Comparing Depression With Similar Emotions
Are you really depressed?
I’m not trying to insult you. It’s a legitimate question. You see, the word ‘depression’ has become sort of a catch-all phrase that people throw around without really knowing what it means.
I just want to review some of the other emotions you may be feeling, either INSTEAD OF or in ADDITION TO depression.
The more you can ‘sort out’ your feelings – the easier it is to work with them.
Antidepressant drug makers, in an attempt to squeeze out every single bit of profit they can – have expanded the definition of the word ‘depression’ to mean just about anything!
You’ve probably seen the ads on TV or in magazines. It makes me sick just to think about them.
Worry is NOT a symptom of depression.
Anxiety is NOT a symptom of depression.
Of course, you can suffer from depression, worry and anxiety at the same time… (meaning they are co-morbid) but many who worry or have anxiety suffer no depression at all. And many who experience depression feel no anxiety or worry.
Even crying spells are not a symptom of depression. I had them long before the depression set in, and they lasted long after the depression left.
Although they often accompany depression – crying spells are usually (but not always) a combination of either grief or sorrow - some form of hurt. (I know for me, there was also a lot of self pity mixed in as well.)
Grief is the emotional pain you feel from a KNOWN event, such as the death of a loved one.
Sorrow is the emotional pain you feel in the center of your chest for no apparent reason.
Grief and sorrow are separate emotions from each other – and from depression – although certainly you can have all three at the same time – or not. Also, many depressed people are simply beyond the point of crying.
On a similar note, some people are tired and lethargic -and call it depression. It’s not. It’s being tired and lethargic. Depression *may* be the cause of your fatigue, but so can a million other things.
Others are restless and unable to sleep. Even this has been called a symptom of depression. There are many reasons why you may not be getting a good night’s sleep.
Despair, despondency and hopelessness have also been confused with depression. Despair – being in a ‘desperate situation’ – is commonly associated with depression.
Either of these emotions *can* accompany depression, but not always.
You could lose your job, for example, and the doubt, fear and worry could end up as despair. With despair, you may not want to get out of bed, you may be very tired, you may not want to face the world. All perfectly normal reactions. But they are not depression.
Of course, it IS possible to truly suffer from depression after losing your job – but it’s not always the case.
If your ‘depression’ is created by a known cause, such as losing your job, it is usually despair rather than depression. Both can easily create feelings of hopelessness.
True depression is not usually associated with a known cause.
The answer to despair is to ACTIVELY ENGAGE your world and develop a detailed plan to deal with the event that caused your despair.
Depression, on the other hand, is best handled with the depression technique.
When self-esteem is lacking, and self-worth is missing, it’s often considered a symptom of depression.
Many people confuse these terms, and in fact they are often used interchangeably. Self-esteem and self-worth are two very different qualities each enhanced with their own unique methods.
Some people are consumed with self-pity and call it depression.
Almost every single person who has ever lived has experienced self-pity – especially as a child.
All children are ‘victims‘.
I’m not saying they are all abused – what I’m saying is all children experience the thoughts and feelings of being victimized in some way or another.
Self-pity is an anesthetic to numb that pain of being victimized. Self-pity puts you to ‘sleep’. It’s a very effective way to handle the pains and traumas of childhood.
Some children were able to get over the pity. Most were not.
It’s hard to be honest with yourself about self-pity; it’s too confronting. (I’m speaking from personal experience!)
Here’s a simple test to determine how much pity you have in your life:
The more difficulty, the more hardship, the more struggle, the more problems you have in your life, the more pity you have.
Of course, life continually presents us with challenges. We CHOOSE whether or not to turn them into problems.
It’s all in how you choose to look at your challenges. Add pity to a challenge, and it magically transforms itself into a problem!
Problems can not sustain themselves without pity. Remove the pity, and the problem will disappear. It will crumble under its own weight.
Obviously there is more to any problem than JUST self-pity, but pity will be somewhere ‘in the mix’. It’s a necessary ingredient. Often times, the pity goes unrecognized and unrealized. Still, its there; kind of like a high-pitched whine in the background.
Your life runs so much more smoothly when there is little or no self-pity.
Self-pity does not make you a bad person – you’re simply using the tools of a child to cope with a grown-up world. Children are SUPPOSED to feel pity – grownups are not.
I’m not saying you’re in self-pity as opposed to being depressed – I just want to point out the distinction.
Pity is like being stuck in a slimy mud pit.
Depression is like a heavy wet blanket thrown over you.
Understand the difference? It’s a fine line. You can easily have both. Or not.
Depression is like A HEAVY WEIGHT PRESSING DOWN ON YOU.
Depression is usually expressed as:
4. Lack of enjoyment in living life.
5. Difficulty in doing anything.
7. Lack of color in the world.
It makes you feel hollow and empty inside. You search for a reason to do ANYthing, and so often that reason is lacking.
It’s like being trapped in a thick, dense, gray cloud. And you can’t see any way out. The purpose of the depression technique is to give you that way out.
One who suffers from depression MAY also have:
3. Crying spells
12. Feelings of worthlessness
13. Low self-esteem
14. Withdrawal from life
…and various other emotions as well. Or any combination of these. But it’s not mandatory.
Some people mistake the above emotions for depression. You may want to spend a little time looking at your feelings to determine if what you’re going through is really depression… or something else.
It’s also important to understand the underlying causes that would lead someone to such a painful place.
I almost feel guilty because my life has become so enjoyable and so easy. Especially since I remember how miserable I used to be.
Basically it comes down to making one slight shift in what you do everyday, and you can watch in amazement as your life slowly begins to start working out in almost every way.
It’s such an important change that I’ve written a complete e-book about it. And I’d like to give you a copy for free. All you have to do is write your first name and primary email address into the space below, and you’ll be receiving a link to download the e-book right away.
Free e-book reveals exactly what to do right now, starting today, to feel better.