THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DEPRESSION
A NATURAL "BODY" FUNCTION WE CAN RE-WIRE
A THINKING PROCESS TOTALLY CHANGEABLE - THANK GOD!!!



CONTENTS

Hell, helplessness, and hopelessness
And the body and mind shut down
Oops, there is something that can be done - but easy does it!
What causes the depression
What cures the depression
Is it worth it? Yes! It's worth life itself!
The next step is:
The deeper explanation
Resources
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Similar to most people's fears, but with a lot more attention and repeating, to create depression.  Though one must stop giving them attention and stop repeating them (which will work very well), it is insight and understanding that allow one to disappear the "made-ups" that hold no actual danger. 


A PREFACE: ABSOLUTE CURABILITY

I thought it would be useful to put the endpoint of this discussion in the beginning, and then from knowing its extreme value to have you delve into it further.

Martin Seligman hypothesized, and set out to prove, that the optimistic explanatory style could cure depression.  Hundreds of studies of its scientific effect were resoundingly successful in proving that it cures depression.  Read about explanatory styles (and the viewpoints creating them): Intelligent Optimism contrasting it with Pessimism, The Road To Hell.

And from those you can create a whole new life, free of the causes of depression, not only curing it but preventing its recurrence!

First, decide if this is true and believable, by looking at the evidence.  Once you see it, then make the commitment to do that which is necessary to get rid of this self-created hell, chosen based on untrue, harmful beliefs.   See Curing Depression.


HELL, HELPLESSNESS AND HOPELESSNESS

And it feels like Hell!  And "if only I could do something about it, but I don't have enough energy now."

And this is what is thought (in lots of different words):

    "I'm unworthy."
    "And the future will be bad."


AND THE BODY AND MIND SHUT DOWN

And then the mind and body shut down from the continual bombardment in an evolutionary "safety" valve.  To protect against "too much", the mind and body are "depressed" (lowered) - and the mind barely functions and the body's energy goes to "very low".   Safe - in a perverted way.

Anyway, in this state it is difficult to do anything that requires focus or uses effort. 

"But I've got to do something NOW.  This really sucks." (I'd put an exclamation mark after the last sentence, but the depressed person doesn't have enough energy to be so exclamatory!)


OOPS, THERE IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE - BUT EASY DOES IT!

Yes, there are things one can do, but they've got to be simple and very doable - plus very accessible ('cause if you have to put out much effort it won't happen!).

To make it easier, to get in gear, there's an "emergency kit" that needs to be set up and there's a list to refer to called Creating Up When You Feel Down

This gives you the beginning of a bit more energy and feeling good which then begets the next level up.   Of course, there is always natural recovery, which will tend to happen, but we don't want to wait for that!


WHAT CAUSES THE DEPRESSION

The cause of depression is the emotional bombardment and the tensing of the body and the toxic chemicals caused by FEAR and a constant feeling of danger - and the fear felt is strictly from beliefs that are false - which would not pass any truth test. 


WHAT CURES THE DEPRESSION

The only thing that cures the depression is getting rid of the cause, which we do through replacing the constant danger beliefs with constructive true thinking that is fully understood and fully rational.  Lots of people have done it.  Those who haven't have tried to skip around this or just haven't followed The Belief Changing Process, the logical orderly checklist and techniques needed to change one's beliefs. 

For further discussion, read Curing Depression.  (Depression is absolutely, indisputably curable!)


IS IT WORTH IT? YES!  IT'S WORTH LIFE ITSELF!

Once one actually learns that it is beliefs that cause virtually all bad feelings, then the commitment can be created to convert one's beliefs, quickly! 

And once the beliefs are replaced with the new ones, although you can't see it at this point yet, this process will have you feeling mostly good feelings and very few bad feelings.

Life itself will be transformed into a life of feeling good, not on a temporary relief basis, but on a deep underlying ongoing basis. 


THE NEXT STEP IS:

Following The Process: The Journey To Happiness, which is the same for everybody but more of an intense need for those who tend to be down in life.

1.  Learning how the mind, and related body actions, work
2.  Learning about beliefs
3.  Converting each of your key beliefs that are not true
4.  Installing the new beliefs; creating a very solid life philosophy
5.  Following "the practices"


THE DEEPER EXPLANATION

Your body and your mind have built in “wiring” that require the body to go into “defensive mode”, to shut down . 

Examples range over a very wide area.  If there are too many negative thoughts causing pain, the body shuts down in order to protect against having too much to handle; the body “depresses” the systems to feel less, resulting in classic depression.  If one thinks one is threatened, then the body goes into fight or flight mode, with a tremendous adrenaline surge.  If one is anticipating something bad happening, one feels anxious, and is on hyper-alert to protect against something bad.  If you doubt yourself or your ability to avoid a loss, the mind works frantically to find a solution, to look at the alternatives over and over, but mostly focuses on what to defend against, suppressing the energy again.

At some point, most of this involves supposed (but most often not real) “danger”, so the primitive brain is hyper-activated, often shutting down (to some degree) the rational thinking process.  Even the very capable, evolved, rational homosapien brain cannot think rationally at the time.  Though rational approaches can be effective in getting back on track, the brain might not be able to access those at the time, though an outside source could be used to “re-insert” some rationality.  When you are on your own, the methods to use must be simple, accessible (as on a list), and easily done.  Therefore, this master list is structured to have you easily reference it and pick off those things that you might be able to do at your lower level of functioning to get yourself to a higher level.

