Depressed for Years: a simple checklist for pinpointing the cause of a chronic depression

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Flickr.com: Mike Hyde

This last year resulted in several life changes for me, including my second divorce which ended my longest relationship as well as moving over state lines and turning 30. My depression lightened tremendously when I left my ex, and I want to encourage anyone reading this to consider the following:

  • It is not normal to be constantly depressed for years and years.
  • It is not necessary to feel like you are not in control of your life’s path.

Our circumstances can affect our stress level, mood, and depression. The people we interact with regularly can affect our stress level, mood, and depression. Our jobs can affect our level, mood, and depression.

If you’ve been depressed for years and years, like I was, then I encourage you to explore the possibility that something happening in your life is causing distress that you are not acknowledging. As human beings, we experience emotions and intuition, and if we ignore them, then they can cause physical manifestations, and I would bet good money that is what is causing your depression. It certainly was what was causing my long-term depression.

Here is a simple checklist of possibilities to consider when trying to understand your long-term depression. For now, I’ve included links to get you started on further research.

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Why am I still depressed? Simple tips for when you are ready to tackle your depression

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Once you hit a certain point in a depression, you begin to ask these questions: Why am I staying depressed? Why am I still depressed after all this time?

These are good questions because they hint at the idea that depression isn’t entirely passive, but is, in fact, an active (though unconscious) process. It’s not just a disorder that affects brain chemistry, but also a bad set of habits. Asking these questions can take the power from the depression and give you back your autonomy.Read More »

Declaration of My Independence

I am never getting married again.

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Flickr.com: josierichards

I know people say you shouldn’t make blanket “always” or “never” statements and you’ll always end up doing exactly what you said you’d never do. Only time will prove I mean it.

It’s not because I’m going through my second divorce and I-am-finished-with-marriage- and-men-are-awful-and-no-one-will-ever-love-me. I am not dramatically drawing a line in the sand, shaking my fist at the stars, daring Fate and the Universe to prove me wrong. No, my expressions of emotion and my statements of intentions are far more deliberate than that.

Let me be clear: I am poly, bisexual, and sapiosexual. I intend to have a full and satisfying life characterized by healthy and happy relationships with sexy nerds. But I will never marry one of my partners again.

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Trump America: A Brief Analysis

I have a lot going on in my life right now: I’m going through a divorce, which means I’m moving into a new apartment, meeting with a lawyer, and reassessing my finances and my life in general; I’m rebuilding a relationship with my parents (who are not happy about my lifestyle choices) and cosigning on a mortgage loan to help them; I’m living with a former non-nesting partner and reexamining my future. My least favorite time of the year is approaching, and while reconnecting with my family will ease some of the holiday discomfort, the family and societal obligations will still weigh on me. I have a lot of reasons to be stressed right now.

Waking up in a Trump America does not help my stress level. Read More »

Why do my friends suck? How to be a better human

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Flickr.com: Salim

One of my depression tips is to talk to your friends. First, let me make it clear that your friends, family, partners, and loved ones cannot fix you or heal you. They are not responsible for accommodating your insecurities and your neuroses nor for finding a solution to a bad situation. They can only be accountability partners, sounding boards, and a support system.

If this doesn’t sound like something your friends would be willing to do – if you have concluded that your friends never help you when you need them, there are two options: you are hanging out with assholes or you are the asshole.

How do you know? Here is a list of a few behaviors that assholes exhibit. These are the habits of immature or purposefully hostile humans.

Constantly concentrating on themselves. Think about a conversation with your bestie. Does she constantly interrupt you? Do you find that the conversation always focuses on her problems with very little discussion of your own? Do you always have to accommodate her schedule? These are traits of someone who is very narcissistic. These people are driven solely by what they can get out of a situation or a person. Their egocentrism makes being supportive of someone in crisis almost impossible.

Generally being unkind. I’m sure you’ve noticed people who are just …mean. They treat people unkindly. They patronize and condescend. This trait is really an extension of egocentrism, but I think sometimes people will also treat themselves unkindly, which seems counterintuitive, but most narcissists are insecure and use their narcissism to hide and cope with their insecurities.

Pushing responsibility on you. Like I mentioned before, your friends cannot fix you, so logic dictates that you also cannot fix your friends. It is not your responsibility to help someone at the expense of your own health or comfort. If you have a friend who is constantly needing you to bail him out, then perhaps you should reassess that relationship.

Gaslighting you. This is an abuse tactic and nothing to take lightly. If anyone says to you, “Well, you’re just overreacting” or “You shouldn’t feel that way,” that person is not your friend. While there are some people who tend to be melodramatic, their feelings are still genuine and valid, even if there are probably better ways to express them.

~∞~

Now, a very self-aware person would then turn these questions inward and assess if she is putting any of her friends through this. I commend you if you have the courage to do so. I do think it possible to do these things without being aware of it, and I do think it is possible to change. If you are, indeed, the asshole of your friend group and also depressed, then having these unhealthy relationships are probably contributing to your depression, and addressing these issues will probably alleviate your blues.

Why you should be kind to yourself

I have a lot going on and most of it isn’t good. So I’m doing the quick, fast and dirty blog post and will hopefully update it later.

You should really listen to the most recent Cracked Podcast on Earwolf. This podcast discusses new research that has shown that our pleasant feelings of liking or caring for someone actually happen AFTER we’ve done something nice for the person. This seems odd because normally, we’d assume that our desire to do something nice for someone happens because we care for them. But this isn’t the case. The feeling comes after the act.Read More »

This is rant about how much I hate my job and how much I was lied to as a young adult

In high school when I was diligently preparing for college and thus, my future, I never imagined that I would be working at anything other than a job that would fulfill my soul and stimulate my mind. Naive, yes. But somehow in spite of my penchant for analysis, it was the only conclusion I could draw from the formula poured into mwww.afeatheroftruth.wordpress.comy young mind: get good grades in high school –> get into a good college –> get good grades in college –> land the job you want –> enjoy work and family –> live fully and successfully.

As a graduate of the Class of 2008, let me say: Yeah… right.

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To Speak of Fandoms

Image from yourkpopguide.wordpress.com
Image from yourkpopguide.wordpress.com

I was going to compile a list of fandoms and what their fans were called, but I found a pretty comprehensive list during my research. So now I’m a leaf on the wind, caught up in thoughts about all of my favorite books series and TV series.

I think fandoms are healthy parts of being human. They give us things to talk about. They give us things to think about. They give us heroes to aspire to. The stories bring us excitement and adventure and passion, emotions which are only positive.Read More »

My Reasons for Remaining Childfree

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Flickr.com: lindsaydeebunny

Upfront warning: I wouldn’t read this if you are easily offended or overly fond of children. In spite of the media coverage my tubal ligation has gotten, I have not publicly discussed all of the reasons I have chosen to remain childfree (though a preview can be found on Slate.com). My feelings are not very palatable to a mother, but while I have every respect for them, I’m not writing to mothers right now. I am writing to people like me who have very intense and unorthodox feelings about children and pregnancy.Read More »

Depressed & Atheist: Tips for navigating misery as a nonbeliever

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Flickr.com: aldenchadwick

Surviving a depression is never easy, no matter who you are or what you believe. I have seen and heard many motivational or inspirational memes or sayings with religious messages. Things like “God will give you strength” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can bear” or even just the idea that praying to God for healing or for voicing pain can help you. As an atheist, these ideas are not comforting or inspirational, and I’ve had to look elsewhere to find the tools for surviving a depression. Religion is a good starting point for determining what you need: religion provides inspiration, comfort, and community. Whether religious or atheist we all need inspiration, community and instruction in order to navigate depression.Read More »