Depression, a Modern World Epidemic

Depression is such a common ailment and so misunderstood. Most of us, at some point in our lives, will feel the nieblariscossepang of desolation, of frustration, that we feel, has not solution.

Some times the trigger can be sadness or loss, stress and anxiety about future events for which we don’t see an easy outcome. Still sometimes the feeling of desperation and deep sorrow comes apparently from nowhere. Feelings of desperation and powerlessness hit us in the face, when it appears that everything is all right.

Scientists tell us that depression maybe caused by chemical imbalances, that there has to be no specific reason to feel the blues. But I think that it may be a combination of many things. I think that anxiety about the future, shame and guilt about the past, and boredom about a present may have a lot to do with it; a present that we don’t understand and that we don’t know how to live in. The feelings of unworthiness and low self-esteem can easily be traced to what we, as social individuals, are told that we need to accomplish. Being the beautiful woman, the strong man, indefatigable mother, good girl and model citizen. We strive for perfection when we are human, we set goals so high that we can ‘t reach. Once we realize that we can’t achieve as much as we set out to do, that we have good and bad days, and some awful ones, we set in to defeat and despair. Sometimes we don’t understand that life’s ups and downs are part of the normal cycle of our existence, that some days we win and some days we loose. It is in human nature.

We go through times in which we feel that the world is ours and that we can do anything, nothing will fade out bliss, we are all powerful and mighty. And then we are down again.

Feeling at loss and incapable of having a perfect life makes it hard for many. Living constantly exposed to other’s experiences we feel inadequate, failing to understand that the exposed part of others is either momentary or fake, we all cover up something. We believe that everyone is living better than us, more fulfilling lives that we do, and we start declining in to despair. Our moods change, and we start seeing ourselves falling in to a deep hole, incapable of lifting ourselves up. Here is where I think that our chemistry changes. We keep on telling our brain and our body that we are not good enough, that we are set for failure and the chemistry in our body changes. The brain and the organs are hearing us and will follow our directions, whether we are aware of it or not.

The options to treat this disease are many. Western medicine offers antidepressants and talk therapy, which in some cases may help, mostly as a way of controlling the worst part of it, the scariest symptoms. But for the most part, I believe that a change of attitude and of way of looking at things is the key to all this. Do the therapy and do the drugs if you feel that they will help you, but most of all, get a new hobby, retrain your brain to think positively and bring activity in to your life to bring self-esteem and confidence back in to your days.

Self-love is key to our existence. When we love ourselves we strive for better and bigger things, and we have more time and love for others.

After going through hell, name it depression, people tend to be more aware, more compassionate and loving of others. And this, I believe, has a lot to do with the fact that most everyone that overcomes depression has been able to bring a big dose of self-respect, self-awareness and self-love in to their lives.

Find what brings spark in to your life, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, sports, a healthy diet, a new image. Whatever it takes is worth it, work for a bright new day.


The Ultimate Agony

What takes someone to want to commit suicide? Many of us have had hard times in life, and have felt at the end of the rope. But it is human nature to want to believe, to have hope and trust that tomorrow, or even, the day after DSCN0109smtomorrow, will be a better day. We spend our lives hoping that a better time arrives and that we will be rid of all our problems, well, at least a few of them. And we strive and work at making it better.

A few choose to end it all, to take action and end the pain.

Is the pain too much to handle? Are there any other factors that influence the decision?

Nobody ends their life willingly when they are happy and fulfilled. In most instances, the pain has been felt and endured for a long time, too long. There has been despair and depression, whether their loved ones can see it or not. At times the depression goes undetected and the suicide attempt, whether successful or not, comes as a surprise to those that surround the victim.

I call it victim, as I think that anybody that attempts against his or her own life is a victim. Victim of the circumstances, problems or even themselves; suffering so deeply that they feel their only hope is to end their life, and therefore the pain. Some find the attempt futile, as in this society suicide has been stigmatized to the point that those that end their life, or attempt to, are chastised and shun. If successful, they are believed to end up suffering eternally at the mercy of a God that condemns attempting against one’s life. People that attempt suicide are condemned by society and, many think, will be condemned by their God. No way out, really. By leaving the stage, your pain and condemnation will be further still.

In order to make the decision to take their own lives, they have to suffer enough that nothing, not even eternal damnation is enough to stop them. That sounds like a very deep pain if you ask me.

What happens when one commits suicide? We don’t know what happens to them if they succeed, as we have not a clue of what goes on in the other life. Why are we so quick to judge them then? And what happens to those that attempt it and fail? Staying alive can be considered a failure in this case as not only the person is not able to fulfill their wishes; they have a whole society to let them know what a terrible kind of person they are. So many contradictions and pain, so much fear; punishing those in pain, beating the fallen.

We are so afraid of sadness and more so of loosing our own lives that we loose respect for other’s pain, for their decisions and privacy.

And after all, what are we discussing when we discuss suicide? Are we talking about the consequences or the problem? The problem is depression and despair, that disease that nobody talks about, almost as stigmatized as suicide itself. Nobody wants to admit that it is a real sickness, so much so that we joke about it all the time, we use the term lightly and we ignore those that are going through it: “Cheer up! Would you?”

At the end depressed people have lost a will to live, a reputation and, are faced with a dead end.

To help us understand what can drive an human being to suicide, and what are the challenges of the survivors, I have invited Michelle, a suicide survivor, that takes life lightly in her concern for others. Please Join us Tuesday September 9th at 8 PM PST for a night of insights and awareness