Did you know that the majority of people who use antidepressants become depressed again within a year? Between 2005 and 2015, the global number of people suffering from depression grew by a startling 18.4% .
Despite the fact that people are taking more antidepressants than ever before, depression continues to rise.
It’s perplexing to believe that the estimated 264 million people worldwide who suffer from depression are all feeling alone and hopeless.
Consumers are led to believe that antidepressants correct a chemical imbalance in their brains by pharmaceutical corporations
. But, if that were the case, why isn’t depression disappearing? That isn’t to suggest that antidepressants don’t help to lower the severity of symptoms and act as a bridge to more effective treatment of the underlying issues, but relying on them to “cure” depression isn’t the solution.
This is something we are aware of.
So, how do you get rid of depression?
Johann Hari, a journalist, and author who questions what we think we know about mental health claims that despair and anxiety are caused by unmet basic needs.
He refutes the chemical imbalance concept, claiming that hiding symptoms aren’t the best way to treat illness.
Understanding that depression is more than a diagnosis, that it is a warning that something larger needs attention, that something is missing or out of balance, is the first step toward overcoming it. And, much like with a car or a computer, we’ll have to peek inside to see what’s generating the flashing red light.
What Causes Depression?
Before we begin, it’s critical that you understand the following three points if you’re depressed:
You aren’t damaged in any way. You will be able to overcome it. It’s most likely a natural reaction to the situation you’re in and/or the events that have occurred in your life.
It could be that you’re in an atmosphere devoid of basic needs like connection, significance, and passion, or that you’re harboring unjustified negative self-perceptions based on childhood or traumatic events, but one thing is certain: whatever you’re feeling is genuine .
While this essay does not attempt to address all possible causes, we will discuss two of the most common causes of depression: a lack of meaningful connections and bad attitudes we carry from our past.
A Lack of Meaningful Connections
The primitive drive to be connected, to be a part of something, is one of the most basic human needs.
To survive, our forefathers’ hunter-gatherers needed to be bonded as members of a tribe. Being rejected exposed you to predators on the lookout for weaklings, lonely and vulnerable people.
Yes, things have changed, and we no longer expect to be devoured alive in the midst of a city, but we still crave a tribe, a sense of belonging.
The great irony is that we are now better able to “connect” with humans all over the world, but we are also more isolated than ever before. We’re not making as many genuine, meaningful contacts as we used to.
When we’re sitting alone in our flat, feeling hopeless, unhappy, or (worst of all), feeling nothing, the predators we fight are inside our own thoughts. The predator is the concept that death is a means of escape, a means of easing the nothingness.
This is only one of several causes, but it is a significant one.
This isn’t only about conversing with or being in the company of others. In a crowd, you can feel alone, and in a marriage, you can feel alone.
It’s not just the physical aspect that we acquire when we establish a tribe; it’s also the meaning and happiness we get from sharing things with others. When we contribute a bit of ourselves in order to improve someone’s item, we experience a genuine connection.
People work long hours in the conditions we’ve made for them, with little to no connection or fulfillment.
Our forefathers never had to cope with this kind of environment, and it’s something we need to be aware of in order to notice and respond to signals when they appear.
Professor Cacioppo, a former University of Chicago psychologist and an expert on loneliness stated:
“The purpose of loneliness is like the purpose of hunger. Hunger takes care of your physical body. Loneliness takes care of your social body, which you also need to survive and prosper. We’re a social species.”
We require these sensations to alert us to the fact that something is out of whack. If you’re lonely and detached, it’s because you’re not getting enough human connection, and you need to adjust your strategy.
It’s easy to give up and declare, “I’ll never be able to fix this, I’m useless,” if you don’t recognize these feelings as signs and don’t adopt the proper approach.
Your subconscious mind believes what you tell it, so if you’re telling it how worthless, useless, and unlovable you are, it’s no surprise that you’re feeling worthless, useless, and unlovable. Another factor that contributes to depression is the scripts we tell ourselves.
Your Childhood Scripts
“Depression has always been a part of my life; it’s just who I am.”
Believing that you’re stuck or that you were born with depression is a significant roadblock to recovery. It’s not surprising that your head isn’t an easy place to live in if you’re constantly replaying the same negative scripts, both scripts you’ve written for yourself and scripts others have written for you.
You don’t feel like you’re good enough. Not believing that you are deserving of happiness. You’re starting to think you’re a hopeless case.
All of these ideas were acquired during the course of a person’s life, most often when they were young.
Because your rational mind didn’t mature until your early adolescence, when someone told you that you weren’t good enough or made you feel alone, different, or weird, your emotional brain believed it to be true.
However, as adults, we sometimes need to revisit the things we let in as children since it’s usually always nonsensical and illogical. It is not your fault that you have them. However, it is your obligation to locate and remove them.
My client believed that he couldn’t change because he’d always been that way. The third belief we overcame was that he didn’t feel whatever he did was ever good enough.
He tried to fit into a career he believed he needed, and when he couldn’t take it any longer, he persuaded himself he wasn’t good enough. He didn’t consider that he was merely pretending to be someone he wasn’t and that there were aspects of his personality in which he excelled.
But something changed when he realized that despair was only a sign that he needed to keep looking for his hobbies, not settle for a job he despised, and make peace with his father’s relationship.
This is something we all need to work on, and while it’s frequently easier with a therapist who specializes in the subconscious mind (since that’s where it’s all stored), you can do it on your own.
How to Cure Depression
You’re probably aware that there is no “magic cure” for depression, but perhaps you can see that depression is a very real and often reasonable reaction to events in your life or objects (or lack thereof) in your surroundings.
It’s not just a matter of “finding more friends” or “getting more support”; that won’t cure the problem, and it’s not truly what you need. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Change Your Scripts
Understanding how your brain and the minds of others work is the first step toward overcoming depression.
When you understand that your pain serves a purpose, that it serves as a means of self-preservation, you may begin to notice what it is leading you to do and think. You can adjust and rewire it once you’re aware of it.
2. Build Meaning and Connection
Working on your emotional intelligence and communication skills will make it simpler to form meaningful connections with others.
Understanding how to read people’s faces, voices, and body language, as well as focusing on what they’re saying and feeling, will assist you in developing these skills.
You’ll be able to regulate the self-preservation instincts that make you feel threatened, and you’ll be able to see individuals in a new way.
Others will want to hear from you if they believe they have been heard. And if you really open up, you might discover that they share your feelings or that you can show them something new.
3. Do Selfless Acts
It’s also been proven that doing something for others, doing something that shows human kindness and makes a difference to someone, gives us meaning. Begin by passing on something useful or being present for someone, even if it is difficult.
You’ll be shocked at how good it feels when you step up and show someone you care, or when you open up about your troubles and be vulnerable with someone who needs it (whether it’s in your office, at a homeless shelter, or just a buddy). It’s the modest, gradual changes that make a big difference.
Depression is basically telling you to take a step back and assess what’s going on around you, as well as what you’ve left unresolved from your past.
Just remember that you can work on it, that you can figure out what lights your fire and makes you feel like yourself. Above all, remember that it’ll all work out in the end and that you’ll be alright.
1. World Health Organization: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders
2. Do Something: 11 Facts About Depression
3. The Permanente Journal: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions
4. The Atlantic: How Loneliness Begets Loneliness