Previously, I discussed how essentially depression is a response to either repressed anger or sadness – of course there are exceptions such as physical and chemical imbalances, although these too are often brought about by traumatic incidents in our lives. Similarly, Deepak Chopra believes depression is often caused by external stimuli and most importantly, our response – our habitual thinking – in regard to that outside stimuli.
I have read and condensed his article entitled, “How to Heal from Depression” as it is seven pages long and I added below what I thought were the most important points. However, I highly recommend that you read his entire article as it consists of many different components of depression with strategies to lift ourselves out of it.
What does Deepak Chopra say about depression, what it is and how to deal with it?
According to Deepak Chopra:
“…depression has three components:
- 1. An early outside cause.
- 2. A response to that cause.
- 3. A longstanding habit.
1. Outside causes: During the current recession, 60 percent of people who lost their job say it made them anxious or depressed. The number is much higher among workers who have been laid off for more than a year. Outside events can make you depressed. We all know that. If you subject yourself to enough stress over a long period of time, depression is much more likely—this includes a boring job, a sour relationship, long stretches of loneliness and social isolation and chronic disease.
2. The depressed response: An outside event cannot make you depressed unless you respond in a certain way. People who are depressed learned long ago to have the following responses when something goes wrong:
It’s my fault I’m not good enough.
Nothing will work out. I knew things would go wrong.
I can’t do anything about it. It was just a matter of time.
When a child has this response because something goes wrong, it can make sense. Small children have little control over their lives; they are weak and vulnerable. An unloving parent can create any of these responses, and so can a disastrous family event like a death. But if you have these responses when you are grown up, the past is undermining the present.
3. The habit of being depressed: Once you start having a depressed response, it reinforces the next response. Did your first boyfriend dump you? Then it’s natural to fear that the second one might, also. For some people this fear is minor, but for others it looms large. They keep having depressed responses, and after a while these turn into a habit. Once it turns into a habit, depressed people no longer need an outside trigger. They are depressed about being depressed. A gray film coats everything; optimism is impossible. This defeated state tells us that the brain has formed fixed pathways.”
Below, Deepak Chopra delineates a list of ways in which we can begin to empower ourselves regarding depression – what things to do and what not to do:
- Examine and change your negative beliefs
- Reject self-defeating responses to life’s challenges
- Learn new responses that are life-enhancing
- Adopt a higher vision of life and live by it
- Recognize self-judgment and reject it
- Stop believing that fear is right just because it’s powerful
- Don’t mistake moods for reality.
- Change stressful conditions
- Find fulfilling work
- Don’t associate with people who increase your depression
- Find people who are close to who you want to be
- Learn to give of yourself, be generous of spirit
- Adopt good sleep habits and exercise lightly once a day
- Focus on relationships instead of distractions and endless consumerism
- Learn to re-parent yourself by finding people who know how to love, who are accepting and nonjudgmental.”
Read more of Deepak’s article:
Next Post: Healing Depression Without Drugs