Sometimes when I look out at the world I find many things I detest; the push of modern culture, the apathy of most people, and the slow decay of society as a whole.
I often wish that people cared more about grand ideas and bettering the world around them and less about how they look to others, their bank accounts, or celebrities on reality TV.
Occasionally this feeling becomes destabilizing for me and will metamorphosize into a profound despair. This can make it hard for me to find anything fulfilling or even mildly satisfying in life.
I’ve spent years on therapist’s couches trying to figure out what was wrong. Half-ass expecting some mitigation to come from self-help gurus or the council of those that don’t understand and those that could never understand.
I know what you’re asking yourself right now “How could the nuances of society and the prosperity of others matter to someone who is seeking merely to remedy his own depression?” In short, “Why do I care?”
The reason for some may be rather apparent. It’s because the embodiment of philosophical pessimism is the natural reaction to negative social surroundings and situations. In other words, one’s environment has the capacity to either open up and construct possibilities for spiritual or intellectual growth or shut it down completely.
Over the years, I have learned this: all the answers you seek are in you. You will never find full satisfaction in others, society, family, friends, or spouses.
YOU MUST LOOK INWARD. There is no amount of medicine, physical activity, love, anger, or any emotion that can ever fill the hole that depression leaves in you.
You must also realize that while medication may help, it will never truly “heal you.” For those of us that need it, we must look at medication as a tool just like therapy or any other form of treatment, but in reality, introspection is the only true way to begin to heal yourself.
One must also need to come to grips with the fact that the world is a mess and that social norms are, in fact, pathological. Also, your feelings of despair, loss, anxiety, and pointlessness may be typical in other people as well. Especially those that are extraordinarily intelligent or observant.
A person who suffers from depression may see things others do not. Often, the depressed have keen insight into modern culture’s waywardness and a refined sense of the good and beautiful things in life.
Some of the world’s most intelligent people have suffered from some form of depression and melancholy that led them to think big, become more in tune with their emotions, and learn to be philosophical about their surroundings and life.
After all, it was Nietzsche who was one of the greatest philosophers and thinkers of the 19th century & who was believed to have suffered from bipolar depression that said, “One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
Written by: J. M. Shoemaker
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