Depression: The Stinkiest Brain Malfunction
Why do I say that depression is Stinky? Its the most common mental illness, affecting about 16% of people at some point in their lives... shouldn't I take it seriously?
No. Thats what the depression wants you to to, take it seriously, along with the negative view of the world that it gives you. Depression is the enemy. We must see it burn.
I didn't used to have this attitude. Depression used to overwhelm me, in fact, to begin with I didn't know that I had depression or even that such a thing existed. How does it make you feel? It feels as though everything in your live has gone to hell and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. You feel totally powerless, and whats more, you tend to blame yourself for everything that has gone wrong. As the cause of these problems is YOU, you feel that your life can never be any different, so what is the point. The only way to escape the suffering is...
So yeah, depression is seriously bad. But we shouldn't take it seriously. I have found that the following is the best way to deal with depression:
Don't feel bad about feeling bad
If you start to hate the fact that you feel so low, this makes you hate yourself, which perpetuates a cycle of low self esteem. The thing to do is not mind feeling bad, almost enjoy it a little. Its okay to feel bad, just remember that any feeling you have is impermanent and won't last forever. This makes you feel much better.
Its not your fault
Not entirely. We do have some control in our lives, so we are partially responsible for everything that happens to us, BUT NOT ENTIRELY. The people we hang out with and the environment we are in is just as much a cause for our moods as our own actions. The only thing we can control, sometimes, is our reaction to and interpretation to external events. Those external things that have happened to us are not our fault, are out of our control and so we should not blame ourselves for being unable to control them.
Depression is not your Self
You are not Depression. See it as an external enemy that you have to fight. If you see it as external then you might feel that you can do something about it. Depression works by persuading you that it is part of you, your fault and that you shouldn't feel bad ever, so if you do that is a weakness. Don't listen to its lies.
They say we are getting Obese in America and England. This is true. There is also more depression nowadays. I cannot say for sure that there is a link, but people drive everywhere now, and work jobs sitting in front of computers. A large scale study could show if there is a link between declining exercise and depression. Exercise releases neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. In men it also boosts testosterone slightly which is good for you. It also releases Endorphins.
I try to do my 5 a day (fruit and vegetables). I try not to eat too much crap. For me, eating well simply means eating enough sometimes (I am a skinny guy). In particular though there are foods that contain Tryptophan. Trytophan is what your body needs to make Serotonin a neurotransmitter involved heavily in mood regulation. Some people say that serotonin is what makes you feel happy. I disagree. From all the studies I have read, the serotonin system is what allows you to inhibit bad moods from spoiling your day. Its a kind of brake on anger, misery and despair from invading your consciousness too much.
Vitamins & Supplements
I don't know how much these things are merely placebo or not, but I take multivitamins, fish oils and St Johns Wort. Try them and see if they work for you. I also have a gram of Vitamin C each day. These are a supplement to eating well, its best to get all your vitamins from eating well, but sometimes you wont manage to, we aren't perfect.
Well, thats all the advice that I have. Theres just one more thing to remember. Depression as a state can be overcome, you can fight it and it will run away. The only thing is that it can still come back. There should be two terms really, a Depressed person and a Depressive person. I don't even like the term depressive. I would rather say, someone who gets depression attacks.
I still get depressive attacks. In fact, I suspect that these attacks are merely normal bad moods, but because I don't allow them to stay with me for too long, the normal bad moods don't turn into depression. The way to stop them taking root in your mind is to think 'Stupid bad mood, I know you will go away later on if I ignore you, I'm not going to start thinking about my life in a bad way just because you are here, no go away.'
The thing to do is see it as a stinky and pathetic enemy, that you can easily destroy, or even ignore. Don't get involved in fighting it if that will make you feel worse, try to ignore it, think of something else, go for a walk or some other activity. Ignore the bad mood.
Don't ignore the CAUSE of the bad moods though. Wait until you are feeling better and then have a good go at sorting out those causes. If you have no job and no girlfriend (my current issues!) then don't get upset about it, wait until you are feeling better and think in a positive way of how to solve it. Eat some milk and bananas (Tryptophan foods) or eat some honey as an emergency fixer. Then either on your own or with a good friend, try to solve the problems that are giving you these bad moods, whilst they are not affecting you.
Think of this as shoring up your defenses, or building a big castle to defend against the Stinky forces of Depression.