What is depression?

If you are thinking that you are depressed and are asking yourself the question – what is depression then you need to know not to Google search for “what is depression”. For down that road lies disappointment – because you will get no good answers. In fact the result of searching for “what is depression” could very well depress you further.

You will see lists of symptoms of depression by the bucket load – mood changes, inability to remember, loss of focus, aches and pains, withdrawal from people, loss of pleasure etc. etc. But that is not telling you what a depression is. It’s only telling you what a depression is like. And these lists may just encourage you to feel even worse as you search for how many symptoms on these lists might apply to you.

You will be told that it is more than just feeling blue. You will read that depression is an illness but that nobody quite knows what that might mean. Or you may discover that there are many causes – ranging from diet, chemical imbalances, faulty thinking styles, genetics, trauma and even the time of the year. And to read that can induce even more panic and fear and insecurity.

And the question is a simple one – what is depression. It’s not what the origin of the species is or how exactly does an iphone work or what the causes of cancer are or what is the composition of subatomic particles.

And we have good answers to what a heart attack is. We know also what a twisted ankle is. And so on. But depression – what is that? What is happening that can be explained intuitively in a way that anyone who is depressed can say – “ah yes that’s what it is” or “I understand and this explanation makes complete sense from my own experience”.

You will get no answers that pass that test – I promise you. And the fact that there is no good answer may be one reason why the epidemic of depression keeps on growing.

What is my authority for being able to answer this question – where so many others are manifestly failing to do so? It is because I am trained in the Human Givens and have used their depression insights for ten years now to help hundreds escape their depression. So I know from the coal face as it were that there is a lot in this explanation.

This is what Depression is

Depression is an exhausted brain – that is incapable to use its thoughts and emotions properly in the service of problem solving and useful action to live a life that is working. And this incapacity caused by exhaustion then creates a self feeding vicious cycle – where unhelpful and destructive fears, worries and introspections multiply – causing further exhaustion, fears and useless introspections and failures to sort out an ever expanding set of life problems.

And what is the immediate source of this exhaustion? It is because all depressed people dream too much. Understanding the role of dreaming is essential to understanding depression and this post explains much more.

The key point is that our dreaming is attempting to clear away the blockages caused by the runaway and pretty useless rumination – but is failing to. Dreaming takes a lot of energy and so depressed people, though they dream a lot are also tired especially in the mornings.

Waking up exhausted and scared as you mind becomes full to the brim with thoughts and emotions that you cannot escape is probably the most reliable signs that you are indeed depressed.

I am not saying that genetics, diet and much else cannot be playing a contributory part to depression or that all depressions are the same – but exhaustion and over dreaming are what will make the most sense to most of you if you are depressed.

The good news is that Depression, if understood in this way can be relieved for most sufferers and quickly too. This is how my one on one depression therapy works