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Discuss personal development, self-improvement and psychology.
Everyone feels depressed or down sometimes. It's part of the natural cycle of life and of a person's emotional cycles. But when you do get depressed or down, how do you usually deal with it? Do you watch TV, read a book, go for a walk in nature, listen to music, call a friend? What have you found to be the best way for coping with depression or a sense of helplessness?
I'm sure those of you in America feel this a lot more than we do abroad, but everyone feels it no matter where they are, cause it's part of the natural cycle of life.
What are your coping methods? Care to share?
Do you all see depression as normal, or as something "wrong" that needs to be fixed?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
I think i suffer from SAD seasonal affective disorder. The winters last long in western NY and we have very little sunlight. I try to meditate and workout as much as possible. I have the winter weight to lose. Yes i get depressed alot. I just try to visit friends, see my kids, call people on the phone. In a nutshell just stay busy.
That's all you can do is stay busy.
I think there are different types of depression.
Like you mention, some depression is natural, especially after major success. You can't be ecstatic forever. Same goes with loss that occurs naturally - like getting older.
Then there's major life challenges. I think it's only natural to feel depressed when you have major problems in life. Hopefully you feel determined and all that to overcome it, but you're only human. You have those moments where you just wish it'd all go away, why do *you* have to deal with x?
Then there are major chemical imbalances - people who'd feel depressed if they had millions in the bank and everything they ever wanted. I don't have any experience with this, but medication seems to offer some help for this.
The mistake U.S. culture makes is thinking that *anyone* feeling depressed should take medication. When depression stems from life problems, the only way to resolve the depression is to solve the problems.
Music is one of my favorite coping mechanisms. Almost too much - I have to be careful not to listen too much lest challenges grow and fester. The right music relaxes soothes, and inspires, all at once. I listen daily no matter how I feel.
Exercise is another big one. It is very difficult to stay depressed while exercising. I've noticed depression can limit how much of a work out I do, but I still feel much better than I did before I started.
Solving a really small problem can help too - cleaning up the house, organizing some small part of your life. Depression seems to strike when there is lots of disorder in my life - when I don't know where I'm going with certain projects, etc. A certain inertia sets in. A small success builds momentum to tackle bigger stuff.
I don't have any experience with taking medication, but I would only take them if I was totally unable to function. So far I haven't reached that point and I like to think I never will.
I particularly like Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. His ideas are very practical and you do not need a therapist to apply them. You can find out more at rebt.org or search for Albert Ellis on amazon.
US culture is turning its citizens into a bunch of dependent wimps with its constant emphasis on therapy and medications. I think this will make the rate of depression and other mental illnesses skyrocket - as I believe they have over the last 20 years.
A tough, self-reliant attitude helps - you are most likely *not* some wimp that needs to "seek counseling."
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
The best way to avoid depression from your life is keep yourself as busy as you can. This is the finest recipe of avoiding depression. Second is do which you like. Some people read book, watch TV, meet friends and gossip.
you continue to better you self in any aspect you are capable of better in that point in time.
I used to get depressed all the time when I was super fat, but I continued disciplining my self teaching my self nutrition exercises ect.
never stopping and only pushing my self harder when I was depressed.
you can't always fix the problem, and for people that live for the now, that can be a hard thing to take, but remember you can always better your self now, even if you can't change the situation, and I find comfort in that personally.
Fallowing that philosophy has got me ripped, but that's because my depression spawned from obesity.
being depressed is too vast of a definition, because honestly the variables are too dynamic to counter it with a single salutation.
I will say this, if you don't work at fixing the problem, you are asking for it to destroy you, never stay stagnant.
"get busy living or get busy dying"
Depression can be a tricky thing, but I have learned to overcome it.
First, I practive rigorous physical fitness 2 to 3 times per week when I am down in the dumps. The beta-endorphin release in the brain after a good workout has a soothing effect.
Second, I remove the depressive stimuli from my life when possible. That means I break up with the girl causing me the depression, I refrain from seeing my parents who drive me crazy, and I changes offices if need be.
Third, I ensure that I get out into the sunlight for some portion of the day. Sunlight triggers releases of neuro-chemicals that relieve depression. If that means I have to go to Miami for a week, so be it.
Forth, I'll treat myself to a deep tissue massage. The power of physical touch is profound. The touch of the skin and the de-knotting of the muscles is a huge way to get rid of depression.
Fifth, I go to the chiropractor for a spinal adjustment. These adjustments ensure that the brain is recieving the proper stimuli from the spinal cord and vise versa.
Sixth and final is I meditate for about 15 minutes a day when depressed. Meditation activates far recesses of the brain and it can help relieve depression.
Seventh, keep a postive outlook even if you have to fake it. Fake smile in the car, Tell yourself fake statements like you feel great, etc. Even if fake, positive outlook often turns the tide.
Step 1 is to ask yourself why you're depressed.
People need to stop saying "depression" when they really mean "sadness".
"Depression" refers to a physical condition in which there is a breakdown in the brain's reward system and the neurotransmitters which normally make people feel happy no longer work properly.
Someone who has true depression cannot "think" their way out of depression any more than a blind person can see their way out of blindness or a paralyzed person can walk their way out of paralysis. Depression is not "negative thoughts", it is an actual physical disorder in the brain.
Going on nature walks, listening to relaxing music, practicing yoga, etc do not work for the simple fact that they do not fix the physical disorder in the brain that is preventing the neurotransmitters from working properly.
So what you are referring to Winston is not depression but sadness. The reason this bothers me is because I myself have spent the past two years with dysthymia which is a low-grade depression. I do not feel sadness however. Depression isn't sadness; it's more like a constantly numb feeling where nothing brings pleasure, since the "pleasure chemicals" aren't working properly.
The only way to treat true depression is to fix the physical problem in the brain.
Last edited by AmericanInMexico on November 18th, 2011, 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
The best product I have tried for severe depression is virgin coconut oil, this stuff is awesome! You take 2-3 tablespoons a day, if you can tolerate it, it does make some people sick at first. After about a week you'll notice a huge improvement in your mood and energy levels. I just started taking it and I'll be buying it by the truck load in the near future, this stuff saved me.
This is the brand that I use.
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Magnesium and oily fish are two things worth trying.
Also try not to want so much out of life. This is a Western problem. Learn from the foreign women we date - they usually have simple wants and needs and just don't want as much as we do.
And get a handle on stress and the causes of stress. Stress is cumulative and will result in depression months later than the stressful events. Even good things (vacations, getting married, getting a pay raise) increase stress levels - it's really all down to how many of these incidents you have happen to you in a year.