is indeed universal. Every human being has the ability to place themselves in a depressed state.
You can do this too, even if you're not at this very moment depressed. It's not a whole lot of fun, but people continually do it. They all do it in exactly the same way. Here's the formula for depression:
- Focus on an event or events that have taken place in your life to which you associate extremely strong negative emotions like hopelessness, despondency, etc.
- Inhale shallow breaths, exhale deep and long. A series of long sighs works well.
- Drop your shoulders, hang your head low, look at the floor.
- Amplify the negative emotions in step 1. above by making the mental images you are seeing of the event(s) large, brightly colored and close to you. They should be moving pictures (not stills) and you should be taking part in the action, not watching it like it was a TV show. Step into the event, and relive it in vibrant color and sound
- Continue to amplify the negative emotions, and tell yourself that you have no power to change how you feel about them.
- Give in to this state, let it overwhelm you.
This is why depression is indeed universal, because in order to be depressed you must do very specific things with your body and your mind. You cannot be depressed if you don't do perform most of the steps above. For example, if you're in a depressed state now from following the steps above, try this:
- Look up to the roof, or the sky.
- Put a big smile on your face.
- Put your shoulders back and breathe evenly.
Just try to be depressed doing that with your body, and that's without even adjusting what your brain is focusing on.
Emotional states are controlled by what you do with your body, in other words, emotion is created by motion. All human states are universal, happiness, anxiety, depression, fear, embarrasment, love. They have different formulae, but they are all universal. The only differences are what the individual chooses to focus on to create that emotion.
Depression is NOT something you "catch", and it is not an illness. It is an emotional state, no more and no less.