A woman who is caught in an abusive relationship with her partner and a reader who does not feel his blood boil when he reads about child abuse, are two examples of the complex web of intrigue and conflict that are interwoven in the brain. The woman has two options – she can either acknowledge that the relationship is suffocating and moves on after venting her frustration, or she continues to live with the faith of her love and suffers silently from stress, depression and low self-esteem. In an ideal scenario, if the woman chooses to speak up, she is more likely to be happier than if she lives on without allowing her true emotions to surface.
A recent study has come up with an interesting finding. People are not always keen on experiencing emotions that place them on a high pedestal. Emotions such as love and empathy are transcendent, believed to inculcate a feeling of goodwill. However, as per the findings of the study, 11 percent of the participants wanted to feel fewer of these transcendent emotions than they experienced in their daily life, while 10 percent wanted to feel more unpleasant emotions such as anger or hatred.
The study revealed that across the cultures, participants who experienced their desired emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant, had a stronger sense of fulfilment with their lives and fewer depressive symptoms. Elucidating further on the results of the study, lead researcher, Maya Tamir, a psychology professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says that “happiness is more than simply feeling pleasure and avoiding pain. Happiness is about having experiences that are meaningful and valuable, including emotions that you think are the right ones to have.”
Lesser known causes of depression
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide affecting more than 300 million people across the world. The number of people living with depression has increased by more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. While one of the reasons that fuels depression is the existence of a wide chasm between what “one feels” and what one “desires to feel,” there are several other causes. Some lesser known causes of depression are:
- Sibling rivalry: Those who live in a complex relationship with their siblings are more likely to be depressed than those who bond well. Healthy relationships with siblings transcend into productive relationships with peers and colleagues in later life. However, a rivalry in childhood may turn memories bitter and one could find it more difficult to sustain productive relationships with future partners and acquaintances, which could culminate into a source of misery and depression.
- Lack of fish in one’s diet: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for brain. Omega-3 fatty acids impact the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, in a positive manner. Fish oil improves memory and prevents cognitive decline.
- Medications: Some medications used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders like Valium and Xanax, lopressor for hypertension, and cholesterol-controlling medications may have adverse side effects, including depression.
- Strive for perfection: The determination to be nothing less than the best makes it impossible for a person to accept the reality. If someone fails to be perfect, he or she feels stressed out and is likely to get depressed.
A healthy mix of good lifestyle choices, nutritious diet, physical exercise and pursuit of hobbies help calm the mind and generate positivity. A mind filled with peace will function well and have lesser chances of being afflicted with a mental disorder.
Depression is a treatable illness
Depression is a serious mental health condition requiring immediate diagnosis and treatment from certified mental health experts.