Lingering Hope: Depression and the Value of Life

Alejandro Grover.jpg

This article was written exclusively for PsyWeb.com by Alejandro Grover. Caught up in a bout of depression, Alejandro shares his thoughts on the value of life.

Almost two months ago my cousin Jeremy Lewis was killed in an aimless three-victim killing spree in Tustin, Calif. I was already suffering from depression and anxiety on a regular basis, but this has taken me over the edge.

Life feels empty, and I feel detached. Structure is one of those things that you hope will help balance your life and improve your overall well-being with time and effort. Losing someone you’ve known since birth and deeply care about completely destroys any notion of structure.

You cannot rely on those you care for – or even yourself – living to see another day. My mind wanders back and forth between realizing how precious life is and devaluing it by examining its significance considering its impermanence.

A Tainted View

I don’t think the value of life can be measured by such limited notions as time. But when people say things like, “Life is special,” and, “Life is precious,” I always want to respond with something like, “Are you sure?” or, “Maybe it’s not,” and I've started to truly feel that way.

I take this as a sign that my depression has gotten serious. I’d never really questioned the value of life in such a stern, pessimistic demeanor. It’s a bit of a useless inquiry as well. Do I really expect to have a rational conclusion about the value of life? It’s far too subjective and has no right or wrong answer.

Clearing the Air

The most effective approach I can think of is to try to make the best of life. Since there’s no real answer about whether life is valuable or not, it’s going to come down to whether you decide to view it negatively or positively. Sometimes life is terrible, there is nothing good, no point to even go on – yet you always have the ability to make changes in your life that could improve your well-being.

One of my problems is that I tend to take on the responsibility of others’ feelings and to devalue my own as secondary or insignificant. In my case it might be a good idea to be a little bit more selfish, considering I’m on such a polar opposite. These deeply dark thoughts that I’ve been having, which have led me to question life itself, seem to be the result of very deep depression.

Light on the Horizon

Deep depression can cause a narrowing of your inner vision. You forget all of the great things and are stuck thinking about the terrible things. People don’t live in magical dimensions where they are happy. Chances are most people deal with the same things, and it’s just a matter of how these things are dealt with.

I’m seeking treatment for my depression, and I suggest anyone who’s feeling this down do the same. It’s a real problem when you’re so depressed that you don’t have the motivation to do what you need to get better. Sometimes you are in that position but don’t realize it. Just remember that you don’t have to be so miserable and that it is not an eternal curse that you can’t control. Take action to feel better.

 
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