by Tom Plonski
The Bible says, "Rejoice and be glad!" In modern English we usually don't talk that way. In modern English we usually say," Be happy!" When we tell someone to be happy we mean we want the person to rejoice and be glad.
You might have heard a popular song that says, "Don't worry. Be happy." It is difficult to be happy when we are worrying.
Why do we worry?
Usually worrying is a waste of time and energy because our thinking is going in circles and we are not coming up with the solutions we need to avoid the sad thing we are worrying about.
When we are happy we are rejoicing and we are glad because of good things that have happened and we expect good things to continue to happen in the future. It is impossible to be focusing our minds on sad things and to be happy at the same time.
What is depression?
Why do we get depressed?
If your tooth hurts because you have a cavity you can take pills called pain-killers and the pain will stop. But this does not fix the cavity. If you do not repair the cavity it will just keep getting worse. Taking the pain killers is not the real, long-term solution here. Taking the pain killers is just a temporary way to be more comfortable until we can get to the dentist and really repair the tooth. Sometimes people avoid going to the dentist because they expect the dental procedures will also be painful. But in this instance the right thing to do is to stop the cause of the pain by repairing the tooth. Worrying about the tooth will not fix the problem.
Some people who are depressed will resort to alcohol or drugs in order to make the mental pain more tolerable. But this does not repair the real problem. It only replaces one problem with a worse problem.
Some people who are depressed will go to a doctor or psychiatrist or psychologist in order to try to repair the problem. Sometimes these professionals will prescribe mood-altering drugs. But mood-altering drugs do nor repair the real problem. When these professionals continue to prescribe mood-altering drugs for a very long time, this is tacitly admitting that they do not know how to repair this problem. The real cure for depression does not require any drugs. The drugs might be necessary temporarily but they are not the solution to this problem. The drugs are only a temporary way to make the patient more comfortable until the real solution can be used.
Some psychiatrists say that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. Their solution is to introduce other chemicals in an attempt to balance the chemicals and so remove the depression. But this is not the true solution. The true solution would require discovering what is causing the chemical imbalance and repair the cause of the imbalance so prescribing other chemicals would be unnecessary. Remove the cause of the disease and the disease will vanish.
So What really causes depression?
God is the creator of all things visible and invisible. God created feelings and emotions. God is a good God. God created feelings and emotions for a good purpose. We need out emotions to help us survive and become happy. When we are in physical danger we have fear and anger to help us be strong enough to deal with the danger and survive. We also have feelings of pain to let us know something dangerous is happening to our physical body. We have the euphoria of falling in love so that we will be encouraged to mate and procreate. The animals live by the instincts: "If it feels good do it. If feels bad don't do it."
But man is not a mere animal.
Can man control his emotions?
What are emotions?
Some movies are designed to make the audience cry. We do not see many movies like this any more but in years past there were several movies that became famous because they made the audiences cry. If you want to make someone angry, do things and say things in front of the person that you know from experience have made him angry before. When cheerleaders at a football game want their team to try harder, they know what to say over and over again which will make the team members feel like trying harder. When a mother wants here tiny baby to calm down and stop crying, she knows what to do and say to take the baby's mind off what he was crying about and think instead of what the mother is doing and saying and the way she is saying it.
There are examples of medical operations which were performed without anesthesia and the patient remained awake and painless because he was hypnotized. Also it is possible to perform surgery painlessly by using anesthesia. The patient does not feel pain because the thought never reaches his mind.
Emotions are a reaction to our thoughts. We have free will so we can decide what we will do and what we will think about. So we can influence our emotions so we will be reacting to thoughts and behavior of our choice.
Sometime people have regrets. They have regrets because, as they look back on their lives, they see that they have done things they wish they would have done differently. Ten years from now you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I did the right thing!" Ten years from now you do not want to look at yourself in the mirror and have to say, "I did not have the courage to do the right thing."
Sometime we are not sure what is the right thing to do at this particular moment. Please read my essays about making decisions and about responsibility. These hold the true clues about how to deal with worry and depression.