Depression is not a Disease but an Indication that Human Consciousness needs to Change

Robin Williams

What Dreams May Come-Robin Williams  RIP

After hearing the sad news of Robin Williams and his suspected suicide, I am really tired of hearing some people refer to depression as a ‘disease’. It is not a disease, but more chemical and emotional imbalance of the brain, normally affected by long-term stress, deep trauma or grief, for some it is difficult to diagnose the root cause. Here is a good article written by Dr John Grohol on defining Depression for those of you that are insistent on calling it a ”disease”.

 Furthermore,  should it really be referred to as a ‘mental illness’ either? Through my research and personal experiences, depression is an understandable psychological reaction to the stress and violent deformities of the modern world.

I have tried a number of conventional and non-conventional methods to treat my own depression and I feel the most valuable activities are spending time in nature or in the company of animals, rather than people, writing and creating and being as honest with one’s self and others as possible.

Obviously, getting to the root of possible triggers and root issues such as recovering from anger, trauma, grief are examples that are the root cause of the problem. Diseases like cancer or diabetes are not cured in this way.

 People whom suffer from depression are usually highly aware and sensitive folk that are creatively gifted  or perceptive in some way. As a result they are people that find it difficult to feel normal in a society that places value on things that are leading humanity and the environment to destruction. People that suffer from depression find it difficult to connect with others on a personal level and mostly they are simply overwhelmed and disheartened by the amount of injustice, destruction, greed, cruelty and abuse that goes on in an increasingly hostile world.

A number of other environmental scientists such as Dr Stephan Harding, a deep ecologist like myself, see the value in needing to restore our lost connection with Earth and understand that we are all part of one greater consciousness. Deep Ecologists will tell you that there is something wrong with you if you are not profoundly saddened or depressed by the state of things at the moment. We are living in the sixth greatest mass extinction, we are killing off the last of the dolphins, whales, tigers, great apes, elephants, rhinos, insects, bees,  amphibians, destroying the oceans, ripping apart the last of the Rainforests and indigenous people, we are seeing the largest scale ecocides and genocides.  The amount of torture and abuse that our fellow creatures suffer at our hands is just overwhelming, let alone the killing, torturing, abusing and trafficking of women and children en mass worldwide, innocent victims of insane wars, exploitation and slavery.

It is important to understand the psychological impact of the current ensuing chaos worldwide, as we now also have the internet and technologies that bring such information into our awareness. Some of the emotions we feel with depression are a collective conscious reaction to this daily violence and exploitation, along with grieving our severed connection with mother earth and our lost ancient knowledge of whom we are and where we have come from. The ill-usion of separation has created a very ill world. Anyone that is not affected by this should go into therapy and be diagnosed as mentally ill, not those of us that are acutely aware of what is unfolding around us.

We have been made to feel nothing more than commodities, whom need to be obedient and our only value is as consumers and as obliging wage slaves, whose taxes go to destructive exploits. Our human rights are being fast eroded and many of us cannot even imagine a different world.  It is a challenge to imagine that we can rise above these lower vibrations. There are still ways we can become self empowered sovereign beings. There are ways we can create a more harmonious and sustainable world without predatory imperialism and it’s destructive force that has driven this rise in depression and suicide worldwide, even among those regarded as the most privileged. This is an obvious testimony among those of us that are empathic and compassionate beings, that humanity needs to change.

We must begin to learn our value as human beings, as part of a larger global community that is working towards change in the midst of all this chaos. We can begin to reclaim our connection with earth in various ways through growing food communally, rebuilding and re-inventing new communities and a transparency in our relationships, in  government institutions, in society. Teaching and establishing new value systems in societies and communities, with emphasis on  the value and practice of unconditional love, kindness and acceptance, rather than status, idealised perfection and elitism, which are all forms of violence and repression on the human psyche.

I personally draw a lot of strength from the work of Jeff Foster and Matt Licata, Jeff Foster has an interesting explanation of depression being a sign of needing Deep Rest from it all. Being someone in need of deep rest myself  after working for ten years in environmental conservation,I can vouch for this. However, current society would rather say there is something wrong with people like us, than admit that society itself is malfunctioning, not serving humanity but serving an elite few and there it is corrupt to the core. It is modern society that needs to be treated for mental illness, especially the psychopaths and paedophiles holding power in government, religious institutions and monarchy.

Accepting our humanity is key in healing, accepting it is okay to feel broken, deep sadness and the spectrum of emotions that bring us the gifts of questions and answers in the form of truth. It is time for humanity to question its actions upon earth and ourselves. It is  time to be totally honest and say ‘fuck it’, I need to allow myself to fall apart into the dark hollow and just allow these emotions to flow through, to just be free to feel what comes through, it’s not normal to keep marching on while a war on consciousness is ensuing, the pressures from others, from society which is dictating more and more how people should conform and not make their own choices.

The subtle violence of what society calls normality is disturbing enough and so is what is expected of people to conform in such an environment. Enough to drive someone with depression, to suicide, because they see it as the only means of relief and peace out of an unpeaceful world that currently denies most people their humanity.

I have lost several good friends to suicide and I understand how it feels to be that despaired. However, I am fortunate enough to be constantly reminded of the love surrounding me and so I try to pull through best I can even at the worst times, so as to stay here for those that love me and it’s not easy to do at times. Being as honest with one’s self and others as possible is important,  we are not robots, we are not machines. Being in nature, being creative, painting, writing, singing, making things, developing projects that contribute to a better and more harmonious world, playing music, getting involved in a community project, doing something that aids deep relaxation, meditation or trance, banging a drum, all can help bring us more into the moment and reconnect us with the joy that comes from just being.

