The oxford English dictionary’s definition of depression is “severe, typically prolonged, feelings of despondency and dejection.” It is also defined as “a mental condition characterized by severe feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy, typically accompanied by a lack of energy and interest in life”I think the main word within the definition of depression is “feelings”. Feelings are one of the biggest parts of someone’s personality, and with depression those negative feelings are a total bitch. Feeling lost, hopeless, down, shitty, angry, upset, distraught, confused, alone and (to use a bit of a cliché here) ‘depressed’ tend to have a knock on effect, the kicker of which is that that effect will come back around and bite you in the arse. You get stuck in a vicious circle which gradually spirals downwards:
I feel crappy
Don’t do anything
no sense of achievement
I feel crappy (because ive done nothing)
Like I said; it is a vicious circle that comes back and bites you in the arse. What a bastard.
Now it’s at this point I will say that one of the hardest things to do is change your opinion of yourself. I’ve been dealing with depression for almost 3 years now. I know I’m not as badly affected by it as I was, but there is still a massive amount of work to be done to get me back to how I was before my brain exploded and decided to shit all over my mental state. I still don’t believe people when they compliment me or something I’ve done, made or said. That is because I haven’t managed to change my opinion of myself. Once I can do that I know I will be taking a HUGE step towards full recovery.
It is so hard to pick out the positive aspects of your life, especially if you’re feeling shit. Those feelings tend to give you tunnel vision. There may be positive things in your life but you can’t see them. Others point it out, but you still can’t see it. Or you don’t believe it. The way I see this is that you have to start small, then expand out so you can see those bigger positives in your life.
Have you ever seen the movie
Zombieland? Remember rule #32? If not then here’s a refresher for you:
“enjoy the little things.”
As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve found that something as small as doing something on an xbox game can give you a sense of accomplishment. The latest one for me was getting an achievement on tomb raider. (Great game by the way, definitely worth a look if you’ve not played it already.) it is something that is completely insignificant to all other aspects of my life, but I feel proud of myself because I have done it.
In my experience little things like doing Xbox achievements, or finishing a book I’ve wanted to read, or making a bowl using the wood turning lathe In the garage have all been things that make me feel a little bit better about myself. I’ve accomplished something. It may seem pointless and irrelevant to others, but to me it’s something special and it gives me a positive feeling instead of a negative one, even if that positivity is only there temporarily. Up’s and downs are a big part of my life and have been a massive component during my experience with depression.
So anyway, that’s it: my first one of these things. I’ll have to come up with some kind of witty name for whatever the hell these are. I may just be spewing random crap that no one understands so I apologise for that. If it makes sense to just one person then that’s awesome! Anyone who has read this is suffering from depression then don’t be afraid to have a go at enjoying the little things.
Baby steps and all that jazz.