How things really are?

I saw a quote saying “depression is a healthy reaction to how things really are”.

There is a lot to explore here.


At a conventional level, we can take depression as a sign to see if we can change something in our life. There may be things in our situation we are unhappy about and can do something about. This can be range from better communication, taking action to take better care of our needs, be more in nature, eat differently, use our body more, change our job, live a different place, and so on.

When I look at how I spend my time, what priorities does it reflect? What are my real and more authentic priorities, and how can I live more according to those?

How do I relate to myself and my experiences? Do I relate with respect, kindness, and patience? If not, how can I shift this and create a new habit?

There may also be something in our perception we can look at. What stressful stories do I have that create depression? What stressful stories do I have that prevent me from taking action and live more in integrity and from my heart?


I understand that the quote comes from a well-intentioned place. Maybe the author wants to tell us that it’s OK to feel whatever we feel (which is true), and encourage us to make changes in our life (which is often appropriate).

At the same time, it seems a bit misguided. Our perception of a situation is not how it “really is”. Our perception comes from our mental representations of the situation, and these are what tend to trigger emotions and depression. We can examine these mental representations, find what’s more true for us than our initial assumptions, and that in itself may shift both our perceptions and what we feel about the situation. It can also free us to take actions so our life is more aligned with our integrity and heart.


It’s important to keep in mind that depression sometimes has a biological cause, for instance, from an illness, infection, or a particular diet. If we make changes to align our life more with our integrity and heart, and also examine any stressful beliefs we can find, and the depression is still here, it’s good to explore anything biological that may contribute to or cause the depression.


When I respond to and elaborate on quotes, it’s usually because they come from a clear place. There is an almost endless amount of quotes that do not reflect so much clarity, so I usually don’t respond to these, but it’s sometimes interesting to explore the validity in it and also where it may be less clear, at least from how it looks to me right now.

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