Overcoming Depression: questions part 1

As I have mentioned before, whenever my mind is up to it, I try to read a bit in the “Overcoming Depression” book by Paul Gilbert. So this evening, I’ve been reading a few pages. And Paul (I will call the author Paul here, so much easier than Mister Gilbert…) often makes statements and then asks the reader (so in this case, me) to really think about it. And I have been doing so.  Since these questionings are related to many of us, well myself and you, the readers, I thought it would be nice to share some of the things with you. It might help me and it would be even better if some of you could get anything positive out of it as well!

I will start with some basic example questions that are on page 29 in my book (fully revised 3rd edition, ISBN 978-1-84901-066-5, © 2009), chapter “Causes of depression”.

What happens when you imagine something, what is the side effect in your body then?
This can either be positive or negative, depending on what I imagine. But the book uses the example of being hungry and really seeing food compared to imagining food. Seeing the real food while being hungry makes my mouth water and it drives me towards the food. Imagining a nice meal when I am hungry… At times it only increases my real hunger, but when I imagine it well, my mouth will water up as well.

What happens when you see something sexy on TV?
It also depends on what mood I am in and if I am home alone or not. The book states that it may stimulate an area of our brain that effects on our body, leading to arousal. That, indeed, does happen at times to me. And being bi-sexual, I think it may be easier for me to get aroused because I dig both men and women. But when I am really down, not even sex can interest me. I feel like I won’t be able to please anyone seeing I can’t even please myself by feeling happy in any way.

Now a more depression-linked example: how do you feel when someone is bullying you, how does your body react?
Again, depending on the situation… I can become angry and mad, feeling like I need to show this bullying person that (s)he should mind his/her own business and keep their nose out of mine. I would feel sad and unhappy and try to pull back into a place where I can be invisible, ashamed about my “failure”.

These three questions point out that if you imagine things or have emotions that only reflect to your threat emotion system (the one that is alarming you when your guts tell you something isn’t right), it can become a downward spiral. Believing, imagining, can be enough to let your threat emotion run overtime and when that “system” becomes overloaded, it will affect your daily routine. It will affect your emotions and well-being.

And what Paul is going to point out, that if negative thoughts and imaginations can bring you down, you can undo the “damage” by revering those thoughts and imaginations into positive things. I haven’t come to that part yet, seeing it is in chapters that are still way ahead of where I am now. But it sounds logical. I am a bit scared towards this because I think it’s so much easier to think bad things about myself, blame me for stuff that goes wrong, than to reverse those thoughts and all.

Another thing that I have read a bit about is kindness and it’s positive work on your mind and body. I will get back to you about kindness, seeing it seems so easy and simple…

So I will leave this post as it is now, and get ready for bed. Finally I will know more about the well-being of my parents’ dachshund tomorrow afternoon… Finally… So I will leave you now with the first wisdom quote of the second week of March:

“It takes a lot of courage to release
the familiar and seemingly secure,
to embrace the new.
But there is no real security
in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the
adventurous and exciting,
for in movement there is life,
and in change there is power.”

Alan Cohen

~ by Lonely Wallflower on March 8, 2010.

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