Daring to Admit to Despondency
One of the characteristics of Western culture is the value we place upon speed and efficiency. If there's a problem we seek the short cut to a solution. Our tolerance to slowness only increases when it suits us, but even those previously prized moments of home and vacations are increasingly being intruded upon, because our technology means we're always available. In the midst of all this are the trials and tribulations of life that cause us to feel stressed, despondent, mournful, angry or depressed.
As much as we may wish it, the fact is these life crises follow a course of their own. They can't be rushed and rarely can they be ignored. Sometimes they come down so hard and so unexpectedly that they become life-changing events. Only in the most extreme circumstances however do we require professional help. Mostly, we ride out our crises through the passage of time and, if we are fortunate, with the help and support of family and friends.
Dejection is a strange beast. At its worst it can lead to depression, yet it can also be a period that forces us to take stock of a situation and perhaps make more positive changes to our lives. The death of a close friend or relative can sometimes have the effect of making us look at our lives with a view to deciding what is really important. Likewise, the loss of a job, the breakdown of a relationship, the onset of illness, or children leaving the nest, puts us in situations that can be emotionally challenging.
How we handle such moments can make the difference between a positive or a partial resolution, or a further slip into despondency and possibly even depression. The most common approach is to make use of the advice, thoughts, wisdom and experience of others. This will only happen if we are prepared to lower our defenses enough to accept that things have changed. Daring to admit the effect of such experiences is important but this is where our own attitudes and behavior can represent obstacles.
Fast paced lives seem to have little wriggle room for allowing the concerns of others to enter. They can become burdensome and irritating even where friends are involved. Tolerance thresholds for supporting others in need often have limits and the person who suddenly has needs will be only too aware of this.
Those fortunate enough to have supportive partners, family and friends are very likely to reach some form of positive resolution. However, we can’t ignore the fact that there are circumstances where disclosure is hard or almost impossible for some people. This is probably the point where professional counseling comes into its own. A person who has the time, experience and interest in listening to another is a valuable asset. Not only can they help the person work through their personal crises, they can also help prevent the slip into depression.