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Depression and Wilderness, Part 2: Wilderness May Not Be Enough
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Glen Van Peski
(gvanpeski) - F - M

Locale: San Diego
Thanks on 11/19/2012 11:59:35 MST Print View

Ryan -

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, and the impact on his family and friends. Having lived through, actually I guess living with would be more accurate, close family members dealing with clinical depression, I can relate. I know for me, the things that help are service to others, exercise and organization/control. The wilderness can certainly provide some of these, and fresh air and beautiful vistas to boot. But as you mention, the wilderness by itself is not enough, without the other ingredients.


Michael Bachman
(rivrfox) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Grace in the face of adversity on 11/20/2012 23:36:03 MST Print View

“Education and knowledge by themselves do not bring inner peace to individuals, families or the society in which they live. But education combined with warmheartedness, a sense of concern for the well-being of others, has much more positive...results. If you have a great deal of knowledge, but you’re governed by negative emotions, then you tend to use your knowledge in negative ways. Therefore, while you are learning, don’t forget the importance of warmheartedness.”
– Dalai Lama

Peace be with all in this time of grief, introspection & transformation. I'd rather not talk about the darkness, which I know all too well.

May our breath carry us to a place that doesn't judge but just observes. May the wind shriek infinite infinities of sorrow for all love deprived beings departing every second of every day. May the moon meet the eyes of every mortal while it rises & bows down to souls born & reborn in the milky way since time immemorial. May the Earth Mother cry a trillion billion tears for the love displaced in even just one divine spirit being in this harsh yet beautiful & mysterious world. May awareness and consciousness merge & evolve into a union of ever unfolding compassion bathing all in infinite vibrational harmony.

intelligence of the heart

May we rise above...with fierce grace.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Grace in the face of adversity on 11/21/2012 07:01:49 MST Print View

We all deal with adversity differently. This man's story brought me to tears.

Love life!

Party On,


Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Depression and Wilderness, Part 2: Wilderness May Not Be Enough on 11/21/2012 18:04:14 MST Print View

I have really enjoyed reading this article and the subsequent comments and I applaud all those who have been so open and honest here. I don't want to say much more except that I could relate to many of the comments and it's nice not to feel alone.

Thanks for the link Newton. It reminded me of this fantastic article.

Kenneth C Herbst

Locale: The Alamo City
honest and thoughtful on 11/29/2012 10:41:06 MST Print View

Thanks for your beautifully written article.

The many points you make resonate with me profoundly as a life-long sufferer of clinical depression.

Exercise helps. Meds help. Diet and sleep help.

But being outside, feeling as one with the earth and the cosmos, definitely helps a great deal for me as well.

Great comments from the readers, too.

Good bunch of folks here.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
The human ingredient on 03/15/2013 00:51:16 MDT Print View

First off, I'm sorry for your loss of a good friend.

I missed this article the first time around, and I've not read any of the other replies, so my apologies if I'm repeating anything. This reflection touches on one of the most important and influential aspects of anyone and everyone's life-- the human ingredient.

We strive to be self-sufficient, successful, eminent monoliths in a world of social and economic pressures that reflect only the preservation of image, greed, profit, and material worth. It's inescapable, and impossible to ignore, and we can focus our attention and energy on positive and worthwhile endeavors, but no matter how fast we run, there it is nipping at our heels.

What keeps us sane? What keeps us smiling? Ironically, what does those things also creates the very abyss most of us are simply teetering upon each day. It is our fellow man. Our flesh and blood. Our kin. Our savior (we'll leave out the spiritual aspect for now, as it is too encompassing a topic to cover) is our tormentor. Humans.

How do we balance this? We run away to the wilderness to escape, yet something is missing. We as humans were not built to be alone; rather, we were meant to coexist in harmony with each other and the wild world beyond our doorsteps. But we know better. We run away from human contact to 'escape' the darkness it brings...yet we need it. Shortly after shedding the depressive societal confines, we begin to mentally reach out to those that we love, and we want them to share our time.

So there's our Catch-22. We run to the wilderness to escape, refresh, and cleanse, but often cannot fully do so without that which we run away from.

I have this romantic idea of how wonderful it would be to (metaphorically) get lost in the mountains and spend time by myself absorbing all that nature had to give me. It's such a strong ideal that it doesn't go away, no matter how much logic I throw at it. And that logic is my acknowledgment and realization that when I'm by myself, I want those I love, namely my wife and good friends, to be there, sharing it with me. I NEED them to be there. So the sadness I seek to escape simply materializes in a different form.

Is there an answer? Is there a way to lust for a wilderness escape and fully enjoy the fruits of such a separation? When it comes to the human ingredient, I am pessimistic. We as a society are a plague, and will be of our own destruction. But I don't lose hope. I have those I love, and those who love me. It is also the human ingredient.

Indeed, it is a dichotomy no one can claim to fully understand, but only hope to balance.

wayne clark
(waynowski) - MLife
recovery on 03/16/2013 13:25:14 MDT Print View

i'v had depression as a result of twenty years of getting over chronic fatigue. i was so cripled i could only walk a few minutes.
i had to pay close attention to my diet. no processed food, only natural wholefood.
and gradual return to exercise. too much exercise can exacerbate depression, its about finding the balance... i find its better for me not to exercise every day, i ease off the volume and intensity exercise weeks before a multi day trip and i feel better for it on the trip...