Symptoms of depression: As told by Dr Ambrose Cato George to Abigail George
What is depression
Life in South Africa can result in us having good and bad feelings. Sometimes we feel happy and sometimes we feel sad. However, when these sad feelings carry on for longer periods and interfere with the person’s ability to perform his responsibilities at home and at work, then that person could be suffering from a serious illness namely depression.
I have suffered from depression for the majority of my adult life. During this time, I have experienced much pain and suffering from the illness that affected all aspects of my life. There were many times that thoughts of suicide were constantly in my mind.
But I persevered and have lived to tell my story, a story of hope and happiness. Over the years I have learned to cope, by looking out for the signs of depression and getting immediate treatment for it.
The signs are important to all South Africans since we all confronted by stressors such as crime, violence, family abuse, rape, HIV/Aids, unemployment, retrenchment and the like.
I invite you to follow the signs of depression with me, the educator.
It is difficult to become aware that you are slowing down. I take action when I become less active at home and at work. I lost interest in the learners and what they were doing. This had to be a sign to family and co-workers that something was wrong with me.
Lack of interest and motivation
I lost complete interest in what was expected of me as an educator. There was no clarity in my thoughts to the extent that I could not see any good in what I had experienced in the past.
This was one of the most difficult features of my depression to handle. I felt tired on waking in the morning and had no energy to see me through the day. If you are an active individual and you become slowed down by tiredness you need urgent medical attention.
As soon as my pattern of sleep is disrupted, I take immediate action. Waking up in the early hours of the morning and taking a long time to fall asleep means trouble of insomnia. See a doctor immediately.
Poor concentration and memory
This factor had a very painful effect on me as an educator. It was very difficult for me to concentrate in order to prepare my lessons. It was ever more difficult to present it to the class.
Disturbance with the appetite
Depression goes hand in hand with one eating too much or too little. With my depression, I lost my appetite to the extent that I stopped eating. The desire and need to eat was completely absent. This situation is very serious as it could lead to other physical ailments and even destroying yourself.
Frequent thoughts about death and dying and particularly suicidal thoughts need drastic action. When I was thinking about suicide, I contacted members of my support group immediately.
My mood and daily vision, which had been bright, can become dark and dismal. Going to bed at night was a frightening experience as I hoped I would never wake up. Action need to be taken immediately.
Reduction in sex drive
It is a serious problem, which must be handled with insight, understanding and maturity.
When I am very depressed, I am overcome with a feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness. The large classes, the undisciplined pupils, poor motivation and lack of concentration gave me a sense of hopelessness. I felt that there was no way out. I then knew I needed help.
Loss of self-esteem
When I start feeling no good and think that I am a failure, I realise that I am on the road of a bout of depression.
Throughout my years as a depression sufferer, I have been sensitive to the signs, which I have mentioned above.
From a medical point of view, a person can be considered depressed, if they have at least five of the signs mentioned above. Everyone must take swift action when they, a friend or a colleague is affected by depression. You can learn to cope with depression. There is hope.
The Art Of Communication: God, Intervention And The Divine Space
The more consistent we are at being kind to ourselves, kinder to the natural environment and the more loving we are to ourselves and to other people who find themselves in less fortunate circumstances than we find ourselves in, the luckier it seems we will become, the more tolerant of other people we become and the more we will gain and obtain understanding of and into our true nature, instinct, our humanity and the world around us with a modicum of circumspection.
I truly believe that a realm of understanding and infinite possibilities is opening up to humanity at this point in time in our history. Look how far we have come from the Essenes, Mayans, the Egyptians and their star maps, and the Sumarians. The Dead Sea Scrolls have taught us that erudite and gifted scholars wrote the Bible. Men who were intellectually ahead of their time, spiritually cognisant and self-aware visionary thinkers whose psychic abilities knew no bounds. What do ancient civilizations have to teach us about the universe? I think that the question that we should be asking is what does it have to teach us about vibration, energy and frequency.
We will live the best version of ourselves when we are cognisant and aware of the mind-body-spirit balance. When we live our lives with intention and purpose we fulfil God’s mandate and sacred assignment in our lives within the construct of a very highly intelligent order. My life has changed for the better. I always felt tired, exhausted, I experienced lower back pain, I wasn’t able to run simple errands like going to the bank or to the shops to buy groceries and now I can since my entire mindset and attitude has changed when it comes to understanding and acknowledging the love language of my soul and the mind-body-spirit balance.
I have seen when I operate at the level of the divine I am granted access to the ancient knowledge of the source and the known universe. I have incredible levels of energy, I am able to multitask, generate multiple income streams, I am lucky, content, fulfilled, I don’t overeat, I take care of myself. In arguments I am calm and keep a cool head. I have become kinder to myself and much more level-headed over the years. Our mental wellness, physical wellbeing, and how we handle our emotions are all about self-care and self-love. These are neither delusions of grandeur nor are they a form of poppycock or hocus pocus ideology. I am granted these superhuman instances of this in my own life and speak from experience. I feel I am more grounded and connected to the people in my family than I ever have been before.
