Tag Archives: depression

Who I Wish I Was

Sometimes, I wish I was a bird. Sometimes, I wish I was skinnier. Sometimes, I wish I was nobody and somebody else all at once.

People decide who they want to be by looking at other people. In society, those who are above us are our standards. If someone has a job that pays $100,000 while ours only pays $50,000, we want to be that person, or at least have their job. If someone has a gorgeous partner and we don’t have one at all, we wish we were that person. If someone has something that we crave but cannot have, we envy that person.

It’s like that in high school. Continue reading

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You See That Rock Right There? Yep, It’s a Rock

I’m not sure if it’s the school-related stress or my intrinsic need to write or the gnawing feeling I have that I’ve abandoned my blog, but I’m going to write a quick post.

I love to ponder. To analyze. To ruminate. I even have “thinking” as one of my Facebook activities to trick people into assuming I’m deep. If one does not attempt to assess certain aspects of their lives – who they are, what their goals are, etc. – then it would be extremely difficult to lead a fulfilling life. You have to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t make them again, and you have to question things that don’t seem right to be a better person.

Yet there are limits to thinking. No matter how much you think about something, you can’t change it unless you act. Thinking allows you to attain a clearer image of your life, but what good is that image if you don’t do anything with it? Some people afflicted with depression are caught in a mental downward spiral – unable to focus on anything except the negative thoughts taking over their minds, they lose the ability to do anything besides grieve for themselves as they helplessly watch the world pass by.

Furthermore, one can over-analyze as well. I’ll use an example I haven’t brought up in a long time: child abuse. A child abuser, is, well, a child abuser. There’s no other way to look at it. Sure, the abuser might have come from a long line of child abusers so that they were born in a toxic environment, or maybe they’re suffering from a mental disease and can’t control their actions – but, no matter what, they are a child abuser. You can sympathize with the abuser, you can empathize with what they’ve gone through in their lives, whatever. They hurt kids. That’s that.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that people should face their problems for what they are as opposed to coming up with excuses for things that are clearly in their control. This reminds me of students who say that they’re intelligent but get bad grades because they’re lazy – maybe they should try harder then. And if you know someone who is bullied or has an eating disorder or cuts themselves, who cares if they don’t want help or have issues with attention? Get them help. It is what it is.

I am a firm believer that life contains many shades of gray. But some situations call for a simple, realistic perspective of black and white.

Thoughts?

By the way, two more days until this blog’s one year anniversary! I’m behind on responding to comments and what not, I promise I’ll get to it by the weekend. Also, thanks to Devina for partially inspiring this post… as well as my dad, who’s probably the most realistic person I know.

He's a ladies' man. Are you guys excited for Christmas? I was, but realized I had no friends to go shopping for...

PS: I was thinking about this a little more and I realized just how many things it applies to… and, you guessed it, I have to mention gays. I mean, these are just people who love each other, but then you throw in religion and the government and the Apocalypse and things get way more messy than they need to be. Rick Perry doesn’t even make sense when he talks about gays… but this guy does.

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The Depression Cure by Stephen S. Ilardi

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

The Depression Cure offers six practical steps to fighting depression through Stephen S. Ilardi’s program Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC). The six components of TLC are:
– dietary omega-3 fatty acids
– engaging activity
– physical exercise
– sunlight exposure
– social support
– sleep

Most of the things above one can garner from common sense, which is why I relished reading The Depression Cure. As someone who suffers from mild depression every now and then I can say that exercise, getting enough sleep, and having a social support system are all invaluable to maintaining a happy mindset. I’m already implementing some of Ilardi’s suggestions and considering utilizing more of them.

However, though the writing in this book is simple and Ilardi’s attitude pragmatic, I feel like people suffering from severe depression will be overwhelmed by TLC. Even I hesitate to obtain the omega-3 supplements or purchase the artificial light recommended by Ilardi.

This book will benefit people who are willing to take the steps to ensure their recovery, but I don’t recommend it to those ensconced completely by the disease or those who view depression with skepticism.

More information on depression here.

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Child Abuse and Depression

Image via psyblogger.com

One of the least shocking yet most troubling consequences of child abuse is depression. Victims of child abuse are prone to suffer from this disease at some time in their life, either in recurring episodes or long stretches.

The reason I do not find this surprising is because it makes sense, to put it blatantly. As a child your brain is continuing to develop, so abuse introduces an influx of stress hormones that can potentially alter and rewire your brain in an abnormal way. I’m not a psychologist or a scientist, but even as a mere high-school student, I can clearly see the long-term negative effects of child abuse.

Removing the scientific aspect of abuse and focusing on the social angle, it remains obvious how child abuse causes depression. A myriad, even a majority of child abuse perpetrators are related to their respective victims. Loneliness and social isolation are key concepts of depression – and isn’t it true that your family is supposed to always be there for you? To listen to you and accept you as who you are? Unfortunately, some children do not have that luxury. As a result they suffer physically and mentally.

Though I had a blast on the cruise I went on recently, I immediately felt sad again once I returned home to certain members of my family. To ameliorate this I began reading The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs  by Stephen S. Ilardi. Here’s a quote I stumbled upon right at the beginning (page 32):

“Likewise, the protective presence of loved ones – which our forebears experienced for the better part of each day – gives the brain a strong, primal signal that we’re probably no longer in any immediate danger, so it ratchets down the stress response accordingly.”

This quote supplies evidence as to why victims of abuse possess irregular stress patterns. I’m sure others can relate to me when I say that I do feel like I’m in immediate danger in the “protective presence of loved ones”, and that my “stress response” actually shoots skyward during that time.

I digress. It’s important to remember that despite what I’ve written here, victims of child abuse are not helpless in the face of despair. I read, I run, I write, and I do many other things in order to fight depression. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.

Child abuse hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

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Anger

Anger is a double-edged sword. One can wield anger to their advantage, ruthlessly tearing into whoever is unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of the emotion; or, anger can turn into quicksand, enveloping and completely encompassing its owner until nothing remains.

Personally, I do not like anger. I have seen too many people angry – angry at the world, angry at me, and angry at themselves. Sometimes, the anger is warranted. Most of the time it is not.

When people are angry, they are blind. Unable to view the world from a different perspective besides their own. This reminds me of the bull launching itself at the red flag, not processing what may be behind that flag… possibly an impenetrable wall. But by then, it is too late.

Anger leads to a multitude of other emotions. Two that affect me the most are fear and sadness. The difference is that one is caused by another person’s anger, while the other is caused by my own.

Fear. I can reasonably estimate that 99% of the times I am fearful are due to anger. When one is angry, one is violent. Violence leads to pain. Pain leads to suffering. Suffering leads to fear.

Sadness. I do not ever want to be angry. An unrealistic goal, I’m aware. However, when one attempts to control their anger and force it back into themselves, it changes into an unrelenting sadness. A permanent sadness. A depression. This only occurs when there are not enough sources of strength to use to recover, which, in the past, was my case exactly.

I believe that the opposite of anger is self-control. The ability to feel anger – to experience its terrible power racing through your veins – and not act impulsively on it. Rather, to use that anger and manipulate it into a self-dignified motivation, a driving force per say. This is the emotion I want to learn, to feel, and to use.

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Disaffected

Disaffected (adjective): Having lost faith or loyalty; discontent.

“Depression is the inability to construct a future.” – Rollo May

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