Staying depressed for a long period of time is difficult. It actually takes quite a bit of work and effort. Few people have the knack for it. In fact, according to a recent course I took at Coursera.org, the World Health Organization estimates that while as many as 125 million people worldwide that manage to achieve clinical level of chronic depression, in most places depression is accompanied and overshadowed by massive challenges like the threat of starvation, fear of violence or long term warfare. Here in the U.S., even with our comparably staggering national wealth and civility as well as our vast mental health treatment resources, about 1 in 10 of us still suffers from occasional clinical depression. Even so, among these U.S. sufferers, only 1 in 3 are able to manage to maintain this condition as a long term ailment.
Here are ten tips to help make it happen for the rest of us here in the U.S. who are “chronic depression challenged”:
1) It helps to sit with the lights off, at home, in a quiet surrounding without other people. You must avoid getting involved or engaging in bright, lively active scenes like a hectic office or work environment or high energy social scenes.
2) Stick to the “tried and true”. Don’t have an open mind toward change or engage in new experiences.
3) Remind yourself frequently that you already have all the tools and answers that are relevant to your own life. Keep focused on what’s wrong “out there” and never consider what’s going on “inside here”.
4) When you are with other people, you have to stay focused on your own problems and not be drawn into engaged conversation about their lives and other topics. Don’t engage in “active listening” and try to do most of the talking; again keep focused on your own problems. If you company strays off course let them know that you don’t appreciate their attempt to introduce other topics into the conversation. Your response has the added benefit of ensuring that they will not wish to speak with you much again.
5) Don’t get enough sleep.
6) Avoid outdoor activity and exercise as this also make it difficult to remain depressed. Avoid these even in small doses.
7) It is almost impossible to remain depressed if you force or fake a smile too often so this must definitely be avoided.
8) Do not allow yourself to be exposed to people whose problems are greater than your own, especially if they have found a way to cope with the challenges that life has posed.
9) Hold a strong conviction of how the path of your life ought to play out. Consider any deviation from this certain path to be unfair to you.
10) Frequently compare your life with the lives of others, especially what they post on Facebook. Read meaning into the pictures posted to confirm how their relationships, financial status and experiences are so much richer than yours.
World Health Organization reports that more people die from suicide each year than all of the homicides and war deaths combined. #WSPD
I recognized Mental Illness Awareness Week by reading “Why You Should Care About Mental Health” by the acting Surgeon General at http://www.mentalhealth.gov/blog/2014/10/why-you-should-care-about-mental-health.html