Depression, they say, is programmed in our mind.

Serotonin, neural networks and many other  factors are held responsible for what is possibly the most wide-spread ailment on this planet today. In the developed world, which means the continents of America, Australia and Europe, percentage of people who are suffering from depression or have suffered from depression at some point of  their life is more than half of the population.

People consume Prozac and similar drugs the way one used to take aspirin earlier. No drug seems to cure depression. At best, drugs keep the symptoms under control. In turn, they produce far more dangerous side effects.

Depression is contagious. It is as contagious as common cold is. As in the case of passive smoking, passive depression is quite real. Depression leads to more depression.

Professionals who have been in the fields of psychiatry, clinical psychology, counseling, coaching and nursing have known this for a long time. In the case of psychiatrists and psychotherapists the percentage of passive depression is higher than the general population. What do they do?

Ironic as it may seem, they go to another therapist. Those who cannot heal themselves try to heal others!

In countries like India, as long as joint family system prevailed, when it was common for grandparents to live with the family, psychiatric problems including depression were non-existent. Older people, no longer under pressure to earn, were willing listeners. They acted as safety valves and stress busters in the society.

Temples were another major safety valve. Religion, even if one considered the rituals as superstitious, provided a release for tension and stress. Faith overcame depression.

Relationships with one another and a faith in something beyond our perception have always been strong barriers to mental ailments. In today’s world, where materialism has destroyed many family bonds as well as faith in religion & spirituality, we turn to chemicals as a cure of choice.

This is a vicious cycle that will only destroy.

Faith in one another and a superior intelligent energy beyond ourselves are the surest cures to depression. Meditation, which creates self-awareness in another.

In going back to these traditions, we have nothing to lose but the drugs and depression!