How to Escape the Comfort of Depression

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How to Escape the Comfort of Depression

To start off, I want to thank the readers who supported me on my previous article, How to Overcome Depression. I’m excited to see that it managed to help so many people.

So with that boost of motivation, I recently did some research and contacted a few personnel regarding the deeper issue for those dealing with depression. As you’re probably aware, depression isn’t an emotion meant to gain the sympathy of others. It’s a condition that pulls someone down like a heavy bolder over their shoulders.

Bolder over ShouldersWhen some people hear about depression, they assume it’s because someone is dealing with a break up, they lost their job, or they’re financially struggling.

Sure, there’s no doubt that a lack of those resources will lower someone’s self-esteem, (unless they went total Fight Club status) but that doesn’t mean it’s the instant recipe for depression. 

No my very precious friend. Depression is a very strange symptom because you could be happy and depressed simultaneously.

How is that possible ?

I’m about to hit you with a hard truth you’ve may have heard before. Odds are, you’re living a lifestyle that people would kill for. (Especially those who live in a 3rd world country.) Despite what possessions you have, who abused you, or what you’re struggling with, chances are there’s a poor fellow out there suffering twice as much as you this VERY SECOND. (Scary, right?)

And yet, despite this true and accurate fact, you still find yourself hiding in the closet with a hole in your heart. Don’t worry. I do too and I consider myself a little spoiled.

Does it make sense how for someone who has so much in their life can still feel like there’s something missing? Not necessarily. In fact you can say it sounds crazy.

Don’t get me wrong. Whether someone is hiding from a pack of wolves or the school bullies, both persons are capable of experiencing the same level of depression simultaneously.

Depression is more than just struggling to deal with the current moment happening to you. It’s a gathering of every petty and horrible emotion, experience, and fear that’s bottled inside you. And then, like a Pokemon, those ingredients evolves into hopelessness, which eventually transforms into nothingness.Nothingness

To give those who aren’t familiar with depression, imagine a time when you were sick. I’m sure there was at least ONE moment during that time where you experienced some sort of positive emotion.

depression

Your body may have been under the weather, but your mind was still capable of processing positive emotions. Maybe someone fixed you some chicken noodle soup. Perhaps someone is taking care of you. Regardless, a

But rather than dealing with a bodily illness, depressed people face a bummed mentality that degrades them daily. (Think of it like living with the ultimate bully who was also emo.)

Well known side effects of depression are a loss of energy, mood swings, lack of motivation, and occasional thoughts of suicide. To put it simple, depression is an ambiguity to every precious aspect of life.

sad

The other side of depression many people neglect is that overtime, depression starts shifting deeper within our personalities. (Or as Beyonce would say, trying to put a ring on it.) Overtime as you’re dealing with depression, one of the strange affects I noticed was that people became strangely comfortable with it.

Even if you’re working to overcome depression, a part of your brain will still want to keep it. (Like a binge watcher who only plans to watch one episode on Netflix.)

And if you watched Lord of the Rings, think of Depression as that ‘ring’  no one can’t seem to get their hands off of. The only part that sucks is that depression won’t give you the same type of ultimate power.

In a way, during your path to overcome depression, your subconscious tries to sabotage you by pulling a self-fulfilling prophecy. People do have the intention to cure their depression, but when they’ve been around it for so long they can’t seem to depart from it anymore. It’s part of them such as their shadow and they learn to live with it.

live with it

It’s at this point we become so comfortable with depression that we ignore the seriousness of it, and place it as a minor problem in our life. We ignore the impact it does to us mentally because we learn to cope with it. We create an illusion that depression is only a small burden to deal with even though our love ones might see otherwise.

This was when I discovered the amount of highly functional people who were diagnose with depression. Although not obvious at first, it took a bit of analyzing (some people would call it stalking) to uncover the natural roots of depressed people behaviors.

We’ll start off with the workaholics. (Not the TV show for anyone wondering.)

Who hasn’t seen a workaholic before? They seem to be in love with their work in an unhealthy manner. But you never seem to complain when they’re willing to do your work for you. But as tempting as it is to take advantage of them, what they need is a quick evaluation because chances are, they’re severely depressed.

People who normally overwork themselves do so to ignore the dark impulses wrapping around their thoughts. For instance, some workaholics dealt with serious debt problems, others had marriage issues, and others were suffering from personal home burdens. Either way, most workaholics had signs of serious stress levels that they could only ignore by burying themselves into their work.

