Depression Is Not What You Think it Is
Despite the spectacular beauty of Greenland, as many as 80 percent of Greenlanders suffer with depression. The reason is not the long winters or the lack of sunlight, as most people believe. The Inuit have adapted to the months of darkness. Throughout winter, their families of twelve or more gather inside the house, usually in a single room because the cost of heating is extremely high. It is too dark and too cold for anyone to go outside, and they must share the same room for months. Nobody talks about themselves. If they are exasperated, angry, anxious or depressed, they never say a word. They suppress the truth, keep their mouths shut, and their feelings blocked. As Andrew Solomon wrote in his book The Noonday Demon,
“the distinctive features of Greenlandic depression are not direct results of the temperature and light; they are the consequence of this taboo against talking about yourself.”
Their silence gets them through many dark winters, and allows them to cope with the difficult problems of survival, but it comes with a devastating price. Suicide accounts for a tenth of all deaths on the island, and the rate among young people is increasing, often tied to alcoholism and domestic violence.
You don’t need to live at the North Pole to not be able express your feelings and live your truth. Your own mind, your unconscious beliefs, a toxic friendship, a job environment or family relationship can choke your will to express who you are with the same tragic effects. Your heart’s calling – your will – is only love and cannot be anything else. Your will flows through your heart and pulls you towards what you most value in life. When you embrace it, you find freedom. When you block it, you find pain. Love is the force that pulls us to follow our dreams and step into the unknown, to reveal and express who we are, to explore, to discover, to create and to bond. Whenever your behaviors conflict with your freedom, whenever you think and act against love, tension grows within yourself. Strain turns into pain. Anger, anxiety, and depression follow.
In this acclaimed article for Huffington Post, I explain in detail, with scientific evidence, how anxiety, depression and addiction result from us not expressing ourselves and not living our truth. Please read it.
(from my upcoming book, Hay House 2018)
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