Beat Your Depression

Tips, Facts and Information About Overcoming Depression

Archive for the ‘Overcoming depression’

Anti-depressants and engine oil

April 08, 2008 By: John Category: Depression Treatment, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression 4 Comments →

If you owned an automobile that was low on engine oil each week when you checked the oil level what would you do about it?

Would you just keep on topping up the oil to the correct level each week? Or would you find out what was causing the level of engine oil to be low and take appropriate action to remedy the situation?

You may find that there is a leaking seal or gasket that is the cause of the engine oil disappearing. This could be easy to detect by looking at the pavement below the engine after the automobile has been parked there for a while. Or the engine may have worn piston rings that need to be replaced, along with other mechanical procedures. This can be usually very noticeable by the clouds of gray smoke that exude from the exhaust pipe.

Another way of looking at this is that you find that there is a lot of oil accumulating on the pavement beneath where you park your automobile. You then discover that the oil level is low and this leads you to take the vehicle to a mechanic who will invariably find and fix the leak.

In the second instance you notice clouds of smoke coming from your exhaust pipe. You then discover that the oil level is low and this leads you to take the vehicle to a mechanic who will invariably find and replace the worn parts.

In either case you can make an informed decision about how to treat the problem once you have found the root cause of the problem. Topping up the oil level is only a temporary measure at best.

Now let’s look at anti-depressants and their role.

It is the contemporary “establishment” belief that depression, and similar disorders, are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. The chemical referred to is usually serotonin, a neurotransmitter, that aids in the transmission of certain signals between adjacent nerves. When the level of serotonin drops a person can display signs and have symptoms associated with depression. Thus the argument that depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.

If this is true then it could also be argued that happiness is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. This is because activities such as singing, dancing, listening to pleasant music, exercise, sex, being grateful for the good things that abound, and laughing can lead to an increase [imbalance] of the hormone beta-endorphin, the body’s natural opiate, that brings on feelings of happiness.

Could it possibly be that it is natural for the chemicals [hormones] in our brains to be in a state of flux, depending on the prevailing circumstances? I believe this to be the case as it is inappropriate to be happy, and natural to be sad, at the loss of a loved one through death or because of a breakdown in a relationship. Similarly, there are times, such as when at a celebration, when it is not appropriate to be sad.

Anyhow, let us go along with the “establishment” thinking that depression is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Then would it not be wise to determine what causes the chemical imbalances and remedy the problem rather than treating the signs and symptoms? This makes sense to me.

However, the “establishment” view appears to be to prescribe anti-depressant medication alone in many cases without looking for alternate methods to resume normal behavior.

When we discontinue pursuits that cause us to be happy, we eventually return to a state of mind where we are close to being neither happy nor sad. Similarly, over time we will progress from being depressed to being neither happy nor sad, unless we continue doing things, or thinking things that lead us to being depressed. Being happy or being depressed are emotions and emotions are usually the result of how we think or our state of mind.

Therefore if we change our thinking, or state of mind, we can change our emotions! We can then choose to be happy or sad. A great book to read on this subject is the old masterpiece, “As a Man Thinketh.”

A collection of books that proved very useful to my recovery from depression is the “Total Success Library” where there are a number of books on various subjects that assist in the development of our self-esteem and outlook on the challenges that life puts forward. The price that I paid for this collection was far outweighed by the amount of money that I saved on anti-depressants.

So you think that you are a loser?

February 01, 2008 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Overcoming depression 1 Comment →

How often do people just give up when they come to a hurdle in life? Too often I believe.

Hurdles are just stepping stones to success. Look at the portrait of an achiever below:-


  • Failed in Business – Bankruptcy, 1831
  • Defeated for Legislature, 1832
  • Sweetheart/Fiancee Dies, 1835
  • Nervous Breakdown, 1836
  • Defeated in Election, 1836
  • Defeated for U.S. Congress, 1843
  • Defeated again for U.S. Congress, 1846
  • Defeated once again for U.S. Congress, 1848
  • Defeated for U.S. Senate, 1855
  • Defeated for U.S. Vice President, 1856
  • Defeated again for U.S. Senate, 1858
  • Elected President of the U.S.A., 1860

Would you say that President Abraham Lincoln was a loser? Admittedly he did suffer from depression [see “You are not alone” free e-course] but he did not allow that to become an excuse to quit.

You cannot fail… unless you quit!”

Quitters never win and Winners never quit.

Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare and how the tortoise kept plodding along determinedly even though the competition was way ahead. He did not give up when all seemed lost but persevered and overtook the hare [competition] when the hare was sleeping and then the tortoise became a winner.

However, you do not have to come first to become a winner. I have noticed, on a couple of occasions, how a person who came second or third in a talent show on TV went on to become more successful than the person who won the event. Just because you did not come first does not mean that you are not talented or competent.

Look at the person who comes last in the finals of an Olympic swimming event. Do you think that person is a loser? No way! There were just 7 other people in the world that were better than him or her on the day. Look at all of the people who tried to even get to the Olympics, let alone qualify for the finals. Most of those people were also champions in there own rights.

Consider the person who came second in the final. The winning margin can often be measured in hundredths of a second. I consider the second place getter to still be a great athlete.

You too can be great at what you do if you persevere. You can still be a winner without coming first. Let us say that you develop a business where you have scores of competitors ahead of you financially, but you still make a net profit of $5 million per year and growing. Would you consider yourself to be a loser? This shows that you do not have to be the best to be a winner.

Below is a poem and a quotation that I have kept handy for many years to keep my mind on track when it sometimes wanders.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns;

And many a person turns about

When they might have won had they stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver lining in the seeds of doubt,

And you can never tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.

It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit




Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not.

Nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent.

Genius will not.

Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not.

The world is full of educated derelicts.



Good Mood Foods. Chocolate

January 24, 2008 By: John Category: Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression No Comments →

One of the most powerful mood elevators is chocolate, says psychologist David Benton of Britain’s University of Wales.

In studies, he played music that put students into a depressed mood. Then he offered them either milk chocolate or carob, an imitation chocolate. Chocolate improved their moods; carob didn’t.

Also, chocolate cravings rose as moods sank. Benton says chocolate contains not just serotonin-boosting sugar and mind-soothing fat, but also other chemicals that favorably affect brain messengers controlling mood.

The bad news is that there are critics of this theory. They say that the benefits of eating chocolate are offset by the fact that eating chocolate gives a quick fix, of short duration, because of the rapid release of energy from the refined sugars and fats, and you can just as quickly experience a flat period until your next meal, or snack. They prefer that you eat low GI food and snacks that will provide a gradual release of energy and level out the highs and lows of feel-good and feel-tired moods.

Everything needs to be taken in moderation, even natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much chocolate may cause weight gains that could cause depression. Luckily, you can enjoy some chocolate and keep your weight under control as only small amounts are needed to produce the desired effect.

Other ways to combat depression naturally can be found here.

Good Mood Foods. Feel-Good Fat

January 22, 2008 By: John Category: Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression No Comments →

A low-fat diet may make you grumpy.

British researchers assessed the moods of 20 people, ages 20-37, before and after eating either a daily total of 41 percent or 25 percent of calories from fat. After a month, the lower-fat eaters were rated as more hostile and depressed. Those on the higher-fat diet exhibited better moods and less tension and anxiety.

One explanation is that fat stimulates hormones that influence activity of the brain chemical serotonin, important in governing mood. Low serotonin is linked with increased aggression and depression. One solution: Many experts say it’s OK to get your quota of feel-good fat if it’s mainly monounsaturated fat (olive oil) and fish fat and not artery-destroying saturated animal fat.

As with all things, everything in moderation, even for natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much fat, whether monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, will cause weight gains that, in itself, could cause depression.

Other ways to combat depression naturally can be found here.

Here is a recipe for a mood-boosting dessert

Milk, bananas, chocolate and almonds all have nutrients that help regulate brain cells.


3 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa
3 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. sugar
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, sliced
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

In a heavy saucepan or double boiler, combine cocoa, cornstarch and sugar. Add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer, still stirring, till pudding thickens, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Let pudding cool. Stir in bananas. Serve in dessert dishes, topped with almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 225 calories, 7g protein, 6.5g fat (1.6g saturated), 38g carbohydrates, 2.5g fiber, 64mg sodium.

Holiday Depression

December 21, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Good Mood Foods, Overcoming depression 3 Comments →

Why is it that depression is common at holiday periods and especially at Christmas?

We are told that it is the season to be jolly. But what if you’re feeling anything but jolly? I can recall how, in my late teens, I had an unexplained feeling of being low and “down in the dumps” on Christmas Day. Actually, for some reason or other, my mood is often at a low ebb on Christmas Day. I can recall my father asking me what was the matter and I could not give him a logical answer. I was just as perplexed as he was. I wondered if it was because I knew by now that Father Christmas was not real. I still cannot explain why I often feel low at this time of the year.

