Saturday, 23 November 2013
Depression and anxiety are part of many people's lives. They've definitely been a part of my life. What I've realized though is that neither depression nor anxiety is a disorder.
What I now understand about depression and anxiety is that both are surface manifestations of imbalance. These manifestations are deeper than the symptoms I've been experiencing every day. The truth of the matter is, I don't have to live with depression or anxiety ... and neither do you.
Most of us worry about worrying. We're anxious about our anxiety. It's a vicious cycle. The more we worry about worrying, the more anxious we become. The more anxious we become, the more we worry. In the end, we become depressed. Our health is affected because we don't get enough sleep. We crave eating, mostly unhealthy food. We lack exercise and are overwhelmed by our emotions, feeling unloved.
The day to day struggle makes us feel as if we have no purpose to move forward in life. The root of the problem lies in the fact that most of us do not know ourselves very well. We don't know what it is we desire, what we are chasing, what we want, what we need or where we're going. Not knowing leaves us feeling uneasy and disconnected.
Every day, we are surrounded by people. We all wear masks – different masks for different people. We're too afraid to be ourselves. We're too afraid of ourselves. In this confused state of anxiety, we make choices and live with the consequences. More often than not, we regret the choices and the consequences.
Where does it all end?
We need to identify the people, places, activities and our own thought patterns that trigger depression and anxiety. We have to believe that we can change how we feel so that we don't suffer any longer. Napoleon Bonaparte said, "When you fight, fight as if everything depends on you. And when you pray, pray as if everything depends on God." We have to fight against negative influences constantly and learn to focus on the positive things in life.
We have to have that much faith that when we wake up in the morning, we have the power to rely on ourselves, and when we climb into bed at night, we rely on God. This doesn't mean that we don't need God during the day. It simply means, we know ourselves well enough (our strengths and our weaknesses) that we can cope confidently with who and what we are.
It takes time and God to make a life. We can't make a life if we don't know who we are. We need to find "quiet time" in every day to be with ourselves, to get to know ourselves. The more we know about ourselves, the more we will be able to endure ourselves. We'll find an inner calm of acceptance and once we have that, we will have conquered depression and anxiety.
So, go on. Get to "know thyself" ~ Socrates.