After spending 3 years in a war on the Namibian, South-African border, fighting the ANC, SWAPO, Chinese, Russian and Cuban forces doing what I was trained for 6 months to do well, killing people efficiently as a sniper in a unit called the Police Brigade, (not the regular army) The police brigade was S.A’s first line of defense, almost like the Texas Rangers who were regular police officers applied as a fighting unit in Vietnam, and in various other hot-spot areas in the world, as far as I can tell. Today’s Texas Rangers are a respected law enforcement unit that leads criminal investigations in major crimes, unsolved crimes, serial crimes, public corruption, officer-involved shootings, and border security. The Texas Rangers are a division within the Texas Department of Public Safety.

 Why am I telling you this, cos, while a soldier in the regular army, The SANDF, get psychologically debriefed on returning from active duty, while at the time, the returning police officers in the brigade, were basically told, “Cowboys don’t cry, so get on with your regular patrol duties.” We received no psyche or other debriefing and anyone having symptoms of anxiety or post-combat depression had to grin and bear it. 

The result is that there were a few thousand “sick cops” walking around in my country,  in the 1980s fortunately, there are not too many of us left now as most are way past their SELBY DATE old or dead. I recently wanted to know what depression felt like because I was feeling “fine” all these many years since the war, I think!? So, these are the symptoms. If you feel inexplicably sad for weeks on end, find yourself chronically low on energy or motivation, or no longer enjoy doing things that used to interest you, you might be experiencing depression.

 It’s not necessarily about feeling sad. Depression is often just a numb feeling rather than sadness. Often it’s not something you can even control or just get over like the ‘blues’. There are a number of different types of depression, with distinct symptoms and causes which can include factors such as inexplicable mood swings personality changes, and these may lead to substance and alcohol abuse,  other symptoms are a difficulty, coping with life events or traumatic experiences. If you or someone close to you are experiencing any similar weird personality changes, don’t tell them to “snap out of it”. It’s not something they can snap out of unassisted.

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  1. I think when we feel no meaning in our lives, and feel unappreciated by anyone for living it, as we are doing so, this can lead to depression.

    Unappreciatedness leads to depression, when it is linked to a lack of love being felt for services rendered, which makes our service then seem meaningless in many respects.

    When we find meaning in our every day, it’s harder to remain depressed, as meaning brings activity to us, and then, we usually want to live this meaning in life-giving ways, than to allow it to be buried under depression.

    If we feel valued by others, and by ourselves, this helps too, I think.

    Others like to be followers, rather than leaders, and without someone to follow anymore, we become depressed in our having to do this for ourselves, and to lead ourselves in our lives, rather than just following the lead of someone else, as happens in the army, for example.

    A change from action to non-action might also be a factor in depression arising.

    • Well, I sure think you have a great understanding of the subject, I pretty much see it the same way you described it. I feel that I was one of the lucky one’s cos I’m not going through any of it, and believe me, I went right through the “eye of the storm” and don’t somehow have any of those symptoms, at least, not noticeably so.

      • Thanks. That’s only my opinion, as I believe that there are many varied causes, with some cases being caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, if we believe the doctors.

        For me, I do not admit to being depressed, but I do have a lot of the “symptoms”.

        Lack of motivation, lack of purpose, lack of direction, lethargic, “couldn’t be bothered doing anything much”.

        For me, though, I see this as not being bodily based.

        My problem is more spiritual. I feel powerless in my life, and this depresses me. I feel ignorant without access to real truth, about these spiritual things.

        I am angry with life, with God, etc, that I am forced to live my life, in the dark, so to speak, like a worm on the end of God’s fishing line, and this is what depresses me.

        • My dear friend, fortunately, you are more normal than most people around you. Those are the very things that should worry every person on earth. But take a look around you, the here and now is all people are concerned about. When a certain “rich” person asked Jesus, how to get into heaven, Jesus told him to give all his riches to the poor. He did not mean natural wealth, (his very command is that we must prosper, like Kings and Princes) No, what he was saying was that we must always be on the lookout for those who have been cast out like rags, ie (bind their wounds) care in any way possible. Here is another parable to think about, “whatsoever you do unto the least in me, you do to me also.”
          The one thing Jesus hated was idleness…

          • Thanks for your reply, Andre.

            One thing, I would say, is that God, himself, would never get depressed.

            It is impossible for love to be depressed.

            Depression comes from our not loving our self, others, and God.

            This is why God told us to love without reservation, fully, totally.

            When we love in this way, God lives in us, through us, and all we do is for him, because God is that love.

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