Sadness is present in the daily struggles of each one of us. It is the natural reaction of an individual who is dealing with their own expectations, dreams, and frustrations all the time. In fact, it’s part of how human beings mature and it’s also a temporary, useful, and proportional adaptation response to the experience of suffering.
However, it really does have to be temporary and proportional to what has happened, because when this negative feeling becomes recurrent and is followed by other harmful behaviors, you must be careful, because it may be a sign of depression.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this mental disorder will be the second leading cause of world disability by 2020. Depression affects around 350 million people worldwide and is the biggest cause of disability in the job market (it is a major cause of work absence).
In the worst scenario, the disorder can lead to suicide, which is the second main cause of death among people aged 15-29.
Some causes and signs of depression:
Depression is a serious disorder
That is why we need to understand this issue without prejudice or judgment, and we must not ignore the signs. Depression is a serious disorder (which has different symptoms and stages) but one that can be prevented and treated.
When the signs are detected a specialist, either a psychiatrist or psychologist, needs to be consulted for a diagnosis; they will suggest the best course of treatment for each particular case.
Above all, we need to understand that suicide is never a solution, as the late Proclaimer of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), taught us:
“Suicide does not resolve anyone's anguish.”
Therefore, based on the ecumenical view of spiritual enlightenment of the Religion of the Third Millennium, this text will help us understand how we can improve our lives and the lives of those we love.
In addition to the necessary care we need to take of our body, it’s urgent to take into account the individual’s Eternal Spirit.
This article is the result of a recent talk given by the Minister-Preacher of the Religion of Universal Love, Paula Suelí, and by the host of Viver é Melhor! [To Live is Better] (Boa Vontade TV2), Camila Barbieri.
Scientific research proves that prolonged sadness lowers immunity, creates an environment conducive to disease, and causes the body to release stressful hormones, resulting in a number of negative health consequences. Be alert: sadness that does not go away and that you no longer know the reason for may be a sign of depression. Pay attention to yourself and to those around you.
Coping with pain in order to overcome depression
"No one should fear Pain, for it sets the Soul free. Nevertheless, we must know how to value the teachings that it has to offer throughout our journey. Suffering will be of no use for us if we have not absorbed its eloquent lessons,"
says the President-Preacher of the Religion of Universal Love, José de Paiva Netto. It is important that we reflect about this. After all, how often suffering makes us wake up to situations and choices that need to be adjusted in our lives. So we must not be prisoners to suffering, but learn from it.
The spiritual safety
Another reason not to hold on too tightly to this feeling that does us no good is our spiritual safety, because there are still ignorant discarnate Spirits who, even after the phenomenon of death, continue to be consumed by sadness and negativism, and end up being attracted to us when we share the same energy.
If we persist with this behavior, we shall open up spiritual opportunities for these Spirits to influence us, conveying an unhappy perspective on life.
To better understand the subject, it’s important to consider the teaching of the Divine Religion on the Law of Attraction; everything we think about, we attract to ourselves.
The understanding of this reality should not lead us to live in fear or with a persecution complex: "I’m sad, it must be an obsessor!" No!
Understanding this Divine Law enhances our strength and our capacity for spiritual defense, by alerting us to the existence of spiritual company (which can be elevated and beneficial or inferior and destructive) so that at times of deep sadness we can reflect on what kind of influence we are attracting and then ask ourselves: “I'm sad about this, but do I have a reason to feel that bad? Is my sadness proportional to what I'm going through?”
The first step to overcome depression
So this is the first step to help us overcome depression: it’s very important that we learn to defend ourselves, because feelings are the channel by which both the ignorant Souls and the Souls of Light are drawn to us.
Let’s stay alert, because the presence of the inferior spiritual beings is harmful to the individual’s life and may even lead to obsession.
This is the precaution we need to take against the "invisible wolf," the ungoverned (troubled) thinking on which Brother Paiva enlightens us in his series of articles, A Missão dos Setenta e a Lição do Lobo [The Mission of the Seventy and the Lesson of the Wolf]:
“The lesson is, therefore, that we should remain vigilant and active, constantly tuned with our dedicated Guardian Angels, as opposed to having ungoverned thinking, so we do not fall victim to it. After all, we are what we think, speak, and do.”
Looking after your health is also preventing depression
Another risk factor for depression is alcohol and drug use. Many people seek these substances to try to ease pain, but it will not diminish; it will just be prolonged because drugs and alcohol overstimulate the brain in such a way that when the effect wears off, both the person and the organism itself become depressed.
And the individual often uses the drug again (thus triggering an addiction), because the body does not want to be in that state of “sadness.”
Therefore, alcohol and drugs increase the risk of suffering from depression, and the opposite also occurs: the disorder can be a gateway to the use of these substances.
In that case two sicknesses will need to be treated. Furthermore, spiritually, the use of drugs can aggravate the condition of the person, by attracting to him/her the ignorant and troubled invisible beings already mentioned in this text.
Who thinks and who feels: the body or the spirit?
