I wrote this letter to a friend a while back, it says, clearly, the way I see depression, and how it's dealt with, and the harm that is being caused to depressed people by false information.
I guess you and I are not quite on the same page as far as "responsibility" - that's ok, it's how I learn, and hopefully others may learn something from me. I think it's a great idea to try to take control of our future, and theoretically, it's nice to think that something will magically change if we go at it with a smile and a good attitude. The reality, though, is that that's not the way it works. My belief is that we are actually powerless to have any control over most things - and that should be validated, but, we should also be taught that that's life, that there will always be obstacles, and that we should learn from our past, our less than pleasant experiences, expect that there will be more obstacles, but that we must keep at it, find ways to break through them, hop over them, dig under them, or go around them. It would be a great thing if such people could get some kind of real world help - especially in a financial way, but that rarely happens - that's where humanity has broken down, so depression is always going to be a very difficult condition to remedy, if it can be truly remedied at all. Anyway, we need to be told that everything in life is an ongoing process, and whatever obstacle we are confronted with at any given moment is simply part of our path, our life. We can be told to take a step back when confronted with something that seems impossible, calm down, think, and maybe go at it a different way. Usually, though, what is told to us is that we somehow screwed up, and that our "failure" is our own fault. It's been parroted that, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result" - well, nothing could be further from the truth - that could easily be translated to, "If you try something a couple of times and it doesn't bring you the results you want, then give it up and do something else" - not necessarily good advice. Most artists who "succeed" tried the same thing hundreds of times before they got a result that they were after. There are situations where such a statement could apply, but more often than not, it will only be confusing - keeping in mind, we are dealing with a person who is already having trouble dealing with life. When dealing with a person who is depressed, a therapist must realize that most depression is caused by the following things, and I speak from first hand experience. First, he or she sees the world, the universe, and people, as constantly working against him, and that that unseen and unexplainable force is relentless. Also, we see people who do not earn anything have things fall right into their lap - we see this as "luck". Last but not least, we see the world, mostly people - as hostile - and again, endlessly so. The sad truth is, there is such a thing as luck, we are surrounded by the sneaky, the cowardly, and the lazy, who always seem to land on their feet, always seeming to have someone there to catch them, bail them out, care about them, and worst of all, that the unseen forces of the universe seem to always come to their rescue. Also, while we may understand that a certain "successful" person may have worked hard to get where he is, there are thousands of others who worked just as hard if not harder, but did not have the luck factor, and subsequently are not getting the results they are striving for. Once again, we see this as the universe relentlessly working against us, and against decent, hard working people. It doesn't help when we hear Bill O'Reilly, Rush, Hannity, and other right wing extremist idiots and their parrots telling us that if we are poor, that we chose that life, that all we are in this world for is to sit around with our hand out wanting more "stuff" for free. There is an infinity of such clever cliches - all designed to belittle any person who does not achieve certain positions in society, and/or a certain amount of dollar signs attached to his rear end. On the subject of hostility, something I've recently given a lot of thought to is that there are certain things that are built in at the atomic level - things such as the way matter attracts matter, but then after a certain amount of time, starts to repel. We perceive this as age. There are other phenomenon that occur. One is that there is an energy field that with most life forms (including animate and inanimate objects), the energy field moves in a certain direction. With some people, and some inanimate life forms, this energy field moves in a different direction, so, when a person has that condition, he will repel other life forms (animate and inanimate) whose energy field is moving in the more common direction. The result is that people like me feel unwelcome in the world, we see that most things (what we perceive as "the universe"), and most people work against us - with no explainable, visible, or tangible reason. Of course, people who do not experience such a thing will never acknowledge such a thing, and will usually belittle a person who lives in that world - very harmful. In my experience, I've had people, more times than I can begin to count, be hostile at me before they even see my face - while others seem to attract the good side of the same person who was just nasty to me seconds earlier. I'm not sure yet about much beyond what I already said on that subject, but I think such people (whose energy field moves in the opposite direction of most) have other abilities - abilities that can propel us into things that most do not comprehend (not necessarily better or worse, just different, unconventional) - if we have the good fortune to discover that, and what to do with it. Some such people have achieved great things, but most end up depressed, homeless, in prison, and/or dead way before their time - because society does not accept such people unless they do achieve something "great". I personally know a few such people in my own life. What I've arrived at is that what we humans do here is important, and we should take our ego out of the equation. In a few thousand years, nothing we do will matter, much less be known about, and when this solar system explodes, nothing we do will ever be known by any other life form. In our society, with all the B.S. that is fed to us, most cannot handle that idea - still another sad reality. We should be decent, and we should contribute something good to the world - but because we want to, and definitely not because we fear laws, karma, or some cartoon character sitting up there in the sky who would send us to an eternal "hell" should we not live up to certain expectations. Another thing I learned - from Buddhist teachings, is that when we start to head towards true "enlightenment", we learn to abandon excessiveness. Humans, being in the current society that we're in, we are taught the opposite - that more is better, the more digits we have in our online bank statements, and the more stuff we have, the better person we are - and if I may say - what a bunch of flaming bullshit. So, with a depressed person, we need to be validated, but then taught that we can learn from our path - and it is simply a path - not good or bad, just a path full of occurrences. Yes, some things are less pleasant than others, but again, that's one of the things that is built in at the sub atomic level, and it's just the way it is. There are other factors that contribute to depression - such as the fact that most people are not ok with who or what they are - that's a big one. Such a person needs to be told that pretentiousness is not a good thing, and will never bring good results. The mediocre must learn to be ok with being mediocre, the slow need to learn to be ok with being slow, and people who have bigger goals, and subsequently bigger obstacles, must be ok with whatever happens to them as a result of striving for unconventional things. We must be aware of our virtues, as well as our shortcomings, and we must wear it all proudly. I'm amazed at how many people are not ok with who or what they are - they will deny, bully, lie, attack, and whatever else - in order to defend against a person who is observing and stating a less than flattering truth. Denial, suppression of any kind - will more often than not, manifest itself in some physical way at some point in such a person's life. This is only part of the equation, but these are the things that I've observed, and they are things that need to be addressed.
Back on the subject of money for just a short minute - should I ever make a bunch of money, people who have helped me (including you) will benefit tenfold. I'll make sure my son is set up for the rest of his life, and the rest of my money I'll give it away. When some hotshot investment broker comes knocking on my door, wanting me to invest my money in his brother in law's latest scam, I'll laugh in his face, tell him to take a hike, but not before I show him where all my money will go - which is to underpriviledged people, starving and/or injured animals, and wherever else I see fit - making sure that no person or company (including the government) that uses their money and power to screw with people gets their hands on a dime of it. While it would bring me great satisfaction to have these things happen to me, should it not happen, I'll be ok with it. I'm pretty sure though, that at least one of my current projects will bring me some decent money - it would have been great to have had the means to do them sooner, but that not being the case, I'm working now on doing them before too long.