When Depression Strikes

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Sam wrote an article over at Untemplater on tips on dealing with depression. It made me think about the periods in my own life where I feel depressed and the effect it can have when we want a full, rich, and abundant life with our friends, family, and business endeavors.

I think what I can offer those of you who have felt depressed is my own perspective in what I’ve seen depression do to me and how I get out of it. Something in my list of experiences here may offer you something you haven’t thought of before or at the very least, give you comfort to know that I’ve felt the same thing as you.

What Depression Feels Like

When I get depressed, I am pulled to become more introverted than I already am and to give up on any business projects and ideas I am pursuing. I feel like nothing is going to work out so why bother. Depression for me is like a dark cloud consuming me and blocking me from any form of action beyond simply sulking by myself.

Can Depression Be Stopped?

I like that Sam wrote a varied list of things to do when depression strikes. The list ranges from music to eating to sitting quietly and reflecting. The list is great and helps me see more options now when I feel the depression kick in. For the past few weeks, I’ve had some depression kick in and his list continues to be a useful resource for me to look at what I might do.

Even with the list though, I sometimes feel like I can’t do anything about depression when it strikes. It’s almost as if my free will has been stripped away and I just have to ride out the depression until it goes away.

Tony Robbins, a famous speaker and life strategist suggests that you simply move your body and get active to change your physiology which will in turn take the depression away. Because you become active with your head up while active, that becomes a state depression can’t be in. Here’s a video explanation of how he sees it (has some adult themes in it).

The thing for me is, I can’t just flip off the switch and go jumping around when I feel depressed. I feel so helpless that I had to try something else. For me, it was reflecting on just how good I have it.

  • I live in a free, democratic country where I can pursue whatever I wish.
  • I have a beautiful wife where we love each other.
  • I have terrific and smart kids.
  • I am in better physical and mental shape than I was 10 years ago.
  • I have enough money to meet my day-to-day needs.
  • I live at a time in Earth’s history where technology and medicine are advanced.
  • I continue to meet amazing people online.

Putting Things in Perspective

Putting things in the perspective of how good I have it isn’t the cure all. But it really helps. When I see how good I have it, I’m ashamed that I’m even depressed. I sort of feel like I’ve violated myself by stooping to such a level for no good reason and I begin to think better thoughts which in turn helps me get out of the funk.

It’s the perspective that does it for me. I know I have it good (it has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point too). I know that if I work hard and give a good effort, life is going to continue to be abundant and interesting. So depression can just take a hike now :)

How often do you get depressed? What are some strategies you employ to beat it? Do you find you just have to ride the depression out?

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Updated: December 12, 2012 — 5:16 PM

4 Comments

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  1. Hey Jeremy,

    Hope you are feeling better man. Putting things in perspective is so important. It’s just frustrating when we do, and realize how lucky we are and yet still feel depressed sometimes!!

    Sam

  2. As someone who’s struggled with some depression in the past, sometimes it can be really tough to put things in perspective! Sure, we have it really good, we’re not starving, etc… but that’s not the way that the part of our brain that signals depression works. It’s not something we can just “get over” at times.

    Part of my own cure for depression has been mental deprogramming regarding what’s “expected” in work and life, and sometimes it just takes simple remedies, like some sun & wind, or a comedy. ;)

    I hope you feel better soon. I don’t think you should feel ashamed about being depressed, and I don’t agree with the “just get over it” mentality. To some extent yes, it’s true, how dare we feel any self pity? Have you seen how good we have it? I get that, and it’s true. :) At the same time, just saying that doesn’t make the depression go away for good. Sometimes I think you need to actually embrace the depression and work it through your system.

    As someone prone to depression for this reason or that, sometimes I get more depressed during the cold winter, but what I do now is I bundle myself up and go out into the dark, cold, night, and then I sit in a dark park and look up at the stars, which are so much clearer at night. I imagine how people living here 1000 years ago survived this cold, with nothing but fur coats and a bow & arrows for hunting. It’s kind of fun to brave the elements, actually, and then realize there’s a warm home to return to. :)

    You do have it going good, Jeremy. Keep up the good fight, and stay in touch!

    1. Kevin, I like your thinking about 1,000 years ago and people with nothing but fur coats and bows and arrows. That’s definitely another way to put things in perspective.

      I’ll keep up the good fight. It really helps to just talk about this and see other view points like yours. Thanks so much for sharing.

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