Aeons ago, when we lived in caves and were hunter/gatherers, we fed on a steady diet of protein that came in the form of animal meat. The process of gaining this was for the hunters an extremely stressful time fraught with danger. First you would track the animals, then the long period of stalking, waiting for the right opportunity to strike and finally in a moment of extreme panic and action, you would strike and attempt to kill the creature. Our weaponry of the day was clubs or spears, which only had a striking distance of a couple of metres. This would be extremely dangerous as this would leave you in close proximity to claws and teeth. This high level of danger would involve a significant Fright/Flight/Fight response where the body would have had to produce high levels of adrenaline which increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy levels, and cortisol which increases sugars in the bloodstream, increases the brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. All this was designed to help the body reach its peak level of efficiency at this time of intense stress. Carrying the animal meat back to the tribal base would allow the body to burn up these hormones. However, constant exposure to these intense bodily reactions would lead to burn-out. When this happens, the hunter would become lethargic and suffer what would be considered in today’s world, as post-traumatic stress disorder. The natural response to this would be for the hunter to stop hunting and rest until the body/mind/brain recovered itself.
1,000s of years later, even though we have evolved, our bodies still react to stress the way it did back in the hunter/gatherer days. Our stresses have changed, no longer do we have to deal with dangerous fang-faced, claw-wielding sources of protein. Instead, our stresses are our jobs, not enough time, having to provide for yourselves and our families, dealing with uncooperative people, family conflicts and the need to increase profits and deliver results. As a result, we are constantly in a state of Fright/Flight/Fight. Depression can be a way for us to take a step back and “stop hunting and rest until the body/mind/brain recovered itself.” In other words, Depression is the 4th state of the Fright/Flight/Fight response.
It used to be that when people suffered stress-induced health issues, they would take the time out to recover by going to a spa or a sanitorium. In today’s time-pressured world, however, we often aren’t allowed the time to pull back and recover. Pharmaceutical companies have stepped in to come to our rescue with medications that override the natural healing process.
The bottom-line is that the body/mind/brain has the capability to heal itself when you remove either the dis-ease from your environment, or step away from it.
Prevention is better than cure. Have a look at my book Revolutionise The Way You Work Using Microsoft Outlook at my Bookstore to enhance job satisfaction and minimise your burn-out/depression.