Taking Down Depression
If you have been struggling with depression, one of your best chances to get better is to start treating it as an adversary, as an enemy you will have to vanquish if you don’t want it to destroy all that you hold dear.
When you think and talk in terms of ‘I’m depressed’, what you are really saying to yourself is that you are your depression, that the symptoms you are dealing with are personality traits that exist in the folds and contours of your being. If depression is you, then you are the one who has to change if you want to get better, a daunting task under any circumstances but made even more challenging by the fact that two of depression’s most powerful and insidious weapons are the sword of making you lose your interest in life and all the things you used to enjoy in it, and the spear of sucking away all your energy. The very weapons you could use to activate against your adversary are sapped out of you, leaving depression in a good spot to wreak further havoc in your life.
Depression is an enemy not to be trifled with. That is why you need to externalize your foe from you and view him clearly and objectively from a distance, getting to know all of his traits and characteristics so that you can figure out exactly what you need to do to gain the upper hand in your struggle. You need to get to the point where you can visualize depression as a living, breathing being that you know as well as you know the most intimate people in your life. We know some people so well that we can usually predict their behaviors, we can mimic their voice patterns, expressions, and movements, and we understand their viewpoints on the world. You need to know your depression just as well as that. For example, you need to understand what motivates him, what he likes and dislikes, who he hangs out with, and what his life goals are.
Once you have externalized depression completely from yourself you will be in a pretty good position, by way of subtraction, to see yourself for who you really are too, recognizing inherent personality traits and abilities that you can activate. Write down some of these traits. Are you funny? Courageous? Stalwart? Intelligent? Don’t be shy to write as many positive traits down as you can think of, and write specific occasions in your past where you used these traits in the world. This is a good time to enlist the help of family members and friends, because depression has a potion he uses to try to make you forget about all your good qualities, another one of his very potent weapons.
Once you know depression intimately and have a clear idea of some of your own best qualities, come up with a specific plan for how you are going to use your assets in action to defeat your enemy. You can’t worry about setbacks. Depression wants you to give up easily and makes you think you should, another deadly weapon in his arsenal. Actually every day that you actively try to beat him is a day you can be proud of and acts as tangible proof that you are making inroads. A wall usually needs to crack before it can break, and just by making the decision to never give up against your opponent you are sending cracks all up and down the wall.
All depressions have general characteristics, the weapons that we have been talking about here, but your depression is also unique and singular, and you’ve got to figure out exactly what his characteristics are. Different depressions have different weapons in their arsenals. What they all have in common is that they are wielded to prevent you from living the happy, healthy life of love, interest, and productivity that you deserve. So take a stand, fight back, and take down your depression.