Depression As A Form Of Rebellion

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From an existential point of view it can be useful to conceptualize depression as a form of rebellion. There are many ways to rebel. When most of us think of rebellion, we think of being up in arms, fighting tooth and nail, shouting from the rooftops that it’s liberty or death.

But being vocal has its dangers, consequences in the form of punishment and other aversive stimuli from the environment. Many choose more subversive but equally effective ways to show that they’ve had enough. One of these ways is to give up, to stop paying much attention to the outside world, to lose interest in everyone and everything, to check out.

In this sense we can see that depression is the outcome of a process of turning away from life in order to rebel against actual circumstances. You might not be able to fight openly against these circumstances, but no longer engaging with them, no longer even caring about them, accomplishes pretty much the same thing. You put your foot down without the consequences that open rebellion might entail.

If you are depressed, the question to ask yourself is “What does my deepest Self desire for my life and have I been walking that path?” Chances are that the answer to that question will be no, that you have been trying to force things, living your life in a way that society, people close to you, or your ego have been dictating instead of what you really want deep down. Change the practice of your life and your depression will lift. Keep on trying to fight against the grain, living in a way that bars you from your unique self-actualization and with it your destiny, and you’ll keep rebelling by staying depressed.