Depression is common at this time of year, for many reasons.

For some, Christmas and the holiday season is not a time of joy and cheer but of depression, loneliness, anxiety and self-evaluation.

It seems that the festive season tends to force you to face the fact that life isn’t always as joyful as we are led to believe.

For single people, in particular, Christmas and New Year can be a very isolated time. But even if you’re surrounded by family and friends, this time of year can bring more than its fair share of stress, noise, anxiety and squabbles.

When you add this to longstanding financial problems, family conflicts, job problems or bereavement, it’s no wonder calls to helplines about depression and suicide rise by nearly ten per cent during the festive season.

There could be many reasons including financial constraints, not being able to spend time with family, especially those recently departed, or conversely, spending too much time with family, can all lead to Christmas depression and holiday depression.

The added stresses, unrealistic expectations, and fatigue can also contribute to holiday depression. People with few friends or family members, or living a long way from friends and family, may feel even more alone and isolated. People with a large circle of family and friends may feel stressed by having to cook and entertain for large family get-togethers, especially if there is an unpleasant in-law that you need to deal with without causing a scene.

Other holiday depression stressors include:

  • Separation or divorce that can leave people celebrating Christmas and the holiday season alone.
  • People who have lost a loved one, especially recently, are often very mindful of that loss.
  • The activities of the holidays can place a significant burden on already full schedules.
  • The costs involved with the holidays can place a significant burden on already tight budgets.

Although the stressors that can cause holiday depression cannot be completely eliminated, there are a number of suggestions that can help keep Christmas and holiday depression at a minimum.

  • Schedule obligations and parties wisely. If trying to cram another obligation into the already overfilled schedule causes stress, cancel and spend the evening taking a bubble bath or curled up with a good book.
  • Recognize the sadness of absent loved ones instead of denying the sadness.
  • Set reasonable financial goals based on what the budget can afford.
  • Remember that Christmas depression is not permanent. Moods typically improve once the holidays are over.
  • Set reasonable time goals while employing time management techniques. For example, you can do Christmas shopping during the off-peak season and shop online or by mail order. Unique, thoughtful and handmade gifts are often much more appreciated than a gift bought out of obligation.
  • Be especially mindful of diet during the holiday season. High sugar and carbohydrate laden foods typical of the holidays will only make depression matters worse. Allow indulgences during the holidays, but with limitations.
  • Put old issues aside when dealing with family. If that is not possible, consider limiting the time spent with people who aggravate you.

Children, can also experience a post-holiday let down after Christmas, when the brightness and togetherness of the season make way to more mundane things.

Compounding the problem of depression around Christmas and the holiday season is fewer hours of daylight that occur from Thanksgiving and past Christmas. So, in addition to holiday depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can also play a role in depression during the holiday season.

Although there are many easily identifiable causes for holiday depression, there are also some people [like me] who cannot pinpoint the exact cause of their Christmas depression. They know they are “supposed to” feel happy during the holiday season but instead of feeling happy, the flat, lackluster cloud of depression hangs over them.

Regardless of the cause of depression during Christmas and the holiday season, sufferers of depression during the holiday season might experience excess fatigue, a change in sleeping patterns, irritability and feelings of sadness. People who do not display the outward symptoms of depression during Christmas and the holiday season might develop other stress responses like over eating or excessive drinking.

Should you be a sufferer of depression, try to think of things other than inward thoughts. You can show more interest in, and engage with, children who usually really enjoy the festive season. This will make you think of things, other than your own problems. Or you can start a conversation by asking people questions [not nasty] about themselves. This takes your thoughts away from your own particular problems and makes you appear to be a “nice guy” to the person that you are questioning. Everybody seems to like talking about themselves and people who take an interest in them usually become very popular. Also be careful what you eat as this can affect your mood, either adversely, or for the better.

For those of you who have friends or loved ones who exhibit signs of depression, you may be able to understand their feelings and try to distract them by involving them in activities that will discourage inward thoughts. Giving them a simple job [accompanied with some genuine praise] may be all that it takes to jolt them out of their introspective thoughts and get them to be the pleasant people that we know that they can be.  Introduce some good humor as this, too, helps to alleviate problems associated with depression.  You will need to use discretion with this though.

