Yes, that’s correct. Therapy – for the most part – will make you depressed. Why? To answer that, first we need to look at depression itself. I may ruffle some feathers, but depression is nothing but self-pity. If you lose a loved one, you will no doubt be sad, but you shouldn’t be depressed. If your romantic aspirations are constantly rejected, you will no doubt be disappointed, but you shouldn’t be depressed. At this point, you may think I am a loon, but I am sorry to say that is simply because you have bought into it. Our world is constantly pounding the idea into your head that being depressed is an illness – that it’s not your fault. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a lie, and if you feel I’m wrong, you have been taken by that lie. Depression is a state of mind that focuses on the greatest problem we have in the world today – “I, Me, Myself”.
“I, Me, Myself” is an attitude that is selfish by definition, as it places you at #1 on your own list. Listen to someone who is depressed and what will you hear? “I just feel so lonely.”, “Nobody seems to get me.”, etc.. Do you notice who these people are focusing on? Sometimes life is rough, I understand, and there is nothing wrong with sharing your feelings to friends or someone close, but there is a fine line to walk between a healthy outpouring of your emotions and whining. Nobody who is depressed is ever focused on other people – ever. It’s just not possible. I know a guy, let’s call him Mark, who in his younger days would throw himself into depression because he saw so many sad things in the world that he couldn’t help change. Doesn’t that sound admirable? He was so burdened by the sorrow of others that it made him depressed. That guy must be a saint. I can tell you with firm resolve, though, that his depression was selfish. Look again at his reason for being depressed. Other people were hurting, but he wanted to play Superman and fix it all himself. The act of depression is a tricky thing that way. It will take genuine and worthy feelings, such as grief or compassion, and turn them into self-focused things. Look at it this way…if you have the time and luxury to wallow in depression – then you have no reason to be depressed. I live in Southern California, where a recent mix of prime conditions caused major fires, and many, many people lost their homes. I feel very sorry for these people, it hurts me to know that others are suffering like that, but if I take that pure emotion and turn into a depression, the attention falls off of them, onto me, and would completely ruin the original intention of my feelings. Even there, if you are depressed because of other people’s pain, it’s pointless – because you’re no help to anyone when you’re sulking in depression.
So, back to the original topic – why would therapy be depressing? Well, what do you do in therapy? You talk about yourself. You complain, really. Therefore, by constantly focusing all your attention and energy onto yourself, you will develop a strong self-focused attitude, and perhaps you may even be happier after a couple of sessions and believe that this is working for you. What will happen, though, when life gets bad again? If you accept that depression is inevitable, that you have no control over it beyond medicating yourself and going to therapy, then you will be stuck in an endless cycle of highs and lows. Do not think that I am standing on a soapbox screaming to an audience, either. I wrote this because it’s something I’ve been through – and I care enough to share that. For far too long in my life (basically ages 14-24), I put the focus on myself, on what I wanted, on trying to satisfy my own needs. Even if they were things like the need to help others, it was still self-focused. After a long battle back and forth between that selfish focused attention and my genuine desire to enjoy life and help people, I finally snapped out of it, and I have now been back in the carefree mood of my childhood. Over the past couple days, I began to fall back into old habits, but after giving myself a good smack in the face, I was inspired to write. I am writing not to destroy the field of mental health, but to encourage the self-realization for those of us who are sane enough to know that depression is a choice. Please, do not let the world convince you that you have no choice, that there are chemicals that make you sick, that you have an inherited illness, or any of the other bologna that is being delivered as science. I am not an unsympathetic fool, either. I wouldn’t approach a retarded man and tell him to stop and just act normal, but there is a difference. That is the danger of this world…it has taken things that are truly out of our self-control, cancer or retardation for example, and combined them with things that are – like depression.
All of this is to say – be happy. If you’re looking for reasons to be unhappy, you’ll find them. So, since that is an obvious statement to any intelligent adult, why not do the opposite? Why not look for the good things? Because, I can guarantee you, if you start thinking about other’s needs first, enjoying the small pleasures in life, and start moving your focus to all the great things that God has here on this little blue planet…if you start doing all that, you’ll soon see how silly depression really is.