So You’re Depressed, What Are You Gonna Do About it?

Having been noodling my depression and it’s effects on my life, I came to three profound realizations. I wrote about them in greater depth here, here and here, but the Cole’s notes version is this:

  1. Sorry pal, it (your depression) ain’t going away.
  2. It made you who you are
  3. Don’t run from depression, lean into it

Here we come to the crux of the matter, you’re depressed. So what? What are you going to do about it?

I know this sounds callous.

I know this sounds a little like the old school advice, “Suck it up.”

It’s not. It’s a genuine, honest question.

Seriously, what are you going to do about your depression? It’s a part of you and it’s not going away.

I submit that once you have come to this point, realization and acceptance of these three basic truths, the next step is accommodation. The monster is here to stay, so you’d best find a way to live with his presence.

But how?

First, figure out how to keep him from taking over. I expect there are a million strategies for this, but at the moment, I think they boil down to two basic things; avoidance and mitigation.

Avoidance requires knowing what is going to set him off. If you know your depression triggers, you can create strategies to avoid them.

Mitigation requires knowing what sends you deeper into depression, and what helps you climb out. Don’t do the former, and do the latter.

Simple, right?

In theory, anyway. In practice it’s a wee bit harder.