Depression is a terrible condition that causes long-term social problems that cannot be fixed with a guide such as this, they need real treatment and medical assistance. I am not claiming I have a cure for that.
No, most people who say they are depressed are just a little bit on the glum side. If your partner has just left you and you don't feel like talking to anyone or getting out of bed, you are not depressed, you just need cheering up. In order to help combat this (and possibly dam the tide of 'Help I'm Depressed' topic titles), I have compiled for all you lucky, lucky people my easy to use guide to help cure a 'depressed' mind:
Step One - Analyse the situation
Just what is it that is making you unhappy? Is it your family? Your friends? The fact that you just haven't had any luck with the opposite (or same) sex recently? Try and find out the finite cause of your unhappiness, and if there are several (or as you may think; a lot), find the epicentre of all these things and find some common ground between them.
Step Two - Decide on a resolution
Think about what you could do to make the problem a thing of the past. As long as it remains to be something not too drastic or law-breaking, settle with your gut feeling. But don't do anything just yet, because that might not be the best thing to do.
Step Three - Ponder upon it
Give yourself about a week (or maybe a fortnight if it's a big one) to mull the situation and the resolution over in your head. You may even discover that with that week the problem has gone and you are free to live your life again. If this is the case, you probably didn't really need this guide. If it hasn't gone, after this much time you will have thought it through in your head for long enough to know if that really is the best thing to do or not. If it isn't, try and think of something more rational or effective that could solve your plight, and if necessary, give yourself another week to muse upon it. Repeat of necessary (I never said it would be a quick process).
Step Four - Go go Power Rangers
It's time to put your plan of action in motion. Usually the best plans are not simply short-term actions that you perform, but long-term changes in the way you live (I'll give you an example later on).
Step Five - Wait...
You can't expect to be crying one minute and playing swing ball with your favourite contemporary musician the next. These things take time. Give it about a fortnight with your plan in motion, and see if it helps at all. If it doesn't, you've picked the wrong plan. Sorry to be so blunt, but that's just the way it is.
So how can this work? It's simple really, and I shall give you an example if you need it:
Several years ago I was 'depressed'. Again, not actually depressed, hence the inverted commas (if you imagine them to be thirty feet tall it helps even more), but I was very much in the dumps and a very unhappy chappy. Did I do what was listed above? No. Well, not consciously at least. I was always considered a bit 'unusual' as a person, and during my younger teenage years this soon began to parallel with my dress sense and my attitudes towards other people. I didn't dress erratically by any means, but I did dress in a way that brought me under what today would be called the 'hipster' label, but back in my school it was just 'freak'.
Now I didn't know it at the time, but it was my lifestyle choice that lead me to become unhappy, and being segregated by society was what made me truly miserable. So what did I do about it? Well, over the recent years I have naturally and slightly consciously changed the way I behave around people. Not drastically, but I tried to be less and less of an annoying prick and more of a 'big character'. I became more flamboyant but less irritating and pestering. Not only did I change my character, but also my appearance. I stopped trying to be 'young' and 'cool' and just went with what I thought felt naturally 'me'. a lot of people claim to be being themselves, but a lot of the time people think to be themselves they must be utterly unique, which is not true. I used to wear a lot of black and I was tempted by the emo stylings at the time, but I didn't bite. Nowadays I simply wear jeans or trousers, a formal shirt tucked in nine times out of ten, and brown formal shoes. Do I look like a nerd? Do I look like an old man? No. At least, not until I wear my brown longboat reminiscent of Gene Hunt's.
So here's the big question. Am I happier now? Yes, I am. I'm nineteen with great friends, an income and a rich and varied university life ahead of me at the end of September.
And on that note, I shall take my pipe, my 19th century percussion cap pistol and my hip flask full of expensive whisky away with me.
This post has been edited by GalwayR: Tue Jun 28, 2011 05:59 AM