Hello all, I've just joined this group. I don't know what sort of things generally get posted here or what the etiquette is, so forgive me if this isn't the right place for what I'm writing.
I'm suffering, and have suffered for most of my life, what would probably be considered 'depression'. I also have trouble with anxiety, and problems with mood regulation in general.
However, I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I don't believe in medical depression in the sense that it is an 'illness' with 'symptoms' that can be treated, and the patient brought back to good mental health. 'Good mental health' in this sense implies that the natural state of affairs for a human being is to be happy, balanced, satisfied and confident. And that any other frame of mind is a distortion.
I don't believe that. I don't believe happiness is our state of nature. I'm not implying that misery is, but that our moods and experiences are circumstantial and experiential. (Not sure if that last one is a real word.... if it isn't, it should be).
And here's the catch, and the factor that I believe makes depression and misery so common: is that the world is not a happy place. Our higher psychological and emotional needs, and those of others, are in a continual battle with our more base, animal instincts: greed, lust, desire for power, selfishness, etc. We experience the consequences of these in our every day lives far more than we experience the more 'enlightened' kinds of human behaviour. From our parents, our culture, our society.
That's how I see it, and my problem, with this in mind, is a pretty huge one. I have a problem with existing in this world. I have a problem with people. I am very sensitive and I find that the reality of the world, if we choose to face it without rose tinted glasses (of religion or any other delusion)- is one of untold suffering, lies, manipulation, greed, patriarchy, and general all-round evil. It is wearing me down. On some days, I stay inside my room and think of all the beautiful things in life. On others, it overwhelms me and there's nothing I can do. I sit and cry (yes) at the state of this planet and of the human condition. I don't think of suicide per se (my elder brother committed suicide and I witnessed the devastation it caused.) But I feel like I'm waiting for a horrible ride to end, just passing the time until it's time to get off. If anyone had informed me about the reality of the world prior to my birth and asked me whether I agree on going through with it, I wouldn't sign that contract. When it comes down to it, I don't want to die, but I really don't want to be here either. But since I'm here I have to find a way to deal with it until it's time to get off. Please, I'm having a really shitty day today. If there's anyone out there who 'gets' what I'm writing and is maybe a little older and/or wiser and has a few words of advice, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks for reading. x
Rick, you've never been low in my esteem, but you've just moved up another notch - let me know where I can buy a copy!
I'm thinking of writing a book called, I'm Fucked Up and So Are You! - it's like, I'm OK, You're OK, but more realistic.
"I'm thinking of writing a book called, I'm Fucked Up and So Are You!"
I would buy that book.
I'd give it to you, signed.
Anybody notice that Sarah hasn't responded to anything we've said?
She will in the morrow -
Thats my prediction.
"Anybody notice that Sarah hasn't responded ....."
Still no show?
I was speaking to a woman who rated these disorders as Casserole Zero because when people get illness like Diabetes, Cancer, broken bones the flu etc, people and friends drop in and bring casserole.
But if you have illness like the ones we are talking about here - nobody visits - people keep away - No Casserole for us.
Oh - and try not to listen to bad news. It's not helpful.
do something hedonistic and luxurious for yourself if you can.
"Casserole Zero" - I like that phrase, it says so much.
I beg to differ, a Casserole has been offered, the hot dish was words and sweet challeges to a closed system. I might have rather had a chicken pot pie, but thats ok, we have shipping problems...;p)
I went through a clinical depression that lasted 2 years. Eventually, I wandered out of it. (Many people who've been through a deep depression they are no longer in will understand the metaphor of "wandering out of it.")
This may sound silly, but what worked for me was whenever a negative thought entered my head, I treated it as another person and (silently, mentally) talked back to it telling it to go away. Eventually, the thoughts got less negative and now I'm only depressed when there's an actual reason to be depressed, such as recently when my father was dying and there was nothing I could do to help him other than to be around, which, believe me, ain't fun!
Another thing that helped me when I was depressed was being involved in a program that had me around people with far bigger problems than mine, which gave me perspective on my own issues. I'm talking about crippled people, people with muscle control problems such that they could hardly talk even though their brains were very sharp, mentally challenged people, including a girl in her early twenties with cheerleader body and looks but the mind of an 8 year old. After a while, I began to realize that, Hell, my problems weren't all that bad and who the heck did I think I was to think my problems merited much attention at all.
So, you've cataloged many of the bad things about life. How about cataloging the good ones? Also, volunteer. Making yourself useful helps, especially if you can volunteer working with people with serious issues or people in far more need than you.
At heart, clinical depression is a serotonin deficiency. You can try for the antidepressant approach or you can DIY as I did. (I tried antidepressants and couldn't stand the side effects.)
The main thing is not to sit around and stew. When you get out there and FIGHT, even if you don't win every or any battle, at least you can feel like something other than just a leaf floating on a stream of negativity.
You are correct that chronic clinical depression is a serotonin deficiency. I call it a chemical imbalance --- & that is what doesn't get better or go away by "doing things" or trying to think differently.
I like the part about "putting one foot in front of the other", & making it thru "the next 5 minutes" - that seems to work for me. My mother told me (after my first serious suicide attempt) - " when you think about it (dying), tell yourself "just wait till next Wednesday". That also seemed to work, as thing would come up to take my mind away -- it worked so well 5 decades have passed & I am now 71 yrs. old. So some of these things work -- but I don't connect with the word "hopeful". What would I be hopeful for? Or what would I "hope" for? I can't think of anything - except for good health, which I have & will continue to hope for.