Psychology: Anxiety and depression
I was out for a leisurely Sunday drive yesterday and I took a wrong turning and became quite anxious about it. I saw a warning telling me to stay away from the motorway and then I turned to head home and the road was closed. I followed a diversion and it took me in the opposite direction that I wanted to go.
Life can be like that. One wrong turning and you keep on making mistakes and taking wrong turnings. I ended up at the motorway, but crossed the junction and made it home in the end! I did feel more and more anxious the more mistakes that I made; the more ‘wrong turnings’. It wasn’t my fault the signs were wrong or the road was closed, but it was me driving and so who else could I blame. I intend to go back at some time and photograph some of the road signs that are with wrong or downright useless.
Life is about survival and we tend to feel either rewarded if we take the right turning and punished if we take the wrong turning. The rewards are emotional. There are emotional ‘carrots’ and ‘sticks’. When people say to us that we have done good it’s a carrot, it’s like that gold star that teacher gave us when we were kids. Even a favourite soccer team scoring a goal can seem like a reward for supporting the right team. Carrots are transferable!
What if you keep trying to survive and get no carrots, all you get is stick and you feel punished year in and year out? Then you just feel like crawling under a rock and dying. You get depressed. What is the purpose of depression? Does it even have a purpose? We can’t keep on surviving for ever, we grow old and weaker and our bodies wear out. Maybe at some stage we should get depressed and just give up? Maybe depression has a purpose, but if we are still relatively young and not ready to die just yet; our purpose is to survive. We have to calm down and look for the right turnings and see where they lead.
It’s Bank Holiday in England today and the sun’s shining.The photos that I took last week were receive quite favourably, even the local newspaper liked them. Will I make wrong turnings today? Maybe, but I think I might use satellite navigation if I’m going anywhere less familiar. Going out of our comfort zones can lead to more wrong turnings, but it can also lead to the right ones too. We have to be a little adventurous to find the treasures in life.
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