Depression about the recession

QUESTION: Masters, when people lose their jobs because of a recession they are frequently deeply depressed and at a loss to know what to do. Do you have any advice for such a time in our lives?

ANSWER: Human depression is an interesting state. If you take the word itself apart you have the prefix de-, the word press, and the suffix -ion. De- means “the undoing, reversing or ridding of something;” press means “to urge onward;” -ion means “the process of.” What the word depression means (by the sum of its parts) is: “the process of losing the urge to move forward.” The driving force in your life has been turned off.

For the soul this state is potentially as good as society sees it as bad. The soul views the depressed state as the ultimate moment of choice. All the governors in your life have been removed. There are no more commands coming from outside telling you what to do. There is a vacant space where those orders usually reside. This allows you to start all over again, making only decisions you have freely chosen, placing them in the vacant space, and reinventing your definition of self.

It is not only employment loss that can precipitate depression, but any time you complete a lesson and no longer have it urging you onward. Students may find themselves depressed when they graduate. It is a common occurrence after a divorce, particularly when the wife has been a stay-at-home mom. The loss of family members whose care has been labor intensive towards the end can bring depression, not relief. In each case it is time to start over again.

For those who have no concept of their self-worth this is a feeling of devastation. For those secure in their own power, this is freedom. Depression should be looked upon as an opportunity. You have swept the house clean, so now decorate it as you see fit. Start with an inventory of your abilities, your tools, and your desires. Plan where you want to go and begin the trek.

The first step to success is to live in the moment. Don’t spend time blaming people or condemning yourself-what is done is done. Seize the opportunity to showcase your strengths. Don’t be afraid to follow your feelings into new arenas. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being your new self. See depression as really your friend.

(Note: This discussion does not have to do with depression caused by chemical or other imbalances within the physical body. If you are feeling depressed we suggest you consult with a licensed medical practitioner.)