Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows that there is no simple definition for what you’re experiencing. Depression is mostly numbness, you are just going about your life without feeling as though you’re living it. Nothing is necessarily awful but nothing is really great either. It sucks just to exist and everything you do seems pointless because of it.
Depression is also a feeling of loneliness since most depressed people see themselves as different from “everybody else.” You can’t exactly place why you’re different or why you feel the way you do, this is just what you’ve accepted as your life.
People who experience depression for long periods of time often forget the original reason they started feeling down. They have been in the depressed state for so long that it becomes their expectations, some even think they’ve always been depressed. Many people with depression give up hope of ever beating the feeling, accepting this to be their entire life. Some, unfortunately, dislike their depressed life enough to choose to not live anymore.
Depression is caused by your brain getting stuck on a few neural clusters and forgetting the other parts of life. It often happens when a major life experience leaves us looking for answers. We analyze the cluster over and over, looking for a reason or grander story.
We spend so much time on those negative thoughts that they become solidified and our depression becomes habituated. Many people with depression could not tell you why they are depressed, it has been too long since it started. The way they feel now feels like the only possible future.
Unpacking those negative clusters is an important step to healing from depression, but it requires the ability to Separate and see things from another perspective. This is why it is helpful to talk with a therapist or close friend who can easily empathize with you. You are so stuck in just a small portion of your mental plane that another set of ears or eyes might point out something you’ve overlooked.
The best way to completely beat depression is to close that character. To close a character is to end it’s story so it does not come back. Your primary function as a living organism is Don’t Die so that end should never be at your own hand. Although it doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a plot device in a mental story about you.
You have the ability to become an infinite amount of characters for an infinite amount of situations. The person you are around your parents differs from the person you are around your friends which differs from the person you are at school or work. When you put on one personality, you can often forget aspects of other personalities in the moment. The same is true with the person who is depressed.
When you are depressed, you are playing a character whose expectations, both long- and short-term, are bleak. That character has lost the ability to build universes that work out positively for them, also called hope. When a character becomes too focused on a few neural clusters and loses hope entirely, it is too late for them to come back. However, that is just one of the many characters that you can play.
When you close one of your characters, you choose to put that perspective away and not look through it again. It is often helpful to do this with a physical change, like a haircut or a new location, so your mentality reflects your changing state. When you finally close the depressed character, your perspective will become totally blank. However, it doesn’t remain blank for long.
Just like with dreams, your consciousness freaks out with a lack of information and will immediately supply memory to make sense of the world. When you close a character, you will be forced to create a new character to see through their perspective. This new character can come from any combination of your own life experiences, and you can also choose to ignore parts of your own life.
While it might seem morbid to think of a part of you dying, just remember all of the stories you’ve seen or heard in which a character dies. Sometimes the death of a main character is the most optimistic ending a story can have. Other times, the audience is left feeling sad but able to gain a wider perspective on their own life. When it comes to your life, you are the director, actor, and a part of audience.
It is a miracle that you are alive and can think. And better yet, if you can successfully beat depression, you made it through that. You can be proud of yourself for surviving those rough times and know that you can make it through again if you need to. If you ever find yourself past a point of no return, remember that you can always close your own character, but never forget the primary function: Don’t Die.