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What I Have Learned in Seven Years of Severe Depression

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Debater Slayer, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Born-again Glompist
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    It has been seven years since depression became a significant issue in my life. Since then, I have tried numerous treatments that include medication as well as CBT and meditation.

    I'm sharing this in the hope that it might help someone in any way, or if not, maybe it could at least give them hope that some methods do have the potential to help out.

    These are, in no particular order, the things that have helped me most, and while I learned some of them via doctors or meditation tutors, some actually came to me naturally after challenging experiences as sort of a survival/coping mechanism.

    - Self-pity is a major trap that can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of depression. You get depressed, engage in self-pity, and become more depressed or stay just as depressed because of that. In my opinion, those pesky Buddhists and Stoics were indeed onto something when they said that it was wise to observe events as they came without judging them.

    Of course, since crappy events ranging from traffic jams and stubbing one's toe all the way to financial trouble and loss of friends are bound to affect us at one point or another, what I eventually taught myself to do--after literal years of struggling with self-pity and feelings of helplessness--was to view life as a series of challenges of different kinds that we simply don't choose. Someone's challenge could be a medical emergency in the U.S. when they don't have insurance. Another's could be the very accident of being born in a disordered, harsh third-world environment.

    - Tying into the above, I have also learned that comparing oneself to others, be they more or less fortunate than oneself, is largely an exercise in futility and potential despair. Instead, measuring one's progress against one's own goals is a far more skillful and useful approach. Both "think of how fortunate you are compared to the millions who are starving!" and "why am I so unlucky and not as successful as the millions of rich people?" can be extremely destructive outlooks, albeit for different reasons.

    - Bitterness, resentment, and holding long-term grudges hurt oneself more than they do anyone else. This is the main reason I gradually became detached from anti-religious communities and especially ones that are fixated on what they used to be rather than what they are in the present. It doesn't help. It doesn't solve any actual problems. It just creates baggage that you--and only you--have to constantly live with.

    - Thinking of one's own problems as "worse" than everyone else's or downplaying others' problems to make oneself feel more uniquely struggling is a facet of self-pity that is particularly toxic, unhelpful, and inconsistent. It combines the worst aspects of self-pity and comparison of oneself to others in a way that simply leads to self-absorbed misery instead of helping anyone.

    - This one was one of the hardest, but I can't emphasize enough how much easier it has made my life: there's rarely any need in everyday life to "prove" anyone wrong or prove one's opinions correct and others' mistaken. This is the main reason I barely engage in prolonged debates on this forum anymore.

    In this age of "social" media and easy access to platforms that enable arguing with other people, it can be particularly easy to saddle oneself with the unnecessary stress of trying to show others how "wrong" they are or how awesome and rational one is. But it seldom achieves anything of value, wastes time and effort, and most importantly, it creates absolutely avoidable mental pain.

    - Finally, I have come to believe that suffering in and of itself doesn't lead to wisdom. I know many happy people who are very reasonable and level-headed, and I also know depressed people who are among the most irrational, impulsive, and reckless individuals I have met. It mainly comes down to what you make of your experiences with your innate faculties of reason and wisdom rather than the experiences themselves being pleasant or painful.

    This also dovetails with the earlier point about believing that one's problems are worse than everyone else's: they don't necessarily make the suffering person special, wise, or unique. They simply are. Because life said so.

    If you have made it this far, thanks for reading! I will finish this by saying that learning the above things was by no means easy, so it's understandable that some people find it hard to implement these beliefs into their everyday lives. I just want to emphasize that I may well have not made it until now or been here at all if not for learning these things.

    Happy Friday! :D
     
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  2. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    What you wrote is spot-on. May it help others.
     
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  3. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Trying to help others by imparting your acquired wisdom is a kind and loving thing to do!

    You are following the “Royal Law”!
     
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  4. MonkeyFire

    MonkeyFire Well-Known Member

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    Peace comes from within. You, and everyone shares bignorance and denial over the fact that hate is only pain and suffering for you and that blocks you from being happy. But cultivate enough wisdom and you will be set you free.
     
    #4 MonkeyFire, Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  5. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Well done, my friend.
     
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  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for sharing. I went through a period of severe depression during my twenties. The insights I gained are exactly the same as yours and just as applicable 30 years on as they were back then.
     
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  7. Workman

    Workman UNIQUE

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    I am happy for your sharing, and if I may share back unto you..some Love. Mind the caps they are to pin-point.

    Reason was born at the same time as (Y)ou were your=Wh(Y)&our Reason!...TO now BE!..[IN].
    From Whatsoever reason you have challenged for your Why?...
    Why-Not!!..will Always Beat IT.
    (If you choose{choice}to).

    Reason is what we live by..it is also what creates and by NOT created in our Reality..in today.

    I am circular..as same like equation of which we live in today “Earth”, for its shape!..it is in “Circular Reasoning”..that trials us ‘The Day’, and from Now that I Am...‘The Hour’.

    Each line will tell in your reason made..than keep making them lines good with reasons until youve reach that made (your) circular..YOU WILL than find your ANSWER for your Reason...and that There was (NO) ‘Reason’..for your why NOT was indeed the EFFORT and the ANSWER...from only than this point YOU WILL (Understand) GOD Be The Answer. There was Absolutely Nothing there until you made IT to Something..once you’ve known something, it be really hard for one to remember the nothing..LET IT GO!..

    And this is why I am here to show you..The [NO] evidence of GOD.(it is all lying in ones knowledge and understanding)..the answer is You..your (JUST) be held back to what your known NOTs..for is there, where you will find it..in your off-limits.

    If one is held back on REASON...
    One {WILL}..be struggled from that LINE...
    One {WILL}..see only IN ITs own one line...
    One {WILL}..(NOT) find the Answer...
    One {WILL}..NO(W) become A Question...
    And the Question will become the...WHY?!?!

    The meaning of WILL..was from ones own creating. It is what makes YOU in your Journey..your ‘WILL’.

    [HINT: the word NO means ‘who you already are’].

    (I) will now leave (you) here/hear then you must find your REASON.

    God Bless YOU.
     
    #7 Workman, Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  8. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member

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    Well said, sir.
     
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  9. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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