I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder when I was 18 years old.
My family had moved for the third time while I was in high school, just prior to my senior year of high school.
We moved to a new state, halfway across the country, as a result of instability in the job market. My father was the main breadwinner, and a change in career around the time of the dot-com boom shortly after 2001 left us needing to move, again.
Even in a family of 6, I was desperately lonely and acutely aware of job and financial related instability, at just 18.
I spiralled into depression and eventually, begged my parents to take me to the doctor to get some medication for treatment.
Medication worked. The depression was erased and I didn’t even have to enter therapy.
The cause and triggers were never addressed.
Now, many years later, I know that there are overarching spiritual and energetic reasons causing the symptoms we know as depression.
Science has only vague ideas of how the most effective medications for depression, SSRIs, work. They increase the amount of serotonin available in the neural synapse, the juncture between the neurons.
Why does this work? That remains unclear.
In a previous post, I discussed the ability of psychiatric medication to dampen our ability to feel and perceive emotion. It decreases the ability to feel the symptoms, but it doesn’t erase WHY the symptoms were there in the first place.
For that, we have to go deeper.
We have to explore and remedy the reason the symptoms arose at all. We have to look at the events within and surrounding our lives that cause the overwhelming feeling of sadness, desperation, exhaustion, lack of caring, and desire to just stop facing each day.
How does it get to this point?
What causes the symptoms related to depression?
Before we get there, it’s important to note that in addition to our physical body, we also have what is known as a spiritual and an energetic body. The combination of these 3 parts of us make us who we are - our physical form and our emotional, thinking, and perceiving selves. To read more about this, check out this article.
Even within the psychological sciences, it is said that nearly 2/3 of our experience is non-physical. This is true.
We experience and perceive emotionally and thoughtfully, and we are susceptible to not only our own emotions and thoughts, but the expectations, thoughts, and desires of those around us.
Emotions and thoughts are non-physical and carry with them an energetic component. One that changes depending on the type of emotion, and becomes heavier and denser with darker, otherwise called negative or low energy emotions.
We do not live in a vacuum. We interact with others, and those interactions do impact our experience.
For example, it’s widely known that our home and family life throughout childhood and our teenage years has an impressive amount of weight on how we experience our future, and even what experiences we have. Sure, some of it is socioeconomic, but a lot of it is the shaping and structure of our emotional environment. It can change how we feel about ourselves from both the inside and the outside.
And if you’ve ever been called empathic, that means you can sense the emotional energy of others. You can feel it, you can absorb it. Good emotions, and heavier, darker ones too.
Stress and instability in your family? Yep, you can feel it and those emotions don’t feel great. They’re lower, heavier and considered negative.
Do you suffer from a low self-esteem and self-perception that comes from within? Those are also emotions that generate less than stellar feelings.
Depression is, energetically and emotionally, a heavy weight from a build up of low energy, darker emotions and feelings.
It’s a burden that sits on top of us like a giant elephant, that makes it nearly impossible at times to keep going.
This heavy, dense emotional weight is the source of symptoms experienced with depression.
But, where does it originate?
When we get to the point where the symptoms of depression are weighing so heavily that it becomes unbearable, it’s likely been building for many months to years. And the source varies.
In part 2 of this post, we’ll explore the most common sources of depression.
Want to learn more before then? Check out these articles:
LAST UPDATED: May 13, 2015