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Depression is not Sadness


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When I was a teen, and my angsty female contemporaries would talk about their depression, my immediate thoughts were:

  • Depression is just a word sad people use to garner unwarranted sympathy and attention.
  • Sadness only lasts a day or two, maybe more if death is involved, so why waste time even talking about it?
  • If you're sad, just sing a song, eat a cupcake, do something fun and get over it.

Yeah, I wasn't the most sensitive person in my teens.  In fact, I was kind of a dick.

But I'm learning something new.  Depression is not sadness.  For me, it's the absence of feelings.  I have anxiety over the things I am not getting done every day.  My bills are due and I have no money.  I could easily just decide to work, yet I eff around all day.  My clients are angry.  But I don't feel sad.  It's like I am in a cocoon, insulated from experiencing the stream of my own life.

Quitting gaming takes a lot of grit.  It takes a lot of just deciding to spend the next hour doing what's right - even when you're not feeling it.  If you can't dedicate yourself for an hour, try 15 minutes.  When you get to the end of that, see if you can do another 15.  Set a timer, and see if you can.

This is Normandy.  This is D-Day.  We are fighting for our own lives back.  Love, relationships, family, community.  You will fall.  I certainly have.  But this living death, just waiting to fall over is not a life worth living.  Remember this when you are tempted to download that next game.  Remember that you have a place in this world if you'll just take it.  

 

 

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Apathy or numbness is the absence of feeling. Depression is the dominance of sadness as a feeling to the point where it feels like the only feeling. Depression can shift into apathy and back because emotional climates are fluid.

It sucks that things are bad for you right now. You'll know you're getting better when you start to cry, or get paranoid, or have angry outbursts - that means the emotions are comming back. It's what happened to me. Be easier on yourself too. Apathy and depression are fail-safe mechanisms that force us to take a break when we are too hard on ourselves.

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