Stop Depression In Its Tracks

If you are willing to spend some time learning about yourself
here are a few easy exercises for you.

After you finish each exercise read the
“Self-analysis” comments that follow.
(Don’t peek! You’ll ruin it.)


Just take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.
Put “women are” on one side and “men are” on the other side.

Imagine that someone named “Pat” is coming to see you today.
You notice yourself wondering whether Pat is a woman or a man,
and then you wonder why it matters to you.

What do you expect if it’s woman?
What do you expect if it’s a man?

Just let yourself freely write a list on each side of the paper,
to see what you think the differences are between men and women.
(You don’t need to list physical characteristics, unless they bother you.)
Think about attitudes, beliefs, how they treat you, etc.


1) Notice what you think about your own sex. Do the traits you listed describe you?

2) Notice what you think about your lover’s sex. Do the traits you listed describe her or him?

3) Notice how much the things under “women” match your memory of your mother and other women you knew when you were a child.
If they match, see if you get different answers when you think about the women you know today.
If they don’t match, why do you think the women in your childhood were so different?

4) Now do the same as in #3, but about “men.”

5) Look at what you said about each sex. If you were “Pat” and you knew you were going to go to see someone who thought these things about you – even before you met – how would you expect to get along with them?

6) Whatever their gender, “Pat” may have the traits you listed to varying degrees. You are probably right about everything you listed, but only to a certain extent.
The important question to ask yourself is: “Am I able to drop my prejudices when Pat comes through the door, and get along with this person as well as I possibly can?”


In a wide column on a sheet of paper,
list some rather big problems
(doubts, poor self-image, fears, etc.)
that you had when you were a child.

Then rate each item you listed using a number from 1 to 100,
to show how close you are right now
to overcoming each problem.
(100 would mean it’s gone for good).

Then do the same thing
about similar problems you had
ten years ago.
Rate these in the same way.


We all have baggage from our childhood and from past experiences. So the self-awareness here is all about the results:

1) Anything rated below 50% might be a good reason to see a therapist if:
– there is a lot of emotional pain attached to the problem, or,
– the problem stops you from effectively doing things you need to do.

2) Most importantly: Have you allowed yourself to feel really proud of all you have accomplished so far? Even a 10% improvement shows you have accomplished something difficult and important. And anything over 75% is a very significant accomplishment.

3) This exercise proves that you have changed, and that you always will be able to change!


Draw some concentric circles.

Put the name of the most important person in your life in the middle circle.

In each successive circle, list the names of the people
who are “almost” as important as people already listed.

Work your way through your whole world of contacts,
with the last and largest circle being reserved for
people you will meet only once and never see again.


1) Did you put yourself in the inner circle? If not, did you just forget? Now that I mentioned it, can you put yourself there and feel like you really do count more than all the others?

2) Think about how you’ve spent your time and energy in the last month or year. How well does it correlate with the information in these circles? What changes can you make so you’ll get more from your life, and from the people you care most about?

3) Are you honest with yourself when people in the outer circles want to be with you? Do you talk yourself into thinking that you want to be with them when you really don’t?

4) Most of us were trained to think that the most important people in our childhood would always be the most important to us, but that’s not how it usually works. How has it worked for you? How much does it matter?

5) Do the people in the inner circles know how you feel about them? Are you sure?


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