Depression is one of the most poorly understood conditions on the planet. All the ‘experts’ weigh in on what causes it and what solves it. But these causes and solutions are all over the map and often contradictory. And this can in turn add to the depression that people suffering from depression feel. Before I get into this episode, I need to say that depression is not a weakness and it is not something that you should be ashamed of. It is not a character flaw.
You can in fact understand depression as well as how to solve it by understanding the nuance in one single sentence. I’m going to give you this sentence and then use the rest of the episode to explain it in complete detail. Here it is: There is a big difference between resisting futility and accepting futility.
Everything you feel has a cause, dysfunctional brain chemicals are not the cause; they are the symptom. We are creators at our core. For us to feel good, we have to be able to perceive ourselves to be empowered so as to be able to alter our life so that our needs and desires are met. When we cannot do this, we feel powerless. Depression is caused by a situation in our life or many being something where no matter how many times we try and try and try, we cannot cause it to turn into what we want and what would meet our needs. Therefore, we feel it is futile. Futility and depression are synonymous.
What you will find is that life is relationships. If we talk about our home life, what we are talking about is our relationship to our partner, mother, father, siblings, children etc. If we talk about our career life that is still about relationships, but this time to customers, bosses, colleagues etc. So what this futility is really about is that you perceive that in order for something to become what you want and need it to become, you need cooperation from other people involved in the situation because you can’t create it or change it by yourself. But they will not collaborate and cooperate. Therefore, this incapacity to change the situation because you “can’t do anything about it” makes your self esteem go out the window and you perceive yourself to be forced to surrender to the tortured ended-ness of the fact that your life is suffering. This is pure futility. It is terrifying to learn that you cannot make someone take your best interests as a part of their own, and collaborate towards you feeling good in a situation. This causes anxiety. But anxiety in this scenario is simply like the phase before someone hits a sense of futility.
However, instead of accepting that futility, you resist that futility. Part of you does not give up which means you’re still in resistance to it. This creates a sensation that a person is not lost in a kind of darkness, but instead that they are becoming the darkness. To comprehend the way this works, imagine a person who wants to be let inside a gate to a village so badly that for years, they try every way to get it open and eventually slip into futility. At this point, they sit down motionless for years, still emotionally resisting that the gate is closed, hanging on to the strange possibility that one day, it might, so it’s just something you have to hang on through. All of this is done instead of getting up and walking to a different village.
Part of you has not given up. Part of you is not willing to let go completely. You refuse to cut your losses. You are so tied to the image of how you need something to be that you wont give up on it. This resistance to the futility is what makes you so exhausted all the time and keeps you stuck in endless futility. And people who suffer from depression tell themselves they “can’t” cut their losses, when this is really about choosing not to. And you have very valid reasons for not being willing to cut your losses. But no matter how good your reasons are, you stay powerless in this way. It is critical to become aware of just what you are so attached to that you can’t let go of by accepting that it will never come to be. What are you afraid will happen if you accept it is and always will be futile?
It is worth mentioning that some people use depression as a way to avoid committing suicide. This is because some people feel if they accepted the futility of a certain situation, they wouldn’t have any will to live anymore and would instead want to die. They would see no future. This often happens in situations where someone cannot conceive of wanting something else other that the specific thing they want and in the way they want it. For example, if they can’t get someone to love them back, they refuse to be loved by someone else. It is only ok if that single person loves them. People who suffer from depression also tell themselves that their needs are NOT going to be met anywhere other than in the situation that is futile. This is also more resistance to cutting their losses. They have to see that they subconsciously choose to commit to a dead end by doing this.
It is a common assumption that depression is about suppression. This is both true and not true, which means there is a subtle nuance here to understand. A person with depression isn’t actively suppressing. After years of trying (through not suppressing) to create the thing they wanted to create and get people to change in the way that would get their needs and desires met, nothing worked. So expressing their truth also feels futile. Communication does absolutely nothing, so there is “no point” in expressing. While this means that a person has to suppress their truth, it is a different flavor of suppression. It is not active suppression so that a situation can be what the person wants it to be. It is suppression because there is no point screaming for help if no one is around to hear it. Again, back to the futility. If you have depression, you are not authentic, because you think being authentic is futile.