In truth, there is very little to worry about or be down about, but we’ve built up so much “stuff” that we must frequently struggle with or avoid the negative thinking.

It is vital that we not let the habit and practice of depression continue very long as it reinforces the physical wiring in the brain so that the neuronal pathways will naturally go back to using depression as one of its survival strategies (actually a way to try to create homeostasis [peace, harmony, and balance] in the body so it can function better for survival).  We must "re-wire" the brain, with such things as the mindfulness (meditation, paying attention to the body and emotions, etc.) strategies and the physical relaxation and lowering of stress. 

(To be continued, soon)

If you have been depressed more than situational rarities, you should commit yourself to a rigorous program of becoming an expert in what to do if in depression and what to do to not be in depression.  You should become a Master Emotion Manager. 

Also, note that depression is not a long term disease officially unless it is physically non-curable.  Depression is totally curable, but cranialrectal surgery is definitely required, and that is what we'll do together, if you're willing and committed to living a great (and much, much better) life.

Incidentally, fear, anxiety, and depression are all about (perceived, believed) lack and loss, so the opposite is Gratitude, which is one of the practices you'll need to adopt.


RESOURCES - Anxiety and fear are kindred souls to depression, as the same unworkable type of thinking is used to evoke all of them.  So it is useful to see the resources and read the pieces related to anxiety and fear.  See the Anxiety section for specifics related to that, such as panic and social anxiety.

Top Workbooks:  Recommended that one goes through and follows the Principle of Completion for best results. 

      The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook For Depression, A Step-By-Step Program, William J. Knaus,
          Ed. D.- Take the depression inventory
      Successful Problem Solving - A Workbook To Overcome The Four Core Beliefs That Keep You
         Stuck - Matthew Mckay, Ph. D. and Patrick Fanning - One of the very best I've ever seen!
         The four core beliefs:
              I'm incompetent.
              I'm unworthy.
              I'm not safe.
              Others' needs are more important, mine aren't.
          When these are unraveled and replaced, alot of the other beliefs that keep one feeling bad will
          seem to magically disappear, as they will no longer have supporting pillars.
      The Depression Workbook - A Guide For Living With Depression And Manic Depression, by
          Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A. - Excellent exercises that will pull one out of depression
          and get rid of the type of thinking that causes it.  It is very rare that there will be a permanent
          might look like it is implying that depression is a way of life, which it isn't, unless, of course,
          there's a physical thing - then it can be managed effectively through medicine and you can
          use happiness techniques to actually be happy.  (The author had depression 25 years ago.)

Useful Reading

      Depressed And Anxious, The Dialectic Behavior Therapy Workbook For Overcoming Depression And Anxiety, by Thomas Marra, Ph.D. - Adds a few useful insights and ways of looking at things differently.

DepressionIsAChoice.com - Per a respected mind:  "One of the few websites that seems to make any sense (all about directed thinking...)."


Emotion Management Overall - Selected resources.  For quicker, more efficient grounding, you should of course read the entire collection of the written summary pieces in the Emotion Management section of this site.

        A2   Becoming Real, Gail Saltz, M.D. - Very practical, defeats "stories" we make up
               and are not aware of running us, to our detriments.  Read first 1/2, then "scan-
               read".
        A1   COMPLETE CONFIDENCE, Sheenah Hankin - Deals with how so many people are 
               fooling themselves with old scripts, from shame, guilt, and self-pity to anger and blame. 
               Scan read for essential ideas and what is applicable to you.  Outstanding.
               Quiet Your Mind, John Selby - An easy to use guide to ening chronic worry and negative
               thoughts and living a calmer life.  One of the most practical, tying together "cognitive" re-
               forming of the thought process with meditative approaches.  See his website for
               meditations and music you can play for free over the internet. www.JohnSelby.com
        A3   Radical Acceptance, Tara Brach.  In the top 20 books of all time from a
               respected psychologist.  This is a key thing to learn, so we have some of the
               materials built in to this website. 
        A2   SOUL WITHOUT SHAME, A GUIDE TO LIBERATING YOURSELF FROM THE JUDGE
               WITHIN, Byron Brown.  An excellent and freeing explanation of giving up the child view of
               being subject to the judge and no longer having to be "motivated" by the critic.  
Be sure to read the paragraphs below:

"What Cures Depression"
and
"Is It Worth It? Yes!"
SUCCESSES!

Those people who have managed to create great lives after the depths of depression.

People Who Overcame
   Depression
Bad Past, Good Life!
RELEVANT PIECES

Depression Section Contents/Links - See the pieces on this and get greater perspective also.

Resources Depression - Including free videos

Curing Depression 
DepressionIsAChoice.com
Chemicals To Reduce
   Depression And Anxiety 

Justifying Why One Is Depressed - Must be stopped!  And we must learn our potential...
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WHAT TO DO IF
   DEPRESSED IN THIS
   MOMENT   
Dealing With Depressive
   Thinking In The Moment
Creating Up When You
   Feel Down