"Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer."

The title of this one is actually a quote from the statement, made by a friend of mine, on a social media website, and what follows is a slightly lengthened and revised (for clarity in this different format without the typically surrounding comments within a thread common in such postings on such types of sites) version of my response to that statement.:

    In regards to depression remember... its an illness above all else. I have carried that illness myself  for years so what i am about to say is coming from hard won experiences gained from the times in my life when i was consumed by depression to the point of self destruction, and beyond, and i have so far been fortunate to be alive today because of what those experiences have taught me. 
    Depression is NOT true emotion, but inflicted. Not inflicted necessarily by others or external sources... but by the afflicted's own past and the nature of the disease itself. Remembering THAT helps me fight against it. 
    The best advice i have gained to pass on when dealing with depression is to give a bad mood its due... and to treat it as a cycle i have to go through... but when enough is enough... get ACTIVE... be SOCIAL. Force yourself through the motions at first if need be... but activity and social interactions WILL over time turn that mood back around... and you can get back to being "Yourself" again. 
    Its a hard cruel process... but this has worked better for me than ANY pharmaceutical or psychiatric treatment ever could for me. especially psychiatric treatment. Talking about depression, while maybe a slight relief at first... eventually only serves to give it too much presence in your life... which in my experience worsens the inevitable experience of it. 
    Since it PRESENTS itself to your mind LIKE an emotion does... you must process it in a very similar way as any other emotion... Like Joy for example. Joy is wonderful. when we have cause to be joyous... we are free to stay in that emotion... but if there is no cause... and the circumstances aren't right for that emotion, like at the scene of a crisis for example... then at THOSE times we recognize that joy would be out of place in that environment, so we switch to a more beneficial emotion to the situation at hand. Depression is no different... except that it will actually FIGHT you and try to linger LONG past its due time if allowed to do so, and the resulting effect on your mood and your life in general is always negative... and unlike any true emotion... anti-survivalistic.  
    Sometimes you have to be pro-active to put yourself in the RIGHT circumstances and frame of mind to release that emotion. But if you close up... hide in your room... remove yourself from any cause for any other emotion... depression will take over. and in fact when that happens... the depression all ready HAS taken over. Thats exactly the controlling influence of the disease itself at work fighting as hard as it can to do nothing less than to KILL you. I say its not a true emotion because when this happens... it persists even into circumstances that don't call for it to your detriment. That is where it crosses the line into being an illness. 
     Emotions are there because they benefit our survival. Depression lessens our survival potential. It makes us freeze up when we should act... and act out when we should relax. 
    Obviously I have a lot of experience in this area... about 26 years worth of effects, observation, trial and error since I first undeniably started noticing severe symptoms around the age of nine or ten... but I've been fortunate enough to survive myself so far. and at the end of the day that's the trick isn't it? to survive LONG enough to feel something ELSE that's so much more worth the effort? I think that's the trick anyway... even though there is almost no trick to it. 
    Only secret to my survival so far has been to focus on being AWARE of my illness and to observe its effects knowingly and as calmly as possible. I try my best to NEVER act on my emotions when I am under the influence of depression... and to only act on my TRUE emotions. The only real trick is being able to tell the difference... and that part will always be a struggle... but thats what has to happen to survive it.

Jason A. Dennison (J.D.)

Jason A. Dennison (J.D.)
Blog Author: Jason A. Dennison (J.D.) ... ... Relaxing @ "Hawks Bluff".

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