Workaholics may occasionally hear the, “hey, are you okay,” question. But those words don’t do anything for them. They normally respond to any question like that will be the common, “I’m fine,” answer that people give to their neighbors whenever they don’t want to talk to them. And it’s not like they’re trying to keep others out of their life. But when anyone give them a half-baked willingness of support, they naturally feedback a half-baked response.

In actuality, depressed people are constantly screaming for help inside their heads and through their eyes. They want someone to strap them to a chair and force the words out of their mouth, but there’s several obstacles that usually stand in the way:

A) The person who’s asking about their problems are part of the problem

B) They don’t want to appear needy to the person they’re telling their problems to

C) They’re not at that level of comfort to simply tell that person their darkest secrets

 

So what happens if we allow depression to be our dark comfort?

You learn how to use the dark side of the force. But that sometimes doesn’t work for everyone.

You ever heard the phrase, “You can either look at the glass half empty or half full.” Well let’s ignore that phrase and imagine how heavy that glass is instead. It could be 8oz, 16oz, or even 24oz. It’s not going to be that difficult holding a glass of water. (Unless you’re the world’s weakest person.)

After a few seconds, you forget that glass of water is even there. But let’s say rather than placing that glass down, you keep holding it. Again, this shouldn’t be difficult. After an hour, you still feel the same with perhaps a slight tingle running up your hand. But once it reaches five hours, you start feeling a strange numbness in your hand.

After 12 hours, your arm starts to react differently, sending you painful impulses to put the glass down. But you ignore it because it’s only a glass of water and it shouldn’t be affecting you.

After holding the glass for 24 hours, it starts feeling like a dumbbell. You want to place the glass down because it’s not only harming your arm, but your entire body. Your mind then starts focusing on only the glass stuck to your hand, and you question how to get rid of it.

glass

You forget how life was before you picked it up and it becomes part of your identity. After weeks of holding it, you gain a strange love-hate relationship with the glass of water. It hurts to hold it, but you learn to deal with it and shrug it off as the norm.

Such as that nasty analogy I hope you don’t test out, that’s how depression is like for those who aren’t familiar with it. It’s like a glass of water stuck to your hand and if we shrug it off as the norm, it’ll eventually affect us entirely.

But rather than giving you a tired arm; it clouds your judgments, giving you the gift of anxiety attacks, and so much more bothersome symptoms. This is known as the illness of depression that causes people to wish they never experienced happiness in the first place.

So how can I overcome the comfort of depression?

How does one discover a glass of water that’s been in their hand for years and totally forgot about?

Will drugs remove the glass of water?

Or perhaps you need someone to simply remind you that it’s there.

Some people think if you read an inspirational quote, you should automatically feel better and go about your life. If that was the case, we wouldn’t need doctors. We’ll just send our patients a “get well” card and hope for the best.

doctor

This is the solution most people go with when telling others how they could get rid of depression. Especially if you’re a man. We’re deemed “not manly” if we allow our emotions to get the best of us. We’re normally just told to “suck it up and be a man.” (Oooohhh, if only it was that simple.) I know people like to live in a hunt or be hunted world, but let’s show each other love instead. That being said, to overcome the comfort of your depression.

 

1. Seek out a Counselor

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re at in life. We all need help because we’re emotional creatures that require support in some way or another. People give us ideas, inspirations, and thoughts we can’t conjure by own our guidance or words.

And when I say counselor, I’m not referring to someone you have to pay. I’m talking about anyone you’re most comfortable with. It could even be your neighbor you’ve only known for 5 minutes (But I don’t think he’ll be that comfortable with you telling him your darkest secrets that soon.)

Find someone who won’t judge you and can understand what you’re going through. You want to look for that connection that sends your mind into a comfort state.

The reason people seek after a Therapist is because it’s a closed relationship where no one judges. But not everyone has the money to see one nor will they receive the treatment they desire because of how some Therapists work. It might take months or years before they even get somewhere productive.

You’d be surprised by how a few shady Therapists operate behind closed doors, manipulating their clients into coming back, never providing efficient answers. That’s why if you do decide to find a Therapist, make sure your trust instincts activate near them.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s that spidy-sense ability that tingles whenever you sense someone’s not interested in you. You don’t want the “client’s” seat, but a “friend’s” seat when you’re with a Therapist. If you have any suspicions that your psychologist is treating you more as an object than a human being, leave them and find another.

talking2

Like I mentioned before, if you’re in a position where you can’t afford a Therapist, talk to someone you love and connect with. Not only does this build the bond between you two, but it starts the progress of breaking up with depression.

