In this discourse “Insight Into Depression”, Sadhguru explains that in most cases of depression a person is simply generating intense thoughts and emotions that are working against them and that in many ways, 70% of all illnesses are self-created.
Sadhguru: If you are capable of causing depression to yourself… I’m saying this not without any concern for your illness or not due to lack of compassion, because that is the nature of what’s happening to you. If you’re causing depression to yourself, you are able to generate substantial amount of intense emotions and thoughts, but in the wrong direction. If you don’t have very strong emotions, very intense thoughts about something, you cannot get depressed. It is just that you are generating thoughts and emotion which work against you, not for you.
So you are strong enough to cause depression to yourself, because for you to cause a mental illness for yourself… unless you are pathologically ill which is just a small number of people, rest are all self-created. Most of them are self-created. A few are pathologically ill, it’s… they cannot help it. It just comes from within because of genetic and other factors. Almost everybody here, if we train them towards a certain kind of thought process and emotion and push them a little bit with the outside situations, almost everybody will go… lose their mental balance, they will become clinically ill. They can be driven to madness, I’m saying, because the line between sanity and insanity is very thin, people keep pushing it.
You get angry, you’re pushing the line; it’s a thin line. In fact when you get angry you know you’re pushing the line, that’s why the expression, ‘I was mad at somebody.’ You are not mad at somebody, you’re just going mad. You cannot be mad at somebody, you’re just pushing your sanity, the boundaries of sanity and moving into insanity, for a certain period of time and coming back. You do one thing, every day you try this – 10 minutes a day try intense anger on somebody. You will see in three months’ time, you will be clinically there. Yes. Just try it, if you want. Because if you keep pushing the line – you go mad and you come back, you go mad and you come back – one day you’re not able to come back, that’s all. One day you’re not able to turn back, then you’re clinically ill. You must understand even if you got angry for a moment, you’re already ill; maybe you don’t get the certificate of diagnosis, they don’t slap a certificate on you that you’re gone, but you are going, isn’t it?
You think it’s your right to throw tantrums, you think it’s your right to get angry with people, you think it’s your privilege to be depressed so that you’ll get attention from somebody. You keep playing this, one day you will not able… you will not be able to turn back. Keep crossing the line every day, one day you will see you cannot cross back, that day you need a doctor. Till then everybody needed a respite from you but the day you can’t cross back they get the respite, because now they can catch you and give you to a doctor. Otherwise you’re temporarily going mad, every day many times a day, they cannot even send you to an asylum, they have to bear with you – your family, your friends, your people around you. If you get at least truly clinically ill, we can hand you over. There’s one temple in Tamil Nadu, you know? Where they chain you and keep you? Where there’s no hospital. No psychological… For ailments there is no hospital. There is a temple that somebody created which is supposed to push people back into sanity. So families just take them and leave them there; they’re shackled and left in the temple. You give them some money, they will feed you, and you’re just there like an animal, tied up.
I think if hospitals were run like this, lot of people wouldn’t go crazy, they would maintain their sanity. Right now it’s too deluxe. If you make hospital extremely comfortable it will become an incentive to become sick, and you have incentives in your life to become ill. Right from your childhood, you got the maximum attention only when you fell ill. When you were happy they screamed at you. When you squealed in joy they screamed back at you – adults. You do… Then bubbu bubbu bubbu bubbu…
when you are a child, physical illness is good because you’ll get attention from your mother and father and everybody around you, and you don’t have to go to school on that day. So you learn the art of falling physically ill. Once you get married, you’ll learn the art of becoming mentally ill because if you want to get attention you go sit in a corner act depressed, people will pay attention to you. So you keep playing this game, one day you’re not able to cross the line back, that day you’re clinically ill.
Unfortunately, in many ways, not just in the way that I said now, in many different ways, I would say 70% of illnesses on the planet, all kinds, are self-created. Even if you get an infection, there is a way, if you keep yourself in a certain way physically and mentally, the virus and the bacteria will not work the same way as it works upon somebody else. If you set yourself like this, ‘No matter what’s happening, anyway I have to go and do this, this and this, there’s no break from that…’ In the last 29 years I have not been able to cancel one program because I’m running temperature or I got a cold, I got this, I got that. It doesn’t matter what’s happening, what you have to do you anyway have to do; you can’t turn back on that. Either out of your commitment or you have a boss like that, one way or the other if it happens, then you will see you will not at all fall sick so often; because if you have temperature you still have to go. If it’s summer you still go, right? No, lot of people don’t go. It’s little hot outside, they don’t go and work. Little cold outside, they don’t go and work. Little raining, they won’t go and work. A snow flake, they will not go and work. This is just weather.
So for every change in weather, if you have the comfort of covering yourself in a blanket and lying down, once you create that, your body will learn to fall sick as often as possible. If you just keep it this way it doesn’t matter what it is, anyway I have to go and do what I have to do, you will see your body will just bounce back as quickly as possible, even if it gets the worst kind of infections.
So you just have to set the necessary conditions for health, necessary incentives for health, both for yourself and your children if you have them. Do not set incentives for sickness. The child is sick, observe him from a distance, never go cuddling – he knows that’s the worst time of his life, and he knows he has to get well soon. And give him the best attention when he is joyful, you will see he naturally learns from within, his very chemistry will learn that it pays to be joyful, it doesn’t pay to be sick.
If you make this very clear to your own biology, to your own chemistry and to everybody around you, you will see people will not fall sick as often as they are right now. So set that up for yourself, you will see you will get healthy. If you can turn your mind this way, you can also turn it this way, I want you to understand this. ‘No, no I am like this because my father abused me when I was 7 years of age.’ If you know all that bullshit, you can as well turn yourself around, isn’t it? It’s time. You must understand mentally, physiologically, chemically, energy-wise – you must clearly understand it doesn’t pay to be sick, unhappy, depressed; it doesn’t pay. To be joyful and ecstatic, it pays. If you make this clear to all this people inside, they will all behave properly.
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