The character known as the paranoid android, aka Marvin in the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was fond of saying ‘I think you ought to know I’m feeling very depressed.’ Eeyore has similar conversational openers although he is more adept at emotional manipulation (‘we can’t all have houses’, ‘very natural, and it was only Eeyore’s tail. But still I wondered.’)
But when I’m feeling depressed I have a dilemma – to talk about it or not to talk about it? I’m only too aware from certain miserablist individuals of my acquaintance of the total downer it can be when you subject others to your own depression; I’m also aware of the potential value of thinking and acting positive. But then again there’s the need to talk about it, not to be in denial. So what to do?
It seems to me that there’s an optimum amount of expression required. Naturally I tell my dear OH when I’m feeling down and OH is always concerned and wanting to help. But whilst it’s a relief to get it off your chest I’m aware that feeling better is largely down to me. Fortunately most of the time I can find something that works: watching a comedy, digging the garden, going for a walk, reading a book. Equally important is avoiding things that bring me down: listening to the news, reading Facebook, thinking about the future.
Food and drink can also help: eating good, fresh food gives you energy but there’s nothing to beat chocolate. I avoid alcohol as it’s a known depressant. Sleeping properly also helps; unfortunately this is not under my complete control and sometimes everything I try fails – or at least only succeeds partially. I can drink my chamomile and swig my herbal sleep mix and put on my sleep CD and still stay awake for ages. It’s very annoying. It’s as if there’s a part of my brain that resists all efforts to put it to sleep. This part of my brain is like a recalcitrant toddler and insists on being awake no matter what I do.
In my previous incarnation as a yoga teacher I used to teach groups of depressed people. I would always focus on active postures; plenty of movement, no contemplation or meditation and some high-up music like this:
video removed on request
High notes seem to reach a part of the brain associated with euphoria; there are better tracks than this but I don’t know what they’re called so I can’t find them.
I’m off now to buy some salad stuff and chocolate biscuits…