Krsna Consciousness – Aid for Depression

A Spiritual Aid for Depression
By Ananta Sesa dasa

The Kali-yuga is plagued by many problems. One of the major issues affecting society today is depression. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders, and one million people commit suicide each year because of these issues.
It is crucial to understand what an impact the mind has on our overall well-being. It is stated in the Bhagavad-Gita:
uddhared atmanatmanam
natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah

“A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well” (BG 6:5). If a person feels isolated, unloved, or unappreciated, it can have a devastating effect on the mind, which can illicit other symptoms. On the other hand, if a person feels loved, appreciated and part of something bigger then themselves, then it can have a very positive effect on the mind, which can also improve the body.

Recently, a young female devotee contacted the VCC through our website. She explained that she has suffered for many years with a deep depression. It should be noted that according to WHO, women suffer far more frequently from depression than men since women tend to be more emotional, and in many parts of the world, have far less control over their daily lives and surroundings. This young lady has suffered greatly, fallen into depression, and had been unable to overcome it. In contacting the VCC, she hoped to find a spiritual solution.

As devotees, we care for each other, and let her know in no uncertain terms, that she is loved. Doctors and councilors came together to offer a natural solution to the problem, and her recovery is well on its way. Skype conversations have allowed her to discuss issues with devotees, which has helped her to realize that everyone suffers, but with Krsna’s love and genuine knowledge, it does not matter.

While there are many triggers for depression, it seems that the underlying cause is ego. When we focus too much on ourselves, then we notice every problem, and this can have a ripple effect that escalates to deep depression. However, if through spiritual knowledge, one can let go of the false ego and understand one’s true constitutional position, then one will not be bothered by the effects of the material condition.

We are happy to report that this young devotee is well on her way to overcoming her depression through this understanding. She has recently written in gratitude: “I am very happy for this organization [which] helps and really cares for devotees, because we really need spiritual knowledge”. She has also written that the conversations with the councilor were “inspiring for my soul. I experienced true knowledge”.

The success of this young devotee can be felt the world over if Doctor’s would understand the true cause of mental illness and treat it with spiritual knowledge.

Hare Krsna!

Author:
Arnold A. Smith II, M.A.;D.D. (Ananta Sesa Dasa)
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Youngstown State University
401 DeBartolo Hall
Youngstown OH 44555

“Religion without philosophy is sentiment, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation.”
–Srila Prabhupada