Saturday, July 21, 2007

Adventure......the antidote for Depression?

Depression ... the illness where 'inability to see any future', can be symptomatic. With 'lack of enjoyment from those activities that normally would bring enjoyment' and feelings of 'helplessness and hopelessness' result......a reduced quality of living.

More information at the following site

When these symptoms become ones 'way of living, ' there is a real danger of life slipping past without being truly lived.

So what to do about it?

For me it is important to fill the parts of my life that are empty. Hence the adventure activities.

Nothing can bring me more into the moment than climbing up the icy slopes of Taranaki , aware of my life dependant placement of crampons and ice axe. Or touring on motorcycle or bicycle where simplicity of life prevails. To meet local people and share some unhurried time together.

Nothing is so grounding and calming as being alone in nature, aware of all surroundings, facing challenges or simply soaking it in.

When immersed in these activities the loneliness and depression that can haunt ones world evaporates into exciting yet peaceful contentment.

Kira Salak , in her book "The Cruellest Journey" the story of her solo kayak down the Niger river from Segou to Timbuktu amidst very real dangers describes her need for adventure

'...But I've found myself unsettled by predictability, routine, comfort: I'm lulled by these things, and bored by them, and my mind turns in on itself and obsesses about utter minutiae. I need doses of the new before me, the strange, the completely unfamiliar, in order to feel truly alive.'

She continues...

...'As a child, I never felt an intinsic sense of belonging anywhere;I've always been fascinated by those who feel rooted to a place, for whom wanderlust becomes a pathology of the soul. All I know is that my trips allow me to unearth parts of myself that I've long since buried as dead, showing me who I can be. They are, in many respects, processes of rebirth.'

Sound familiar?

And of course the planning and dreaming of the adventures in the future- as an antidote to depression the ability to seeing an exciting, challenging and unpredictable future.

Works for me.