Tuesday, May 7, 2013

So what's the opposite of depression?

The website for the world-famous Mayo Clinic has a good deal to say about depression, and even more about depression among women.  These are just some of the facts they state:
  • About 1 in 5 women develop depression at some point in life.
  • Women are nearly twice as likely as men to have depression. 
  • Depression can occur at any age, but it's most common in women between the ages of 40 and 59.
  • Vastly fluctuating hormone changes, from puberty, PMS, pregnancy and postpartum, on until perimenopause and menopause, cause a woman to become vulnerable to depression.
  • Outside influences such as abuse, neglect or rejection compound the likelihood of depression 
So it seems as if we are all doomed to fall into this ugly pit whether we want to or not.  Our physical bodies and all the changes we go through, plus accumulated junk from unfair and unkind treatment appear to make depression inevitable to all women.  How in the world are we expected to fight it?

I am no psychiatrist, but I have observed how our perceptions of the world around us make all the difference.  Our vision of who God is, of who we are and of what is possible for our future.  I have also observed that negative thoughts are often fueled by a spirit.  They are more than just thoughts, but spiritual beings give life to them, and cause them to "infect" us emotionally and spiritually.  They seem like logical thoughts, but they are usually driven by a very evil source.  Yes, I'm talking about demons.  

That's why it's so hard for us to wrestle ourselves out of depression.  Someone can present a perfectly logical argument as to why our feelings are wrong, and why we should move on and believe in something better.  But because negativity has a life of its own, a spirit driving itself deep into our inner core, we just can't seem to shake it.

Which also why those who suffer in depression can become very obstinate and easily insulted when someone tries to comfort or encourage them.  Those thoughts become intertwined with their own identity.  They hate the depression, but at the same time, attacking the depression feels like they are attacking themselves.  And so they nurse those feelings and struggle to find a way to get rid of them while holding onto the root of them at the same time.  

Negativity wants our eyes to point inward.  When we notice anything outwardly - our family, friends, co-workers etc., we react against them when they confirm those negative feelings that we already have.  A look, a harsh word, a joke, a slight, an inconsiderate action.  The negativity already enmeshed in our emotions screams loudly against each incident, and we are convinced that God and the world have abandoned us to a life of suffering and injustice.  We may never say that openly because it sounds so dramatic, but the overwhelming feelings say exactly that.  

As painful as depression is, the antidote for depression is also painful.  But in a very different way - in a healing way.  It's the pain of tearing our eyes off of ourselves and off of our wounded heart, and setting them firmly on God.  It's a change of vision.  To stop looking at the minuscule and to see the infinite.  Already I know that those with depression are angry that I would dare insult them by implying that they are, 1. Self-centered and 2. Faithless.  

That's where the beginning of the pain starts - the good pain.  The pain of ignoring your ego and admitting that there is so much within your own power that needs to be done, so that God can be free to bring about a total healing.  It can be done.  You don't need to interpret the behavior of others as being an attack against you anymore.  Their own negative tendencies or flaws never have to hurt you again.  Ever.  It can be done.  You can be healed of all the horrible memories of the past, and never let them hurt you again.  Ever.  You can learn to believe in the impossible, in what you've never seen, in what you've always dreamed could be possible, but were afraid to hope for.  It can be done, and not only that - those dreams can quickly become reality.  That happens through sacrifice.  Through the sacrifice of your ego.  

It seems insensitive to tell a wounded person who is deep in depression, that one of the keys to freedom is humility.  "But I've been humiliated all my life - how dare you say that?"  Not humiliation, but humility.  Admitting that you need to change your mindset, to kill the ideas of what you think is too hard to do, to have a vision of what you can do, even if it seems scary.

Another key to freedom is learning a healthy dose of boldness to believe in yourself.  "So you think I'm insecure because I want to be?  You think it's as easy as just changing my mind? Don't you know what I've gone through?"  Yes, but making excuses why you won't try is also being proud.  Sorry, but it takes humility to be bold, to start acting against your own emotions and to go places and do things that you had always avoided out of fear of rejection.  Believing in yourself is all a part of believing that God  created you perfectly and will back you up.  He will be faithful to you.  Your boldness is an act of faith, that weakens the demonic forces that have a hold on you.  You need to visualize that in your mind's eye.

The best and most amazing key of all is to have a GREAT BIG vision of God, His power, His love for you, His protection, His healing, His plans, His future - His everything.  I imagine that someday when we stand before Him and see Him face to face, all our worries will seem so ridiculous and petty.  We'll wonder why we hadn't believed more when we had the chance, why we didn't expect more, surrender more, why we wasted so much time gazing at our own inner conflicts that could have been erased in a moment.

I've known women who have left depression behind and have made massive leaps ahead in their lives.  They are the ones who had the courage to use these keys, and to believe in a great vision for themselves.  They visualized what was possible, and then determined that it would become reality.  Never was any of them perfect at it, but their desire and their sincere attempts to sacrifice their egos, pride, fear and all the rest, brought about their personal miracles.  I know others who have learned all of this, but continue to look inward, and have never found freedom.    

The opposite of depression?  VISION!!   



Motivational Speaker said...

More women get depressed than men. I wonder why is that. We all are born equal, we get equal opportunity now. So there is no need to be depressed for anything. If you feel you're not good at something, just focus on the positive things you have and improve it so that no one could over power you in that field. Nice article by the way.

Mark Duin

jeani paligan said...

Thanks for the message. My God is great I'm not going to waste my time entertaining negative thoughts anymore.