An Electrifying Tale of Depression

We are all a little crazy. And the pressure to fit in can be quite burdensome – especially when deep down we all want to belong in some way, to be loved deeply for who we are. However, when we don’t seem to fit in, when we aren’t sharing that unique human bond that unites our soul to another’s, our spirit is weakened.

In life, when it begins to feel as if everything is too far outside of our control we are susceptible to depression. Sherwin Nuland experienced depression first hand – as many of us have and do – and witnessed the phenomenon to a terrible degree. This man went from a surgical resident who had graduated from Yale Medical school, to a mentally-ill psychiatric patient at a very startling rate. In the Ted Talk titled, “How Electroshock Therapy Changed My Life,” Nuland tells the tale of his spiritual resurrection using science, wit, and emotional intensity. What starts as a slow, first-person narrative, becomes a shocking revelation.

(Strong Language, viewer discretion advised.)

Nuland’s recovery was remarkable. And it came about primarily through a change in his neurophysiological state. We often seek the help of a pill in order to accomplish this, or perhaps a drink will do. It’s true these things do have the ability to change our state. Yet, the side effects seem to cost more than the potential short-term fix. It’s not that we can’t have mild pain reliever when we have a migraine, or have a night out with friends in order to cheer ourselves up. But, there is grave danger when our spirit is dependent solely on a substance. Additionally, when we rely on stronger, more intense drugs, and longer bouts with them, the risk hardly outweighs the reward.

Changing the state of both your mind and body is necessary if you are not well. This change can be accomplished in many different ways, most of them short of electroshock therapy – which, I feel the need to add, is NOT being recommended here, and should only be done under the supervision and administration of professionals, if at all. Take a walk. Ride a bike. Listen to music, cook, dance, play with a child, talk to someone about nothing. Just break the pattern. Get out of the state you’re in just choose your method wisely.

Adversity never ends. And as Nuland said in his talk, “Anything can happen to you. Things change.” People can help you if you give them the opportunity, but you need to know where you want to go. Nuland concludes with a powerful statement: “There is recovery. There is redemption. And there is resurrection.”

Learn to be the Phoenix, resurrect yourself, allow yourself to be reborn time and time again. In sickness and in health – RISE!

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