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Fighting Back Against Depression - 2

Here is a suggestion that can work for some people in their fight against depression.

I am going to assume that anyone that has real clinical depression would agree that it is a hideous and cruel illness. It has no respect and can invade your life at any time.

Try giving your depression a shape. A form of some kind. Some people see it as an all enveloping cloud or fog. Others see it as a demonic creature. Sir Winston Churchill famously suffered with depression and called it his 'black dog'.

So lets go with the idea that it is a dog, just for the purposes of this post.

I doubt that you would imagine your depression as a fluffy poodle. More like something very big, possibly with sharp teeth and a real vicious streak. Sorry for the basic language but it's probably shitting all over your life too, leaving you to clean up the mess.

Ok, now imagine that on your worst days, the dog is bigger than ever. Teeth are sharper and it could be snarling and salivating. a truly frightening animal. But, remember, this is yours. You own it, so despite it's appearance it's still on a lead that you are holding. Now, on this terrible day you are having, this dog is pulling you around. leading you to places you don't want to go and you are not strong enough to control it. It's futile to try to give it commands because it is ignoring you. It doesn't care how you feel or what you want. It is out of control and you are powerless to do anything but go along with it.

This is a pretty demoralising image.

Knowing that you cannot give this dog to someone else or re-home it, that means you're stuck with it. So you need to focus on how you actually treat this animal.

Are you doing anything that feeds the beast? Anything that makes it stronger?

For example, are you entertaining negative thoughts about yourself, believing you are a burden or somehow deserving of feeling this way? You could view these sorts of things as putting a big plate of food down for the animal. It loves it and will be stronger afterwards. The more counter-productive or self-destructive your behaviour, the more you feed the beast.

How, then, can you weaken the beast?

Firstly, we must try not to feed it so much. It's tough but try to remember the good things you have done, rather than focus on negatives. This will not weaken it at first but at least you won't strengthen it further.

Now we can concentrate on taking some of it's food and treats away from it that it loves so much. This is where we can reduce some of it's power.

Getting up and out of bed earlier than normal, getting showered, dressed and ready for the day. Making yourself some breakfast. These are the kid of things that take power away from the beast. If you haven't been doing these things at all but then start to do them a few times a week, you could realistically imagine the dog becoming physically smaller. Still a scary size but not quite the same as before. Getting some exercise occasionally is another. Unlike normal dogs, this animal hates exercise. It prefers to stay home and make your life miserable.

There will be many different things you could do that would remove the animal's nourishment and start to shrink it in size. In fact, the very act of writing down some things you could do would, in itself, make it weaker because that would constitute you doing a positive thing. It despises you doing positive things.

Over time, the beast could shrink to a size that allows you, just occasionally, to be able to exert some control over it. When you pull back on it's lead it cannot just take you where it wants to go. When you issue a command it will sometimes obey.

Make no mistake, this is a long and difficult process but if you can identify what feeds the animal and what weakens it, it may lead you to do more things that help in your battle against your depression.

The first day you are able to laugh and say "Sorry depression. I bet you hated today" will be amazing. And when you have that day, you can start to believe that you will soon have your life back.

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