 Reaching out as much as possible to friends and family, without feeling humiliated or the stigma that is carried with the label ‘depression’ and the negative phrases that go with it, mental illness, mental disease. Krishnamurti was right “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

Inner work is really important for all of us, not just those of us suffering from depression, but those of us suffering from denial also.

by  C.Shaw

Further useful links

Jeff Foster Links

http://www.deepestacceptance.com

http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com

Matt Licata
http://alovinghealingspace.blogspot.com

Dr Stephan Harding

http://www.deep-ecology-hub.com/stephan-harding.html

Dr John Grohol

http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-depression-if-not-a-mental-illness/000896

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77 thoughts on “Depression is not a Disease but an Indication that Human Consciousness needs to Change

    • Janzee says:

      I am going to say something risqué so stand back.

      I know why Robin Williams ended his life. The world has gotten really fucken bad. Anyone in his right mind would not want to be here either. I am not saying it’s ok to end one’s life, but I am saying that I get it. I totally understand why he did what he did. After all he gave and all he did to try to lift the spirits on this planet for as long as he did, to see it go down so far over this time of his life was surely disconcerting to say the least. I also know that he was awash with a constant download of ideas probably 24/7 throughout his life bc of how fast and honestly his mind worked and most of all his heart. This was a man who lived in his heart. And he wore it on his sleeve.

      To live in a world where insensitivity and abrasiveness are the accepted as the norm now, it must have been literally impossible to take one more second of it being who he was.

      I see that he tried his best. He gave all he could. Basically this world is so fucked up. I can see that after all the laughter he brought us – he thought, that’s enough. Everyone seems very disconcerted over his ending his own life and the idea of suicide perplexes many as it is considered the ultimate sin.
      But take a different view of this now.

      Our planet has been ravaged by rapists for years. We are literally destroying her for future generations. The modicum of decency has dropped by over 50%. Our waters are polluted, not with pollution, but with chemicals ordained by companies who want to control, numb and dumb down our population. Something called ‘Chloramine’ is added into our water which is a combination of Chlorine and Ammonia. Also there is Fluoride in our drinking water, put in in the guise of being good for our teeth, but actually it calcifies the pineal gland not allowing us our wisdom center to see what the fuck is really going on. We are all spoon fed daily thoughts on the TV news and media and not allowed to think for ourselves. [if you have broken free of this, well done – it can be done with buying clean water/filters and turning off the TV/at least screening what you choose to watch]

      The skies are covered with either fake clouds created by HAARP or chemtrails made by military government planes coating our skies with all kinds of heinous toxic level chemicals for us to breathe in like aluminum which brings on premature Alzheimer’s.
      The masses eat shit for food in the form of fast food or GMO laden produce. The animals are factory farmed for mass consumption with no regard for quality or sane housing practices. It’s really gone down. The whole ship is sinking. This is what we lightworkers call the OLD PARADIGM.

      The economy, which actually means ECO-MONEY has been created so that we get something for the work we do. In the general population, most have been reduced to slaves on different levels, residing in one box and then going home to another box, and getting there in a box on wheels. Buses are just bigger boxes, so are trains.

      So, you see… it has become the Brave New World, the world in 1984 as George Orwell wrote about. And the Animal Farm isn’t far off either. The pigs are running the joint and have been for a while. We all know the GOP in congress have dug in their little toes so deep we can see China. Fox news says the darnedest things and we still get our panties in a knot about it. These ppl need no more attention. They are the naughty kids on the playground, the bullies, who have been intimidating us, the smart kids, for wayyy too long.

      Robin knew.

      His death is a catalyst for change.

      We ALL need to wake up now and see the world has become a really fucked up place. The kids are of the mind that porn and audacity are acceptable bc their zoned out drunk ass parents don’t give a shit about them bc they have to send them to old paradigm [brainwashing] schools while they go to their mundane brainwash jobs to make a living to pay for the house [box], car [box with wheels] and bad food they eat. And to rest? yes… TV.

      So… what are we going to do? What do we glean from this wonderful catalyst maker? The court Jester has committed suicide bc the court is corrupt. We thought Obama could save us. But his message was YES WE CAN. He said he couldn’t do it without us remember? Jonah has been swallowed by the whale and its up to us to go out and harpoon that motherfucker. Disclaimer: I am not pro-whale hunting! This is a metaphor!!! The evil sons of bitches who have been running this world need to go down… The Bilderbergs, the Rothschilds etc. the ones who have been the puppet-masters pulling the strings from the top down so ppl can’t even see who’s behind the big green curtain. The Emerald City has a Liquor Shop on the corner see?

      The way we bring things down is to TURN AWAY from the dark side. Yes! It’s that easy. Don’t give your time, money or attention to it. Choose a wiser way. It’s possible and not that hard. Buy clean water. Insist on clean air, water and food. Don’t buy factory farmed meats. Go organic. Go holistic.

      Oh yes, and this is a whole other thing…… BIG PHARMA. We are being FARMED! They are pumping us with medications that don’t work. They placate the problems and are archaic beyond description.

      Did you know that on his death bed Rockefeller would not take medicine? He was a sole believer in Homeopathy and used it till he died. He was also the man who abolished it in the USA bc it didn’t make profit. He was the proprietor of the beginning of big pharma, yet he would not take the medicine he pushed bc he knew it didn’t work!

      Most ppl don’t know this. Homeopathy was the first medicine used in the USA bc it worked! But, it didn’t make any money bc it actually helped ppl heal.

      So this is a big topic, but we also have to take our power back regarding medicine. We can heal ourselves. ALL HEALING IS SELF HEALING. Our bodies know what to do. The inner doctor is the wisest! We know ourselves the best! We have had this responsibility ripped from us and its time we reclaimed what is rightfully ours. Well, you may say, “I need my Dr. bc he went to 8yrs of medical school and I don’t know about the body and how it works!”

      You’d be surprised how much you know. It’s not that complex. The medical industry has sliced us up to think that everything is separate. Well, it’s not. We are a self-contained unit of extreme complexity, but utter simplicity. We also have much more to us than meets the 3D eye.

      We have an aura [an energetic field 13+ layers out], chakras on all our vital energy centers and a meridian system of energy channels which run top to bottom on our beautiful beings. None of this is taught in “Regular School” or Medical School. The Dr.s don’t take any of this into account unless you go to an Acupuncturist or alternative practitioner.

