Depression: The true cause and cure
Updated: May 28, 2019
Depression. It's dark, it's scary, and terribly misunderstood.
I’m grateful that I have been exposed to knowledge that allowed to me to understand depression's true cause and cure. It's really not that complicated, actually, and I’ll do my best to explain the fundamentals clearly in this article. If this post makes no sense to you at all, fear not, I will definitely be opening up the deeper layers of depression in future posts.
Depression has become increasingly common in society. In fact, antidepressant medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide. Why is this so? What has changed? With modern science and spirituality, shouldn’t these conditions be decreasing? Clearly, something we are doing as a society is responsible. Sure, diet, lifestyle and genetic factors play a part, but the most influential factor on our brain chemistry is our perspective of life. I’m not saying that that diet and lifestyle aren't important—they are. However, the mind runs the show. Two healthy people can experience the same situation; one person will be okay, and the other will suffer depression.
Some people will state that depression is due to a chemical change in the brain, while others will also state, “Due to [such and such], increased cases of depression have been reported”. Well, which is it? Is depression caused by life circumstances, or by a chemical change in the brain? The truth is somewhere in the middle. Depression is definitely the result of a chemical change in the brain, but that chemical change is due to the way in which we perceive our external environment. In other words, it's the way you're looking at life that really determines if you suffer depression. It’s the way you see things.
In fact, it all comes to one very sneaky subconscious statement: “Why bother?”
That’s it. That's the cause of depression. The belief of “Why bother." "Why even bother having goals." "No goals are even possible." People who suffer depression have reached a point where they no longer feel that their goals are possible anymore, so why bother, why bother with life. These thoughts are what trigger the chemical change in the brain that leads to depression.
Now, I don’t expect you to just take my word for this. I’m just some blogger who rants on about life. Rest assured, this is not my original thought. I am summarising the work of my teacher, Greg Neville from the Anti-Depression Institute, who has been helping people recover from depression for over 30 years.
You need to bother, and you better have a good reason to bother. As always, we need more data, more information, more wisdom. We need to develop a clearer understanding of what's taking place in life and so have more realistic expectations. We need to become okay with life not going as planned, we need to be okay with enjoying the process and setting new goals. The fundamental understandings that beat depression are big ones:
That free will doesn’t exist.
That life can’t unfold different ways and you are never off your correct path.
That life is about development and growth, both of which take place despite you succeeding or failing to achieve your goals.
That your true value is not measured by your ability to control life, but the role you play in others' lives. The role you play of being a human being, not a superhero.
That it's okay to have a go, to bother, regardless of the outcome.
Big statements, I know. Check out my interview with Greg Neville to get a more detailed explanation here.
Something to think about
It's absolutely normal to have highs and lows in life. Nobody is up on Cloud 9 all the time. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and we have to deal with it. As the saying goes, “shit happens”. But it's how we deal with that shit that matters. Next time life kicks you in the guts and things don’t go as planned, reflect on how much you have learned and grown through the experience. Consider how lucky you are to even be alive at all. Develop some gratitude and get back on that damn horse. After all, life is about the journey, the ride—not the destination.
Please comment below with any thoughts or questions related to depression. I will respond in another comment or write another article to answer good questions.