Monday, December 23, 2013

Depression - A Modern Evolution

Depression is increasingly on the rise in our society. Its diagnosis has exploded over the last twenty years, and as a result, the medical field has responded with pill after pill.

But depression isn't a disease. It can't be transmitted from person to person like the flu. So why is depression on the rise? There is much speculation, such as our fast paced society, the rigors of work related stress, higher social expectations, and more demanding social conformities.

It's ironic, really, that in a society that is bent on entertainment and comfort we are more depressed than those who lived on the old frontier 200 years ago. The dangers back then were more terrifying, work was harder, and they certainly didn't have nearly any of the modern conveniences that we enjoy today. Yet we don't read about them being depressed, do we?

I'm not a medical doctor, but I am a professional counselor. From my years of counseling, I have discovered that the more materialistic individuals are the more prone to depression they seem to be.

This also coincides with the spiritual degradation of our society. 200 years ago, you would find a society much stronger on spiritual issues such as God, the Bible, and faith. They had little in the way of conveniences. They were forced to live by their wits and rely on whatever measure of faith they possessed. And, by in large, they were happy.

Now, we have a society that is bent on relying on produced comforts or entertainment. Big houses have become the social standard that so many people are judged by--houses so big that both husband and wife are forced to work all day for a house they have no time to live in. We must have the latest car, computer, PDA, TV, or other modern comfort in order to be happy.

We worry about our figure, our weight, our hair color, our hip size, and our bank account since we have been breed to believe that these things necessary to make friends or to catch a decent mate. 200 years ago, you were too busy fighting off the elements, wild animals, natives, starvation, and other more basic needs that you naturally made friends by the simple means of being friendly and helping out your neighbor.

Back then, few people thought they were worthless in a backwoods society where everyone played an important role for survival. Now, we get depressed because we have a pimple on the end of our nose.

Modern society has produced its own monster, and it's devouring us! Depression would be easily cured if people reverted back to a more spiritual existence. I don't mean becoming a monk, or a priest, or other such thing. I mean where people and their needs are more important to us than modern comforts.

We are all spiritual beings. When we love others, help others, be there for others, we have no time for depression.

Honestly, depression is a very selfish condition. It is the total focus on 'you' and what you believe you are missing. For years, I've been counseling people and their problems. I have found that when I am down myself, focusing on someone else's issues and then working together with them to find solutions has always brought me back up and energized me.

When someone looks at you with an expression of true thankfulness and then says with their voice throbbing with emotion, "Thank you so much," it is very difficult to be depressed. Very.

Most depressed people incapacitate their ability to climb out of their own depression. They like to wallow in their own self-pity. But if you can get your focus off of yourself and stop believing that material goods are the key to your happiness-others are-then you'll be able to climb out of your depression.

I have put this to the test, not only with myself, but with dozens of other depressed people. The results have been extremely encouraging!

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