      We have seen a rise in the popularity of Yoga bc it works.
      We have seen a rise in the interest of self-care bc it works.
      We have seen an awakening of Spiritual Practices such as Buddhism,bc it works.
      We have seen alternative power sources – SOLAR, WIND bc it works.
      We have been offered hybrid and electric cars bc they work.

      All of these things are the way to the NEW PARADIGM.
      But it could really go a lot faster than this.

      This last Super Full Moon in Aquarius/Sun in Leo was a HUGE AWAKENING. I made an essence of it and its called THE QUICKENING bc it is.

      This is a time for us to really wake the fuck up.

      The Jester hung himself. It’s a SIGN PEOPLE.

      The world is going to shit and what are you going to do about it?

      It’s not ok to sit on your ass anymore. It’s time to do something. Something BIG.

      If you have a voice. SPEAK. SPEAK UP! Not in anger bc we sure have had enough of that. That just feeds the collective evil, bc that’s what they want, us upset and discombobulated so we don’t know which end is up.
      No, what we need is real action. PRO-ACTION.
      Make the waves. Write letters, show up, be present. Talk to people. Send out good vibes. Meditate. Pray. Smile. Buy flowers. Walk barefoot on the the earth. Tell Gaia you love her. Look at the trees. Notice all the sentient being around you who are willing to help. The animals are crying out for our help in the shelters and in our homes. We are ALL connected. The trees are a communication conduit to each other. All their roots touch! So do ours… See?

      Become so mindful that you can be an instrument of peace. Stay AWAKE, stay alert. Take good care of your body, heart and mind. Be gentle with yourself and with others. Rest when you need to. Listen to your body. Cut out [or at least down] on the caffeine! We don’t need more hamsters on wheels, we need more birds in flight.

      Get proactive about the chemtrails. We need clean air. I know it’s a plan to get the world back on track by 2015 thank you Barbara Boxer, but really c’mon… do we really need to save the earth while poisoning 80% of the population? What are the children of those people going to be like. [They are actually trying to shield us from the amazing starshine energy beaming down from the 10,000 suns connected to our sun and delaying the ascension to light through our lightbodies. Its called the Alcyone Spiral ~ look it up! Barbara Hand Clow writes about it in her books written in the 80’s]

      Oh yes, and the vaccinations for children. WOW. Again, the doctors…
      Did you know that they are giving INFANTS 16 shots of shit from day one of birth? WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????? There is no way in hell they need that. The poor defenseless souls are being barraged with chemicals from day one! IS this so that the medical industry can have something to do later when they grow up and get cancer from a weakened immune system? Just think about it. I get a YES.

      Did you know that the childhood diseases are actually a good thing? So are colds and flu. They are the bodies way of clearing out and resetting the body matrix. We are told to stop the cold, stop the symptoms. They sell all kinds of more shit to take to quell the poor immune system working for real so that YOU CAN GET BACK TO WORK QUICK! Bc god forbid you miss a day of work and won’t be able to pay for your box/box with wheels. Flu shots? BEWARE!!! full of mercury and other chemical shit. DON’T DO IT.

      OK, so now we know OK? So what are we going to do about it?
      Well… we are going to wake up and not go back to sleep… metaphorically speaking of course. We need good sleep to process. But live awakened! Look through the BS. The veils are pretty thin. It’s pretty easy to see we’ve been duped for some time. It’s time to take back the ranch. Those fuckers in Texas have been running the shit too long and you know who I mean. They mean to wipe off everything that isn’t them off the face of the earth. Little Dick-taters they are.

      So, ok… yes….. RISE UP. Inside of yourself… make your heart the forefront. YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO. YOU KNOW THE TRUTH.

      BE THE CHANGE.

      NOW.

      I AM.

      Have faith, not fear.
      Have temperance, not anger.
      Have patience, but get pro-active.
      ENVISION THE WORLD YOU WANT.
      Set aside greed. For this is where they get in…
      Set aside self-centeredness. For this is about all of us. And our children’s children.

      You know what to do. Do the right thing. Help ppl awaken.
      Trust in the Light. Be very discerning. Follow your heart.
      If it feels incongruent, it is! Then do something about it. Feed the fire of illumination! Don’t be afraid to stand up and be counted.
      Pull the wool off ppls eyes… whistle blow!
      We are the change.
      Be the change.
      It’s not hard.
      Its easy.
      Do it now.
      Don’t wait.
      We have arrived.
      It’s ON.

      We have already won.

      ~*~

      Imagineering by Janzee
      http://www.janicekirkpatrick.com

  1. A.Lohmann says:

    What does that mean, to feel normal…? According to who’s/which standards?

    • I have no idea and that is a question I have often pondered on too.

      • Bob Oort says:

        I’m 74, Australian citizen since 1961, born Amsterdam Feb 1940 under the boots of the Nazi regime. I didn’t know what I hadn’t seen, I didn’t know what war was or what it meant – it WAS NORMAL. Then the war ended (so it was made to look like) and things changed. My father was a brilliant musician, but I was told by family that being a chef was the way to go, pictures were unintentionally put in my head – always have good things to eat, and see the world by working on ocean liners.
        Turned out I hated working in hotel kitchens and and as a waiter serving intimidating people in 5 star hotel dining rooms. NOTHING OF THIS WAS “NORMAL” to me.

        I was born with my father’s multicultural music in my ears and him and his band colleagues practicing at my home. In everything I have done throughout my life, at school during all subjects, factory work, hotel/restaurant work, delivery work, and through several long term depressions, music never stopped turning around my head, no commercial jingles, multicultural music, jazz, and especially improvisation – THAT WAS AND STILL IS NORMAL TO ME.

        I threw out what to me was NOT NORMAL, started teaching classical guitar at age 23 which prompted me to practice, study, learn, write studies and music for classical Flamenco guitar and the fundamentals of Music which I relate to people, history, animals and ecosystem – THAT, IS NORMAL TO ME.

