The other day I was watching the news by Matt Galloway on National, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about the report of the National College Health Assessment Survey where 66% of students of OCAD University (Ontario College of Arts and Design) felt like committing suicide and 15% seriously considered suicide out of depression. This was shocking news for me and my heart went out to all those young students who are going through phases of depression instead of focusing on their career. The news compelled me to think about depression and how I can help those students in overcoming mental trauma instead of ending their precious lives. We all know the causes of depression but we never think what triggers those causes and is it possible to contain them? Can we convert negative thoughts into positives filled with hope and aspirations? There may be medical or hereditary reasons for the onset of depression but can we inspire students suffering from depression due to non-medical reasons? Can we make them understand the philosophy of life and what life is all about and how should they manage it to their advantage? Can we guide them to fight the effects of depression?
There are medical treatments for genetic or mental disorders causing depression but what about people going through the attacks of depression without such valid reasons. Canadian Mental Health Association and similar organizations do identify types of depression, their symptoms and how to manage them medically but very few of them have taken the holistic view in solving the problem. In order to overcome depression we will have to understand the root causes of the problems and treat them sympathetically, spiritually and holistically. And the root causes starts from a person’s family life, the environment in which they grow and their social lives and commitments at different stages of their lives. The following reasons are a glimpse:
- Family Reasons: The environment within a family may be the primary reason of depression. If the relationship between parents are not healthy and there is a pal of gloom at home due to differences between them; or one of the parents is an alcoholic or abusive or the parents or siblings are not supportive or understanding. There may be a dearth of love, care and affection between the members of the family or the family is going through phases of illness, financial turmoil or work related troubles. There may be family history of depression and mental illness. All these reasons cast a shadow on tender minds and they become disturbed emotionally.
- Social Reasons: In a modern society, the social tradition of making a teen independent by withdrawing family support or asking them to move out of the home or parental care is the biggest reason of mental depression in adolescents. It is true that they should decide their course of lives once they become an adult but it is also true that this is the time when they need advice, care and emotional support due to extra-ordinary burdens on them in terms of commitment, study, finance and relationships. In the absence of family support they fall back on their friends who are also immature, lack worldly experience and going through the same phase of life. This results in discomfort, sorrow, loneliness, heartbreak, frustration and depression.
- Financial Reasons: The pressure to fund for study in times of uncertainty is another reason for depression. Not every education is promising and neither does it provide surety of a job after the completion of their study. The pressure of money leads to compromises resulting in frustration and depression.
- Emotional Reasons: Human emotion is like a yo-yo which goes up and down with every event especially in adolescents. A slight change in expectations may result in dissatisfaction and depression. Sometimes the emotional bond between their friends, partners or relatives is so strong that any upheaval in that relationship may push them into depression. Current educational, social or family pressures may result in making them depressed and if immediate care is not given then it may lead to suicide.
- Educational Reasons: In young age there is enormous pressure to prove and accomplish in study. Sometimes they are not able to catch up with the work they are supposed to do resulting in failure, helplessness, despair and dissatisfaction which leads to depression.
- Medical Reasons: The mental imbalance due to the shock, family history or traumatic experiences is the main reason of depression leading to suicide. Therefore, people falling under this category may have to be treated medically or psychologically. Past regression is another way to treat people’s suffering from this disease. Brian Weiss, MD, an American psychiatrist has made a lot of research in this direction which leaves lasting effects on ones mental health and well being.
To my mind whatever may be the reason, depression can be cured or managed successfully by guiding the sufferer and providing information about the spiritual aspects of our lives. Spiritualism includes answers to simple yet complicated questions like who are we? Why have we come to this earth? What is our purpose of being? Why do some people suffer from sorrow and pain whereas others enjoy luxury and happiness? Why do some become successful and others not? Why we face hurdles in our lives? What makes two people different emotionally, psychologically and mentally? Besides one’s action and cause and effect theory what are the other forces compel a person to think or act differently? Human anatomy and physiology is the same in everybody. Every organ in the body is the same and we have the same brain made of neurons and axons, yet we think or act differently in spite of the same parenting, education and the environment. What is the reason for this? How our thought process gets influenced by factors unknown to medical science?
Answers to these questions cannot be found in books. Answers cannot be given by medical science. Health Associations or other related organizations can try to psychologically treat a sufferer but in the absence of providing root causes scientifically and convincingly they cannot cure a person permanently. The answer lies in spiritualism, the kind that is free of religious biasness and overtones. Spiritualism deciphers the life path of every human being and if it could be explained logically and understood scientifically then it has a lasting effect on one’s mind and the person will remain in control even in the worst of situations.
I do not claim to be a spiritual person neither I want to be proclaimed as one. But I have the answers to human woes and I have tried to practice this throughout my life which has given me the strength and direction to sail through the worst phases of my life without being perturbed or depressed. The spiritual side of my personality is reflected through my writings on various topics posted on this blog and if anybody would like my help in understanding and solving their misery, then I will be more than willing to volunteer.
Every person is unique in the world because they are different in background, upbringing, cultural belief, religious belief, mindset, mental level, emotional level, and spiritual levels. Their ability to logically understand a situation is also different. Therefore, a spiritual diagnosis and healing process has to be done by taking these into consideration.
Besides knowing spiritualism, I am also a certified yoga teacher and therapist since 1984 and if a person is willing to understand and accept the truth of life with an open mind combined with some yogic practices, then I can assure that depression, frustration, anger, jealousy and hatred will become things of the past and will never return to the person. A new vision and dimension to look out at life will emerge which will provide peace, calmness, tranquility and courage to face all the eventualities of our lives.
Incidentally today when I was about to post this article I was hearing CBC news where an interview of Rachel Cooper was being aired by Matt Galloway. Rachel narrated the circumstances that compelled her to commit suicide out of depression at one of the hotel in Kitchener-Waterloo area.
Therefore this article is directed to young students and all those who are looking for help and advice. If you are one of the persons going through depression or you know someone who need help then you may comment on this blog or reach me in confidence through my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @sumanssinha.
Last but not the least,
If one can make a difference in one person’s life, it is more satisfying than a billion talk or seeking for God.
Suman Saran Sinha