With the rising cases of depression in society, more and more health practitioners are trying to find solutions and are coming up with more and more medications to cure depression. However, not all depressions are clinical.
Some depressions arise as a result of certain events that happen in the life of the individual and would leave once those situations are put back in order. In such cases, the depression is congruent to the situation of the individual.
Congruent depression can also be called situational depression. Unlike clinical depression which is a malfunctioning of the brain, congruent or situational depression is a result of the normal functioning of the brain.
That is, the brain identifies the unpleasant situations and reacts to them in a bid to push the individual towards being free from those situations.
For instance, the individual who lost a loved one might continue to grieve for a long time. If this grief continues, it may lead to congruent or situational depression because there is an obvious reason for the individual to be depressed.
This, however, doesn’t mean congruent depression is good and should be embraced since it is just normal. It means, instead, that medical cure shouldn’t be sought in such cases because instead of bringing cure, medications might lead to more medical cases and even make the depressive condition more severe.
Differences Between Congruent And Clinical Depression
|Congruent or Situational Depression||Clinical Depression|
|Caused by life events||Caused by physiological disorders|
|Resident in the mind||Resident in biological components|
|Cured by solving the issues or changing your mindset about it||Cured by medications|
How To Overcome Congruent Depression
Since congruent or situational depression doesn’t come from some biological dysfunction, the single key to overcoming it is finding the root cause of the situations triggering the feeling and fixing those situations.
1. Identify the causal situation
Congruent or situational depression doesn’t always linger: there are times when your mind is taken off the depression or depressive thought patterns, and times when they are back. This makes you understand that this depression is not something that is attached to you. You are separate from it or can be separated from it.
So the first step is to identify what you want to be separated from. For easy identification, you should know that what you are trying to identify is thought patterns.
Situational depression is caused by certain thoughts that you hold onto about the situation of events in your life. For example, thoughts or feelings of being marginalized in life, the feeling of lagging in life, the feeling of hopelessness, etc.
At times when this depression takes a strong hold on you, identify the thoughts running through your mind that are making you feel that way.
2. Find an anchor to lean on
I had prepared a different list of steps that could be taken in overcoming situational depression but I want to sincerely provide something that works.
From my experience in helping individuals, I have discovered that finding an anchor on which they could lean, or something that could take away or set aright the situation is the single final solution to situational depression.
If I said, “forget the situation” or “change the situation” that will only leave you more helpless. Surely, the solution to situational depression is to get free from the situation itself.
Thankfully you have identified the situation that you need to get free from. What you need to do next is to simply find an “anchor” on which you can lean in those unpleasant situations or find a burden bearer.
I’ll be explaining the burden-bearing system I have found later on.
3. Have a mindset shift
Albert Ellis, in his Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, explained that nothing in life is positive or negative in itself, instead, it is our perception of those things that make them either positive or negative.
Now, I’m not trying to say that the situations in your life aren’t negative; I’m just trying to guide you through a mindset shift. This is it: instead of focusing on the negativity of all the negative happenings in your life, try to identify some positive outcomes that could come out of those situations.
For example, if you lost a loved one, instead of focusing on the loss and all that your life will now be void of, try to see some advantages that could come out of it: you now have an experience that will help you empathize with others, and if the death was caused by something evitable, you have learned how to avoid future occurrences.
This is just a very basic example, but really there is something positive that can be drawn out of negative experiences.
4. Develop an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude is the opposite of complaint and dissatisfaction. The ability to be grateful for your life is already freedom from situational or congruent depression. Thankfully, gratitude is a skill that can be learned.
After reading this article, go on to read this comprehensive guide to a life of gratitude, it is the complete manual that will take you to a point of total freedom from situational depression.
Now over to the most effective burden-bearing system I found
The Most Effective Burden Bearing System
I grew up in a grossly below-average environment and family. All the odds of life were stacked against me and, no need to pretend, there was no hope for the future. I cried for clothes to wear and developed low self-esteem because I evidently couldn’t match my peers.
I was this intelligent young boy whose intelligence seemed useless and had no help. I was in a depressing situation, not only was I in a depressing situation, the situation held me down depressed over and over again.
I can still vividly remember how it felt when I scored 82% in the entrance exam into the university but wasn’t granted admission because I didn’t have enough financial resources or influential relationships to make it happen.
I’m telling you this because I want you to understand that I was deep in situational depression and the solution is really in having the situations change. Happily, for me, situations began to change.
Firstly, there was immediate relief and rekindling of hope that saved me from the large depressive moments trolling on me also steadily, more things began to change.
For the first time, I began to make sense out of my life and excitement returned and has stayed up until now. Before now, it was almost impossible for me to imagine the so much peace I’ve gotten after I allowed God to carry the burdens. Surprisingly, the burden-bearing system of God really works!
It is built on the foundation of God’s love for humans: a love that doesn’t want to see anyone in pain. If you are in pain, then you can be sure God is reaching out to help you bear that burden.
To hand over your burden to Him, you will need to trust Him and stop trying to keep your life in shape by yourself. Really, you can’t. But if you allow Him, if you let go, if you stop trying to be in control and allow Him to manage the affairs of your life, like me, you will be a changed person with a changed situation.
To begin this journey towards change visit Transformation Lab.
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.