It was always difficult for me to handle the disconnections in my familial relationships but this is something that we as humanity and the human race struggle with. We come to this planet from the source or call it the known universe to learn, to gather information, to make the world that we live in a better place that we live in for flora, fauna and the animal world and to benefit from the connectedness we feel with other individuals. Most of all we come to earth and experience reincarnation (rebirth) to learn and unlearn and assist all hurt and wounded human beings who have been displaced by war and conflict in the regions that they live in to come to consciousness and enlightenment. Lay preachers speak of spiritual warfare, living in bondage, supplication, redemption, salvation, sacrifice and generational curses in the bloodline, demonology, demonic strongholds, the power of the Holy Spirit. We are spirit. It exists in life, in everything, in abundance. Spiritualists, mystics, screenwriters have brought to screen and storytellers (for example, William Shakespeare in his play “Macbeth”) throughout the ages speak, and have written about witches and warlocks.
What does all of this mean? Spirituality is made up of particles, elements, dimensions and inside our mind’s eye we are continually formatting this information into what I like to call “atomic habits”. Conflict is a way of life but it is something that we must learn how to deal with with competency. The vibration and energy and the frequency that lightworkers and starseeds are operating at on this planet, in this dimension (which some are calling a simulation, it is fast becoming more reality than illusion and more than even a non-reality).
Light, love and blessings seeker. Go forth into the unknown, into the wilderness. I call this “the Moses blueprint”, Christ consciousness, Christ seed and Christ light. Our identity can be found in a single fingerprint. The Moses blueprint has been imprinted on our consciousness subtly each time we have entered a rebirth. Perhaps this knowledge and expertise has been passed down throughout the ages and as we reach enlightenment and operate at a different frequency, as we become more self-aware and intuitive and knowledgeable about soma (energy) we will ultimately become who we were meant to be.
Conflict leads to stress but it can also take us to greater depths of understanding the human mind, our capacity to teach, to recover memory and what it consists of, it helps us recover subliminal messaging and puts conundrums into an exponential sequencing that we find useful in our daily habits. The same conflict can either inflict mental illness upon us or stress can induce positive tension instead of just strain and wear and tear in our bodies. It (both conflict and stress) helps us to make sense of the semantics of brain health, to progress, to prepare, to process, to heal, to think and to overcome the great difficulties in our lives. What has education, science, religion and spirituality taught us? That in the long run we are energy, we are what we think and that our thoughts are communicating to the most cellular level of our physical bodies.
What is important to realise as Eckhart Tolle expounded in “The Power Of Now” and “The New Earth” is that “the dense pain-body” exists. We must never lose the importance and process of the lesson. It is possible to heal completely and recover from ACE (adverse childhood experience), incidents of trauma and emotional damage to the brain.
What Happened To The Rainbow Dream?
When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant, I was a beast before you. Psalm 73: 21-22
South African has a long history of the liberatory struggle. Many theories were forwarded by leaders of various political parties. What followed in the years to come was the postulation of many different political ideologies. In order to obtain the support of the majority of the people these theories were distributed far and wide and resulted in many publications. Students of social dynamics had to acquaint themselves with political theoretics of the day in order to understand the political dynamics. One of the gravest errors made by many theorists was that it lacked dynamic pragmatism, which made it difficult for the people on the ground to carry out the expounded theories. This resulted in a big gap between the political theorists and the people on the ground. In the South African context many theorists did not take into account the practical needs of the people on the ground (the working classes and military operatives of this country).
We now enter a global scenario in which corruption will be the downfall of the governments of the world. However, in our present circumstances we find that we are facing a number of problems in Africa and South Africa. Many vital functions have become obsolete. There is no longer electrical power, unemployment is rife, acts of violence is prominent, there is a grave shortage of clean running water and in the last two weeks we have seen a total collapse of law and order where armed thugs create havoc in many areas in Africa. Many innocent people have been killed, wounded or maimed. The total number of people killed this week runs into the thousands.
Where are our leaders and who will hold them accountable for their sins? The majority, the neo-liberal capitalist imperialists or the entitled, priviledged minority? No fear. No favour. Life is seed and what is the harvest that is forthcoming from following a structured approach in the falling hierachies that abound? Our leaders have adopted the discipline of silence amidst the outward decline of communities in the rural area and lack of spirituality abounds. Poverty exists in every corner and thwarts the disadvantaged and marginalised. The days ahead of us are going to be hard and we will need to find our own resources instead of looking to the West to save Africa and to the church. We must reach out to our allies in Africa, build and rebuild bridges, mend fences, build and rebuild relationships, mend the broken, the maladjusted personality within ourselves.
