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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Depression as a sign of empathic intelligence

Having lived with depression for almost a half of my life, I realized early on that despite what the doctor says, you cannot really get rid of it. Not completely. Instead, the best you can do is suppress it so that it has little effect on your life. And with this realization, I taught myself how to live with it, keep it in check and more importantly admit to the outside world of its presence.

Few days back I was listing to a youtuber expressing his ideas on depression and It kind of hit close to home. He was talking about the feeling of numbness which makes your body weak and your mind wanting to idle on video games, tv and other forms of cheap entertainment to hide from real world problems which are terrifying and seems persistent.

Scarily, the first step towards helping a depressed person, as dictated by western psychology is, get them to admit that it is a sickness that they are experiencing and with a bit of nonsensical conversations and maybe some pills, you can go back to being “normal”. Because unlike the person in question, other people are normal and are at ease(than said person) with their lives, going about and not complaining. There is a problem. Hence the need of a “fix”.

I believe, depression originates from the realization that in this world we are born knee-deep in BS and whatever we do or say will have little to no impact on anything that really matters. Whether its your family a social group or a situation of circumstance that is causing the problem, an intelligent person should recognize the fact that its never a problem with individuals, where you can may be try and make a difference but rather it is a systematic problem where your action will mostly go unnoticed. People do not behave badly or create toxic situations just because they are bad human beings. Some do, but it is never that simple. Intentionally harmful acts aside, often people are not aware of the negative impacts of their actions. Its always a systematic problem which derives from social, cultural and economical norms. The error here is not necessarily in violence, hatred, greed, or similar things but the acceptance of an ignorant behavior towards said ideas disguised in various governing bodies and social concepts we sadly inherit. In short, its not required by any law to be empathic towards fellow human beings to an extent where your own sate of existence might be slightly altered. People are brainwashed to behave ego-centrically and feel good while doing exactly that. Ones who think or behave differently are identified as misfits and are often victimized. This can be seen even within an intimate social group such as a family. So, in reaction, an intelligent empathic person would develop a defensive mechanism like depression to numb the inevitable pain that is unrecognizable to most and is often reinforce at each stage of life.

The emerging idea is that its not unnatural to see the world for what it is. When I step outside, I see pain all around. I see pain ranging from a plate of chicken to a corporate building with rows of cubicles. We are in a hell of our own creation and people who are “normal” behaves as if all is well. Which is terrifying. Think of the effort that we need to put in just to survive. And how many people are failing at just that, but the game keeps getting harder and harder. There’s poverty, cruelty and all kinds of hate rising around the world. An empathic person will not only be sad but experience sadness vicariously through these victims of circumstance. Better yet an intelligent person will recognize the lack of necessity of such an inhumane structure to live upon. And get strangled in the web of problems that comes with it.

In a more grounded sense, for people who do not have the littlest idea of what depression really is, its not a phase, and you cannot snap out of it. Worst of all its not people being lazy. Its not fun to have a crippling weight on your back that will not let you get up for anything because of this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. And people experience this in different stages too. So, my description should not be an exact match for somebody else’s. Its inherently subjective.

Its wishful thinking that every idea of an end to humanity involves natural catastrophes, extra terrestrial attacks and as of recently, pandemics. But very few seem to see through the crack in the structure itself and the building of pressure in this unsustainable social order. Where there shouldn't be an order or a "norm" in the first place.