What is the cause of depression? How can you get a handle on it? Identifying and fixing psychological issues is the most important thing in dealing with depression. How do we do that?

Mind Set

Mindset – the way our “mind” is “set”. You may be loving parent or spouse, caring daughter/son, well educated, rich and ‘successful’ in life and all these contribute to a strong sense of who you are. You have past experiences, belief, values and expectations. With these you make a mental construct about yourself. This is your mindset. The problem starts if you are too identified with your mindset. Take expectations for example, if you do not meet your own expectations, you start feeling guilty. How could ‘I’, not meet this expectation? If someone does not meet your expectations, you start feeling that the person does not care enough. How could this person not meet ‘my’ obvious expectation?

fixing the cause of depression

Negative Self Image

Many people with depression feel:

  • They need approval of other people
  • They are not good enough
  • They deserve suffering
  • They have something inherently wrong
  • Others owes them something
  • Life is hard and painful

Such feelings means that you are not comfortable being yourself. The reason for such feeling could be past traumatic experiences from childhood, adolescence, some emotional trauma etc. The fact is that your past is past, that negative moment is over. You are still carrying it in your mind, seeded at subconscious level and building up on it – though it is not your present reality. You are also projecting your future based on this buildup. Given this buildup, how can your future look great? How to change this mindset? By start living in the present. More you live in your present – which is the reality – happier you are.

Meditation

Meditation forces us to be in the present moment. Meditation is not a concept, its a state of mind grounded in reality. It forces your mind to leave the imaginary world of past and future and embrace the present. If you could do this for some time – just forget about your past, temporarily erase it from your memory and do not think about your future – you would realize that during this time you are happy. It means breaking free from your mindset and consequently your negative self image. This needs practice. You can try this meditation technique for few months and see for yourself.

If you have not meditated earlier, mind will find it very unnatural. It is so used to external stimulation and continuously running similar thought patterns that being quiet, relaxed and calm does not come naturally. So start with small steps – may be do it for just a minute.

What Else?

There are things, other than meditation, that you can do to get out of depression.

  • Take responsibility of your mindset. Your life puts you through many situations – some good, some bad. How long you will carry the feelings of hurt is entirely your decision. These feelings are only harming you, not changing the external conditions, so what is use of carrying them? Please do not make it your lifetime project to carry this load. Drop it, now!
  • Exercise consistently. Exercise has been shown to be as effective as drugs. Follow your routine of 30 minutes of daily exercises.
  • Everyone values something like reading books, getting up early, going to office on time, eating healthy etc. While depressed, you may not like to do what you value, but not doing so increases the feeling of guilt and adds to depression. Start taking baby steps to doing what you value.

This article is inspired by ideas of Leo Gura, founder of Actualized.org