I hear the word ‘Depression’ more often than I would like to.
I am about to share a poem from my note-book of ‘many years ago’
I think that the poem is by Patience Strong.
When depression knocks upon your door,
Don’t open it
Shoot the bolt and turn the key,
For if you should admit
The visitor into your house
You’d very soon repent
For where he is you’ll find
No hope no joy no merriment
He (Depression) has shocking manners
For he stays and stays and stays
Can’t get rid of him at all
A call may last for days
For once he’s in
He makes himself at home
And there’s no doubt
That in the end, the only thing to do
Is kick him out
So be warned-for he’s a thief
He’ll steal the things you prize
Peace and sweet contentment
In his presence beauty dies
Nothing seems to be worthwhile
He’ll wear you to a shred
Haunt you when you sit alone
And follow you to bed
If you feel that he’s about
Lock doors and windows fast
Give yourself a job to do
Until the danger’s passed
Then in time he’ll tire of seeking you without success
And will leave you free to live in perfect happiness
I also like what Jug Saraiya has written on ‘Depression’
‘…shit happens life sucks. But that’s no reason to cop out. You’ve got to get on with it, fight your own Kurukshetra. We are all the ‘Walking Wounded’. The trick lies not in learning how not to get wounded, because you can’t always call the shots. The trick lies in trying to learn how to keep walking even after having been hit…’
What is depression? Why does it strike?
Depression strikes, when life does not follow ones every command (Life is not moving the way one would like it to) and one lacks faith and acceptance to ‘what is’ and then ‘Ego’ makes matters worse…
A Reader Responds:
I was suffering from a severe kind of depression coupled with anxiety for over 5 years. It started some 6 years back almost spontaneously, when I was 27. There was no apparent reason, any particular event or any sort of addictions or social factors which I can imagine that could have triggered it. I had started thinking too much about myself, my mind and my body. Gradually, it snowballed into a huge problem. I tried some medicines but they only gave me temporary relief. Any combinations of words, however philosophical were having no lasting effect. It had become a veritable struggle between life and death. It affected my life in a big way. I was not being able to focus on my work, or meet and talk to people properly, or sleep or eat properly. I was caught in a painful catch-22 which was keeping me preoccupied twenty-four hours with morbid thoughts even while sleeping. The more I wanted to “fix” myself the more I was feeling like an insect trapped in the cobweb.
But at some corner of my heart, I had a belief, a trust based on the grand truth which we all see but do not appreciate – the creation. The trust was that the creation should have got a meaning, a reason… there was a faint ray of hope that one day I will be fine… just like when I was a child I was perfectly fine, jovial, active… One day this “wrong knowledge” (that is Agyanta) will go away and so will my problem. “Gam Ka Kaaran Agyan Hai”, (The reason for our inner suffering is lack of right knowledge), so I believed. This faint ray of hope kept me alive, if not fixed my problems like a magic wand.
Then I met this guy, who had also suffered in some way, advised me to do this (i.e. regular physical exercises). I was initially skeptical about it, but upon much persuasion I started doing it and then the miracle happened! I started jogging at least once in a day (sometimes twice, which was recommended) for 15-30 minutes and life changed forever. Life conquered the death! I knew that I had got the magic wand! I could notice changes in my attitude immediately, but there were other slow and subtle changes occurring within which were not perceivable, and within 6 months I almost sprang back to life. I was a different person altogether as a friend remarked who met after a long period of time!
I will not say that philosophical matters didn’t have any effect. They also played their role in the cure process, though probably in a very subtle way not noticeable to me. They kept the hope alive, but the real “fuel” for moving forward on the road to cure was provided by the exercise.
Exercise is “the missing ingredient” in today’s life which everyone needs urgently. Just 40-50 years back, i.e. one generation back (or two generations back, for the youngsters), the daily activity of an average person included- filling and carrying water from the well, grinding grains, cutting wood, digging earth, commuting long distances, washing clothes, taking care of cattle, weaving ropes and sweaters. The human body has been well-adapted to that sort of lifestyle, deviating from which has brought health concerns of various kinds.
…At the same time the food components have also changed for the worse in many cases – chocolates, tea, coffee, more oily food, fibre-less food, food with traces of fertilizer and pesticides, food containing artificial colors and preservatives etc are examples of deviation from our traditional food which comprised mainly of cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk etc.
…The essence of the exercise is that it should be done in such a way that you start panting. During panting, the blood circulation increases along with that oxygen that is carried with it, rejuvenating all cells of the body. But there is a word of caution here: people suffering from certain types of illness, for example asthma, cardiac related problems, certain bone abnormalities etc. should not do rigorous physical exercise or should consult the doctor before trying it.
The treatment should also comprise of giving love and affection, teaching yoga
techniques for spiritual uplifting, counseling for removing deep-rooted
misconceptions, hygiene training, nutritious diet and giving more stress on using medicines from natural sources. In the western world, people are getting more and more aware of such an approach to healing known as holistic treatment. Though allopathy cannot be ruled out completely since it has proven to be very effective in many cases, we might need a more balanced use of allopathic medicines; holistic approach aims exactly for that.
Enlightening Thoughts to increase happiness (from the Internet)
Look at the brighter side of things
Read an inspiring passage, watch a comedy, listen to relaxing uplifting music…
Pamper yourself: Buy a book, icecream…
Be where happy people are. Happiness is contagious.
Think of solutions, not problems.
Smile more often