In the face of today’s endless turbulent economy, it’s too easy for people to get caught up in the general conversation about everything that is negative in their lives, especially with the holidays coming up. Unfortunately, the end of 2011 still finds America and the entire Globe drowning in a huge wave of difficult economic conditions, sucking us into chaos at a disturbing speed, making money scarce and credit harder to come by and more expensive. The devastating economic baggage we drag from one year to the next is mounting as people struggle with endless bills, trying to support themselves and their families. Along with expressions like “I’m broke; I fear for my job; business is lousy, my unemployment benefits are running out;” you will also hear: “I can’t keep up with my car insurance or mortgage payments; I’ve maxed out my credit cards and I don’t know where to find money!” This dismal scenario is leading a multitude of people into a state of sheer panic and depression with no hope for a way out. Many Americans also suffer physical and emotional hardships because they can’t afford medical insurance. There are even those who have lost their coverage as a result of unemployment.
Not only do people become severely depressed as a result of their financial despair, but many suffer from the effects of a divorce, the ending of a relationship or the death of a loved one. Senior citizens are no exception, especially those that have become disabled. They also find themselves in a state of depression as they lose their independence, feeling as though they are a burden to their children. Each person’s situation is genuinely sincere and totally different, and the end results are devastating no matter how you look at it. In many homes today, a terrible sense of foreboding seems to loom over most people’s lives like a black cloud.
What happens to each and every one of us does matter, but, more importantly, how we recognize and respond to what happens to us says everything about who we are. Misfortunes that are suddenly thrust upon us can trigger emotions that have the ability to revolutionize the way we live and how we relate to others. This article is part 1 of a 3 part series on learning how to cope with and overcome depression, no matter what the cause.
Mental depression is not racist, sexist, nor does it single out any religious beliefs, it can consume us all if we allow it to.
With respect to the current economic environment, the fact is, times are tough no matter what you hear some politician say. You can see it with your eyes, the vacant homes, the rising costs of utilities and food as inflation sets in. You hear it in the news; the unemployment numbers and the jobless claims continue to climb. You can drive through any city and look at the lengthening bread lines. Call it a Depression, call it the Great Recession, call it what you want, it stinks, and for the foreseeable future it is simply our reality.
For good reason, people are finding it quite difficult to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Many individuals are focusing on the scene that is unfolding around them instead of looking inward and finding that place of peace, that inner creative power.
Life is an ongoing torrent of ups and downs. It’s when times are toughest that we feel so alone, that we feel like bad things always happen to us, that we feel we are targeted and picked on by some unseen force that controls our fate, a destiny doomed to fail.
When problems overwhelm us, it is difficult to see beyond them for a solution. Yet that is exactly what one must do in order to stay one step ahead of mental depression.
Perhaps some of you say: “…stop the preaching lady, get off your pedestal. You can’t be serious! How can you escape mental depression? You don’t even have a clue as to what I and others like me are going through! It’s not that easy! You’re not in our shoes!”
Believe me, I am not being insensitive to your pain or your despair because I know what it’s like to endure mental depression. Been there done that. I hurt, I cry, and I’ve also experienced what you feel. I know the pain of rejection, divorce, the sorrow of the loss of loved ones, the agony from years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of an alcoholic husband, going from a high paying job to cleaning homes and offices in order to survive. I am familiar with the symptoms of depression, I was physically lethargic, I wanted to sleep my life away, I stopped enjoying the things I used to love. Loneliness, hopelessness and despair plagued me like a shadow stealing all the light in my life, making me reach out for spiritual and professional support as well.
One thing I have learned from all of this is that the more we dwell on any difficulty, the more we amplify it and the harder it is to get out from under, leading us into a state of mental depression. We get so bogged down by old negative thought patterns that we have little time or energy left to develop new affirmative patterns. When we reverse our negative outlook on life and learn to see the positive instead, then we can create a new state of existence called “Peace of Mind.” As a result of this, we will become a much stronger person no matter what situation we face. The way we think determines the way we live. Remember, like attracts like, it is the Law of Attraction. In part 2 of this 3 part series, we’ll start to explore ways and tips that will help you beat depression.