A Sure-Fire Way to Permanently Kill the Seeds of Depression and Addiction
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Will you ever get into depression and addiction if you are completely involved in a task or a project that you forget yourself? What if you have completely controlled your mind and achieved a state of equanimity from pleasure and pain? And what if you have mastered the art of looking at every situation and challenge as an opportunity to learn and to become mature in order to take higher roles and tasks? For sure, in all these three cases, you will be in a much better state to prevent depression and addiction than the rests.
Consider a case when Mr Singh, an executive working in a reputed company went into depression and addiction. How would three stalwarts in psychotherapy, Dr Sigmund Freud, Dr Alfred Adler and Dr Viktor Frankl treat Mr Singh? Let’s do that thought experiment.
First Mr Singh goes to Dr Freud. Freud would go by the theory that the seeds stored in Mr Singh’s subconscious mind may be causing depression and addition. These seeds are also similar to what the eastern philosophy call as ‘vasana’ though would differ on how far back you can go to their source. While Freudian practitioners may try to trace them as far back as to the womb of the mother, the eastern practitioners may believe those to have a source in Mr Singh’s birth.
The challenge is in identifying the exact causes- the childhood upbringing, the family life of parents, major incidences such as death- that resulted in the current state. So if Mr Singh experienced the death of a loved one in early childhood and also had a relationship break up in youth, there is no easy way to identify what is causing the current depression- death or breakup.
Now, Mr Singh goes to Dr Alfred Adler. Adler would orient Mr Singh to his future. Adler would try to find out if there are any feelings of inferiorities that caused the negative feelings in Mr Singh. The future orientation and social interactions would help to generate positive internal strength and power so that Mr Singh would get over the inferiorities. That would help him to get out of depression and addiction.
Now, Mr Singh goes to Dr Viktor Frankl. Frankl would also try to orient Mr Singh to the future. While Adler talked about generating personal power, Frankl would talk about finding meaning.
Frankl would advise that Mr Singh should get involved in the process of creation and/or completing a task. Complete involvement in such projects where Mr Singh would forget himself would help him to get over depression and addiction.
The question is how Mr Singh, without medical intervention, would get into this mode of creation? And most importantly, what would ensure that Mr Singh does not fall back from this process of creation?
This is when the practices of controlling your mind become necessary. The increased mental balance and increased optimism obtained through such practices help you to contribute through creative efforts, to enjoy the unique experiences that life offers you and puts you in a position to look at all challenges as opportunities. When you separate yourself from your thoughts, feelings and moods, you are creating a shield preventing yourself from getting affected by the seeds of depression and addiction.
Using the detached, stable mind in creative efforts directed to contributions will give meaning and hence will help in winning in your life. These contributions will come from what you can uniquely give to this world to help make this world a better place to live in.
While increased control of mind would help to bring the seeds of depression to the surface as Freud would like to do, future orientation through contribution would help to generate personal power and find meaning. That is the sure-fire way to permanently kill the seeds of depression and addiction.