I hope that you can keep depression at bay during the festive season and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

What Foods Can Combat Depression, Anxiety and Stress?

December 19, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Information, Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Stress matters 12 Comments →

Perhaps the question should be, “Can foods combat depression, anxiety and stress?” or, “How to use food to combat depression, anxiety and stress?”

There are quite a lot of foods that are said to be conducive to combating depression, anxiety and stress. Psychologist, David Benton, of Britain’s University of Wales has conducted studies showing that chocolate is one of the most powerful mood elevators. Benton says chocolate contains not just serotonin-boosting sugar and mind-soothing fat, but also other chemicals that favorably affect brain messengers [neurotransmitters] controlling mood.

However, Professor Robert Sapolsky [Ph.D. Neuroendocrinology] of Stanford University states, in his lectures on “Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality”, that neurotransmitters are constructed from cheap and plentiful precursors – simple amino acids that you get in your diet in huge amounts. He also advises that they can be constructed very quickly and can be recycled. So it appears that there may be something, other than the composition of mood enhancing foods, that has a beneficial effect.

There is no doubt that most people enjoy eating. We consume a variety of foods and treats, including highly processed “junk foods”. We enjoy eating so much that we may indulge in restaurant meals, often as a special treat to celebrate occasions such as a birthday, a promotion at work, for a romantic interlude, or for no specific reason at all, other than to enjoy the experience. Just think of the many other occasions when we partake of food, including beverages, at social gatherings viz: following christenings, weddings, office parties, and even wakes when we celebrate the life of a departed friend or relative.

The enjoyment of eating can make a person feel good and have a beneficial effect on the mood of the consumer. This increase in feeling happy or contented has a corresponding reduction in the feelings of being depressed, anxious, or stressed. Even believing that certain foods can improve a person’s mood can do just that by virtue of the placebo effect. The placebo effect is the result of how our bodies react to what we believe in, either consciously or subconsciously, even when that is not necessarily the case. The saying, “If you think you can, you can, and if you think you can’t, you can’t,” is quite valid and shows just how powerful our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings (all closely related) can be and how they can impact, in a positive or negative manner, on our bodies.

I believe that any foods that produce an enjoyable feeling may be useful in combating depression, anxiety and stress. So what may be beneficial foods for one person may not have the same impact on another. It is the enjoyment gained from eating that matters most as it is this feeling that triggers our neurons to release neurotransmitters such as seratonin, which is our body’s narural opiate.

Food and drink with a high GI [glycemic index] rating also provide us with a relatively quick burst of energy that can make us feel better.

Unfortunately, the benefits of eating foods with a high GI rating give a quick fix of short duration. The refined sugars and fats are considered to be empty calories as they provide the rapid, unsustained, release of energy. When this energy dissipates a period of lethargy follows. When this occurs you will often get an urge to eat more of the high GI foods to increase your energy levels and replenish feelings of well-being again. Eating low GI food and snacks will provide a gradual release of energy that prevents the “yo-yo” effect, or highs and lows, associated with high GI foods.

It is not only the highly refined foods that have a high GI rating; sodas are right up there with them as sodas invariably have a high sugar content, especially sports drinks.

If necessary, a compromise may be to eat a banana [high GI] to get a quick impact plus a few almonds [low GI] as a snack to obtain a sustained benefit.

Everything needs to be taken in moderation, even natural cures for depression. Take care, as too much chocolate, caffeine, or sodas may result in weight gain that could have the opposite effect and cause depression. Luckily, you can enjoy some chocolate and keep your weight under control as it is claimed that only small amounts are needed to produce the desired effect.

Whilst eating your favorite foods may improve your mood substantially, a shift away from negative thoughts, may be all that is needed to correct the “chemical imbalance” that many medical practitioners quickly blame for states of depression and anxiety etc? You may end up being a happier person without the need to resort to drugs that have dubious benefits and may result in a life long addiction to them!

“You Are What You Eat” applies to depression

December 18, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Good Mood Foods, Natural cures for depression, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression 1 Comment →

There may be some truth to the adage “You are what you eat.”

Do you happen to be moody or depressed, in need of revitalization and energy, or notice your behavior and mood changes from day to day? For example you may feel on top of the world one day whereas on other days you feel like you are at the bottom of a pit. Then your mood and energy levels may be related to your diet.