        Without writing the entire story of 74 years of ups and downs, what to me was NORMAL was to keep going back to what made me tick, often under the most depressing circumstances.

        No person in the world who is suppressed by whatever force from outside his/her own make up feels NORMAL. To believe that violence is NORMAL is NOT NORMAL, it is an indoctrinated mindset, a legacy of historic perverted human thinking and activity. The subconscious does not think, it is made to respond to the thinking and actions of outside forces. The CONSCIENCE provides each and every individual with their given virtues, tells them to listen to themselves, follow their OWN VOICE and grow into a NORMAL someone.

        Curiosity, observation, thought, questioning, finding answers, learning to understand emotions, wildlife, ecosystem, rhythm, harmony, coexistence – these are NORMAL parts of Life. Wars, material industry, crime and corruption are NOT NORMAL. Anyone doing things contrary to CONSCIOUS AND MORAL BEHAVIOR is SUBCONSCIOUSLY ABNORMAL while their CONSCIOUS NORMALITY is being suppressed. Basically, the fabric of civilization is for the most part suppressive, through force, intimidation, fear, and the fatal commercialized industrious pursuit by distorted, conditioned thinking.

        SMILE AT PEOPLE, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, BE KIND TO YOURSELF, TO OTHER PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT. THAT IS NORMAL.

      • Dear Bob Oort, thank you so much for your amazing story. It really is just a brilliant perspective on this issue of ”normal”, a word I am not much of a fan of in a very dysfunctional world. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it and share your story.

    • Ian Sanderson says:

      I would love to let my depression overwhelm me and come out the other side, as it always does, but i would have to live in a swag out bush and catch my own food as the city doesn’t really provide for these lapses in finances, it’s a funny game, happens every month, but beer cheers me up a bit in these times of mental crisis !

    • JMRaymondi says:

      Normal is a setting on the washer and dryer.

      One can be statistically “normal” in terms of measurable traits and physical characteristics. But we are all so unique, yet so alike.

      To feel normal is to be able to be in healthy relationships with myself and others, so when my voice does get too loud, they will tell me.

  2. julienmatei says:

    That´s what I wrote last night:
    First Paul Seymour Hoffman. And now Robin Williams. Isn´t their suicide a glaring symptom of a totally fucked up and freaked out civilization which has lost every trace of existential sense and humanity?

  3. Lady Luck says:

    Call depression whatever you want, but this article incredibly disrespectful to anyone who has ever suffered from serious depression. To me this author has never really suffered from depression, maybe a little bit of anxiety. When you say things like “I need to allow myself to fall apart into the dark hollow and just allow these emotions to flow through, to just be free to feel what comes through, it’s not normal to keep marching on while a war on consciousness is ensuing, the pressures from others, from society which is dictating more and more how people should conform and not make their own choices.” it is so clear; when you’re depressed you don’t feel negative emotions, you feel nothing. The only pressure/inability to conform from/to society is that you should “just feel better already.” Maybe the tragedies around the world can contribute, but give me a break.
    If “Teaching and establishing new value systems in societies and communities, with emphasis on the value and practice of unconditional love, kindness and acceptance, rather than status, idealised [SIC] perfection and elitism, which are all forms of violence and repression on the human psyche” was a cure-all (or even good coping mechanism) for depression then Robin Williams would have been the happiest man in the world. You hear story after story about what a wonderfully kind man Robin was, whether it was paying for good friend Christopher Reeve’s hospital bills when he didn’t have the money, or buying gifts for lower crew workers on movie sets, or participating in the make a wish foundation almost weekly, OR being a genuinely good person to fans and people he does not know.
    This article is offensive to people who suffer from depression, who could care less if you call it a “disease” or not, who just want to feel again.

    • I wouldn’t jump to conclusions what you know about me as a sufferer of depression. I understand what it is to feel nothing and be in a state of numbness, but to me, I interprete it as my mind shutting off because feeling too much is also exhausting for many sufferers of depression too.I have friends who suffer from depression and have lost friends whom have committed suicide. I do not claim to be an expert just because I suffer from it, I am simply sharing my perspective in the hope it will help others, not disprespect others. However, thank you for sharing your opinion

      • ThisGuyNotThat says:

        “I wouldn’t jump to conclusions what you know about me as a sufferer of depression.”

        Perhaps you should follow your own advice and refrain from posting grandiose, all-encompassing, my-experience-is-true-of-all, I’ve-got-the-inside-scoop-listen-up nonsense about what depression is and how to fix it. It’s tremendously arrogant.

        “Furthermore, should it really be referred to as a ‘mental illness’ either? Through my research and personal experiences, depression is an understandable psychological reaction to the stress and violent deformities of the modern world.”

        Again with projecting your subjective experience — and surely subjective, highly questionable “research” — on to everyone. Stop.

        “We must begin to learn our value as human beings, as part of a larger global community that is working towards change in the midst of all this chaos.”

        That’s very romantic, but it’s not going to do jack shit about genetically-inherited or plain-old-luck-of-the-draw chemical imbalance and faulty wiring in an organ. And that’s what the brain is: an organ, which, like any other, can break or be broken from birth. Would you say aortic stenosis happens because we aren’t “learning our value as human beings?”

        Your post is terribly offensive and reductive.

    • Author says:

      The article is spot the fuck on.
      Do not be so judgmental.

    • i have suffered from major depressive disorder off and on for all of my life, and I for one am NOT offended by this article. I think that ANY approach that one finds that can bring one peace of mind is valid. And as for not feeling anything when depressed, that is one phase of it. I myself often feel very negative emotions and have a head full of negative thoughts when the depression is overwhelming or under-medicated. Please speak for yourself only, and not in general.

    • Jeff says:

      Personally, I really liked the article. Those of us that have a broad, encompassing view on society can really appreciate this. I too, find a kindredness with Krishnamurti. Trust me Lady Luck, you aren’t the only one who has dealt with serious depression. Disrespectful, offensive… Maybe for someone with a limited or closed world view. Anyway, regards C. Shaw for a very well written vision.

