I wasn't happy with my life, my job and a lot of other things. I was still trying to recover from a job loss in late 2011 that forced me to accept a non-technical (Excel based analytics job role) at a net pay lower than my previous job's. On top of that, I was struggling with Excel and finding the whole work very tedious and boring. My lifestyle also wasn't helping matters, I was spending all (and more on some months) than what I was earning. I was depressed.
Depression is what you experience when you are chronically unhappy with the way things are going in your life. It could come from too much stress -- physical, emotional/mental or a combination -- or no stress -- no motivation and nothing to wake up to.
For me, most of my depressions come from too much stress and majorly emotional/mental stress. Too many things going on in my life pulling me in directions I don't want to go, and then I reach my breaking point and depression sets in.
I also know other people who experience the depression that comes from lack of motivation. When the other group folks don't feel excited about waking up because they don't want to face again the mountain of undesirable work or stress that awaits them each day, this group folks don't feel excited about waking up because there is nothing engaging to do.
I can't say which depression is easier to manage. But I can tell you the technical way to overcome them. Technical because it always works in theory and retrospect, but the practical implementation is never smooth nor easy.
Stress is like the flow from a tap. Too little flow and you feel unmotivated and depressed. Too much flow, especially of the type you don't like, and you feel overwhelmed and depressed. But the good part is that you can control the tap. You can adjust the flow. You can add more stress to your life and you can reduce the stress in your life, whichever you need. If you are unmotivated, just find some work with biting deadlines to bury yourself in and in a short time motivation will be the least of your problem, you might even become lucky to hit the other side of the depression spectrum (overwhelmed). If you are overwhelmed and depressed from physical stress, just turn down the physical activities/work. If you are overwhelmed and depressed from mental stress, then shift your attention from the source of the stress to something else, and stop overthinking things. Mental stress is very tricky to manage -- anything can lead to it. But an effective way of managing it is by playing dumb or play dead (like the worst has already happened and you are moving on).
That is the theory part. And like I said it always work in retrospect. When you look back at the points in your life that you were depressed you will find that those strategies I listed above are what got you out of that deplorable state. But when next you face another depression, it won't be any easier even though you've gone through many before and know the theory of how to get out.
And that's it for today's post. If you are wondering what triggered this post -- well I can feel myself nearing my breaking point again, from too much stress. But good stress. It is a lovely state to be in, till one hits that breaking point. I hope I don't hit it. Wish me luck!