There are times when it’s best to “suck it up,” “be positive,” and think, “mind over matter.”
There are also times when it’s best not to sugar coat it.
Sometimes Monday’s just suck.
You’ve had a bad day and you feel like crap?
And then rise above it and overcome it.
Other times, it’s more than simply being a Monday.
This Western Civilized culture here in America, tells us that we cannot be depressed or sad for longer than 2 weeks.
According to the DSM IV, If accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and lack of pleasure, lethargy, and sleep and appetite disturbances, then it’s deemed as Major Depressive Disorder.
If symptoms are less severe, but last longer, then you are labeled with Dysthymia.
If both are occurring simultaneously, then it’s Double Depression.
Without getting too educational here, what happens in the brain when we are feeing blue, is that we are getting too much or too little dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the pleasure center of the brain, giving us the ability to experience pleasure, maintain focus, aids in motor function and correlates with dopamine that effects our mood.
There is some overlap between serotonin and dopamine that cannot be ignored as well. Too little of serotonin and too little of dopamine can also be the case. Moreover, it’s more important to look at someones current life experiences, for that can shed light on their depression or sadness more than brain images can. Depression is very subjective and could be caused by trauma, drug abuse, physical abuse, stress and lack of nutrients and sleep, it can be nearly anything. And those who are less resilient than others have a harder time overcoming it.
This video clarifies depression better than I can explain in the biological sense, and of course I think the more we know, the more we can understand and help others.
There is still ongoing research to the connection between dopamine and depression and the various treatments, whether antidepressants are the cure, counseling, or the proper food and exercise that will clear the dark clouds.
The biggest issue in Western Medicine is the treatments, it focuses on suppressing feelings rather than finding the cure for them. Merely a band-aid.
Therefore, I suggest capturing sadness in it’s early stages by paying attention and reaching out when we do notice someone might need help. Let them feel it, go through it, and be a shoulder.
I myself have had a few breakdowns and have allowed myself to vent, only to hear, “Be positive, it will get better…” As feedback.
Sure, I know it will, but what would be even more healing to hear would be, “That sucks.” Or, “I’m sorry you are feeling this way.”
Sometimes there are no words of wisdom we want to hear, we just need an avid listener beside us.
I have chosen to be positive 94% of my life and sometimes, I need to feel upset, allow myself to grieve, be heartbroken, confused, stressed, frustrated, and angry, so I can fully feel it and overcome it.
Society tells us we shouldn’t feel sad for down. Well, I call bull.
Men, and women, we have these deeply rooted emotions for a reason, and although it’s not healthy to be sad for extensive periods, it’s more than okay to feel what you need to feel so you can understand where these feelings are coming from and move on to a clearer, more elevated, secure sense of self.
There is power in these emotions that we physically and mentally endure. And it lies in experiencing them, and understanding them.
There is so much scientists and psychologists know and don’t know about depression, interrelating with the pharmaceutical companies that make trillions of dollars off of people experiencing such hardships, it’s hard to know where the true heart of the matter is. (For more on psychiatric medicine and mental illness in America, I highly suggest reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, pictured above.)
What I think America needs more of, is the allowance of such sadness, to hold on to someone who is feeling dispirited and listen to them and allow them to feel all the emotions they need to without judgement… and sometimes, without the words of advice and positivity. We often don’t truly listen to understand, only listen to reply. The goal is to help these loved ones who are experiencing these feelings before it leads to a deeper, more serious depression.
Be understanding, be kind, and be sad if you need to be, so you can ultimately understand your emotions and move on from the distress, whatever it is you may be experiencing. Good or bad, I promise you, one solitary human emotion doesn’t last forever.