It has been demonstrated that what you eat affects your mental functioning and, by choosing foods wisely, you may be better able to stabilize your emotional and mental health. Just as putting the right fuel into your automobile is very important, [You would not like the problems associated with diesel fuel in a gasoline tank.] putting the right food in your body may make the difference between a happy day and a grumpy day, and it may improve your overall performance.

Food can make us feel good. There is no doubt about that as many people eat food for pleasure more than for nutritional needs. The food we eat has the ability to alter the production or release of neurotransmitters within our bodies. These neurotransmitters are chemicals that the body uses to relay, amplify and modulate the transmission of our thoughts and actions to the brain, and other tissues such as muscles, via interfaces, known as synapses, between nerve endings [neurons]. There are very many neurotransmitters doing a variety of jobs.

Some examples of neurotransmitter action:

  • Acetylcholine – voluntary movement of the muscles
  • Norepinephrine – wakefulness or arousal
  • Dopamine – voluntary movement and motivation, “wanting”, pleasure, associated with addiction and love
  • Serotonin – memory, emotions, wakefulness, sleep and temperature regulation
  • GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) – inhibition of motor neurons
  • Glycine – spinal reflexes and motor behaviour
  • Neuromodulators – sensory transmission-especially pain

It is important to appreciate that it is the receptors on the ends of neurons that dictate the neurotransmitter’s effect. This will be expanded upon later when discussing addiction and withdrawal symptons and how they are caused.

The food we eat affects the neurotransmitters and thus our moods. These neurotransmitters also tell us when we are full, if a food is too hot, and how it tastes. There is a theory that the nutrients in foods are precursors to the neurotransmitters, deciding how much of the neurotransmitter is produced. Foods are made of many nutrients that interact together and this can complicate matters. This is also why some foods produce natural reactions, and maybe even remedies, that commercial extracts from the food, or synthesized chemicals, are unable to mirror.

Physiological and psychological interactions make up the mood-food connection. It may be that a food is comforting because it reminds us of a pleasurable association with family meals while growing up. It may be the temperature of the “comfort” food, like warm hot chocolate, that is the comforting element helping you to relax or fall asleep.

It is interesting that a little warm milk before bedtime also increases the levels of seratonin. As mom may have told you, it helps you to sleep. Serotonin is a derivative of tryptophan, which is found in milk. The “warm” part is just for comfort!

More about mood foods in the next post.

Take the time. Life is short – George Carlin

November 03, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Causes, Depression Information, Overcoming depression 17 Comments →

What a difference a sad event in someone’s life makes.
GEORGE CARLIN (His wife recently died…)

Isn’t it amazing that George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – could write something so very eloquent…and so very appropriate.

A Message by George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to life not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete….

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent

Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don’t recommend this to at least 8 people….Who cares?

George Carlin

How true this is!

From the above, it is easy to understand how the pressures of life on most of us, including the rich and famous, can cause so much misery, depression and discontent.

I believe that if we can all follow these recommendations, the problem of depression in the world will diminish considerably. Here is a complimentary quote:-

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

– Leo Buscaglia

Depression – When you are at the bottom of the pit

October 11, 2007 By: John Category: Depression Facts, Depression Treatment, Overcoming depression, Recovery from depression 3 Comments →

Depression-Depression-Depression- Depression

It is generally known that there are basically four types of depression. These are:-

1. Topography – A hollow or sunken part e.g. a pit.
2. Weather – A low barometric pressure surrounded by higher pressures.
3. Economy – A decline in business activity accompanied by unemployment and lowering of income. [This can often give rise to the type of depression described in 4.]
4. Personal – A lowering of vitality or functional activity or the state of being below par in physical or mental vitality.

The medical profession further catagorizes item 4 into into a number of groups and sub-groups that you can read about in the book Understanding and Curing Depression.

When people suffer from depression [4.], amongst other things, they often say that they feel lost, in a fog, overwhelmed, anxious, or at the bottom of a pit.

The good thing about this is that if you are at the bottom of a pit the only direction left to go is up and out of the pit. 🙂

If you manage to find yourself at the bottom of a pit because you lost your way in the darkness or in a fog, or you were overwhelmed and pushed over the side, or slid to the bottom as a result of slippery or crumbling sides, do not give up hope. You should be able to manage to walk or climb out of the pit, especially when the dust settles, or the fog lifts and you can see better.

Should the sides still be slippery or crumbling then you may occasionally slip back a little, or even right to the botttom again. However, as you are now aware of the problem, you can take more care and preventative action, or even take a different route. You can even call for help. Quite often help is closer than you think.

