Attitude

Resolving depression and anxiety

Author:
Mark Goudie
7 min read

If you ask a physician about autism, depression or anxiety, they will tell you that your brain is chemically deficient. According to medically trained practitioners, when you suffer with any of the conditions mentioned, the brain does not provide you with the neurochemicals that the body needs to be highly functioning in society. But is the body incapable of producing chemicals or is it the outcome of trying to live in a certain way that inhibits the chemicals from being created in the first place?

Medical practitioners use the term ‘functioning’ quite widely as they discuss how a neuro deficient patients are coping in society. It is necessary for us to ask this simple question  - “function like what?”. In other words, “Am I a machine? Or am I innately an intelligent soul and a free spirit?”  

Our behaviours are the communication of our own suffering

Most medical practitioners look to prevent undesirable behaviours by issuing prescription drugs such as antidepressants, anti anxiolytic medications and nervous system stimulants. In many cases, this prescription drug use is considered to be a long term solution. But what if the drugs only mask the real issue? It seems like no one is addressing the real underlying problem, which may quite simply be that the way we live these days and the construct of our society serves us little purpose. We seem to be living unbalanced lives, fuelled not only by continuous stress, but also the endless desire to succeed, achieve financially and become socially acceptable. We struggle to not only pay our bills but also to ‘keep up with the Jonses’ as well as face continuous technological advances and pressures. Superficially speaking, the world is moving at a very fast pace, and quite often we feel that we have been left behind.

Our behaviours are the outcome of how we are feeling and thinking in response to our environment and how we are coping in life. If we squash the feelings artificially, we only prevent our body’s natural way to communicate.

You can determine exactly where a person is at by observing their behaviours. What they need at this time of suffering is healing and change. Our bodies are designed to naturally heal, we just haven’t learnt how to, or is it that we don’t give ourselves the time and space to do so. When we feel ourselves entering a dark place, that heavy, emotional, overwhelming state, we try and mask it or distract ourselves. We try to avoid it at all costs. But it’s in the darkness where the brightest light shines. The darkness is trying to propel us in a new direction. We don’t often understand this, and so we tend to continue fighting or ignoring it, rather than accepting it and ultimately healing from it.

The louder the behaviour the more the body is in flux, screaming out for change.

Living in pursual

Our society expects all individuals to be at peak performance, highly motivated with the common goal of achieving success and progression. This message is drilled into us as children relentlessly through our parents, teachers and educators and further exaggerated by social stigmas which we play out  in adulthood. If you don’t pursue these concepts or if you become bored with this societal idea, you are then shipped off to mental health departments for a diagnosis. You become an outsider.

The strange thing is, so many are suffering from depression and anxiety and yet no one is questioning the way we live, our physical, mental and emotional environment. With the astronomical rise in mental health numbers and autistic diagnosis, no one is questioning that maybe the way we live in this society doesn’t work. Because it’s not until you find yourself in this position, in a dark place or dark period in your life, that it becomes important. For the same reason you don’t often notice different parts of your physical body until the body is in pain. You don’t think of your ankle, for example, until you roll it or break it. Due to the fact that in our daily existence we are in a constant state of ‘go go go’, we often don’t see the early signs of the rising of mental issues.

How is our society serving us?

We are taught to live our lives in total preparation for the future. As children we are preparing for school and school prepares us for the ‘real world’, where we work to make money, so that one day we can retire from all of this and start living our lives (at the tender age of 67) the way we want to. Huh?

Here are a few questions which need to be urgently asked:

  1. Who designed this way of living and what does this have to do with life itself?
  2. Who was the person that told us that ‘always preparing for the future is the key to happiness and a fulfilling life’? When you were a young child did the past or future ever come into existence?

Some might argue, “but that is just the way it is!” Well, let’s have a look at the way it is then:

In Australia:

  • Currently there are 1 million adults diagnosed with depression.
  • 2 million have been diagnosed with anxiety.
  • 3,000 people on average commit suicide each year.
  • Many more are suffering from the wounds of autism, insecurities and trauma.

A Society and way of living that destroys our environment

It is no wonder people are suffering. The progression of technology has sped our lives up exponentially and instead of it providing more time for ourselves, it has only allowed us to fit more in each day.

Our education teaches specific things but doesn’t teach us how to live. How to live in our true nature, in complete balance with our environment and how to live a life of happiness. Some would say that you should learn this off your parents, but our parents don’t know as do our grandparents. They have all been educated in the same way. For example, we are taught English, but we aren’t taught how to communicate, which is the crux of every relationship breakdown.

Also, the model of continual pursual, progression and achievement, has a cost on us individually and on our planet. It takes an exorbitant number of resources and huge amounts of energy to live this lifestyle, which is ultimately destroying us individually as well our earth. Our internal environment (our internal state of being) and our external environment (our planet).

In a state of pursual we become the blind decimators of our own existence.

Happiness isn’t progression

None of this pursuit of achievement and progression equals happiness. Our bodies are now beginning to wake up to this alarming fact. Depression and anxiety is a state of a body in flux, screaming out for change. All we must do is listen.

Happiness happens when you are present in the moment. But how can you be in the moment if you are in need of progressing or pursuing the future? How can you be happy if you aren’t enjoying the now?

When we force ourselves and our children to live in the future, we are guiding ourselves and them towards an unhappy life. We are preventing ourselves and our children from being free in the moment. That’s where happiness lives.

An ideal existence

In a perfect existence, as creatures of this wonderful planet, we would be living as one with nature. We would be well educated in the universal principles of nature. We would use our abundant natural resources to feed ourselves and our families.

We would be naturally physically active, healthy and fit. Our community would be there to support us, and we would support our community as well. We would have no technological distractions such as computers, phones, televisions and internet, providing us more time to spend with our family and friends than we do now.

We would find happiness and contentment in the simple things, because we would value the simple things. We would use the wisdom of our elders to guide us through tough times and we would use nature to provide us with healing. We would be preparing our own food and only stress when chased by a wild animal, not when we are running late for a meeting or stuck in traffic.

It sounds like a dream. In many ways our indigenous lived in this way, but we destroyed most of that intelligence in total disregard. Only now are we realising what these sophisticated societies and teachings had to offer. Wisdom that transcends time and progress.

Living in the moment

Happiness happens in the ‘now’. When we live in the moment our past and future are not considered, so we are one hundred precent present. When we abide by the rules of society which is confined by time, forcing us to constantly prioritise the future, we restrict our essence, and we go against our soul. Against our true nature. When we go against ‘who we are’ (our constitution) we find ourselves in pain and suffering.

Get lost in the moment, not in the past or future.

As much as we have to be part of our current society, we don’t necessarily need to let the ways of society steer us away from being in the moment. We don’t need to let our past or future imagination define our now. Our imagination is responsible for conjuring stories that really have no relevance to the current moment. Our minds can spend so much energy creating illusions, anticipating and running different future scenarios which are more than likely very unrealistic and unlikely to occur.  

Find the rituals you love so that you can get lost in the moment and do this as often as you can.

Realise that our current society and way of living is not natural, it is literally destroying our nature and contributing to our lack of health in every aspect. Our daily societal routines offer our soul little nurturing and only steers us away from our true nature.

In realisation alone, you can transcend your problems. Letting go of ways, thoughts and feelings that don’t serve you, so that you can spend more time in the now.