“Depressed” and”depression” are very common words in our daily conversations. A lot people have learned to use them rather than other, more accurate synonyms such as: sad, melancholic, disappointed, miserable, unhappy, downcast, gloomy, etc.. In fact, Merriam-Webster, the famous dictionary, defines”depressed” as feeling unhappiness. No wonder why so many men and women feel depressed! And from there to feeling ill and incapable to flourish, there is a very little step. Convince yourself of something, and that’s what you’ll have.
Many self-diagnosed depressions end up becoming true clinical depressions when in fact, they’re just life cubes, unsolved circumstances which make us feel hopeless, lost, tired and sad.
Clinical depressions have to follow very clear standards to be actual mental disorders. Some folks end up complying with those criteria because they find no solution to some dilemmas or situations in their own lives. Then they lose hope, feel trapped, consume their energy in never-ending loops of despair and worry until that becomes their daily life pattern. It’s not really a pathological reduction of strength and will but an unavoidable outcome when time goes by and a solution isn’t found.
A lot of these people don’t need a doctor. They’re not truly sick. They need help in finding new interpretations, new perspectives, new understandings that lead them to unexpected solutions to their problems. They want someone who can help them find new approaches and different avenues. At times, that is easier said than done, I understand, because the person’s acquired beliefs block them from viewing solutions which are clearly visible to people around them, but that doesn’t make them ill! That makes them blind or lost! In the past, a lot of those situations were solved with the help of elders and friends. Today, in a growingly isolated society, where folks share less and dare not truly communicate, professionals are sought to provide suggestions and help. That, again, doesn’t make those lost people sick! By labelling them (or themselves) sick, the tag becomes a new burden to endure. They convince themselves that their problem is pathological and thus lose even more hope. Little by little, the absence of solutions, the burden of their label and their lack of hope really convince them that they are mentally sick. And consequently, they gradually become truly sick.
How can we then help ourselves and others to keep this from happening?
Let us start calling things by their real name! Let’s start allowing ourselves the freedom to express what we truly feel, rather than labelling our feelings with the general, ill-chosen and mostly erroneous term:”depressed.” Learn to use new terms and expressions and make the attempt to be clear and precise.
Let’s begin helping people around us express themselves, too. Each time a friend of loved one tells you they are depressed, ask them to clarify their feelings to you; ask them to be more precise so they can understand their own feelings better. That often gives them the chance to understand what’s causing those feelings and sensations, which often results in the new perspective they needed to guide them into finding a solution.
Ask for help. If you discover yourself (or know of someone in this scenario ) facing or experiencing a problem you can’t solve, do not wait for magical inspiration to offer you an unexpected solution. Search for Assistance. Ask your friends, your loved ones, or even a professional humanologist that will help you see new avenues and perspectives.
Avoid labels. Seeking to fit into a defining box may lead you to not really understanding the issue. We often need to discover a name for something to be able to give ourselves permission to comprehend or accept it. But situations and circumstances don’t need any labels. They just are. They simply happen. And they may be handled even without a label or title to define them.
Enjoy yourself. Yes, I know this may sound a bit foreign here but believe me, loving yourself is one of the most effective ways to prevent depressions and pseudo-depressions. If you love yourself, you’ll want the best for yourself and you’ll make efforts to care for yourself. You may therefore prevent any situation from growing out of control and will search for means, methods and strategies to keep you well, healthy and happy. So look inside yourself for the love all human beings deserve and be sure it’s there. If it’s not, request help. Others can assist you in finding the way to letting yourself feel good and accepting of it.
Clinical depression and feeling lost or stuck are NOT the same thing. Let us join forces in helping ourselves and others avoid emotional illness. Life problems, difficult conditions, losses, disappointments, loneliness, dead ends, lack of physical, emotional or intellectual resources or anxiety are NOT synonyms for depression but can lead to that unless solved. Do not fall into that trap. Learn how to live and be happy.