So many children are stuck in this respect because the situation they often have to change (but that is futile) is the dynamics and arrangements of their family relationships, something that they are totally out of control of. If they try to express this, it only infuriates their parents and caregivers and thus makes matters worse for them. Childhood is prison where one’s happiness depends on the benevolence of the wardens. With a parent who is unwilling to help a child shift their life so they can feel good, a child is in hell and captive, powerless to change the circumstances of their life.
Here is where the spiral gets worse. Because of the unwillingness to actually accept the futility and focus on any other way of creating your desires and needs, you stay in the situation that is futile. To do this, you have to betray one part of yourself. And this part of you gets VERY mad at the other part. So it feels like part of you is destroying another part of you. It emotionally feels like self-digestion.
People who struggle with depression are both totally unaware of free will because they feel it is their responsibility to control the uncontrollable and get people to be how they want them to be (something they hate themselves for failing at). At the same time, they are all too damaged by free will. The grief they feel is that no one will participate in creating their version of a feel good life. They feel other people are all taking action, intentionally or unintentionally (and often idiotically as if oblivious) against it. You hate them for it because you feel so hurt by it. You can’t accept that other people have free will and with that free will, will not choose what is best for you. You also can’t accept that it is possible for you to do what isn’t best for yourself. You don’t understand this because it is an unhealthy relationship between two of your internal fragments. But because of this refusal to understand and accept that this is the case, you are just waiting for this to stop one day. As you wait, you feel more and more futility and more and more resistance to that futility the more people disappoint you by proving it is a futile situation over and over again.
And then the third aspect of this spiral of depression sets in. You look around and notice that no one feels this same futility that you feel. So you make it mean something about yourself. “Something is wrong with me because I can’t feel good”. But because of the magnitude of the amount you care about this situation and the magnitude of the futility in the situation, doing little things to try to feel better (things that seem to work for other people) does not work. It feels like throwing a tic tac at a charging rhino or trying to feel amazing about an ice cream cone, when an asteroid is headed for earth. Or watching a comedy show to laugh when someone you love and need is dying in a hospital bed. They are acutely aware that these little things will not make the overall issue any better.
What I am about to say is going to make some people very angry, but I have to say it. Depression is the byproduct of relationship dysfunction. Most people don’t want to see that depression is not chemically caused mental illness (remember the imbalance of chemicals is the symptom), but is the result of relationship dysfunction because most people don’t want to admit to the futility itself in the relationships they have. They would rather make it about how they feel. It is a coping mechanism for them to focus on brain chemical issues because this feels more empowering and promising than focusing on the real situation in their life that causes futility. It also offers hope that if someone sees they don’t feel good and are in fact ill, people might just feel enough pity to participate in creating their feel good situation instead of resisting it. For this reason, anti-depression medication is like shutting up the very voice telling you that an aspect of your life has to be changed, instead of actually changing it.
So what should you do if you struggle with depression?
Face your futility. Overcoming depression is all about becoming consciously aware of and facing and resolving the futility that is occurring in your life. Yet again, this could be a specific situation or multiple situations. Now that I have made you aware that depression is about futility and resisting instead of accepting that futility, look at your own life and recognize how this is playing out in your own life now. People often never get out of their depression because they keep trying new ways to make a futile situation not futile and therefore try to solve things in all the futility resistant ways they can think of, instead of facing the fact that futility in and of itself is the issue and especially, the resistance to that futility. This is why you should never approach healing from depression by “fighting depression”.
Do The Completion Process with the feeling of futility specifically. If you are depressed, the futility is about a situation you are currently in. But this pattern of futility is a pattern that began in childhood and this current situation, is a repeat/reflection of a situation in your past of this same kind of futility. To learn how to do this process, you can get a copy of my book that is quite literally titled The Completion Process. And if you want to be helped through the process instead of doing it on your own, you can find a practitioner who is trained to lead you through it at www.thecompletion process.com.