    • John says:

      I have suffered from major depressive disorder for years, and recently spent 18 months experimenting with different combinations of anti-depressants while under the care of a psychopharmacology PhD. This article says more about my condition than any doctor or therapist ever did. For me it is extremely valid.

    • Starheart says:

      I’ve been dealing with depression for well over 50 years, including several suicide attempts, and I will testify that this article is correct and sums up my own conclusions.

      I’ve been hospitalized, drugged to total immobility, given differing advice and treatment from dozens of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and wannabes. The most common words I’ve heard are “you’re too sensitive” and “you’re really weird” ok, our time is up, see you next week, here’s the bill”. A few years ago a social worker I was seeing had six cops surround me in a tiny room, handcuff me behind my back, and haul me off to the hospital because she didn’t understand that I was trying to tell her of my triumph in using all the tools I had learned to overcome suicidal feelings and turning it completely around. Even if I had been suicidal, in what possible world would being handcuffed by police and literally imprisoned in a hospital supposed to make anyone feel this is a safe or even comfortable world to live in?

      This experience broke something open in me, a furious anger. There’s much to be angry about in this world, especially for sensitive souls who are battered and abused by the words and actions of others. I fired the therapist, the psychiatrist, dumped the multiple medications they were “treating” me to immobility with and started using herbal and homeopathics, hypnosis, meditation, music, and art to heal myself as much as possible. Whenever possible, I sing and dance. I read, watch movies and spend a lot of time tweeting about the conditions in the world. Usually I am able to maintain a detachment to the situations I read about and see, but there are times when the enormity of the true insanity of what is happening in this world overwhelms me. Any halfway intelligent or aware human would, in my opinion. And feeling powerless to affect any change is even more depressing.

      I’ve learned to channel my anger into what is possible for me, letters, emails, phone calls, raising awareness on social media. This is what I can do. When it’s too much, I watch reruns of my favorite programs on Netflix as a distraction until I can relax and recenter. This is what works for me, at least at this time.

      • Starheart! Good for you for making the decision to get rid of the chemicals and find your peace of mind else where! I did that with my bi-polar many years ago. i didn’t tell anyone that i stopped the meds, but i kept seeing my therapist. After about a year he realized I wasn’t bi-polar anymore and wanted to know how I did that. I told him i stopped the meds, and worked hard at changing my thoughts and behavior. on my own. i still struggle with depression as i get older now, it runs in my family and there has been an amazing amount of stress in my life the past 7 years. But i know that one day when things smooth out again I will be drug free, again! keep doing what you are doing, you make it possible for others to do the same thing!

  4. Shannon says:

    This article by UCSB professor Richard B. Anderson from 2001 refers to angst and grief, but I’m feeling like it all stems from the same root cause: we’re destroying the environment.
    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jan/07/opinion/op-9312

  5. Roni says:

    If it isn’t a disease, why does it feel like emotional cancer? It eats me up from the inside, unseen and unheard, until one day, I wake up and decide that suicide is the only possible way to escape the pain. Mental illness may not be a “disease” in medical terms, but it certainly behaves like one. Here’s how I cope: http://www.amazon.com/Im-Bipolar-Know-Works-Out/dp/0975760068

  6. Marc Flegel says:

    It would have helped me to read this article some many years ago…But even now it comforts me to read these words as I feel that there is a profound vibration of understanding and truth at the root of it 🙂 Thank you, C. Shaw for sharing your perspective with us 🙂

  7. Jo says:

    Well written! Thank you for sharing this with the world. I couldn’t agree more with you on several statements particularly in regards to the stigma of depression. Connecting back to Mother Earth is something we all need to do. I’ve always felt better surrounded by tree’s, grass and a river flowing close by then to the people who are around me. lol.

  8. Chris Doyle says:

    Some people suffer depression without reason; this means it is an illness; a psychiatric illness.

    • There is no real absence of reason for depression, it is my perspective that there is a deep rooted cause that reflects the need for society to change. In my opinion, depression is one of many symptoms of the dysfunctional society we live in and it’s affect on human consciousness . Thanks for your opinion too.

  9. B.Polar2 says:

    Wait until the National Alliance on Mental Illness reads this. They’re going to get crazy with your opinion on this matter. 🙂

  10. Thank you, great writing! I hope it is shared widely

  11. 23dots says:

    “The amount of torture and abuse that our fellow creatures suffer at our hands is just overwhelming, let alone the killing, torturing, abusing and trafficking of women and children en mass worldwide, innocent victims of insane wars, exploitation and slavery.” I just wish the word “men” had been inserted there too. Men are also trafficked and abused. Otherwise a perfect piece. Thank you.

  12. todd says:

    Many different states of mind and body, including disease are lumped into one condition we call depression. This is a problem for having clear discussions and offering treatments for the reality of different causes. starting here will allow for help prevent these tragedies.

    • Thanks Todd. I agree that we need to be careful with labels and be more open and unafraid to challenge old labelling on illnesses and open to treating all dysfunctions of the human body without being afraid to try new approaches and new perspectives, after all that is the only way to evolve and move forward.

  13. richseeley says:

    Reblogged this on Figuring Stuff Out by Rich Seeley and commented:
    Is it possible that the mental health industrial complex and the TV doctors and other talking heads have got depression wrong?

    I love a blog that ends up quoting Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

  14. Daniel says:

    Thanks, it’s good to know there are others out there who feel

  15. E.B says:

    This article is horribly flawed. Depression *is* mental illness, and is such because of a chemical imbalance in the brain. The same way that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are chemical imbalances as well. Implying that “finding worth” is the key to ridding the world of depression is a horribly ignorant statement. Do you honestly think that a person like Robin Williams didn’t know how valued he was? Depression and mental illnesses are diseases but it’s views like this that keep the stigma and prevent people from understanding that depression is a flaw in CHEMISTRY and not CHARACTER.
    Being despaired and being clically depressed are not the same thing in any remote way. Please continue to try to truly educate yourself on the neurological chemistry of depression and addiction before posting about how you think it’s an easy fix. It’s not.