Find a comfort zone with another source such as the love for your partner, family, or God. And for those who don’t have anyone to talk to, below are several fantastic free websites to help you find someone to chat with:

 7 Cups of Tea

I tested this site to ensure it was free and it was really amazing because it gives you the chance to speak to people from across the world. It doesn’t even require a username or password. Simply enter a chatroom, and you’ll be in a one on one conversation with someone. My first session was with someone from Italy who was very friendly and willing to talk about any problems I had. His name is Matt for those who want to visit the site.

 Blahtherapy

Like the site above, this is free too. It has 3 options to choose from and you don’t have to sign up either. The only payment option they have is if you want to receive professional Therapy from their site. Other than that, you’ll have a chance to talk to other people about your problems and what’s on your mind. There’s even an option that lets you be the listener and hear someone else’s problem in case you wanted to help someone out.

 Depression Chat Rooms

For those who enjoy chatrooms, this free website connects you with a group of people without signing up. You can meet a variety of people suffering with what you’re going through. You don’t have to talk about your problems. You can talk about life in general. It sets you away from your issues and lets you to live in the moment with real-time chat sessions. I actually had more fun than I would have expected because everyone is so kind and friendly. It’s like a community.

2. Dive deeper into depression resources

Sometimes to truly understand your conscious, you have to understand the cause for it. Each person’s source of depression originates from a different area from their past, and by narrowing that path, it sets you closer to breaking up with depression.

Read books or articles that cover other people who had similar problems such as yourself. If it helps, watch documentaries and get something out of it.

Books and videos may not immediately cure your depression, but it sets your mind into a conscious level of awareness that it’s there, and you can beat it. When you don’t know how to conquer your battle with depression, observe someone’s life who overcame it. A few books I recommend reading if you’d like to uncover other people struggles are:

  1. Darkness Visible by William Styron
  2. Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter by Deborah Serani
  3. Shoot the Damn Dog by Sally Brampton
  4. How You Can Survive When They’re Depressed by Anne Sheffield
  5. Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond by Anne Sheffield
  6. When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Laura Epstein Rose
  7. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

 

If you’re into watching videos, below are several videos that could transform your thinking process when dealing with depression. I also recommend these videos to anyone who wants to hear these people inspiring words.

These videos aren’t meant to motivate you to become a better person or to chase after your dreams. They’re meant to show you you’re not alone, and there are other people fighting through these illnesses despite how successful they are, or how much money they have:

  1. Mental Illness and Why The Skeptic Community Should Give a Shit, JT Eberhard Skepticon 4
  2. Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic at TED
  3. Stanford’s Sapolsky On Depression in U.S. (Full Lecture)
  4. Mike Wallace: Depression
  5. Depression & Anxiety: My Story
  6. Dealing With Depression: One Year Later
  7. My Depression Story: Where I’ve Been & What I’m Feeling
 

In final thoughts….

Having comfort in depression is a dangerous lifestyle to embrace because of the ways it will influence your behaviors. It may take weeks, months or years before it occurs, but everyone do experience the nasty outcomes of depression.

So take these tools and don’t focus on getting rid of depression because it’s not something you could easily brush off. Focus on discovering yourself and learn to embrace your vulnerabilities rather than fearing them.

Through these exercises, you’ll find it easier loving yourself and disembarking the illusions of depression. Start recognizing what’s going on in your mind, why you’re thinking that way, and find others to release those thoughts to.

Cast a flashlight in the dark corners of your mind to face the issue. Depression isn’t an emotion, but an illness and by learning to have faith in others and yourself, you learn to love life again.

 

For similar posts, check out:

Why Releasing Creativity Can Cure An Introvert’s Depression

Coping With Anxiety and Stress: Ways To Fix That

How to Defeat Your Inner Critic and Rule Your Inner Troll



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About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He’s traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

3 Comments

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  3. I’m no longer depressed, I was 6 months ago when I was in this new school in a new country and I felt put of place and dejected, I knew it was terrible and I had so many strategies to bring it down, but I somehow missed how mentally conscious it made me, I’m studying art and it just kind of gave me a creative and emotionally strange view towards life like I never experienced. But this article also shines a new light now that I’m okay, it’s not worth getting back to or associating myself with, I also recently found God and it’s a feeling of security and overwhelming freedom that I love. So instead of trying to weaken myself, I’ll strive to help those suffering from it. I’ve known 7 Cups for awhile and I actually helped a few people there.
    Thank you

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