While in the West, depression is becoming more and more prevalent, in indigenous cultures like those from Western Africa, it doesn’t exist. The shamans and other members of the tribes there can’t imagine how someone can be depressed when possessing the greatest gift of all: life.
In Western culture, mental illness has almost become part of daily life. Moreover, there’s an ever increasing interest in researching causes and potential treatments for depression. Sadly, it has become an incredibly profitable sector in the healthcare industry.
Yet, people are still struggling. With so much inconsistent information out there, it can be very hard to get our head around it. Here are 3 things everyone should know about mental illness. Please don’t consider this medical advice. It is merely a reflection on the topic and it’s meant to open the conversation on mental health.
1. Depression is not only a disease of the mind
It has been scientifically proven that depression is rooted in physical problems. Researchers say that inflammation throughout the entire body can be the trigger.
The link between depression and inflammation caused by a faulty immune system opens up new hope for patients and will be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. A growing body of research indicates the connection between treating inflammation and alleviating depression.
This also explains the strong connection between depression and our gut. Some psychologists believe that we can restore our mental health with changes in our diet, as well as our sleep patterns.
2. There is a spiritual component to depression
This aspect of mental illness is not addressed in modern medicine or in mainstream data. It may not be hard science, but we should definitely also consider spirituality. Evading this subject could prove harmful to our community at large as there are many alternative ways to treat depression.
“Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world.” Stephanie Marohn
3. Depression is a warning sign
This mental illness can be a clue that something is deeply out of balance in the world we live in. It’s an alarm signal that aims to awaken us to deep existential matters that we swept under the rug of materialism, consumerism and violence. It’s a sign that we have faced too much injustice and alienated ourselves from nature and from one another.
It calls on us to look deeply within and heal ourselves by nurturing our souls, showing more compassion and empathy. We can choose to awaken to the call and work with courage through our spiritual crisis or collapse under its pressure.
Please share this message with the world!