Depression: what’s the best way to beat it? Can you just reject it?

I almost fell into a depression.

Recently, I have kept feeling I was heading into a depression. You might think it shouldn’t happen to me, since  I have written several articles about happiness. Here is a summary. I do try to follow my own advice most of the time, but I did say that we all have our ups and downs. Anyway, just as a doctor can be ill, anyone can get depressed.

What caused my depression?

It began when I had an attack of asthma, a few weeks ago. The weather has not helped. Even before this cold spell, I found some of the very dark days depressing. Then my computer packed in. I sent it away and got it back fixed, but they had set it as at Day One. In other words, I had lost all my data. No problem! I had taken a backup.  But I had also lost most of my software. I needed to reinstall everything.

That’s no reason to go into a depression!

That’s what I thought, but nothing went smoothly. I spent all day, every day, for a couple of weeks, phoning helpdesks, or trying to. Some companies are reluctant to give phone numbers. They expect you to be able sort everything via their online support set-up. Great when it works! Some phone helpdesks were more helpful than others. I got so fed up. I have still not got back to where I was before, but nearly.

Do computer problems lead to depression?

Not for everyone. Not always for me. I like using computers, but I am not an expert. I need to have instructions to follow. Above all, I want to spend my time writing, blogging or doing what I consider useful, instead of getting tied up in the process for ages. This went on so long. In the middle of all that, I lost my mobile phone. I got a replacement very quickly and was able to keep the same number. I thought it was OK. Then I found I could not activate the new simcard. It took several attempts and advice from a helpful local phone shop, before I got it sorted. I must say that one helpdesk that was very helpful was my phone supplier: the Utility Warehouse. You always get to speaking to a person, not a recorded message.

Did that add up to depression?

No one thing was causing my depression: everything seemed to conspire to get at me. I became so conscious of all the things that were going wrong that I began to not notice when anything went well. I kept feeling myself going down and I was worried at one time that I was heading for a clinical depression. Every time, I just managed to pull back from the edge.

How did I avoid depression?

The most important thing, I think, was that I saw it coming. When I could hear a voice in my head saying ‘I’m so unhappy’ or ‘I can’t tell you how bad I feel’, and noticed that I was getting negative about everything, what did I do? I made a conscious decision to stay out of depression and kept saying back to myself ‘it’s not that bad’ and ‘I’m making progress with this IT stuff’. In addition, I kept reminding myself Spring will be coming. I also kept saying that all my problems will pass.

Masks of happiness and depression: don't hide it - deal with it!
Masks of happiness and depression: don’t hide it – deal with it!
Did my faith help beat depression?

For me, that was a part of the answer. It gave me something positive to focus on. And I prayed, not only prayer for things to get better, but also for my attitude to stay positive. This is probably a help only if you have faith to start with. Probably. I don’t know. Try it and see. I have written before about the link between faith and happiness.

Faith and doubt: do they affect depression?
Faith and doubt: do they affect depression?
Have I got the magic bullet to beating depression?

No! I agree with a recent article in The Guardian which said there are lots of ways people fight depression, including counselling and medication. All work sometimes for some people. Don’t reject any, but don’t rely on any one method every time.

 

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