Shlomo Ezagui

Self Absorption – The Root of Depression

lonely woman walking
lonely woman walking

The National Institute of Mental Health claims that more than 26% of all Americans over 18 years old suffer from depression. One in four adults! That is a lot of unhappy campers. Is this a state of existence we are forced to suffer, or is there a better way?

For people to make the most out of their lives, they must be happy. There is an expression: “God does not dwell but only where there is joy.” 
You want the power of God, the power of your soul, to shine its brilliance on your life? It would be best if you had joy and happiness. One of the purposes of music in the Holy Temple was to elevate the spirits of the Levites while serving God so they could be suitable conduits for the blessings of God to be drawn down.

Depression is a negative, harmful energy God created to test and strengthen us. Like all the negative forces within, its force is mainly form and no substance. For the most part, a person who grew up surrounded by people with faulty perspectives on life will have suffered the influence of this negative energy.

The first step in counteracting this destructive force is to recognize the characteristics of the caustic energy itself.

Let us consider the root of depression, i.e., arrogance and selfishness, all the things our society is about. The root is the attitude of, “What can “I” get out of X?”…whatever “X” may be. “What is in it for me, and how will it serve me?” This has its extremes, but even at the lowest level, let us consider the ramifications of this attitude.

This person believes he deserves to be happy and that his friends and family owe it to him. Everything is flowing in one direction, and that is towards himself, besides the fact that he is in for a big nasty surprise and everyone in the world does not “owe him,” this is an excellent prescription to become very lonely in life.

Because he is so self-absorbed, he thinks of himself and not of others; and the fact is, if you don’t serve others, no one will serve you. Expecting always to be served will leave one disappointed and disillusioned, depressed, dejected, and disheartened.

This person thinks life should be perfect because he is perfect — this is arrogance, which can lead to acute compulsive disorders and anxiety when subconsciously he faces the realization that he may err and faces the fear and doubt that he may not live up to the version of himself that he has created in his mind.

All this is a figment of the person’s imagination, not rooted in reality. The worst part of it all is that this wrong attitude perpetuates itself. Once we have trained our minds to see something in a certain way, we find more and more tidbits of information that support our faulty conclusions.

Being depressed is being a victim of unbridled animalistic (self-serving) emotions. Being hedonistic and self-centered.

The solution? Be happy. Not from another beer or more jewelry. Happiness comes when a person is internally fulfilled. The soul, the Godly spark within, needs a channel through which it may express itself. The Godly spark within wants to create good and spiritually worthwhile endeavors, just like God did when he created the world. The Godly spark wants to be able to think like God and not be inhibited by the imploding coarse pleasures of the (self) body. When people are all about pursuing the self, they become a black hole imploding on themselves. 

When people begin to align their lives with the unique Godly purpose that we were put in this world to accomplish, happiness and joy begin to flow. Not even thinking about happiness, blessings and strength start finding their way into this person’s life.

Chapter 23

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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