Life is full of ups and downs, happy times, sad times. Sad times. Staying on the path to the good life requires an effort.
More about depression
Most of you know that saying you wish you were dead is a sign of frustration, and not necessarily grounds for an immediate trip to the Emergency Room for a mental health evaluation. Sadness is a fact of life. Depression is a different visitor.
As Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression notes: “Grief is depression in proportion to circumstance; depression is grief out of proportion to circumstance.”
Sounds good if you are not coping with depression. Devastating if you are, and likely to drive someone who is clinically depressed deeper into despair. Why? Because it could be interpreted by many to mean depression is something a person should be able to “just snap out of.”
As Sally Brampton, author of Shoot The Damn Dog: A Memoir Of Depression, noted when she quoted another clinically depressed person: “Sometimes, I wish I was in a full body cast, with every bone in my body broken. That’s how I feel anyway. Then, maybe, people would stop minimizing my illness because they can actually see what’s wrong with me. They seem to need physical evidence.”
I can get mildly depressed. For me, depression often comes from the misunderstandings and ruptures caring relationships. I keep going, which is why I say I get mildly depressed, but I do feel as if I have been physically beaten and bruised.
emotional feeling tips for dealing with depression
Tip one: Depression is not sadness, it is not grief, it cannot be snapped away; self-help does not help, nor do the efforts of loved ones and friends to cheer it away.
Tip two: Depression needs treatment from qualified therapists just surely as a broken leg needs setting by a qualified doctor.
Tip three: You are not clinically depressed if you can follow the advice as given by T.H. White through the character of Merlin in the Once and Future King:
The best thing for being sad, is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.
Tip four: As with all mental illnesses two things determine the difference between life as it is and a mental illness operating. One is whether you can keep going; the second is the stress and pain you feel. Many people suffering from a major depression “Put on a happy face…”
If they act on suicidal on their depression, friends and family are usually shocked: “We know he had his ups and downs, but never thought it was so bad he would actually try to kill himself.”
Or as one student said to me after a class on depression, “Are you telling us it is not normal for someone to think of how to commit suicide every day.”
My reply, “No it is not.”
And yes, this young woman was according to my definition, clinically depressed. She needed proper treatment and thankfully got it.
Tip five: This is advice for those who are not depressed, but who care about someone who is. It comes from Stephen Fry the comedian who wrote about depression in his personal memoir Moab Is My Washpot.
If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.
Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
Life is a struggle, full of pain and suffering, people who harm others as well as those who seek peace for all. Remembering the Mission and working in your own way keeps you on a path to peace. The more who walk those paths, the more likely we will know peace on earth.
Liking, commenting, sharing are acts of social media kindness. So if you found this post helpful, do any of the above. I promise your kindness is always repaid.
DISCLAIMER ONE: EMOTIONAL FITNESS TRAINING IS NOT THERAPY Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you by others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
DISCLAIMER TWO: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share my blog. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability. If you hang in with me, thank you.
DISCLAIMER THREE: HERE COMES A SHAMELESS PLUG Work of mine that is professionally edited can be found in my books, available on Amazon and readable on any tablet, laptop, Mac, PC, e-reader or Kindle device. If you enjoy my blog, please consider purchasing one of my books. Thank you.
Coming soon from MetaPlume: How to Hold a Successful Family Meeting, followed by How to Make a Memory Book followed by other out pourings from my leaking brain.
You might also enjoy my Emotional Fitness Pinterest Board