Sometimes we all feel a little blue, depressed, down, whatever we choose to call it. There are times when the world and all the pain that we inflict on one another just gets too great to bear, and the floodgates open to depression. I am in one of those moods today despite my best efforts. While I think about what I can do to get out of this mood, I begin to realize a universal truth.
Being depressed at times is simply a part of being human. We can only process so much that happens to us and in the world around us before our inner voice just cries out "Enough!, I just can't handle all of this right now!" Rather than attempt to fight off the blues, I have learned to simply remove the external stimuli that causes them to the greatest extent possible. Once that is done, I settle down and wait for things to get better. I no longer fight the feeling because I know that it is natural, some kind of primal defense mechanism that we all possess. I have found that taking this approach often alleviates the depression more quickly than I would have expected.
This approach doesn't lessen the impact of depression, the depth of that is, I believe, governed by what has actually caused it in the first place. Learning to identify and address the causes is the first step towards recovery. I do not believe that medication does anything useful other than to deaden the feeling, and this is a dangerous pattern to fall into. Obviously, taking the approach that I have chosen isn't easy, especially the first few times that you have to go through it. I do believe that it is worth the effort in the long term because it teaches me how to manage this on my own rather than depending on some chemical remedy.
If nothing else, I now appreciate that bouts of depression are as I described earlier, warning signs that we are nearing overload with our sensory inputs. It is the enforced quiet time and removal of the external stimuli that allows me to recover. As that process begins, I have learned to enjoy and appreciate what I am feeling. I find that I learn more about myself during these bouts of depression than I would have expected. Obviously, not everything that I discover is positive, but that knowledge allows me to deal with those things once I feel better.
Today has been one of those days. The news has just sent me into depression so the first thing I did was to turn it off. Then I began to ignore my social media accounts because a lot of the information there was directly tied to the bad news. I also was dealing with the disappointment of not hearing from friends. I realized very quickly that this should never have affected me the way it did. I long ago learned to steel myself against the letdown that friends are so often good for. It was the combination of all the bad news along with the friend situation that sent me over the edge. I decided that I was not going to attempt to contact the people, my responsibilities are complete. That action, along with eliminating the news from today, had helped me to feel better.
I know that other people will have other issues that trigger their depression. I cannot give this advice without the warning that it is difficult. I believe that it will help, but I cannot make the blanket declaration that it will work the same for everybody.
I hope that this helps those who need it. I will be in recovery mode for a little while longer before I am completely back to normal. Until then, I wish everyone well.