciation of bright yellow flowers set on a background of green that at one time was inspiring. Depression robs us of the appreciation for the sweetest music that used to bring tears of joy to our mind. Depression robs us of the appreciation of being loved, and loving. Depression is a thief of all that constitutes well being. There is no cure in the sense that there will be a guarantee of it never returning, but there are methods that allow us to cope with life, but then, only within a new set of parameters brought on by the coping methods. We seldom return to our ‘old happy self’. How can we possibly return when the journey through depression has taught us such a harsh lesson. We do return to a tolerable, and perhaps improved life, (at least improved for the benefit of those we have to interact with) in time, but we are seldom the person we were: close, but not the same. We have to live with our private thoughts that others don’t understand. Life for us is one of constant readjustment.

    For most people, life starts, life moves forward, choices are made, and life is lived. There is no game plan devised by nature. We create, or have created for us at times, the game plan, and for most, barring a few bumps in the road periodically, its not a bad game. The few bumps may at times be at a crisis level, but resolution in one form or another brings a calmness, or acceptance eventually. So, for most people, they invent themselves once, make all the adjustments to outside influences, and continue on being who they are without much change. Contentment to a degree is maintained as far as identity and expectations are concerned, and life (whether acknowledged and understood or not) goes on.

    For those who suffer from depression, there is no game plan. There can’t be, for the game is always changing. The rules for the game don’t change, but our comprehension of the rules, and our interpretation change. As I mentioned, most people invent themselves once, and get by in life. Depression causes constant reinvention, restructuring, realigning, readjusting, and ’re’ everything.

    One day life is what was expected of it, and the next it could be everything we don’t want. The world didn’t change, we did. Constantly trying to grow to regain our past life is draining. Trying to get to the point where we can function as we once did is a monumental task. The ubiquity of depression governs us until we learn to adjust. Again, those with depression constantly, and grudgingly at times, have to fight and reinvent a life to get to even a marginal acceptance of what is.

    To be among all that you have ever held dear, to be among all who love you, to know what dreams have been in place, and ways to fulfill them, and even appreciation for life itself, are of no great importance. There are other more pressing issues, unidentifiable and defying description with words, but painfully evident as feelings. The mind becomes an untended garden. Something that was beautiful as an expression of ones self, and participation in life, but has now been taken over by the weed of depression.

    The long road to regaining confidence, stability, appreciation, and acceptance, is fraught with one failure after another, and the ‘self’ remains immersed in the ‘self’, in isolation. Some only get a glimpse of the light of recovery, while others find it. If and when the depression ends, it’s return is to be feared for what it is. A thief.

    To understand the mechanics of depression, and to be aware of coping methods, does little to alleviate the pain it offers, but knowing, does offer a glimpse that it can be dealt with. We are doomed to sit on the sidelines of life until we are called back in the game, but we are on the sidelines resting, not dying. Some of the greatest minds of all time have suffered from depression, and their contributions to the world in music, writings, philosophies, and humanism, are unsurpassed.

    Published with permission of author.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: What is Depression? started by David Baxter View original post