Dealing With Depression
Depression may be thought of as secondary emotion. By this I mean that there are other feelings which contribute to and cause it. Sometimes I think of depression as an army made up of soldiers. These soldiers are the primary negative feelings one feels attacking the amygdale.Depression may be thought of as secondary emotion. By this I mean that there are other feelings which contribute to and cause it. Sometimes I think of depression as an army made up of soldiers. These soldiers are the primary negative feelings one feels attacking the amygdale.
For example, one might feel lonely, rejected, discouraged, loss, grief, unfulfilled, disconnected, uninspired, unproductive, unaccomplished, uncertain, misunderstood, pessimistic. Together, all of these feelings drain our energy, kill our motivation.
It helps me to isolate each feeling, then take action or at least think about a plan to attack each negative feeling individually. In each case, ask "what would help me feel less (lonely, unproductive, discouraged)?"
Here are some questions which might help you if you are trying to diagnose your own depression:
- Have I lost something? A belief? A dream, a relationship? A vision? Is there some disillusionment? Some unmet expectation? Unfulfilled desire?
- Am I feeling productive? Am I accomplishing anything?
- Do I feel focussed? Do I have any goals I am working towards?
- Am I feeling pessimistic about something? About several things? Am I feeling discouraged about something? Hopeless?
- What beliefs are helping me feel pessimistic, discouraged, hopeless?
- Am I looking for something on the outside to happen before I will feel better?
- Am I feeling dependent on someone?
- Do I feel resentful about something? About someone?
- Am I feeling disconnected from my emotional support system? Do I have an emotional support system?
Then Ask yourself:
- What would help me feel more optimistic? More encouraged?
- What beliefs can I change? (Employ the CYB theory: Change Your Beliefs)
- What can I find to appreciate? To be thankful for?
- What would help me feel more connected to others, or less dependent on them?
- What could I do to strengthen my emotional support system?
- What small goal could I achieve right now that I am sure I can do?
I find that taking my negative feelings one by one helps one feel less overwhelmed. When I feel better in just one area, it helps me feel more energized and more capable of conquering the other negative feelings.
It is hard to be depressed and in action at the same time.
There are two sides to this. One is positive in the sense that if you need temporary relief from depression it might help to get busy doing something, such as cleaning the house, going for a walk or bike ride. But action is not a permanent solution because it does not address the cause of the depressive feelings. Some people use activity to avoid facing the causes of their depression and to avoid allowing themselves time to feel. In the long term, merely being active and even productive does not fill the required unmet emotional needs.
For me, depression is a sign of not dealing honestly with my problems.
(This quote is by Patrick Wakeling's and comes from his chapter in the book Wounded Healers by Vicky Rippere and Ruth Williams)
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