Remember we said that frequent sadness and bad thoughts can be a sign of depression? Well, we believe that the control of feelings and the origin of thoughts come from our Spirit, which is our spiritual identity.
The body without the Soul feels nothing. This does not mean, however, that what we feel does not have an impact on the body. And why is it important to know this? Because we need to seek the necessary medical assistance.
However, it is essential to address the origin of the problem that is in the Spirit, and to identify what makes the person feel so isolated, unhappy, and abandoned.
Something very important to remember is that the Soul has a history; because of the Universal Law of Reincarnation we have already lived and been reborn many times. We have had pain, disappointments, abandonments, and emotional traumas affecting our Spirit that needs time to heal. In the same way, we have already had happy experiences and we can have many more.
The knowledge about this helps us understand that some problems may have their cause even before this material existence (in other incarnations) and that what the person is experiencing may be the result of something that was not resolved in other lives.
Hence the importance of not giving in to suffering! We do not know for how long we have been fighting this feeling. Sometimes, spiritually, it may only take a few more steps to overcome this pain and to fulfill our role in this existence.
In Apocalipse sem medo [Apocalypse Without Fear], pages 73 and 74, Brother Paiva Netto writes:
"Let it not slip from our memory what we promised in the Spiritual Sphere to do on Earth in benefit of our fellow beings. Generally, we are settling mistakes we committed in previous existences. I want to reaffirm the following: reincarnation is not punishment from God. On the contrary, it is His mercy granting us new chances. It is better than eternal hell. How can a father wish that his son―however much wrong he has done in a life of 50, 60, 70, or even 100 years―spend Eternity in infernal suffering, in the flames that do not consume? . . .”
Combining medical knowledge and spiritual wisdom in the treatment of depression
We need to combine the both treatments: the material and the spiritual. This is an essential step for overcoming depression.
Having appropriate medical treatment (from a psychologist and a psychiatrist) and following it correctly is extremely important, even if this requires the use of medication prescribed by the practitioner. Likewise, spiritual care is essential because it is preventive and contributes to the cure.
With regard to the latter, there are a few recommendations that can help us deal with the challenging moments and find the strength we need to overcome them.
― Pray: when you get up or go to bed, when preparing for an important appointment, or dealing with a challenge at work, but mainly when negative thoughts that may trigger depression start coming into your head. You need to react immediately and seek Heavenly protection (along with the necessary material care), and affirm: “I’m not defeated; I’m fighting and winning.”
― Drink Blessed Water;
― Say an ecumenical prayer with the family: The Ecumenical Meeting of the New Commandment of Jesus at Home;
― Take part in solidary activities: which is healthy not only because voluntary work is an important ally in overcoming depression, but because it means that we get involved in another type of spiritual energy, that of solidarity, which leads to Peace ad inner happiness.
Don't give up!
It is important to consider that both care of the Spirit and material measures will demand perseverance, because depression is not something that changes overnight; in other words, it is not just because a particular course of treatment has started that everything has changed.
If we compare it with athletics, neither of the types of treatment is a sprint; they are a marathon because they are going to require resistance. Two thousand years ago Jesus, the Divine Master, taught us:
"In your perseverance you will save your souls" (Gospel according to Luke 21:19).
Another recommendation to help us lift our spirits is to listen to quiet, orchestral music, and Ave Marias, compositions that touch the heart and bring us strength and protection when other material resources cannot help us.
Let us also remember this precious teaching of Brother Paiva Netto, found in his article Vencer o Sofrimento do corpo e da Alma [Overcoming the Suffering of the Body and Soul]:
“We all face problems. All of us! The drama may not be strictly personal, but we suffer because of the pain of someone who is dear to us. This is a world of paradoxes, of unthinkable contrasts. Ultimately, we are simple fallible beings, pleading for the tranquility of the Soul; instinctively longing for harmony, allied with knowledge of the Truth, preferably the Divine Truth.
Jesus, the Great Friend who never abandons a friend in the middle of the way, has the capacity to illuminate the innermost being of individuals.” Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) taught us that: ‘No suffering is in vain, no tear is lost. Human life is merely a preparation for the True Life. There is no weeping that God does not see. And who of us does not cry our secret tears? The Heavenly Father keeps them for all Eternity.’”
No one loses because they fight for Life!
If you have any question and/or comment about this and other topics, send them to the Religion of the Third Millennium. Let the Ecumenical Spirituality become a part of your life! And if you felt good reading this article, share it! It might touch the heart of other people too.
1- Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit — also called the Religion of the Third Millennium, and the Religion of Universal Love. This is the Ecumenical Religion of Brazil and the world.
2 - The Super Good Will Communications Network, which had its origin within the Brazilian radiobroadcasting environment, during the 1940s, and which grew to include the printed press, TV and the internet media. At the present time, this communication network has its own content, produced in seven countries, under the direction of the Institutions of Good Will (IBVs, in Portuguese), comprised of the Legion of Good Will (LBV) , the Religion of God and the José de Paiva Netto Foundation.