Posted by: purpleandrew | February 18, 2011

Just a thought on States of Mind

Depression, a bigger state than Texas…
And I don’t mean Alaska!

Depression, deeply dark, totally autocratic, no sense of boundaries! Sounds like one of my dates from a previous life!
It is also a state of mind, and like other states it does have boundaries, we just don’t recognise them.
When we are travelling there are road signs, place signs, directions and miles to go signs, there are even state lines; borders we call them. These have ambiguous signs as in you are now leaving – or welcome to… There are no visible signs for the long journey that depression is; there are only indications, symptoms ambiguous hints.

How many people do you think know that depression is something that can be treated to a successful conclusion? How many people do you know have it, have had it or has someone in their immediate family dealing with it?

How do you treat a person you know has it, as in how do you interact with them? Do you steer clear not wanting to get involved, do you tell them to ‘get a grip, pull themselves together and just get on with it? Do you sit with them and empathise, ‘there, there, I know, I know’? The thing is – you don’t know, you can’t know, even when you have been there yourself because everyone’s is unique to them. It is their state; they own it and they are completely in it to the exclusion of all else. It takes that much energy.

The word itself is in fact overused, like the word ‘love’, which is bandied about as a step up from just liking something it is used in such a way to allude to enthusiasm and covetousness of a thing or a place and sometimes a person. When used in this way it has nothing at all to do with the Shakespearian, Casanova, Burton/Taylor, situations that we are taught are the thing to strive for.

These days when someone says they are depressed it can be anything from just slightly peeved, a bit unhappy or put out about something that didn’t go how they would have liked, ‘I didn’t win, that is so depressing!’ to totally suicidal with various stages in between. There are even those who will go from totally ecstatic to the depths of despair that confound most of us.
There are things to look out for though, a change in habit, if outgoing to introverted. Less inclined to buy or shop for little treats and in some cases even staples for themselves. Just too tired or apathetic about getting out of bed or getting dressed; losing interest in topics of hobbies or favourite television programmes, being impatient with others and tired or sleeping at strange times then up in the middle of the night.

These are just some indications and most of them can be found in the indicators and symptoms for M.E.

Mental health is not just in the mind – it has a physiological effect. Depressed people don’t tend to stand straight they bow their heads, they shuffle they sit for long periods of time – vegetating in front of a television that if asked they could not begin to tell you what was on it.

What can you do?

Pay attention, action is movement, get them to change their state, get help. If not for them – find out how you can get help if it is a partner or family member or your friend. Every little helps, and may even prevent a fall into despair. Depression is a lonely and isolated dis – ease. The feelings of being in a vortex of despair and pain whether physical or mental is most debilitating. It is also frustrating for those closest to the person involved which brings it’s own form of depression.

Carlos Castaneda once wrote, ‘we can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.’
It’s not the effort itself; it is the kind of effort, focus of strength, and the intent to change this state, fromI CAN’T to I WILL! Strangely the rest will follow.

Any complementary techniques should be used under advisement and if they are under a Doctors care with that Doctors’ written acknowledgement of proposed methods and their permission to go ahead.

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