We must end literary apartheid (#endliteraryapartheid). The pen is truly mightier than the sword and with that been said it is knowledge and our poets, educationalists, arts and cultural practitioners that will save Africa from the quagmire, from downfall, from the aftermath from a term Don Beukes, a preeminent South African poet and educationalist termed as “literary apartheid”.
History was made in South Africa on 20-21 March 2021 when the National Writers’ Association of South Africa (NWASA) was inaugurated. The conference coincided with the Human Rights commemoration month whereby writers in South Africa stamped a historic moment in the literary calendar of the continent and the diaspora.
We must invest our time productively in the causes that we wish to adopt, our perspectives must become our strongholds, we must be principled, patient, prepared thought leaders and apply jurisprudence, circumspection and reflection when it comes to handling the collateral damage of the neo-apartheid. The personal freedom that we bought democracy with has come at a terrible price and it must be accounted for, its glorified leaders must be tabled, recognition must be given to them and the tough questions must be asked and not whispered about. Was the Rainbow Nation a dream, is it now shattered, was it just a biased psychological framework conjured up in innocence?
We see the pains, ills and birth pangs of our beloved country that was forged at CODESA playing itself out in a global landscape. It is a scenario that is teetering on the brink of financial ruin and collapse that is being mirrored in other countries in the West. We are in South Africa in a mess with education and an energy crisis looming. The haves, the priviledge few seem not to want to share. The ifs are literally being left in the dark. In my opinion this is what will save deepest, darkest Africa. In plain language it will be the continent’s leaders who lead with integrity standing in solidarity with think tanks, intellectualism, self-actualization, self-esteem, belonging and values, who will understand what is meant by the needs, wants and desires of the psysiological. We crave safety, the beacon of hope that Madiba was, and we’re looking for the kind of “point of light” that he was as a reference. The solution can be found in our history books, in the archives, in the textbook knowledge, in our libraries, in mother tongue, the literary material coming out of contemporary Africa. We can see the divisions that exist among the races in South Africa staring back at us on the page, in the “literary apartheid” that exists to a large extent in the literary establishment in South Africa, in the publishing companies in South Africa who publish stories about the majority from writers who make up the priviledged and entitled minority. Lest we forget, there is a minority whose lives were endangered during apartheid by their “white writing”. Their writing today could even be said and accounted for in so many words as being black consciousness writing, leading to the enlightenment, the coining of and the conscientisement of the African Renaissance.
These leaders will be educated men and women who have the vision to think past hate crimes, police action and police brutality, class and the struggles of discrimination, racism, ageism, sexism, fear amd gender based violence. I believe that the voices, the purpose, the agreements of these leaders will lead Africa to the world stage, the United Nations, new beginnings for every inhabitant and citizen on the face of this continent. The question is Africa where art thou or are we just feeding the beasts or waiting for our poets to write about poetry against depression? Africa is growing rapidly. We are the beacon of hope for the working class.
It isn’t going to be the breakout of civil war that we will have to contend with. It is going to be our mindset and how we view the world that we will have to contend with. It is going to be our perspective that is going to set us forward on the road and trajectory of negotiation. It is going to be an education for all citizens and netizens for that matter. We must as a continent, as a nation guard against civil war by all and any means necessary. Instead it will be the textbook knowledge of negotation that will set us free. We must look to our cultural, social and poetry practitioners, our historians, the purveyors of truth who stand up for human rights, those stalwarts in education who will mentor the young. Personal freedom was never “free” and we must acquaint ourselves with this as if it were a kind pf scientific knowledge that we have to get to grips with. Patriotic integrity should be more than a buzzword for appointed leaders and the cornerstones of office and administration in Africa and the diaspora. Yes, I believe we can adopt this ideology. Transparency equals fair governance. It can also help us to cope with the junction that we find ourselves and our modern world in today.
Advice From A Mother, Missive To A Writer Father and Excerpt From A Book Forthcoming
E-V-E-R-L-A-S-T-I-N-G. It could be a poem/or testimony/or the start of a new beginning. Or an extract from the introduction to “The Overcomers”. All I had was a wristwatch and a page in a diary. I remember the time when no one would speak to me. Now I speak to all the sassy particles and powerfully good dimensions of the world. Now I am flicker. Now I am spark. This I guess is my inheritance. And when I look back now to the time when I saw no beauty or imagination in the issues I was having, when all I had on my mind was body shaming’s dysmorphia and how much I was eating. When I considered a lettuce salad and yogurt a substitute for all the lack in my life. When I didn’t see one ounce of enchantment in my struggle or the battlefield of my mind. My inheritance includes a gold that is indestructible as God. So, I guess this is a full circle moment for me but for me everything starts and ends in movements ordained By God. And the lesson is that even though you don’t know what your inheritance will be, God knows. He knows exactly how cool you are.
