By Rev. Keith Smyth
The above signature is that of Rev. Keith Smyth. His expertise is in Huna, Biofeedback, computers, dreams, science and electronics. He is doing research in some of the above areas. He is a Technical Writer, Electronics Instructor and Metaphysical Teacher. He is also a cartoonist and contributes many for our Rainbow Connection.
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Sometimes depression seems overwhelming. One feels an absolute loss of hope, and comes to the point of not actually caring what happens. There seems to be a sense that anything at all would be better than this continuing hopelessness. At this point one has lost awareness of having any kind of choice, interest in anything outside of one's self is low or lacking. All one can focus on is how hopeless anything is. One is not aware of anything except a desperation, a desperation to relieve the hopelessness, yet even this is doomed to failure.
Reactions vary drastically to this situation. Some freak out and become long term psychotics. Some become rapists, killers or harmless grouches. Nothing anyone says or does makes any difference, as it is all hopeless anyway.
My observation in my own situation and in observing others is that there is underlying the depression, below the conscious awareness, an immense rage. This rage is composed of many many factors, all buried beyond consciousness, sometimes surfacing as anger when provoked by external circumstances.
This rage comes into being through many avenues, usually not just one primary traumatic experience, although this indeed may also be a prime source. True, the only thing I can really speak about is my own experiences, yet I have noticed similarities with others. It is not just parents or siblings, although they may very very well play a central role.
It is not just frustration, although there is also that. We are not simple linear beings, we are multiplex beings. Simply because our thoughts can only seem to focus on one thing at a time, one thing or image linearly following each other, does not mean that our total awareness is this way.
For example, when thinking of a memory, we are not always aware that the image is composed not only of the image, it also has imbedded in it the sounds, the smells and the emotions at original strength. Beyond this, there is also contained in the memory our opinion about what it meant, what emotion we felt about our opinion and our emotion about what emotion we felt. There is also our opinion about what we thought other people were thinking about us and how we felt about what we thought they are thinking.
And so the rage builds. Slowly at first, gaining momentum over the years. Rage does funny things to perspective. As with any opinion, we tend only to accept that which re-enforces, and reject that which contradicts. The die is cast.
Tied into all of this is a personal sense of values. Especially one's sense of self-value. Rage destroys the sense of self-worth, all the while seemingly re-enforcing it. The most difficult of all is to recognize for oneself that the underlying foundation of depression is a form of rage.
Then, even after recognition, there seems to be a period, sometimes short for some people, long for others, in which the recognition of the rage causes a form of rationalization to occur - i.e., my rage is "justified" or "useful". "I use my rage as motivation". It is most difficult to accept that this mental state is destructive in the extreme, psychically, emotionally and eventually physically.
How to deal with it? This varies from individual to individual. For some fortunate few, simple recognition of the fact is enough to expiate the emotion. Others may require an adjustment period in which they eventually learn to dissect their rage and deal with its component parts, individually. Still others require years of intensive therapy, while still others, nothing seems to work, depression follows depression, until the physical body becomes too weak and ill to deal with the immense stress involved.
My own personal opinion is that to a large extent, many of our viral or bacterial based disease can only gain the upper hand after the body's immune system has been weakened by the continual assault of intense stress related hormonal level shifts. Any intense emotion, held for a long period of time, causes stress.
Rage generates large amounts of adrenalin, which is extremely toxic in large amounts, and over an extended period of time, can cause tissue deterioration.
How does rage become depression? In some cases, it doesn't. It becomes murderous anger directed at any and all who seem to thwart one's intentions. For many though, rage becomes depression through the process of sublimation, rationalization and frustration. It can be paranoid depression in that it seems as though the whole universe is in a conspiracy to prevent one from attaining any goal.
No sooner is a goal originated when everything seems to conspire to close all doors to attainment. Frustration builds, slowly becoming rage, then turning into depression, because it's hopeless. Most that I have seen or talked to, when deeply depressed seem totally unaware that they are really angry. The anger is repressed to the point where the only state they seem capable of is depression, a total lack of interest in any thing except their own mental, emotional and physical sensations.
What can cure depression? Unless it is a hormonal imbalance problem (which I contend comes into being only after a long period of detrimental thinking), only the depressed person can change it.
In the case of chemical "causes", this must certainly be treated, chemistry re-balanced through appropriate medication. At the same time, one must initiate a course of radical, vigorous thought process transformation. Not only must one come to understand how detrimental thinking creates the problem in the first place, one must also come to understand that "Positive Thinking" by itself, is as detrimental as before, unless it is also accompanied by a shift of values and actions. Here, the difficulty is in non-conscious levels of acceptance of value shifts. This must be dealt with. How this is dealt with is the same process that one used to install the original value system. These value systems are called "habits".
It requires continual vigilance while the old habit is being replaced by the new. After the new habit is installed, vigilance is still required, in that there was a value in the old habit. The old habit is not dead. It can still be activated. It can trigger and take over before the conscious mind can react.
Why is the thought process so important? And what is meant by "Positive thinking alone is not the answer"? Simply this. People around someone who thinks in a detrimental fashion tend to act to support this process. If one thinks angrily, people tend to react angrily.
If one thinks friendly, people tend to be friendly, thus re-enforcing the original thought process. Therefore frustration generates more frustration, rage generates more rage, until everything one touches crumbles into dust, ashes blown on the winds of inner rage. The conscious mind reaches a point of refusing to generate any interest in anything, and the fires of rage are banked. If one doesn't attempt anything, nothing can go wrong.
Unless and until the original thought process is changed, a new perspective generated, any attempted interest, any goal attempted will be thwarted by the very process of creativeness inherent in the non-conscious levels of mind. Once one begins to comprehend that these same creative abilities can be trained into non-destructiveness, the process begins.