Work directly with the part of you that refuses to accept the futility and refuses to cut your losses. This is the part that continues to keep you adapting to the futile situation in ways that are detrimental to you. And this sets up a pattern of self-hate and internal anger. Also, work with the part of you that is opposite of that one. You don’t need to know what that part is specifically. You can simply say, “I choose with my free will to become the opposite part to the one that refuses to accept the futility and cut my losses” and allow yourself to really be overtaken by the energy of that part of yourself. To understand how to work with a fragment of your own consciousness like this, watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease. Also, to increase your understanding about the internally focused anger that is created by this part of you, watch my video titled: Bulldozing (The Way To Ruin Your Relationship With Yourself)
Having accepted the futility, look for the ways you can move forward and the options you do have. You have to do something new. Resisting a futile situation puts you in a rut in life. Depression is all about focusing on what you can’t change and refusing to accept you can’t change it so as to focus on something else or do something else. Ask yourself, “If I accepted that what I want is never (and I mean never) going to happen, what would I do then or instead? It’s the thing where if you stop focusing on the door that is closed, you might see a window that is open. It may be hard to believe that your needs or desires can be fulfilled in any other scenario or even that any other option exists. For this reason, you might benefit by watching my videos titled: The Zebra and the Watering Hole and How To Meet Your Unmet Needs. Do something new even if you are simply doing it just to get out of your rut. The more drastically new, the better. The darkness you feel is the symptom of being disconnected from parts of yourself, and from what you really want in life.
You must develop safe relationships. Depression is about relationship dysfunction that makes you powerless to create the life you want. Most specifically powerlessness and un-safety when no one will be an ally to the creating of the life you desire and need. This means, you need to go to places where people see, hear, feel and understand you. You need to heal the trauma of no one choosing to align with you so as to participate in what you want to create with them. But to do this, you can’t keep trying to get people who have no interest in doing this, to do this. For this reason, one of the most important videos you will ever watch is my video titled: How To Create A Safe Relationship. Also, depression is an intensely isolating and lonely experience. Being a situation that is in fact set up by the relationships in your life and one that is resolved by creating safe relationships, I encourage you to read my book titled: The Anatomy of Loneliness, which clearly outlines what causes this sense of loneliness as well as how to go from loneliness to a sense of connection.
- The more little things you do to make yourself feel like you have more power and control over creating the life you want, the better. If you are suffering from depression, understandably, you are super disempowered. On top of creating safe relationships, where people do cooperate in creating a life that feels good to you, you need to do lots of things in life, which don’t depend on other people to make you feel more empowered. Most of the suggestions people make about solutions to depression fit well into this category. Some examples might be deliberately eating foods that make you specifically feel good (especially mood boosting foods), spending time with animals, getting a massage or other form of touch, exercising, getting enough sleep, setting attainable and achievable goals and scratching them off the list when they are accomplished, taking on responsibilities which enable you to see your positive contribution, visiting and making new friends (this prevents you from isolating), taking control of your focus through positive focus or gratitude exercises or working with your core beliefs, sitting out in the sun, meditation, creating a routine, setting things in your schedule each day that you can look forward to even if it is as simple as watching a comedy show, picking up a new hobby, changing up things such as home décor or what room you sleep in or where you habitually go to eat etc.
If someone in your life is struggling with depression, do not treat them like you are afraid of them. There is nothing to be afraid of. Depression is not contagious and people need your presence, not for you to solve a problem you don’t know how to solve. Also, there is nothing shameful about depression and this includes resisting futility. You know how desperate it feels to not be able to create something you want to create. It feels like accepting that the person you love more than anything else has died and never knowing if you will ever get love again. So it is a great deal more complicated than simply deciding with your free will to stop resisting and accept that futility and do different things that are empowering instead. It is a great deal more complicated than just deciding to jump out of a hole or be more positive.
No one chooses to feel depressed any more than they consciously choose to resist something that is futile. This is a person that feels despair and desperation about a situation that is futile. And in their situation, anyone would feel that way. Lovingly help them to really focus on and face the pain they feel, don’t try to get them out of that darkness. Its better to hold their hand and dive consciously into it. My personal request to you is to become less afraid of other people’s suffering. Become less afraid of the way that watching other people suffer, makes you feel. All too often people abandon other people because of running away from feeling the feelings that seeing other people suffer, stirs in themselves.
If you are struggling with depression, it is my promise to you that the feeling of wanting to be alive and feeling inspired and energized is on the other side of realizing that you do have the power to create what you want in life. You can create your desires and fulfill your needs. And there are people in the world that want to participate in that process as an ally instead of an antagonist. But all of that is on the other side of no longer focusing on the absence of what you want. It is on the other side of accepting and facing and resolving your futility, instead of being unconscious of it and therefore subconsciously resisting it.