Excerpt from the chapter “10 Things I Love About You”, a book I am writing about “Overcoming”.
1. “The fullness of your destiny awaits.”
2. “You realise everything moves in seasons.”
3. “I want you to accomplish all your dreams.”
4. “Every characteristic of your soul is built for and constantly being reinvented for success.”
5. “You have the response of competency in every situation.”
6. “You are the evidence of God’s blessing, promotion and inheritance in his life.”
7. “You know and understand what your inheritance is.”
8. “You believe in God’s unconditional trust”.
9. “You understand that the vision God has for your life He planted the seed in the past, is watering it in the present so that it can manifest itself in the future.
10. “When you know and understand the totality of failure and overcoming and winning over both adversity and adversary.”
Excerpt from the chapter “Advice From My Mother”. Give a man space. Give a man his space, daughter. Give a man room for his intuition to become like the frontiers of space, the boundaries of space, the territories of space. Give a man room for him to release and manifest this intuition and his potential. Daughter, understand that this is the fundamental reasoning behind making him happy. It will allow him to become the best version of himself. His faith in himself will increase and he will inspire the magnitude of greatness in others, and all the qualities of greatness in himself. You will then see the daydreamer in his soul, the childlike wonder he possesses when he is at work, atonement and forgiveness in his enduring love. Be the reading light in his world in daylight, and the innocent in his nightfall. Teach him to be an Elijah waiting for the abundance of rain.
Excerpt from the chapter “Positive Reports Of Abundance In Your Life”. This is something about the introduction of abundance in my own life. It is a story about transformative love, enduring love, redemptive love and a return to love and what I heard in my spirit today about setting up miracles into power, into redemption, into salvation in my life. Believing in miracles, in abundance means to stay encouraged in the face of absolute negativity, to be boldly confident like Captain Kirk, to think with unlimited power (knowledge is power, God is power, being authentic is powerful) like Zimbabwean-born Mufti Menk, and when your thinking is unlimited you begin to manifest love, see love, envision love and this is a love that is not subject to laws or principles or change as Mother Teresa portrayed in life. It is one of a kind and when you love like this you become one of a kind too. One of a kind people walk through life with grace and abundance. To love is the singular most important assignment we can have in this world.
Excerpt from the chapter “The Daydreamer Chronicles”. This is one of the pages from my diary that I journaled this morning. I was hurting this morning so this is what I wrote to counteract feeling wounded. One of a kind people walk through life with grace and abundance. They realise when failure and dismissal by others come to you it is only an abundance of rain teaching you how to be an Elijah, a force of good in the world, a force to be reckoned with, a force of bold confidence, leadership ability and greatness. To be great. Where do I begin? With the years that I have lost. I have notched up twenty odd years of lost. What you have lost can never be measured. The only person who can measure that is God in all of his supersonic dimensions. I have realised that the word “lost” means it is only a season that becomes your reckoning for a divine harvest.
How will we exist without illusion in all the dimensions of the non-reality that we are living in now. It is the space, the inter-connectedness, how we relate to each other across the widening spaces of humanity’s birthplace, earth’s almost sovereign rank in the universe, that will either count as the final frontier. There is the catastrophe of wildflowers at the back of my hand. My grandmother’s porcelain teacups are as delicate and fragile as her consciousness. Nobody loves a warrior at first. Then they’re called epic or legendary. So they gather reputation, praise and adoration to themselves like Rilke did with his Orpheus’ sonnets. Rilke danced around the sun, embraced the moonlight found in nightfall. Hemingway was a captain. Salinger a tuning point. In Updike’s features a vulnerability showed itself there in the pages of every domestic scenario that he ever wrote about. Last year, we ate ice cream and cake on my brother’s birthday and like a comet around the sun, I felt him slip away into an impatient man from my reach. I let him go. Saw in his eyes the empires he would build in flight. Away from the world he had known as a child I called them red furious beasts, my brother called them flying-monsters. He wanted a family. Truthfully, I wanted a family too. God had a family. He called it humanity at large. This was amazing to me. His complex sensibility at work. Here we go. Here we go. Into the aqua-coloured veins and texture of platelets of the virtual world where sea meets sky and azure is really blue.
Sorry about this. I keep apologising. I am writing a love language unto myself to exit out from the realisation that I am losing the singular most important person in my life, my dad. So, I am writing love letters to myself today, all day long. Dear dad, you exist for me like the sun, two suns, moonlight, the stars, all the planets in alignment that our atomic God created. I am because of you elderly statesman, articulate and expressive orator, defender and giant of all who you knew once an autumn ago. I thought when I was a child that you only lived to exist for me as I exist for you. You have survived the volcano, and deserve all the thoughtful support and positive praise that I can give you now in this autumn. I adore you dad. I always will. You teach me daily to master the pain.
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