    • Thank you for your opinion and interpretation of this article. I never said it was easy to fix!

    • Olegario says:

      More likely, chemical imbalance is caused by depression.

    • E.B., having suffered from bi-polar and also still living with depression, I can assure you that no one at all knows for certain that these are caused by chemical imbalances. The truth is, ask any doctor, NO ONE know what causes these things! I was able to think my way out of being bi-polar. I no longer think of my depression as a mental illness, but a mental difference, if that. I think some people are just more sensitive to the vibrations of the world than others. Don’t be so hard on this author, this perspective is as valid as any other.

  16. […] is an excerpt from C. Shaw’s article on Depression is not a disease…    “People whom suffer from depression are usually highly aware and sensitive folk […]

  17. Reblogged this on Artist Shannon Kringen and commented:
    i agree with most of your points here! i suffer from depression and am one of those sensitive/creative types who find it challenging to deal with the injustice in this world!

  18. phrixus says:

    Reblogged this on orestias 2.0 and commented:
    I love this article. For German readers I can recommend the book “Irre! – Wir behandeln die Falschen: Unser Problem sind die Normalen” by Manfred Lütz, a notable German theologian and psychiatrist.

  19. gail warner says:

    from what i read and heard and experienced myself he was not depressed but felt alone in a crowd more like lacking people he identified with . he had parkinsons many doctors now call psychotropic side effects parkinsons, he was an alcoholic they think nothing of useing psychotropics to treat that. He created a skit called fukitrol about pills and their side effects making me sure he knew what they do . his personality changed and his energy left him doing nothing but sleeping. yep sure sign of psychotropic effects and tremendous suffering and not uncommon thoughts of suicide to stop the suffering from the psychotropics
    . i hope if this is what was that that man is justified and what i know about the drugs goes viral

    • Hi Gail, thanks for this information, this article is not centered about whether Williams had depression as the centre topic, but merely as a gateway into discussing Depression itself.

    • Dear Gayle thanks for this information, my goal was to see depression from a different perspective, not to focus on Williams as the main subject matter in this article but yes I think this is correct from the latest developments, it is very tragic in his case. I just read this from Huffington Post as an update.

      As the world struggles to make sense of Robin Williams’ death, his wife Susan Schneider revealed in a statement that the beloved actor was suffering from early stages of Parkinson’s Disease:

      “Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

      It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/robin-williams-parkinsons_n_5679283.html

  20. You’ve written such a compelling post, and you made some outstanding points here in the wake of this recent tragedy.
    It’s absolutely critical to a person’s overall sense of well-being that they take the time to unwind and relax. We carry our tensions in our thoughts, our attitudes, and our posture. It affects everything, and the ability to let that tension go can really make the difference.

    Thanks for a great read!

    • Thanks for your feedback Alison. I only use this as an opportunity to deal with a subject that most feel uncomfortable to deal with. It’s obviously something that many resonate with considering that this post was shared by over ten thousand people just of FB and visited by more than expected. I really do hope it helps remind people that we can just accept our humanity and there is sanity in feeling the way we do within a chaotic and overwhelming world. It should not be a taboo subject, it should be a doorway to questioning what we can do to change the world to become a better place.

  21. Wow! What a refreshing view of depression. It gives me a lot to think about. Like, not believing I have a mental illness but rather a gift! If those of us with depression could view it as a gift and learn to care for ourselves then use this gift to help raise the collective consciousness, imagine what could be done!

    • Thank you, a very challenging gift at that and some might dislike the idea, but yes I definately think depression is telling us that we need to change many things in order to gain balance. I am an Ecologist as well as someone that suffers from depression, ecologists see many pieces of a system and also see the whole and the root mechanisms. So it helps me to understand from this perspective. I see so much dysfunction in how we live on this planet as a whole. Depression is merely a sympton crying out, telling us we need to deeply review how we are functioning in society and change to a more harmonious way of being with ourselves, one another and with Earth.

      • I agree. I think the abuse of the planet is causing so many negative vibrations, which are then picked up by extra sensitive people like those of us who have depression, that the result is then depression. If we could change what is going on in the world, and how we treat the earth, the vibrations will elevate and then perhaps depression would be alleviated without chemicals.

  22. Reblogged this on An Elegant Mystery and commented:
    Here is another perspective on depression, one that paints the human condition on a larger canvas. I found that a lot of this resonated with me. Perhaps it will with you too.

  23. Thank you for this! You nailed it for me. I’ve suffered from depression for over 20 years. It took a good 20 of those years to figure out that it wasn’t something wrong with me. Rather, something very wrong with the world we live in, and I’m reacting as expected. It’s good to read more and more explaining this to the rest of the world who doesn’t “feel” like some of us do. Great stuff! Reblogged on Copy Cat Content.

    • Dear Jennifer, thank you for your reply, you have basically explained how I came to this realization too. I just add a bit missing as I happen to be an ecologist/biologist and reallly value the importance of earth and feel that the environmental crisis is definately a crisis of human consciousness. Thanks for passing it on too.

  24. Lfellen says:

    I do not agree with the first line “suspected suicide” draws away from the point of the article. but i do see the point of using a recent event extensively covered by the media as a way to draw a crowd.

    The definition of mental illness is a sickness of the mind. The root of consciousness stems from the brain and is projected onto the body as a whole, in my opinion.

    I agree with the paragraph about environmental scientists, but i think when you mention the killing and torturing of humans you should include men as well as children and women.

    you use the statement “be diagnosed as mentally ill” but yet at the beginning of the article you draw into question the categorization of depression as a mental illness.

    What first step are you proposing here? from the tone of the article i get the feeling that you are aware that millions even billions of people share the same cause to change the world. But what first step can we take to spark this change on a more global level? small isolated communities are something, but at the rate the world is growing it is not enough to propel such a huge global change.

