The Components and Solutions of Depression
Updated: Aug 9
Depression may come from the realistic fact that we cannot control everything. That we are not as powerful as we would like to be. We are bound to control only what we can, while hoping to interact with the uncontrollable in some other way that will make our lives a bit easier to bear.
However, the initial strike of depression comes not from the uncontrollable itself, but from its pessimistic product—helplessness, and the discontent towards it. Those who have no reason to give up unwillingly, whether that reason genuinely exists or not, will find little reason to be depressed.
Unlike frustration, depression combines the element of sadness into the equation. Not everyone who is helpless in a situation would necessarily be sad about it. They can choose to be hopeful instead.
Therefore, depression has three components, at least according to this thought process: helplessness, sadness, and the lack of willpower towards the first. You won't see a depressed person who feels like they're both in control and are content with it. This is why depression also generates a sense of defeat, of "slavery," or at least, of inferiority, towards whatever makes them feel helpless.
And the thing is, since we humans can be delusional at times, few are those who are fully or at least optimally resilient to periods of depression. We all, theoretically, feel that there is nothing we can do, that we are weak compared to this inevitability and that we just carry on with this "fact". Perhaps the most common example is when a heartbreak is created—that the person you've loved so much will probably not return to your presence again, and/or that they don't like you at all while you love them and so on.
Surely if we could have the power to control anything, AKA, omnipotence, what are the odds of us being depressed when anything can bend to our will?
But the reality is that we are alone against the inevitability of circumstance, of time, and of realism. We can't always do what we desire, we don't always have time to dedicate to activities we would otherwise want to do happily, and we don't always have what it takes to achieve our dreams, so some of our ambitions might remain unattainable for the rest of our lives.
The solution to depression, AKA, of this defeatist sadness, is the alternation of thoughts; of believing that there is another way, and that not all is lost. Whether it's about a heartbreak or negative nihilism, the notion that there is hope of alternation and that it will arrive someday, it by itself can be very soothing, if not offer solace, whether that "ray of light" actually exists.
For religious folk there is the promise of a rewarding afterlife; that this current life is some sort of a test to view your worth in the eyes of one or more gods, who will then pass their divine judgement.
For unsuccessful singles, there is this cliché, yet sensible idea that there are "many fish in the sea" and that perhaps one day they will find what they are looking for. Regardless of the situation, it appears that the most important virtue in the fight against depression is the belief that things will not stay the way they are.
And that is true, to an extent. We are not immortal, nor will we necessarily be confined to live the same day over and over again in the reminder of our lives, until death arrives. Everything, in the end, is prone to change, either for benefit or for its exact opposite.
Because of this, unless you have very few days left to live, we technically shouldn't be depressed, not because depression is something we should avoid, but because whatever cause that made us depressed might be altered eventually for the better.
Thus, change can eliminate the root for our sad sense of defeatism. The fact that realism usually requires lowering our idealist expectations, does not mean this attitude is always an indication to succumb to something.
Remember—even if we cannot directly alter our emotions, we can at least find solace in the fact that every emotion, theoretically, can be handled. Emotions are not a verdicts we ought to carry for the rest of our lives. Not only that, but the external source of said emotions won't always be there, necessarily.
Some of us have harsher lives than others, but in the end there are many things that can give us, at least, a tiny sense of power over our environment. Be that the pursuit of certain hobbies, the unsupervised use of our devices, the ability to express ourselves with no censorship and so on.
Finding power is imperative, but it doesn't have to be, necessarily, power over others, nor abuse. There is no shame, after all, in feeling in control; a sense of control that can elevate us beyond the sinking we were in due to our depression.
The ultimate answer to depression, even if not ideal, is simply the visualization of the future. Of dreaming of a better life that might happen eventually, no matter how far or close it may be. For example, one may feel suicidal, but do they really know anything that's going to happen to them later on in life?
Of course people aren't fortune tellers, except for those who are (assuming there are), so how can the depressed suicidal person be completely certain that all hope is lost, when they haven't mastered their own lives, in terms of knowledge, of certainty about the uncertainty?
Thus, regardless of where you are in life, remember that things don't have to be the way they've been thus far, and that even in a generally powerless life, there are still things to be found—and appreciated—that one can have control over. They may be more in number than one might think.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please reach out for help. There are many resources available, and you don't have to go through this alone.
Go through it alone, and you may have a lot more to cope with than otherwise. You can become a broken man or woman as a result.