If you’re currently someone who is treating depression, you should be asking the question ‘is depression real or is it just a label?’ I often ask myself this question or at least I have in the past. After years of soul searching, going through stages of my life where I have delved into the darkest portions of my being through to running a million miles an hour from the sometimes painful truth, I’ve discovered that labeling myself as 'depressed' doesn't really help. In fact I've come to the conclusion that buying into the label of 'depression' often gives us an excuse to avoid looking at the truth, which is there within all of us.
So what is depression? Its different for everyone, but for me I could probably sum it up as a combination of loneliness, intense sadness, suppressed anger, self hatred, and a severe lack of acceptance for my self and the present situation. From what I have observed in myself and those close to me, it is a result of a deep seated desire to change who I am, and find a recipe for avoiding pain, forever. However, an important thing to realize when treating depression is that there is no recipe for happiness, there is no recipe to avoid pain.
The best avenue to treating depression is to accept ourselves as we are. How do we do this? That involves a fundamental shift in the way we think. Why not start by instead of seeking happiness (as a distraction from what is really going on) and avoiding pain, why not seek out our pain and give our happiness away (instead of suffocating it). Even better learn to just be with ‘ourselves’ no matter what the discomfort. If you are truly seeking a natural alternative to treating depression, meditation is essential.
The best way to overcome depression is not to try to overcome depression. If we use the usual mindset, ‘trying to change ourselves’ it means that we end up subconsciously reaffirming to ourselves that there is something wrong with us. In treating depression it is essential that we overcome this cycle, but it’s not easy. Meditation gives us the opportunity to do this, or at least practice this each day.
Meditation isn't about visualizing, it isn't about imagining a better life, and it’s not even about thinking positive thoughts. It’s about becoming present with your own version of reality. It’s about learning about who you are, and in the process, accept yourself. Basically meditation is a way of life, its something that affects us subtly and gradually over time. Meditation is a long-term solution to treating depression; therefore you may have to accept that it is not something that will magically change overnight.
I remember when I first began meditation as a form of treating depression. It was at a time when I was really struggling with depression and life. I had sought out just about every alternative to treating depression that I could think of, and I didn't want to go on medication. A lot of different things came up when I was trying to meditate. Things like, I thought I wasn't doing it good enough, there was something wrong with me, I’ll never get there, its a waste of time. To be honest it is pretty amazing that I stuck with it. All of these thoughts are natural. I remember having a good friend whom would remind me every time I would feel to just observe myself. That is the essence of meditation
For more information on treating depression and meditation techniques, click on the link to my website, The Depression Trap.
As well as being a student of life, I am also studying psychology. My passions are health, fitness and spiritual philosophy. I love playing my guitar and having a latte with friends. My philosophical views on life are parallel to many of those associated with Buddhism, however I consider myself a spiritual being rather than a religious one.
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