I was going through my grandmother’s old notebooks the other day, and amongst the many recipes for Blinchiki, ‘Good Cake’, ‘Very Good Cake’, ‘Cake which was at Nunuka’s wedding’, and some descriptions of magic herbal teas, I stumbled upon an interesting entry: ‘Against depression’, the title stated. It immediately caught my attention: I have never heard any grandparent mention the word ‘depression’. Heck, I haven’t even heard this word said in anything other than a cynical tone of voice even from my parents’ generation.
‘In the evening, wash an egg well, pour freshly squeezed juice from two lemons over it so that it’s fully covered, and leave it till morning. Take the egg out of the juice the next morning, stir well, and drink. Continue for 2–3 weeks.’
The recipe made me smile. Maybe I should have stopped spending exhausting hours in therapy, taking carefully scheduled medications, and just asked my Grandma, she seemed to know the answers. And she seemed okay. Until she committed suicide… Okay, that was a joke, she did not — she is still alive. But I don’t really know, how…
Being depressed in Caucasus is not easy. I can’t say, that it’s easier anywhere else, but there are things, that are bit difficult in the Caucasus. There are things that are easier here; making friends or getting arrested for example, but that’s another subject which I will leave to more optimistic bloggers, and concentrate on depression in the Caucasus. Or to be more precise, cures for depression — inspired by my grandmother’s recipe — from the collective wisdom of the people of the Caucasus.
1. Get Married
First and foremost, if you are depressed, you should ask yourself: ‘am I married?’
Actually, getting married is not only a cure for depression, but for most problems in the Caucasus. No money? Get married. No future? Get married. Feeling adventurous? Get married. Feeling bored? Get married. Feeling pressure from relatives? Get married. Want to get promoted? Get married (for males). Want to get demoted? Get married (for females). Getting married is the most important achievement in a person’s life. It doesn’t matter how much change you bring to society, how much money you make, or how many pets you adopt, if you are not married by the time you are… 21 — you are a failure, and no wonder you’re depressed!
If you’re married but still depressed, check whether you have kids or not. Having kids is another must-do, even if you can’t have kids — you will either go through lots of medical procedures and have a kid, or die trying! If you already have a child and are still depressed, then the answer is obvious: you should give birth to more kids! Because nobody deserves to suffer alone, it’s much more ergonomic, to make your big family suffer with you.
3. Resort to religion
Still no luck? Religion is here to answer all your questions. And it really doesn’t matter where in the Caucasus you live or which religion is dominant, if you are feeling blue, just retreat to religion and you will discover that it’s not just you who thinks that you are a useless waste of space who makes lots of mistakes and is unworthy even to talk to. Religion will give you a list of exact sins telling you why are you a useless waste of space and are unworthy to even talk to. From that point, you can either accept it and continue to be depressed or pay for your local priest’s jeep, and your depression might be cured.
4. Consume alcohol
If you are in a non-islamic part of the Caucasus, the answer to your depression is alcohol. Georgian men drink several times a week and nobody dares to call them alcoholics. Do you think they like this way of life? No, they don’t. But they are already married, have kids, are religious, and the only option left for them is to drink with their other depressed buddies, to escape the horrors of their everyday lives. So, next time you see a bunch of men drinking chacha and toasting life, don’t judge — join.
5. Hide it
If all else fails, resort to the last option: hide it. A lot of people in the caucasus do this and it works fine for them, why shouldn’t it work for you? Of course, don’t even think about seeking professional help. If you are a woman, you will be perceived as whiny and dramatic, and if you are man, seeking help will make you less of one.
Have more tips on battling depression in the Caucasus? Share them in the comments section and get featured in “Depressed in the Caucasus, vol.2”.