Help could take the form of the end of a rope thrown to you, or a ladder lowered to you. However, you will still have to do some work yourself. This includes, tying the rope around your waist and climbing the sides with the rope to steady you, or you may have to climb the ladder with, or without the security of a rope around your waist.

If you managed to injure yourself during your descent to the bottom of the pit and could not contribute to your rescue, help may be needed in the form of a rescue team to recover you.

We can use the information above as a parable for overcoming depression. Then the pit would be the depression, and the feelings of being lost, in a fog, overwhelmed etc would be the symptons associated with depression. The rope and ladder would be the counseling to assist you, and the physical act of climbing out yourself would be what YOU do to help yourself to recover and prevent problems in the future. Should the situation be dire enough for you need a rescue team, this may equate to the need for you to take a trip to hospital. Hopefully, this will not be required.

I liken the need for counseling to receiving a laceration to the forearm, hand, or hip as a result of a nail protruding from something that you pass by frequently. You will probably need to disinfect the wound and place a dressing, such as a bandage on it to protect the wound whilst the body repairs itself. You may even need a suture or two if the wound is large. Then you would need to take action to prevent similar problems in the future. This could involve hammering the nail flush with it’s surrounds or removing it altogether.

If you treat only the wound and not the cause of the wound you can expect more problems. I recommend undertaking counseling for depression and working on yourself to prevent problems in future. This is what I did to assist in my recovery from depression.

I shall be discussing ways and means of beating your depression, without the need to resort to taking anti-depressants, in future posts. I have found from experience, discussions with other sufferers, and in-depth reading to determine what causes the imbalance of chemicals that medical practitioners say causes depression, that it is quite possible that anti-depressant medication can cause more problems than they remedy. This will be discussed in much more detail in future posts and in great depth in my book when it is completed.

When you were at the bottom of the pit you may have experienced some anxiety. This is often related to depression and is a combination of fear and worry. Should you find yourself being anxious, try to remember that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real, and worry is like being in a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.

You can learn more about how to cure anxiety and panic attacks here. This gives solutions, other than medication, to cure anxiety and panic attacks and much of this can be applied to beating depression as they are all closely associated.

Overcome Depression with “The Precious Present”

October 04, 2007 By: John Category: Attitude, Depression Facts, Overcoming depression 6 Comments →

It appears that many people are having trouble understanding or accepting Rule #6 in the article” Ten Rules for Being Human,” posted on September 12th, 2007. Viz:-

6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

Perhaps if I share a little of the book entitled, “The Precious Present,” by Spencer Johnson M.D. this could assist to enlighten those people as to what I believe is the essence of Rule # 6. You will just have to replace “here” with “the present” and “there” with “the future.”

You may recall that Spencer Johnson M.D. also co-authored the best selling book entitled, “The One Minute Manager,” which was so popular that it was translated into seven languages.

Apparently, The Precious Present is a reflection of Dr Johnson’s life. He had a happy childhood and a remarkable career with many accomplishments, including earning a degree in psychology; an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; training at the Harvard Medical School; and membership of national societies in philosophy and psychology. He also authored many books and had over a million copies of his books in print before his fortieth birthday. However, despite these achievements, he was unhappy as he felt that there was something missing from his life. [This seems to be a common trait in many people who suffer from depression.]

He finally discovered the secret of personal happiness after years of study, traveling, and searching his own mind. Dr Spencer Johnson shares this secret in parable form in The Precious Present. Here is an excerpt:-

“Pain is simply the difference between what is and what I want it to be.

When I feel guilty over my imperfect past, or I am anxious over my unknown future, I do not live in the present. I experience pain. I make myself ill. And I am unhappy.

My past was the present. And now my future will be the present. The present moment is the only reality I ever experience.

As long as I stay in the present, I am happy forever: because forever is always the present.”

From my experience, understanding each of the ten rules for being human can be truly beneficial to people who want to break the shackles of depression. However, I believe that living in the present is THE most important.

The Precious Present is one of the books that has assisted me to overcome my depression by re-adjusting my mindset. Another great book that goes into more depth about the value of the present moment is, “The Power of NOW” by Eckhart Tolle.


My wife was unaware that I had made this post last Thursday and she came home from work tonight [Monday] with a quote that she had written down from an email that she had received from a man who was retiring from the work force. When I read the quote I began to wonder if this was a coincidence or not. Here it is:-

“Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called The Present.”