Saturday, January 07, 2006

Overcoming Depression

In responding to his New Year wishes, I visited Michael Bains' blog "Silly Humans" and read his January 6th post about depression which inspired me to write the following. So thank you, Michael, for today's post!
Depression is a serious problem that affects 18 million or nearly one in ten American adults each year.

Suicides outnumber homicides by a ratio of three to two.

The World Health Organization reports that five of the ten leading disabilities are related to mental health disorders.

Of interest, statistically, those who volunteer some of their time to improving the lives of others have a far lower incident of depression and suicide than the general public.

Connecting in joyful human contact and impacting others positively both empower us and make us feel we matter. Not coincidentally, they also seem to be key in overcoming depression.

I think it's lack of real, meaningful and joyful human contact that paves the way for depression.

We know that babies who are fed, bathed and taken care of physically, but otherwise put in a crib and ignored, will die. They need laughter, they need contact. I don't think those needs end with adulthood.

Yet our culture has promoted relationships with technology over relationships with people.

I love the Internet, I think it's fantastic that I can sit here and communicate with you, but it can't compare to a face to face conversation with shared laughter and bantering or shared effort.

On top of that we have what I believe is incredible stress just trying to deal with all the stimuli of our modern culture, all the signs we have to pay attention to and all the sounds, not to mention the media we attend to. It fills us up with chaos.

Human nervous systems are not made to digest it all, I don't think.

We need time sitting around campfires, telling stories, fixing meals, chopping wood. But that's sure not how we live in the "first world." Industrialization has really been a mixed blessing.

People living under $3 a day in third world countries seem, on the whole - unless they're being chased out of their homes with machetes - happier than we are in the West with all our material possessions.

If you're interested in what I think is a great book on this subject, read Me to We by two young guys, Craig & Marc Kielburger.

Marc started Free The Children when he was twelve as a result of reading an article about a boy sold into slavery at the age of 4 and chained to a carpet loom where he spent 12 hours a day tying tiny knots. The boy escaped at the age of 10, but was murdered at the age of 12 for speaking out against child exploitation.

Craig was so hurt and enraged over the injustice, over what happened to a boy his age, that he had to do something.

As a result, ten years later, the organization he founded has improved the lives of over a million children in 35 countries.

In any event, it is a fantastic book and certainly has me thinking about what more I can do to help alleviate suffering.

I guess the point is, Craig Kielburger is never depressed because he's too busy making a difference and making real friends en route.

And if we all connect and spend more time with people in positive and productive action, we will have less time to be depressed.

Whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? Luke 22:27

So laboring ye ought to support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

By love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass. I Corinthians 13:1


At 1/07/2006 6:55 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

Thanks for your comments Lady. My personal relationships have just entailed too much giving of things I haven't gotten back. Like giving itself, a relationship works because each person wants to be there involved.

I've learned the hard way how my committment to another can't replace my commitment to myself, nor does it necessarily encourage their commitment to me.

I have, quite simply though so far inexplicably, got to pass on relationships that don't totally fascinate and encourage and support my life. Giving that without reciprocity is just flat out emotionally exhausting; even when the person does supply verbal appreciation. {sigh}

Regardless of gods Clyo, my gratitude and appreciation are quite real.

Namaste & Happy New Year!

At 1/11/2006 11:45 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

I think it's lack of real, meaningful and joyful human contact that paves the way for depression.

I forgot to mention just how True I keep finding this to be.


Happy Bloggin' Clyo!

At 10/19/2009 7:54 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

Relationships can help people to come out of depression.
I do believe that making relationships really makes difference. Dealing with depression was easy for me with simple practices and loved one’s support.
Try out these beat depression techniques, holding hand of your love. Trust me ……. You will definitely overcome depression.


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