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  • Writer's picturePoonam Dutta (Satyamshakti)

Fighting Depression: What is the Intent of this Battle?

Sharing a collective heaviness

There’s a heaviness that is weighing on the collective. Qualified professionals who base their know-how on empirical evidence call it clinical depression. For a layman, it’s a state of prolonged sadness accompanied by several negative effects that sucks out the life of their existence. But for those who have the spiritual chromosome in them, it can be a profound battle.

There are staggering statistics that prove the collective nature of depression in modern times. According to the World Health Organization, depression is a common mental health issue, affecting 5% of the global adult population. That’s about 280 million people! However, this figure may vary, probably skewing towards the higher side, since a large number of people are unable to obtain an official diagnosis for various reasons.

Believe it or not, depression has been a pandemic for a very long time. Sadly enough, the culture of taboo and shame surrounding this condition has only aggravated the issue, making it all the more challenging for sufferers to grapple with it and come out on the other side. That’s a collective shame that people with depression face, adding to their fear of being judged and sidelined. Inner loneliness—an undeniable offering of depression—settles on them like a rock, and the stigma propagated by society only makes it heavier to carry.

Truth be told, depression does not discriminate. It does not know how to do so. It can engulf anyone at any age. Everybody feels the sadness that life brings, but for some, it becomes clinical. As already mentioned, it’s a collective heaviness that bogs a large number of people down. A sufferer of depression often falls prey to the notion that they are alone in this. But, in reality, even their next-door neighbour—who seemingly appears happy and glowing—could be fighting this war with depression. The sooner they come to terms with the collective nature of depressive energy, the easier it becomes to find self-acceptance, healing and support.

Why life may put you on this battlefield?


Everything in life is a complex gameplay of cause and effect. Events and life circumstances that appear random and meaningless have a cause. Depression may, however, give the sufferer a very pessimistic view of life. A sense of unfairness seeps in, giving them an impression of life being a trial that only punishes the victim. The world seems to be crumbling down around them and they feel helpless to salvage it in any way. Hopelessness, gloom, and darkness enclose them, pushing them to rock bottom, escaping which may seem completely impossible.

Depression swallows up the light of light, plunging the soul into an unfathomable darkness. The spiralling-down path of the mental disorder is into an abyss of a dragon’s mouth and it feels endless. But everything can change when one understands the cause-and-effect of depression and the larger intent behind it. While depression can be a rigorous psychological battle, marked by massive waves of overwhelming emotions that throw the sufferer off-guard, it comes with an intent of a spiritual nature.

What feels bad may be the best thing that happens to a person. The same can be said about depression. What feels like hitting rock bottom could be about carving a more robust path upward. Most of us live in an illusion of linearity, where life is expected to move in the way we want. We are so addicted to controlling various outcomes in our lives that any deviation from the expected outcome takes us down the rabbit hole. That rabbit hole that life takes us into is depression and there is a profound purpose behind it, if one is willing to see it.

The intervention of life to take us down the depression alley can take place in various ways. Perhaps a loved one changes their behaviour, moves out of your life or passes away. Perhaps a job very close to the heart is taken away from us. Or it can be something traumatic and destabilizing that happened in the distant past—so long ago that our brain shuts out the memory just to compartmentalize and cope and move on with life. Speaking spiritually, depression is the night that life puts us through when we fail to recognize the light hidden in our unpleasant experiences.

The triggers of depression can be external—as seen from unpleasant, life-changing events—or they can be internal, hidden in the dark corners of our psyches. In either case, it comes to shake up your existence. It’s a whip that gives one a reality check, forcing them to confront what is repressed within them. Depression may feel like utter darkness. But, in reality, it throws the spotlight on parts of ourselves that are in desperate need of healing. Dirt can be purged from a dark corner of a room only when one flashes a torchlight on it. That’s a major spiritual characteristic of depression that sufferers should know.

“Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn. My god, you learn.” — C.S. Lewis

There’s no doubt that the experience of depression, when viewed through the lens of spirituality, comes with inner turmoil and existential anguish. But as a teacher, depression imparts profound wisdom that can be truly life-changing. It carries immense transformative potential, which sadly, often goes unnoticed by sufferers because of the mental cloud that shrouds their existence. There’s no denying the fact that depression can be like a dark dragon. But the key to coming out of it lies in being the light that annihilates it.

If you are wondering why life puts you in such an unfair position, you can find some solace in the knowledge that depression is akin to an alchemical process. The phase ushers in a time when your base emotions—those that run the background programming of your psyche—are being turned into gold. The churning can be ravaging internally, but it leaves you with an enormous degree of inner strength, spiritual wisdom, and compassion.

If you or anybody you know is suffering from depression, it’s important to look at it as an opportunity to explore the shadow self, where your fears, your insecurities, and your unprocessed traumatic experiences lie. Depression is suffering, but it is sacred because it brings to light what you have hidden from yourself. It melts the false ego so that you become an authentic individual. Unless life intervenes to throw you onto a battlefield, you won’t probably learn about the warrior within you. It’s your depression that will arm you well to fight the demons within that usually scare people.

Life can be a lonesome journey in general, even more for people with depression. The phase is fraught with pain and suffering, often pushing sufferers to consider taking extreme measures, such as self-harm and suicide. As a sufferer, you may have thought about such acts too. But it’s essential to remember that you are not alone, no matter how lonely the process may feel. There’s a community out there extending the necessary help to people like you. By acknowledging and honouring the spiritual dimensions of depression, you can move towards greater authenticity, resilience, and inner peace on your path towards healing and self-discovery.

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