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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Being depressed for too long is an unevolved response to Life

If you are feeling depressed about Life please know that you are experiencing something normal. Just don’t allow the depression to pin you down and hold you hostage.

Recent media reports suggest that Bollywood star Deepika Padukone has talked about battling anxiety and depression last year. She reportedly felt a ‘strange emptiness’ in her Life and her close friend’s suicide only made matters worse for her. Deepika has said she shot for much of the climax for Happy New Year (2014, Farah Khan) feeling “this way”. Now, this confession by the actor may make some people wonder why she, of all people, has to be depressed. After all, doesn’t she have it all – a glamorous Life, success, money, a fairy-tale relationship with a co-star and what not? But that’s the way depression is – it strikes different people for different reasons. Even so the fundamental cause why people tend to feel depressed is the same – they are depressed when they don’t get what they want. Since people’s wants vary, the reasons for depression vary too. But since everyone out there has unfulfilled wants, depression is inevitable at some time in Life or the other in everyone’s Life.

The way to deal with depression is simple though. First accept that depression is a normal and natural response to not getting what you want in Life. Sometimes your wants may be well defined – money, a car, a vacation, a relationship, a child…whatever. Sometimes your wants may be tangible; you may have all the material wealth but what you may be looking for is something intangible – better understanding from family, inner peace, joy in the work you are doing and such. In either case, know that most often you will not get what you want in Life. So, feeling depressed over a want not being met, or granted, is a juvenile, unevolved response to Life. Now if you learn that the nature of Life is such that all your needs will be fulfilled, but never your wants, then you can rise above your depressed state and move on. But if you allow yourself to be depressed for too long, then suffering isn’t far away. Because depression is like a wave. If you stand there too long, you will be drowned by the high tide. Then depression will hold you hostage. This when you will not find motivation to do anything – to face people, to go to work, to believe in yourself or even to just be alone – by yourself. You will become irritable, you will grieve and you will suffer.

The first wave of depression is natural. But the second one is self-inflicted. You can’t avoid the first one. But you can ensure that you keep the second one away. Be wary of depression. For every second in your Life that you are depressed, you are not living. You are merely existing! A simple truth worth remembering when depression strikes you is that if you are not getting what you want, then perhaps, it is the way it is meant you be. Instead, simply, accept what is and go on with your Life.

1 comment:

  1. So true Avis. I went through a similar phase of depression only a week ago and I can relate to the symptoms you list. I was particularly shocked at how irritable I had become and how I used to snap at everything and everybody. While I can see the truth in what you say it is extremely difficult to maintain equanimity. I must say, even now I am only in a temporary phase of lucidity...

    Ramesh Venkatraman.