The last six posts have featured some of ‘The Depression Go-Aways’ – characters I created to demonstrate something that is important in increasing our awareness of depression and how it affects us and others.
Category: emotions (Page 1 of 2)
Yes, everyone worries. That is why I say that ‘Worried Wanda’ is the ‘sneakiest ‘Depression Go-Away’. She seems normal. But for those struggling with depression she is more than normal. She is a serious symptom to be dealt with.
Why? Because there is a difference between everyday worry and depression worry.
'Irrational Irene', do you know her? Is she you? Sometimes? Often? Seldom?
Why have I chosen this smiling positive face for 'Irrational Irene'?
Because, if you have a mental disorder, and you are being irrational, you usually don't know you are irrational at all. You may believe at that moment you are more rational than you have ever been in your life. You are often confident and forthright like this image of 'Irrational Irene'. Do you understand what I am saying?
I know this fellow looks carefree but he is actually ‘manic’. He is one of my ‘Depression Go-Aways’ cast of characters. I call him Manic Matthew.
‘Manic’ can present itself in many ways. ‘Manic’ is the other side of the mental disorder called ‘Bipolar Disorder’. Bipolar is a form of depression which shares the same symptoms as other forms of depression. It also has a flip side to the depressive side and that is ‘manic’.
We all know this guy, Angry Andrew. He is the second 'Depression Go-Away' character I am introducing to you. Of course Angry Andrew is no stranger to anyone who lives with depression. Anger is a huge component in depression and one which cannot be ignored, or entertained for too long.
Warning: Don't invite any of my 'Depression Go-Aways' for tea!
I will never forget the day I met my first mother-in-law. It didn't take her long to get right into chatting about her woeful life with me even though we had just met. I couldn't believe so many awful things could happen to one person!
I was a young innocent nineteen year old college student. I grew up in a very sheltered positive home, one where the motto was 'if you couldn't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'. I was not used to such negativity. I was overwhelmed with her sad stories.
Did you see it? The movie? When it came out it was just another romantic comedy but over the years it has raised up quite a following. There are some memorable scenes (the restaurant orgasm) and delightful lines.
It is about a couple who meet one another when they are both involved with someone else. As college students they take a car trip across country together merely for financial convenience and get to know each other quite well and say goodbye, thinking nothing of their relationship. They bump into each other over the years and finally ten years later, when they are both going through a break-up they become good friends – the most unlikely good friends since they are so different.
How are you coming along with our depression review? Are you learning something new?
We have covered the first four important items: diagnosis, medication, therapy and research. Are you on track?
Well, there is more to do if you really want to recover from this old depression. Like it or not you may have to make some lifestyle changes. Try to think of it as if you were picking out a whole new wardrobe.
What kind of personality do you have? Have you ever taken a personality test? Some of them are fun and some of them are kind of silly and pointless but here is one that you might find insightful. This test is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality.
This test is merely a sampling of the kinds of questions Carl Jung and Isabel Myers have created, but their tests are used universally by therapists, counsellors and psychiatrists.
If I gave us all a 'depression report card' we would get an "A" for emoting! Now there is something I am good at. You probably are too! Depression is an illness of heightened emotions, mostly negative emotions unfortunately. But if I was going to give us an "A" on anything, it would be emoting!
Can you identify? Would you get an "A" for emoting on your depression report card? What are some of your strongest emotions when you are depressed? Anger? Sadness? Guilt? Self-pity? Worry? I could go on and on.
Emoting becomes such a habit that we may not even be aware that we are doing it. Even when we are not depressed, sometimes we emote too much for our own good or for anyone else's good. It is exhausting.
And then there is the flip side, when you are so low it seems like you can't feel anything at all. I have often wondered, what comes first?
Do the negative emotions lead to depression or does depression lead to negative emotions? Does it even matter?