I would have to say Pandara, that there is depression beyond the level of moods. In the cases you speak of, yes it’s a person’s repeating thought-patterns that get them in a chain of consecutive moments of negativity. This can effectively be reduced and changed with multiple methods of therapy, yoga etc.
But there is another form of depression, it seems to me, that comes not from ones conditioned patterns (well in a way it does, but not in the conventional way) but it comes from utter hopelessness.
If I speak from personal experience, I have to state that when in this type of depression, one can still be open to all suggestions about himself. If someone says: “Hey, take at look at your mind, it’s repeatedly telling you this and that.” than you are open to that and willing to look at it. But in my experience it weren’t merely egoistic thoughts that made me feel down, nor was I feeling down in the regular sense of the word. Instead, I was utterly helpless, hopeless, inspiration-less, motivation-less, etc.
This was not a mood created by my thinking about myself, because even when I was exceptionally clear-minded and empty, depression, hopelessness, was there. What was it then?
In my case, I had put so much intention into reaching something, I had used so much effort to build some ‘spiritual’ structure of reference I would consciously and unconsciously use to explain everything I encountered, that at some point it all just collapsed and simply nothing I thought of and nothing that crossed my path could motivate me because I saw no meaning or use in any of it anymore. I knew at some crazy level that whatever I would do or undertake, would not lead to anything, EVER!
From this arose a period of utter hopelessness, also resulting in emotional moods like depression, intense fear, anxiety, clinginess even though I knew nothing could be effectively clung to…
So no matter what I was thinking, it was just there as a complete hopelessness.
This ‘type,’ if I may call it that, of depression is not something one gets over with if someone tells him that it is due to his own egoistic thinking and such. Just wanted to share this. Other than this, I would agree that sometimes a gentle or rough pat on the but can help someone to take that one step back where he can see his own thinking and through that realize his patterns and such. This is indeed an effective approach in many cases. And I am confident that you will be able to bring such a change in a most compassionate way, why? because you are utterly well-intended, as always.
But that approach just did not help in my situation at all, since it did not have any value or power to bring about something… nothing would.
The only thing that could help me was… nothing.
So this is my statement for those who are in utter hopelessness: You really are in utter hopelessness and nothing you can do can change your depression.
This may sound like the cruelest advice anyone can give you, but it actually is the best advice anyone can give you. Because the moment you accept the fact that your situation is utterly hopeless… Your situation won’t change still! You will still be in utter hopelessness!! The only thing you can do to find true peace even in hopelessness, is by no longer to trying to change your state of being. Accept hopelessness completely.
From this arises clarity, love and wisdom. Hopelessness/depression at this level will either stay or leave on it’s own account. Accepting hopelessness as it is and no longer fighting with it, will bring you at peace with whatever is. That does not mean that hopelessness necessarily goes and peace comes to replace it, no. It is deeper than that. Peace just arises as a natural presence, on top of whatever your experience may be. Accepting whatever is, will not necessarily change whatever is, but it will transcend you to that place in which you are beyond all states of mind. Because if peace is what you experience even in the face of depression, than that peace must be coming from a freedom that’s not touched by the depression. That freedom is your nature at all times. No longer trying to change or improve your state of mind, whatever it is, will make you see the naturalness of this.
Love to Self,