Right from the start I want to make something clear:

Certain people have chemical disorders in their brains, which leads to some extreme forms of depression. These people should consult their doctors, so they can get the medications they need. This node is only intended for people with (cough) "normal" forms of depression.

It can start very harmless. You just got a "F" in a test, for instance. Or maybe your hard drive burnt out, frying your 1 GB MP3 collection and you forgot to make a backup. Shit happens. But after a while, things seem to stack up. You become more and more pessimistic about life in general. Thoughts like "Whats the point" or "It doesn't matter anyway" or even "I suck at everything I do" flip through your mind. Personally, when this started happening to me, I even WANTED it to happen. As weird as it sounds, the first stages of depression actually, in some weird way, feel good. Maybe because of the feeling that it all doesn't matter anyway, so why bother? But mostly it's that sense of feeling sorry for yourself that drags you deeper.

Sooner or later, though, things will most definetly get worse. Thats when you turn apathetic. You couldn't care less about anything, your grades drop dead, you listen to grunge (well, in my case anyway), you'll probably misuse drugs...lots of changes there. In the end, some people will even commit suicide. I myself was close to it once.

Anyway, you can control your emotions if you are aware of them. There's nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself, but you have to watch out that you don't feel like that EVERY day. Personally, I found one thing that pulled me out of my apathy:

Hope.

Hope, and a healthy portion of "So what?" mentality. I haven't been in a depressive mood that lasted longer than a day in at least a year. Think differently about life. If today wasn't so great, what about tomorrow? Even thinking about my yummy breakfast cereal the next morning gives me a small sense of hope. Sure, you'll have days, but in the end things usually turn out alright. Just keep hoping that tomorrow will bring something better than today. That helps a lot. Then of course the "So what?" mentality: As long as you don't overdo it and become careless, thinking "So what?" about things also helps. "I just broke my new Limp Bizkit CD? I'll just buy a new one or download the MP3s" for example. Last, but not least, masturbation helps to. Seriously, the "feel good" feeling afterwards isn't just short-term, it's scientifically proven that it relieves stress and helps the chemical balance in your brain.

What I'm trying to say here is that feeling down is perfectly normal every once in a while, but make sure it doesn't become a constant occurence. Think positive.

Depression is a very complex problem & for many "normal" people, it can appear as though it only needs a little "positive thought", and the sufferer can just "pull themselves out of it".

Unfortunately, this isn't the case.

For most sufferers, depression is brought on by a number of factors, not necessarily related, and often not even the kind of dramatic events (bereavement, divorce etc..) that lead to the troughs that everybody goes through in life.

With the aid of medication & personal counselling from a psychiatric professional, most sufferers can begin to cope with these factors & find ways to break the cycles that led them downwards. With this help, a great many can "recover", or at least live a comparatively normal life".

Feeling down is a normal occurrence, but depression is an illness & should be treated as one. You wouldn't suggest that diabetes will just disappear if you "think positive", so please don't do the same for depression.
Apparently there is a rise in depression.

The fact of the matter is that people are believing they are depressed, and depression is misjudged. Many people have never faced anything negative in their lives, it's all been peaches and cream. So when they hit a snag, their whole life crumbles.

Like "Oh my god, the dishwasher's broken. How can we cope!".

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that bad times do make you appreciate the good times. I know that people say it over and over- but it's true. When you get over depression or your supposed depression, that feeling of the bricks lifted off your shoulders are amazing.

All those little pebbles falling from the sky- don't shake you. But then someone next to you, whose washing machine broke down yesterday, gets hit by a pebble and they fall. DeusEx

I'm trying not to give in. It's harder than it seems. People say "Think Positive!" Like that's supposed to solve everything. It would, if thinking positive actually worked, but the people who say this to you have no idea what it feels like as these feelings slip over you. You see them coming, you can feel your perception start to warp.

Maybe the best thing they could say would be to get some perspective.

Because that really is what it is all about. The chemical changes in your brain cause you to percieve reality in a warped and twisted way. Your brain as a funhouse mirror. Everything is seen as it effects you, and the lens is a dark one. Neutral statements are insults, compliments are lies. You walk along campus and though you turn the heads of the ten men you pass, you focus on the one whose head you don't. The thousand good things in life that you have are ignored, while the one thing that's bothering you flames up until it's all you can see.

No matter how much the logical side of your brain tells you it's not true, all you can see is everyone else in the world basking in sunshine, warmth, and love, while you are alone in the darkness, unloved, and uncared for.

The fall into depression may be (or seem) inevitable, but I'm trying not to give in.

Claw at anything you can to keep yourself from slipping over the edge.

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