Here’s what you should know if you’re depressed

Stop looking for help when you don’t even know what it is that’s bothering you.  ”Seek help” is an over-utilized phrase that’s lobbed your way when people can’t tell you any better.  The human psyche doesn’t need a ”push”, it doesn’t need to read the latest self-help book on that gaudy shelf, it doesn’t need the approval of every crackpot with an inflated ego.  What it needs, is constant stimulation, constant exposure to life.  To know it’s not just existing, for the sake of existing.

Before you get too engrossed in the above paragraph, let’s take a wild detour from here, shall we?  Why, you ask?  Why not?  A little discursive passage here and there is an adventure in itself, in a highly organized, rigid world.  Your mind tells you that all the time.

Human beings are complex creatures whose complexities are boundless and intricate, and they’re as unique to each individual as they are thought-provoking.  But in life, our experiences spark reactions in our brains that are bolstered to help us develop a coping mechanism or a simple stonewalling process against the anxieties of our daily lives.

Emotions, in and of themselves, do not provide a clear picture of our mental health, contrary to what some health experts might say.  Emotions can be fleeting, ephemeral, superficial, not too well-defined, and yet we ascribe a needless saccharine value to them as we think our whole lives ought to be defined by the emotions that manifest themselves the most abundantly.

But it should be noted that when the leaves fall down, it gets colder.  When the sun rises to its equatorial peak, it gets warmer.  When the pup is born, the mother is instinctively driven to a protective role that can only be explained as motherly madness.  When the birds sense a harbinger of change in the weather, they flee en masse, unrepentant.  Never looking back.

Nature is more than just the green backdrop to this eco-friendly panacea.  It defines our entire lives before we were even bestowed one.  It acts as the automatic equalizer, the gear stick that we need to muster throughout this haphazard ride called life.  All this just to tell you that when you feel there’s something wrong, you’re actually right.  There’s something wrong but it’s not always in your capacity to upend that situation.

We arrogate to depression an overarching sense of doom or despair, we picture moribund people lying in their bed, lost in a sort of dreamless trance.  We think of the worst feelings one could ever experience in life and philosophize that it makes us unhealthy, and any other feeling on the opposite side of the spectrum is the one that is truly desired by the human psyche.

But what if, instead of placating our restless minds with these counter-intuitive bromides, we lunged in the other direction?  What if I were to tell you that, by all means, revel in your depressed state?  Would that not seem utterly stupid to you?  It depends on how you look at it, but here’s how I look at it.

When I see the world and the people in it-all the people, not just those in my cossetted circle-I cannot help but mourn this sad plane of existence that drives wedges between us more than it cares to bring down the barriers.  The suffering, the pain that some people experience in their daily lives in the form of economic and physical hardship, the tears that well up in women’s eyes as their genitals are being mutilated, the screams and the muffled sounds that permeate some of the worst hospital wards on Earth…

I thank God for my tiny share of that pain and suffering, a depression that’s nothing compared to the reality of millions.

Lukshana Gopaul

Lukshana is the essay writer for PLAG. You can reach her at luckshanagopaul@gmail.com .

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