    It was an interesting read thank you.
    I hope you know that there are people out there like you, myself included, who are still depressed about things in the world.

    I want to hear your reply to these thoughts and please read them with an open heart and mind because i just opened a note pad
    and wrote down everything your article made me feel.

    Thanks!
    Lena

    • Dear Lena, I appreciate the points you have raised. If you read other comments I have already made a not of my gender biased moment in the article, so yes people not just women and children. I am pretty exhausted today and have had so many comments its difficult to reply to them all. I accept the extremely negative comments here too, I respect all opinions and see many as valuable opportunities to consider. If you are interested in my perspective as an ecologist or as someone interested in ecopsychology, you might be interested to read the previous post before this one https://vocesdetierra.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/135/ Thank you again for your time and feedback. All the best. C.

  25. This is an interesting perspective, but let’s remember that it’s just that: a perspective, and frankly no better or worse an explanation of depression than the one that posits the condition as a ‘disease’.

    Let’s bear in mind after all that the word ‘disease’ itself suggests a lack of ease, which seems entirely appropriate in the case of depression. Any explanation of depression which seeks to explain it away as being “because of this or because of that” is going to be limited and limiting. Each case is surely unique.

    Lady Luck makes a very valid point: by many accounts, Robin Williams carried out the very actions that we might think would counteract a sense of despair at the state of the world – he did his best to contribute positively to society, which is the most that can be expected of anyone. In fact, he did more than many. It didn’t stop him from being depressed.

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that this notion that the “real” cause of depression is our awareness that the world is getting worse and careening on a collision-course with disaster fails to take account of the fact that for most of the people reading and commenting on this blog – and certainly for a successful artist in the Western world, which is what Robin Williams was – general life conditions are a great deal better than they used to be.

    Yes there are terrible environmental, economic and social conditions around us – and yes, thanks to the speed of media in the 21st century, we’re ever more aware of them – but such conditions aren’t entirely new for the vast majority of the world’s population (any reading of history makes that abundantly clear). If “living with an awareness of horrendous planetary conditions” was the real or major trigger for depression, the human race would almost certainly have died out through collective suicide long before now, particularly amongst groups of people who existed predominantly in the midst of immanently hellish conditions. Viktor Frankl pointed out in ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ that it is possible to find hope even in midst of hell (like a concentration camp). But it’s equally clear that it’s possible to find hell in the midst of what many would describe as heaven, and there are no easy explanations or pat explanations as to why this happens.

    Most of our ancestors lived (we know they lived, or we wouldn’t be here) through poverty, war, disease, disaster, and the experience of great social injustice, without the kind of medical and technological support that we now enjoy. That’s not to say they didn’t enjoy some things we lack, of course – in some cases, a greater sense of the sacred for example. In other cases, the prime factor in keeping them mentally healthy may have been that they lived a hard life that kept them so busy surviving they didn’t have time to be introspective enough to become depressed. We can cut the cake in various ways and come up with different configurations of cause and effect – but again, with no easy or clear answers.

    I’m not tired of people saying “depression is a disease”. I am bemused at people saying “I know that your explanation of depression is wrong” or “I know what depression is about”. No, you don’t. And neither do I. The most any of us can hope to know is what our OWN depression is about, and once we get that figured out, by all means we should be kind enough to ourselves to do the best we can to deal with it.

    As for other people? I’m going to respect them enough to know that their depression is their business. I think my business is to be as kind and supportive as I possibly can to them, to myself, and to every other living thing on this planet, but without a sense of motive that “what I’m doing will help fix you”. Because maybe it won’t, and ultimately, that’s OK.

    • Thank you Brian for sharing your insights here. I think you have highlighted some imporant points, I do like your last two paragraphs especially. My article is not about claiming to fix anyone, again it is a perspective from an environmental scientist whom suffers from depression, just a different perspective on depression thats all. Thanks again.

      • Thank you for sharing that perspective. Perhaps the more approaches we take to understanding this problem, the better chance we have of solving it – or at least helping each other find our own ways to a solution. It’s fascinating to see the range of views and thoughts your article has stimulated already. Enlightening, too! I appreciate you taking the time to do this and to put it out in the world for us all to consider. I believe this will keep me thinking for quite a while yet!

  26. Manon Crevier says:

    I read your article and I think it is great; it made me feel good, that I am not alone feeling distraught by what is happening to our planet. I live in the mountains north of Montreal with my two dogs, and sometimes I think of living even further into the woods. I am discouraged by what people do to the planet, and to the animals. I do not eat meat anymore because I cannot lie to myself about the way we treat these poor animals. I am an artist, and paint dogs because I find animals closer to a Higher Power than most humans. Thank you for sharing your true feelings.

  27. Nicole miller says:

    Please look up the medical definition of “disease” or mental illness- I think you will find that your conclusions on this matter are completely unscientifically based and plain uneducated.

  28. Bo VanderKlloot says:

    Bo VanderKloot I have suffered major depression my whole life. I was diagnosed about 2 years ago when the vindictiveness of my ex wife taking me to court brought me to the breaking point.Th Author has an interesting perspective and I totally empathize where she is coming from as it parallels my experience closely. Stress can make depression worse but the person that suffers from depression can go into a spiral down for no apparent reason what so ever. Depression runs in families even when children are raised in different environments and didn’t know the parents.Suffering has been the human condition since the very beginning. In fact less people are murdered today than any time in history. There is also less deaths from war ,less enslavement and more freedom for more people than ever before. People who have no environmental consciousness or awareness of social injustice get depressed too. There is records of people far back in history with “melancholy” who didn’t experience any of these modern stresses. .For me being around people can actually really help pull me out of a dark place. One must be careful though people who don’t understand what you’re going through will often judge you or avoid you. Some really un-helpful advice is to tell people to think positively or that we are manifesting a negative reality.Maybe depression is a condition or a pre-dispositon instead of a disease but either way most of us with depression were just born that way. It’s a bad break and it takes a sense of humor to deal with. “Life, …it’s better that the alternatives!” Look fir my new stand up routine sooon.

