When I look back on my life and remember the events that preceded the four times I experienced depression, Each time involved circumstances that I now realise led straight to despair and feelings of hopelessness. During my time running my group I would say at least 80% of the people I met were definitely fitting very well into this category too.
Interestingly and what I believe is important in relation to depression is the fact that the oldest parts of our brains contain an INVOLUNTARY response known as tonic immobility, better known as Playing Dead. This adaptation is known to be present in all creatures with a broadly developed nevus system and has come into being as a last ditch attempt at keeping us alive when all else has failed during an attack by a predator.
Beyond your control your heart will slow, your body temperature will drop and your subconscious will do all it can to make you appear died. Considering this I was not surprised to regularly hear people talking about not being able to work, to get out of bed for days and not washing. I can also remember my mother having great difficulty even replying to my simple questions.
Therefore could depression simply be the result of our modern more developed but despairing brain with its ability to imagine and anticipate the future literally tricking our older more primitive nervous system into responding accordingly??
Think about it, if we can get our genitals, our tear ducts, salivary glands and our ability to sleep to respond just by using our more advanced executive abilities to influence our older more primitive functions why not the functions related to danger. For example, if I were to talk at length about ant’s or flea’s crawling about all over you its most likely going to make you itch.
In harmony with this subject I was on a long haul flight sometime ago suffering from the affects of waking up too soon in order to get to the airport on time, I had a runny nose and feeling slightly nauseous. After a while I decided to watch a film and chose yes man staring Jim Carrey. Soon I was beginning to get drawn in to the film and forgetting the fact that I was on a plane and feeling bad until suddenly with great surprise I realised that my nose had completely stopped running, I no longer felt sick and instead I was laughing and totally not concerned about anything bothering me at all. As soon as the film ended and I was once again deeply immersed in my true reality all my symptoms slowly returned.
So Although this information may not help you with the conditions that contribute to your feelings of helplessness and despair at least I feel it may give you a greater reason to at least try not to dwell too much on those bad old thoughts of yours that are most likely going nowhere except influencing your subconscious to make everything so much worse.