I'd like to cover that here.
What do I think really composes depression?Well, it is very simple, actually; again it is the unfortunate feeling of fear. It truly is at the root of all negativity. Fear doesn't get you anywhere good, it only keeps you alive in very rare occurrences (now-a-days). But we can talk about that later.
The most common fear-related causes of depression;
1. Fear of dying alone.
2. Fear of failure (on a grand scale).
3. Fear of losing loved ones.
Lets take a look at these.
•The fear of dying alone is the most probable reason why people are depressed. It branches off into such things as people moving away, family getting smaller and more distant, regret of not being closer to people.
•The fear of failure branches off into occupying a job that doesn't really fulfill you, dying without accomplishing anything significant, letting down the expectations of friends and family, basically anything where you didn't fulfill yourself.
•The fear of losing loved ones is pretty straight forward.
So of course these things are depressing. The thing is, most people don't realize these are at the base of their depression. They can feel hopeless and lost, sad about nothing, and it never really occurs to them why.
Going to a doctor won't answer why you are depressed, instead it masks the issue and drives you further from realizing who you are - and what you're really fearing or missing in your life. Remember - they believe it is a disease to be covered up with chemicals, not something that should be treated with changes in life-style and perception changes.
So lets really examine these things and what you can do to avoid depression. This will work for everyone, but it will be harder for some, depending on their situation. First, though, let me answer why 10% of us are depressed and don't realize it is one of the 3 subjects above.
In capitalism, specifically western capitalism, it is very normal for children to leave the parents at 18 or older. This isn't natural at all, humans are a community-based animal, we are very social, hence why we have such a great vocabulary, enjoy hugs, and have a fear of dying alone. We are meant to be around each other, and family is incredibly important for our psychology. Just look at how many psychological problems arise with a defective parent. Moving away furthers us from the closest of our kin, causing an increase in the thoughts of loneliness.
Also in western capitalism, we are bombarded with advertisements, entertainment, and education that specifically maintains "successful" as rich and important - money. To be a good family member, a good friend, and a good companion to someone isn't often regarded as successful in our society, it is majorly devoted to accumulation of wealth. So what happens is when these unrealistic and unnatural goals of becoming the president of a company or striking it rich in economics don't materialize, we feel failure. But this is like raising children to only feel like they are successful if they win the lottery or win the olympics. We are not all born to run companies, and most importantly, statistically, it is improbable that we even could. Also, what this pursuit does is further departs us from those important things such as friends and family - a strive for wealth usually consumes time and energy (and places you in a cubicle for a good portion of the rat race)!
Lastly, losing a loved one. This is absolutely going to happen. You SHOULD be depressed about this. Grieving takes a long time, and medications should not be taken to cover this natural cycle of understanding life and death, loss and gain.
Lets look at this in another light;
Long ago in scandanavia, women in the winter time would take hours of their day to brood. That means they would literally sit and cry about the negativity they felt - the hopelessness they felt. They would dedicate times of the day to do this, and after would feel refreshed and fine. (So get some sun if you want to avoid brooding time). The point being, here, is that there are natural reliefs to depression, and they have been with us for long periods of time.
The indigenous people of the amazon and some native tribes in the Americas didn't have depression - this is due to many reasons. The most important being that they lived in very closely knit communities, mostly family, where everyone spoke about everything. They had shamans to drive out the deepest and most uncomfortable depressions of people as well, bring to light peace. They also didn't set up unrealistic goals that took place far away from home and after long ordeals without old friends and close family. They didn't have success and failure as people - they simply lived.
The oldest people on earth (or at least the places with the highest density of centurions) live in places of little capitalism, and many family communities. Their diets are very healthy, but the key factor between these groups is community.
We are a social, community animal. We need family and friends throughout our lives. Some of us can go longer without, some of us cannot - but this is the real reason for depression; the 'structure' of our lives. We are stressed to leave home, stressed to be "successful" and stressed to obtain wealth and things - but this isn't us. This isn't who we are.
Find your passions.
Connect with family or friends.
Join community efforts, clubs, groups.
GRIEVE when you need to for god's sake!
And soak up some sun while you're at it.
[Oh and diet is always good]
Next time I will talk about a much less depressing subject - maybe tweak a few neurons of yours :)
Sunny side up!