Advice: Why Do I Feel This Way?

“There is nothing wrong with me. I am healthy, pretty, smart and fun to be around. I don’t have cancer or any kind of deformity. I don’t even have acne. I have a great family who loves me and lots and lots of good friends. I’d even say I am popular at my school. I play softball and I’m really good at it; probably the best pitcher in the district. I have never suffered from any kind of tragedy and have no deep dark secrets. Why then, do I feel depressed?

It’s not like it happens when I am sad or mad or anything. It happens out of the blue. It hits me mostly when I am alone. I don’t even mind being alone, so I don’t know why it comes. I will be feeling fine and then it’s like a fog washes over me. I seem to get lost or stuck in the fog. Bad thoughts come to my mind. I get down on myself for no real reason. I feel like I am not good enough. I don’t like myself. I feel like no one else likes me either. Actually, I hate myself. I get upset. Sometimes I have trouble breathing because it is like the fog gets in my lungs. I get close to panicking. I feel like I am going to totally lose it. If anyone calls, texts or bothers me when I feel this way I ignore them or snap at them. I can be mean. I know I scared my little brother a couple of times screaming at him to leave me alone.

I want to know why this happens to me. Why do I feel this way? I could understand if someone like my friend Cameron felt this way. She has lots of reasons to be depressed. Her parents got divorced. She broke her arm and will never play softball again. She put on 30 pounds. She should be depressed, not me. Or what about Chloe? She lost her sister in a car wreck. She has problems. She should be depressed, not someone like me.

I want to know why it happens and how to stop it. I can’t talk about it to anyone, because they will just say the same thing I am thinking. There is no reason for me to be depressed. It doesn’t make sense. I hide it from my family, because I don’t want them to think I am crazy. I must be crazy, because there is really NO REASON for me to be so depressed.

This has been happening for as long as I can remember. Now it is happening more and more frequently and getting worse. Why do I feel this way? What do I do? Please help.”

This is an example of one of the most common types of recurrent depression and it can be treated successfully. You are not crazy, and you do not need to suffer any more. You say there is no reason for you to be depressed, but there really is. It’s in your brain. This does not mean that there is something “wrong” with your brain either. Depression is first and foremost a chemical beast, not just an emotional one. The chemicals in your brain affect your emotions. There does not need to be anything outwardly “wrong” in your life to cause you to experience depression. It is a simple chemical imbalance which is very, very, very common. We can’t express that enough. There are thousands upon thousands of people whose brains are just like yours. There are also thousands upon thousands more who haven’t had the courage to tell anyone about it. As the stigma surrounding mental health is disappearing, we are just now seeing an influx of people willing to talk about and get treatment for their depression.   Continue reading

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Venting on FEET at Airport Security

Seriously????

 How long has it been since the Transport Security Agency has mandated that passengers take off their shoes when walking through airport security? Five years? Six? Unless you have been living under a rock, everyone should know by now that your shoes must come off. Why is it then that so many people fail to wear or bring socks to the airport?

Who are these people and why don’t they realize how unsanitary it is to walk barefoot in public places? Haven’t any of these people ever heard of foot fungus? Plantar warts? Athletes foot? Herpes? Don’t they understand how many thousands of gross, sweaty feet are stepping on the exact same two yellow footprint spots in the millimeter-wave scanning device per day?

This is disgusting. These barefoot walkers need to get a clue. WEAR SOCKS WHEN WALKING THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY!

While we are on the subject of feet at airport security, we must also vent about the ridiculous shoes some people wear to the airport. When you KNOW that you have to take your shoes OFF, wouldn’t it be sensible to wear easy on/easy off footwear? Why then do some people wear lace-up sandals or buckle up boots that take a minimum of five minutes to get on and off of their feet? Are these people trying to hold up the security line?

This is just ridiculous. USE YOUR BRAINS PEOPLE! DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR FLYING!

Depression Hack: You Are Not Alone

“You are not me. You don’t know how I feel. You’ll never know what I am going through. You just don’t understand me. No one understands me. It is different with me. YOU DON’T GET IT! None of your advice will work for me. It’s just not the same for me. I am different. No one can help me. NO ONE GETS ME!”

Do any of these comments sound familiar?

Is this the way you feel?

Do you think no one gets you?

Do you think no one understands?

Well guess what . . .

YOU ARE WRONG!

You are really not as different as you think you are.

Don’t take offense and stop reading. Hear us out. We know that you are unique. That is 100% true. No one has the exact same perceptions, experiences, personality, genetics, etc. (even identical twins). Every person is different and special in their own way. However, every person is also the same.

We are all human. If we get cut, we bleed. We all have the same basic needs and experience the same human emotions. Think of snowflakes. Every individual flake is different, but they are really all the same. They are all snowflakes and they all fall from the sky. Just as snowflakes are snowflakes, humans are humans. We may have variances, but we are all basically wired the same. Even when that wiring is crossed somehow that makes you a bit different from the majority, there are still plenty of other people out there with those same type of crossed wires.

