Depression and Inhibition
Each human is born with the word 'potential' tattooed in their psyche. From the day we come into the world we hit survival mode in it's most primal form. Total vulnerability and reliance on those around us to nurture us with the essentials known as love and sustenance. With a bit of luck, we have parents who guide us through the many obstacles in life. Hopefully, we end up strong, independent, centered adults who know right from wrong, and how to achieve many things. And above all things knowing we have a much deserved place in the world alongside every other human being that has gone through their formative years. Excuse me if that sounds an ideal statement - no doubt it is for many.
I understand from the viewpoint of medical studies and science that this disorder known as depression is created by chemical imbalances in the brain. Yes, so true in many cases. I, on the other hand, prefer to see the disorder from the viewpoint of what caused the imbalance in the first place.
Potential means latent but unrealized ability or capacity. The ability to do, to achieve, to create; the capability of becoming. As we are primal in essence (animal) we have a healthy dose of fear to make sure we learn caution and instincts. Along with the guidance of our parents who also provide the necessary boundaries to ensure we don't fall out of too many trees and ride our bikes too fast in New York traffic, we soon learn how to survive, take risks, and achieve in line with our blossoming human potential.
What is at the bottom of Depression? Void of the chemical imbalance and without the use of test tubes, I suspect one of the major causes of depression is the inability to fulfill all or part of this latent individual human potential. Of course, we don't always get what we want, not all the time. We have to compromise and share, be a giver as well as receive.
But how many times have you had your wantings quashed, smothered, blocked, smashed? Most likely many many times, particularly before the age of 14. Disappointment beyond limits. Okay, so this may sound a bit melodramatic, I mean parents are protecting their children, making sure they don't get hurt. So the word NO becomes an echo to the adventurous. No, you can't. Every excuse a parent can give a child is presented for the sake of keeping the child safe. And in the process of keeping the child safe is often a projection of the parent's fear. Before you know it, and really without you knowing it, you become scared yourself of reaching goals that may see your potential show itself.
How many of your fears are a direct result of what your parents told you to fear? Okay, okay, there is perspective. But if your mother is scared of the dark, why should you be?
Depression is directly linked to the inability to use your will, to achieve, to have wantings and go after those wantings. A vicious circle starts to develop within a depressed person's psyche. I am taking a quote from a TV program I saw the other night: "The people who suffer the most are those that don't know what they want." One of the lowest or deepest states of depression is not having the desire to have a wanting. A dead space of nothingness, that feeling of being dead.
If you were not given the arena to achieve (big or small), if you were continually told no, if you were not let loose to take chances and feel the exhilaration of accomplishment, if you were not encouraged to step outside your comfort zone, or given the chance to make mistakes, then it is likely you are too scared to do it now.
One state of mind for a depressed person is that you have failed before you get started, so you don't start; The 'it's useless - why bother attitude.' But deep inside is this latent wanting to tape into your human potential. Alongside this wanting is an incessant voice that keeps saying "You can't."
Please understand, I am not an advocate for anti-depressant medications. I am also not judging people who chose to use medication for their depression. It is through my own experience and self-reflection that I am able to understand that there is much conditioning imprinted in our psyche that has a direct relationship to the resultant imbalances in our brain chemistry. Much can be resolved by getting to the source of our malaise and moving forward from there.
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