Depression in an Instant Society

Depression
Feeling the impact of being sad, alone or depressed is not uncommon. We live in what I call a ‘Microwave Society‘; a world where we expect everything fixed fast. When we don’t get things ‘our way right away’ it can even compound our frustration. We have microwaves, fast food and drive-thru expectations that overflow into every aspect of our lives.

We have to take time to slow down our expectations on fixing the things in life that bring us down – we need a reality check. In a world where science, medicine, social support and faith collide, we have to take time to let all of these things work together.

Many people have the disposition of having depression because of a medical conditions. I fully support and encourage people get medical treatment from a doctor and have a treatment plan for depression and the countless mental health issues people may have.

Personally, over the years, I have gone to my doctor countless times trying to find the right medications to help me with anxiety and depression. It took time, lots of trials of various medications, until I found what works for me with the least of negative side effects.

Besides medications, I also began to take personal responsibility for taking control of my depression and anxiety issues. Medical science tells us that we are nine times more likely to focus on things that are negative in our life than something that is positive in our life. So, even with medication the odds are stacked against us, but with practice and time we can increase positive energy flowing in our lives.

Romans 8:28 (NLV) We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.

All of these things work together for our good – the medical help we get, developing friendships with those that plant encouraging words into our life, and even simply collecting and practicing positive thoughts – as we actively fight off negative thoughts, moods and energy around us.

Not every answer in life is a fast fix. If you are reading this and can relate to it, I encourage you to plant seeds of encouragement into your life everyday. Treat it like a tree that needs water everyday to grow. Take time to tend the garden of your life and create an oasis – a fertile spot in a desert where water is found.

I encourage your feedback; share something that has helped you or additional thoughts you may have on this topic.

With Love,

Ryan Nix

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Posted on August 29, 2013, in Disablity, Empathy, Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Ryan,
    Thanks for the topic.
    It seems we share a multitude of commonality. Most of my adult life has been spent experiencing feelings of inadequacy that has invariably given rise to an internalised state of rejection and depression. What I have come to realize, however, is that we are largely responsible for the path upon which our lives get patterned.
    Before my disability, I enjoyed abundance in almost every sphere of the human experience. I grew up in an upper middle class home that instilled balanced ideals and morals within me from an early age. I never wanted for anything material. What I deeply yearned for was acceptance and a true sense of belonging. They never seemed to be made manifest in my life, from my own perspective. This perception was ultimately so far off the mark, words fail me.
    I speak to people that knew me in those dark days of my life. They convey messages to me that they always held me in high esteem, envied my creativity and intelligence, admired my tenacity and often wanted to be close to me. I was the one who never saw that facet of other people’s opinion of me. This by choice or by some other design. I chose a negative vantage point from which to survey my world.
    When I first came to the full comprehension that I would be forced to live the rest of my life with a disability, I was immersed further into a state of depression and negativity. I considered suicide on numerous occasions and even tried on two occasions to enact this as an option to escape my state of being utterly and completely lost. Eventually, after much soul searching, prayer in total supplication and with a true longing to lift myself out of this quagmire, I came to God.
    There is absolute and total healing from depression and misery. I longer seek the constant approval of others to give me purpose. Disability will always be a part of my life, unless God deems another purpose to be appropriate for my life, but I have made absolute peace with it and choose to simply live life free of the constraints that could so easily consume me.
    I no longer view it as an option to be negative. I think this could be a result of being faced with my own mortality.
    Ryan, I love your topics, thank you so much for giving us something to think about.
    God Bless
    Love Graeme

    • Thank you Graeme for sharing. My mind is wondering at how prevalent depression is in society. What sticks out the most to me is there are no commercials that say, ‘If you antidepressant medication isn’t working’ then to try adding this additional medication for better results. This tells me that we haven’t tackled this problem of depression very well.

      A while back I read or saw it on TV that we are prescribing so much medication that in California tested its waste water, finding that there were high levels of antidepressants in the water. Which can’t be filtered out and is recycled back into our drinking water on tap. So the world is getting medicated for depression, the medication hasn’t answered every problem.

      That is why it is so important for us to tackle depression with what we can do too. Because God is in us and works through us. So, everything we do to fight depression is part of the spiritual battle. We are the answer, you are the answer, out support systems are the answer, everything is spiritual.

      I love what you said about how we view ourselves. It’s so easy to see ourselves in a negative light. Even when everything around this seems to be coming up roses in other peoples eyes,

      In addition to that, I think we have forgotten how to truly care as a society. Even in the littlest of ways. Here in Oklahoma, when I was young, we used to wave at people when they walked or drove by. And I told Robert one day that we should start a project called “project wave “. Just so that we could bring back the wave. Away the civility, kindness, and seeing worth in others and to give simple recognize someone with a simple gesture.

      Thank you so much for your response Graeme.