Look up any subject on the internet and you will find a multitude of conversations about it. Even the rarest of diseases has a community of people online who are all dealing with the very same thing. Our point is that when you are feeling like you are “the only one” going through something, or think that “no one understands you,” you are wrong. You are flat-out wrong. Someone out there is going through the same thing. Someone out there does understand you. There are people out there who do “get it” and their knowledge can help you. Therefore, our depression hack is for you to know that you are not alone. The only way to see this, however, is to reach out to others. Continue reading

Advice: Learn to Recognize FEAR

When an error light is on in your car, you have to identify what the problem is. When you figure out what is wrong, you are able to fix it. In your car, the cause of the problem is usually very clear. Your coolant level is low, so you need to add coolant to fix it. Your brake pads are worn, so you need to replace them. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, the opposite is usually true when it comes to problems with how you feel.

When you have a problem and feel bad, angry, depressed, or irritable, you have to identify why you feel that way. When you figure out what is wrong, you are able to deal with it. The majority of the time, however, it is not clear why you feel bad, so you don’t know how to deal with it. In fact, many times the reason for the way you feel may be disguised as something else. Therefore, identifying the root of the problem and dealing with your emotions is far from simple. Nine times out of ten, the root of a problem is much different than what it seems to be on the surface.

Fear is one of those feelings than can be very tricky to identify. Fear is often disguised as other things. Have you ever heard the phrase that all anger comes from fear? That’s because anger is a psychological defense for fear. Fear is also disguised as jealousy, hate and dislike to name a few. The following situations illustrate this point. Continue reading

Depression Hack; Learn to Laugh More

Many of you have probably heard about the benefits of laughter as it pertains to mental health. It’s been proven that laughing lifts your mood by releasing feel-good endorphins, relaxing muscles, decreasing stress hormones, etc. The problem is that when you are suffering from depression, there is often not much to laugh about. When you are feeling sad, angry, irritable or just low, you don’t usually find things funny. In fact, humor may tend to annoy you more than it will make you laugh. So how then, do you get the benefits of laughter?

Like all of our depression hacks, you have to make an effort to aid your own healing. If you truly want to help yourself feel better when you are depressed, consciously try to learn how to laugh more, practice and repeat.

The key is to make yourself open to laughter. Sometimes you have to consciously decide to do this. Smiling helps. Thinking about something you have laughed at in the past can help as well. I will never forget the time my English mother was trying to read signs that were mostly in French. She pronounced one “Ayy-oooo-tow Sales.” We all laughed until we cried when we realized the sign said “Auto Sales” in plain English. Thinking of that cracks me up every time. Surely you can recall something that made you laugh and draw on that for help.

Here are a few more tips: Continue reading

Advice: Stepping Back From The Edge of Insanity

Tossing and turning in bed at 3:00AM my thoughts race from one devastating tragedy to another. My father texting from the airplane moments before the crash. My baby being born without sound, no crying, no life. My spouse among the rubble of his office building demolished by a bomb. My sons both lifeless in a mass of crumpled steel after a car accident. My daughter disappearing under the wave, never to surface again. My arms failing to move, my legs stiff with pain, the cancer devouring my body.

 I am healthy. My family is safe and happy. But now, the horrific thoughts crowd my head, causing my heart to race and my lungs to gasp for air. Hot tears flow down my cheeks. I am crying about tragedies that have never occurred . . . but they could. I worry that they could.

 During the day I am fine, busy at work. My mind is occupied, focused on real-life tasks. I come home and find a moment of solitude, but then my idle mind starts to spin. The horrors return. I distract myself with the television and the horrors momentarily fade.

 Anticipating the terrifying thoughts at bedtime, I self-medicate with alcohol or sleeping pills to get me through the night. It never works. I am up again at 3:00 AM, imagining all of the things that I know could happen. I worry that they will.

 Sometimes I don’t know how I can go on. The risks are endless. The millions, no billions of ways that my life could end, that my loved ones could suffer and die. Nothing is safe. Nowhere is secure.

I shake my head back and forth. No, no, no! I feel as if I am just going to completely lose it. I am on the edge of insanity.

Your fears are real. Your anxieties are tangible. You are not alone. Any reasonable mind would agree that there are plenty of things to be anxious about in this world. In that way, we are all living on the edge of insanity. In fact, some of the most intelligent minds have fallen off of that edge. It’s very easy to succumb to our fears and “completely lose it.” You, however, will not do so . . . Continue reading

Advice: A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way

Many of our posts encourage kindness, goodness and self-control, even in negative situations. This is often hard to achieve; however, it is entirely possible due to the following psychological principle:

  1. Our thoughts affect our feelings
  2. We control our thoughts
  3. Therefore, we can control our feelings/reactions

In other words, we are responsible for our own actions. No one “makes” us react a certain way. We make a decision on our own and choose how to feel about and respond to every situation. We are in control.

It takes practice, but once you master this form of control we encourage you to incorporate understanding into your decision-making process. By understanding we mean, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and giving them the benefit of the doubt. In negative situations, try to first assume that someone’s intentions are honest. Presume innocence and maintain a favorable or at least neutral opinion in uncertain situations. Here are a few common, real-life examples to consider. Continue reading