  29. Guest says:

    This is such a beautiful article. It is very rare to come across something like this. One day, many would understand what is actually written here. I also appreciate what Bob Oort said!
    Depression is your child within telling you that you should stop entertaining negative thoughts and start loving yourself by showing to the world who you are! The normality of the world is what your soul is complaining to. And instead to have the courage to be who we are, who we feel we should be, we go into depression so that we are call sick-while actually those who are sick (as the article also says) are those who lost the total contact with their inner being- and that is the majority! Depressed person HAS contact with the inner being-with the universal force that is saying that time for change has come.

  30. Guest says:

    And one thing more – how many of you who are depressed now, were depressed when you were 6,7,8 years old? Why is happening now, and not then? Think about it. It will help you appreciate this article even more.

  31. relax4recovery says:

    C.shaw, thankyou.
    The first article on depression i ever read that described perfectly exactly what it is and why it is, echoing my own feelings on the matter as someone who has had it from early childhood but getting no help until adulthood ( most of it self help ).
    Awesome .

  32. Spike says:

    Really? because I have been fighting Manic Bipolar depression and I have spent the last 8 years learning about it is in fact a mental disorder… the person who wrote this might suffer from being ‘sad’ or what he calls his own ideas of depression. But when you have mental brain damage and as a result of it causes your brain to miss fire, then its a mental disorder that can’t be fixed by “going into nature”. this person’s opinion is damaging to those that need a cure for the crippling effects of a brain the fails to function properly on a chemical level. I’m contently surrounded by nature, the people I love and my art and music. I don’t watch TV or surround my self in society’s definition of ‘norm’. My life is good, my thinking process pure, and my energy is vibrant in positivity.. I meditate and practice healthy thinking exercises. but that wont change the mental disorder brought onto me from brain damage. I can only be fixed, along like millions of other people, when they discoverer a medicine that allows our body to properly administer a correct balance of chemicals in our balance by fixing the damaged receptors. I’m so tired of people saying “you should eat more healthy or You should get outside more”. I’m not sad!! I’m sick.. anyway, ever since Robbin Williams died everyone is an expert on Manic depression lately… The fact is I watched my friend get murdered in front of me and I too almost died when I was 17. I never dealt with the pain and hid everything deep inside. I got mental trauma as a result and it caused damage to my brain.

  33. Gabriel bahena says:

    Everything, absolutely everything I read makes sence and thanks for taking the time to share this., but, I think we can mention one more thing(probably the most important), not to loose our connection with GOD ☝️ 🙏

  34. Doug says:

    Thank you for this, it helps.

  35. Waruihito says:

    I think we need not to lose our connection with SPELLING.

    Oh, and the article is wrong. Apparently I will be required to revise the world into a Utopian paradise in order to be free of depression. Hello, shotgun! The author manages, in one small article, to be elitist, self-impressed AND woo-woo.

    • Oh really? Then perhaps the 10, 000 other people that resonate with this article enough to have shared it, are ”woo-woo” too? Character assasinations lack any intelligent counter-argument or alternative perspective but thanks for sharing your opinion.

  36. Although this article is not about R.Williams, it is about looking at alternative ways to deal with depression avoiding pharmacuetical drugs. I just was sent an amazing article on how it is suspected that Pharmacuetical drugs contributed to R.Williams deteriorating mental state and demize. http://www.realfarmacy.com/suicide-robin-williams-need-grand-jury-inquest-investigate/

  37. Elaine says:

    I got a lot out of reading this, many echoes of conclusions I have come to in the article, the last link shared and many of the comments. I think a lot of people who think medicine can fix the damage to brain patterns that trauma has caused, often along with medicine that at times seem to complicate chances of peace from the horror of it, except to close down feeling. Sorry I am struggling to put this into words today. I am physically unwell partly to do with medicine protocols that I would love to see changed but many rely on. A bit kill or cure, some can tolerate the drugs better than others for me it was a disaster.

    Eating a good healthy diet helps chemical balance, expressing and being understood, being connected to nature helps balance, positive thinking helps balance but they are all things that need to be worked on. Holistic individually tailored approaches work the best. No pill in the world is going to help us fix our fears left behind after trauma, for some it helps them cope with it maybe but to say someone who approaches their mental distress in ways discussed here is just a bit sad or doesn’t understand depression is somewhat insulting. I had a report for an insurance claim after nearly dying. I was left disfigured and seriously ill and at times had to fight the urge to commit suicide. I was responding to another trauma and a lot of lack of understanding. I was deemed to not really be suffering as I refused medication, opting for journaling, meditation and working through it the way I already had with serious abuse issues. I wanted counseling but it wasn’t available. I used methods gained from counseling I had after the 2nd rape.

    Thinking positively is something I work on. I am authentic and also look at the negative thoughts and ask deep questions of myself to find my way back to how to get through the incredibly challenging times. Having already worked deeply I am not scared to face my fears and shadows. I often need to retreat from the world to do this but would have benefited from having someone help me at times. As I faced death due to my physical illness on a frequent basis, I realised I was more afraid of living than death. So times when the struggle got close to overwhelming me, I considered ways I could die less painfully than staying alive, then I would have the chance as such and calm would hit and I would survive the moment and either carry on managing to keep myself alive or be looked after in hospital on oxygen. The physical affected the mental and emotional and visa versa but never tackled by medicine in a holistic and nurturing way, just battles for why I chose to not take medication that short term helped and long term made everything worse and killed off my immune system.

    I realised when I was healthier and more able to be independent that although I appreciated the good things in my life I grieved what I didn’t or couldn’t have more. I nearly lost everything that I value…I have found my way of dealing with it and facing my fears. It isn’t easy and I have the utmost respect for anyone going through current and/or post traumatic stress and less obvious mental and emotional distress in whatever way they do, stuck in the depths of despair or climbing back out of it, where ever they are in the cycle of pain they are in….

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