      Love you (wave),

      Ryan

      • Ryan,
        I agree with you that we need to be more humanistic in our approach to not only ourselves, but to others.
        Lets bring back the wave…… they’ll think we are mental for a while but I think it will catch on. I also remember being a child in Vancouver where we would always wave at or greet people in the street, not even knowing who they are or what burdens they may be carrying.
        I think small gestures like this may seem just that – small, but perhaps its the one gesture that lifts someone from a depressed state of mind to one that initiates a glimmer of hope in their day.
        Here’s to the ‘wave’
        Love
        Graeme

  2. Ryan, I love this topic. Just last December, I lost someone in my life who was only 30 years old to suicide. Although I was totally devastated, ironically enough, his death became a catalyst through which I began to change my own life and begin to grow once more. I’ve made many lifestyle changes in the 9 months since his death. Certainly the most powerful change has been to stop relying on doctors to try and fix my health problems, and to empower myself to slowly fix them on my own. As you point out in the original article, there really is no fast “cure all” when it comes to our health, even though we believe that is how it should happen, based on TV ads and media promising such miracles.
    I believe that to truly appreciate something to the fullest extent possible, you must completely lose it first. Once I began to empower myself and make health and lifestyle changes, I was keenly aware that something else was missing from my life. I soon realized that all that was truly missing was a working faith in God. Health is a relative term, but to me, faith and God are both absolute. Either you have faith, or you do not. God exists absolutely, irregardless of whether we believe or not, or whether we are close to God or do not believe at all. I’ve turned my back on God several times in my life, only to come back to God and a stronger faith and acknowledgement that God was there all along. In fact, God is the very reason I am alive and well, whether I am aware of and in a state of gratitude for it or not.
    As my health began to improve, my faith came back, as did my relationship with God. For the first time in my adult life, I could feel how my health, my faith, and God were each gaining strength from one another, as if from a divine chain reaction. Faith is the bridge between moments of prayer and connectedness with God. My health and happiness are both a byproduct of living life right, by placing my faith in God at the top of the list. Today, the difference for me is that I know with absolute certainty that I can only keep my health, happiness, love, faith, and God by first giving them away freely. Ryan – you, Robert, Graeme, and CJ have especially proven that practicing this principle works by being clear examples for me to follow. I am honored and so grateful to have you as friends and as a part of my life. You are all examples of faith in action, and by so sharing with me have changed my life forever.

    With love and gratitude,
    Love, Jeff

    • Jeff,
      You have a spirit of love and light that can do nothing but be a shining light to us. This circle of friendship that we belong to is a beacon of light that cannot be doused. Ryan, Robert and CJ, you form part of this wonderful web that I could never wish to be broken.
      God Bless
      Graeme

  3. i loved this honey.. it so very true.. Depression is evil but you do have to take personal resopsability also too… this was right on the mark!!! I love you with all my heart and soul!!!

  4. Hey Ryan, sorry I missed you again. I love your article and it really has me thinking again this morning. How much of a role do you think information technology has played, if any, in our instant gratification syndrome as a society? Do you think part of our depression as a whole could be caused by technology taking away a large portion of direct social contact in the human experience? I’ve felt this at times in my own life and wonder if others have, too. Ironically however, meeting you, Robert, and Graeme through the internet has actually helped me over the hump in finally pulling out of my depression completely. Perhaps it works both ways. The old saying that “you are only as healthy as the company you keep” is probably also a major factor. I would love to hear other thoughts on this. Thanks again, Ryan. Love you!

    Jeff

    • Yes & Yes….

      I think that technology can cause us to feel isolated and connect people in meaningful ways. I’ve heard the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) now includes internet gaming addition and I believe other considerations for internet and technology addictions.

      Of course, I don’t think it means that everyone the uses tech is an addict, but I do think even on a basic level we become dependent upon various technologies. That being said, a hundred years ago (or so) one might say that a writer could become addicted to his fountain pen (as I know you are fond of them).

      I think the answer lies in having a balanced life and finding time to take a tech-free holiday once in a while. A technology free holiday can be during an actual holiday with someone you love for a week, planned during family time – all devices off, or for certain hours of the day and possibly fasting from technology for a specified duration. Now try that! Even for the most balanced of us will find it difficult for the first few days.

      On the flip-side, we can proactively find ways to use our devices to connect us in more meaningful ways. If you have a friend or family member you would normally give a call, try giving them a video chat. If you can’t be there in person a video chat can give you the extra visual and hopefully emotional connection than just the audio of a phone call.

      I am about to go visit family that lives in another state out in the hills without internet and bad phone reception for a few days. So, I am about to experience what it is like to lose my usual comfort of having internet for several days. So, my experiment will begin in the next couple of weeks. I expect to have a wonderful time with family and yet I’m now wondering how the lack of internet will effect me for the first few days. I guess I’ll find out first hand and let you know how that goes.

      Love,

      Ryan

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