What is Depression?
So, you want to know, what is depression? Since you have found this blog, you have probably been looking for new answers. But unfortunately, you keep finding the same information. That is because every medical and mental health website out there is just quoting the list of symptoms that qualify you for a diagnosis of depression. And that list comes from the book that professionals use called, the DSM.
A New Perspective
From my perspective, what is most important about the list of symptoms that qualify you as depressed is that it includes things like fatigue or loss of energy almost every day, excessive sleeping almost every day, a sense of being slowed down, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities. These, in combination with an overall negative or hopeless mindset, put your body at a standstill. Your bodily processes are literally depressed. You are not moving, your metabolism has slowed, and your breathing is severely restricted.
You are not getting enough oxygen in your body.
If you know a little about how fireworks, you know that without oxygen a fire will not burn. Your metabolic processes are a fire, and without sufficient oxygen, that fire will not burn at an optimal level. If this happens over a long enough period of time, or severely enough all at once, you will become depressed. Of course, the thoughts in your mind play a role in your becoming and staying depressed as well. However, they are not necessarily conscious to you, which is why the onset of depression is often such a mystery.
What Triggers Depression?
An example of how this might happen is that you will see or experience something in your life that you do not think is a big deal at a conscious level. But at an unconscious level, you have a reaction to it because of a long-forgotten experience in your past. In other words, you have been triggered. When this happens, you may either suddenly or subtly begin to constrict your muscles. That muscle constriction will shorten your breath and diminish your oxygen intake. This will slow you down since your metabolic fire has lost its oxygen source. That is why one of the common experiences during depression is that you eat less or feel as if you do not need to eat. Or conversely, you continue to eat and gain weight, since the fire that uses the fuel has slowed.
In a nutshell, depression is a slowed metabolic process triggered by negative unconscious thoughts. Those thoughts are connected to historical emotional experiences that have never been consciously addressed and purged.
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