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Depression: What To Do About It

BE ANGRY OR BE DEPRESSED

Depressed people are angry people who don't admit it to themselves.
They tend to say nothing when they should be saying: "Get out of my way!"

Anger is a natural emotion which occurs
whenever something is in our way.
We probably get at least a little angry
about 20 times each day.

When we act on our anger we are saying:
"I count, and what I want matters."

When we don't take action we are saying:
"You count, I don't."

Ignoring our anger can make us believe
that nobody counts and nothing matters.


BIOLOGY OR PSYCHOLOGY?

Professionals debate whether major depression is biological, psychological, or both.

Everyone agrees that all depression, mild to severe, shows the need for better self-care.
And learning how to take better care of ourselves is the purview of therapy.


HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

You have probably heard: "We all get depressed sometimes."
To the extent that this is true,
it is a sad reflection of our guilt-ridden culture,
but it is not a reflection of some biological predisposition toward being depressed.

Any depression is a problem, and regularly occurring depression is a serious problem.
If the suggestions given here do not help, therapy can speed things up considerably.


THE WAY OUT

If you are seldom depressed,
read this section for general ideas on self-improvement.

If you are often depressed,
work your way down the following list one idea at a time.
Spend as much time on each item as you need.
(Even weeks or months if necessary.)

Stay with it until you have completed each task.
(See "What you'll learn.")


A SIX STEP METHOD FOR GETTING RID OF DEPRESSION

1) Notice how prevalent anger is.

Just go about your normal day and notice every time you see even the slightest sign of anger in the people around you.

What you'll learn:
You'll see that anger is normal and it occurs about 20 times every day.

 

2) Notice how safe anger can be.

Notice how people use their anger to get what they want, and how seldom they "get in trouble" for it.

What you'll learn:
You'll see that some people almost always get angry responses from others when they express their anger, but most people do not. Decide to learn from those who do not.

 

3) Make a list.

Make a list, on paper, of the best examples you can find of how people around you use their anger effectively. Put an asterisk on the examples you like most. Notice how often these people get what they want when they express their anger.

What you'll learn:
You'll show yourself how safe anger can be. You'll see that everyone has their own unique style of expressing anger, and that some these styles feel right for you to use. You'll learn that people who express their anger get what they want much more often than people who do not.

 

4) Identify your own angry spot.

Notice the physical sensation you feel whenever you get angry ("tight shoulder," "tense stomach," "pain in the chest," or whatever). Notice that you get this same sensation every time you are angry - and that it varies from very slight to very strong depending on how angry you are. Get good at noticing even the very slightest sensation of anger.

What you'll learn:
After accomplishing this task you will always know when you are angry, how strong your anger is, and how much energy you have to deal with each anger-inducing situation.

 

5) Begin to express your anger more.

Begin to express your anger more and more, based on what you've learned about how others express their anger. Notice what happens to your depression.

What you'll learn:
The more anger you use, the less depressed you will feel.

 

6) Continue to experiment with expressing your anger.

Focus on the results you get. Compare what actually happens with what you thought would happen. (In other words, compare reality to your scary fantasies.)

What you'll learn: 
Everyone will learn that their scary fantasies are far worse than what happens in real life. Most people will learn that their scary fantasies were based on childhood realities, not on adult realities. Everyone will also learn that they feel a lot better when they use their anger energy (even when they don't get what they want!).



HOW YOU'LL CHANGE

When you are no longer depressed
you will feel stronger, more energetic, and more enthused.

You will have a renewed interest in all kinds of pleasure.

Daily problems will still be there, but they will bother you much less.

And you will begin to find opportunities where you used to find only problems.

HOW YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL CHANGE

Your relationships will improve immensely,
just because you are less depressed.

Everyone will enjoy being with you more
because of your energy and spontaneity.



OTHER ARTICLES

This article is the second in a two-part series.
See: Depression The Problem

Also look for articles on anger, motivation, discipline, etc.

Look for ideas about how to avoid depression in every article!


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Enjoy Your Changes!

Everything here is designed to help you do just that!

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Write To Me, I Want To Hear From You!
Tony Schirtzinger, Therapist (Milwaukee) 

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