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The Cure for Depression

S

SJS

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This will be an explanation on how I cured my depression, and the various things i had to understand before doing so. I'm doing this in the hopes that it may help others achieve the same thing.

I preface this by saying i'm not a professional in the field of psychology/psychiatry. Everything i learned was through a desire to cure myself, and out of a genuine passion and curiosity for psychology.

PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST BEFORE TRYING ANY OF THE METHODS BELOW, FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY

First and foremost, you must have a basic understanding of how your mind works. What different things are, and what they really mean. So let us get started :

What are Emotions?

Emotions, in this context, act only as indicators on where you are towards what you want. If you're close to what you want, and you believe it is within your grasp? You'll feel happier. If you're far away, or believe it is hopeless? You'll feel sad. Emotions are just indicators, remember that.

What are Desires?

Desires are quite simply what you want. It is the center-point from which all your emotions hang. If you truly wanted nothing? You would feel nothing. Desires form from what it is you believe.

What are Beliefs?

Beliefs are ideas you think are true. Ideas you have invested agreement into. Beliefs are like the eyes.. The map for your basic instinct. They are what tell you what success is, and what failure is. They determine the rules for your mind. An example : Let us say you believe money means you're a success, you will want money, and by extension feel more positive if you make money.

What are your Basic Instincts?

Your basic instincts are the drives of survival and propagation. They are like the fuel behind ALL desires. So, your beliefs are the map, the direction; and your instinct is the drive. Your basic instincts can actually betray their core drive through your beliefs.. Meaning you can get people who think they increase their survival, their chance of propagating, their comfort through dying. Ultimately, your emotions are the product of your instincts being filtered through your beliefs.

-----

Okay, now that we have a rough understanding of the building blocks of the mind, we can delve into depression itself.

What is Depression?

Depression is described as "a low mood that lasts for weeks or months and affects your daily life" and the symptoms are described as "Feeling unhappy and/or hopeless, and finding no pleasure in life".

Using the building blocks of the mind i explained above, we can now determine what is causing your depression. We now know that :

A) You want something

B) You believe that getting what you want is impossible, or too difficult to attain

This is depression when broken down into it's parts. It is both wanting something yet simultaneously believing you can never attain it.

So, that leaves us with two potential cures for your depression. Either you get what you want that is making you depressed, which can sometimes actually be impossible; OR you can learn to give up on what you want. You can learn to accept and let go.

Before that though, you must first identify what it is you want that causes your depression. If you can't pinpoint it at it's root, you may risk dealing with a superficial layer of depression, and not pull out the weed at the root.

It is very normal not to know what causes your depression unless you frequently introspect on your feelings, this means your want/desire is subconscious. Beyond your conscious mind; outside of your awareness.

How do I find the Subconscious Desire that is making me Depressed?

There is a method by which you can get to the root. It is called the "Why? Why? Why?" technique. You will feel the feeling of depression, a deep sadness and hopelessness, and you will simply ask "Why?" you feel that way. Your mind will come up with a reason. Use a pen and paper for this, because it might be quite a long chain or reasons to get to the root. You then ask "Why?" that reason matters to you. That will come up with the next reason. You get the idea. You will keep asking "Why?" until you finally get to the root.

Often this root maybe be what is described as a "core belief". This is a belief whereby many other beliefs are stacked on top of it. Pulling out a core belief is often a painful process, and will result in a complete personality shift. Some call this an "ego death".

Some common root beliefs are things like :

-Everything is pointless

-I need to be liked/loved by others or i am worthless (very common belief)

-I am incomplete and need to become complete (Insert your own definitions of what incomplete and completeness are)

This may take some time, and it is important to be patient with yourself if you're unfamiliar with this kind of technique. You may also find there are webs of beliefs propping one another up, holding a framework in place. Be sure to thoroughly map all of it out so you can navigate what you're doing.

How do I let go of/give up on a Desire that is making me Depressed?

So you've found the belief or beliefs that are leading to the desire that is making you depressed. Now you need to give up on those belief/s and want/s. But how do you do it?

I suspect a lot of you will have gotten this far without needing to read all of what i typed above, and may have found yourself stuck at this point. I myself was stuck here for a lonnng time.

From here on out i want you to pretend you have two minds that are processed in two different ways. You have a logical mind, and an emotional mind. One is you, and the other is your body/mind.

You may know, logically, you don't need to be loved by others; but that doesn't mean you're going to stop feeling like you do. This is because although you may know something is irrational, your emotional mind doesn't understand things that way.

Your emotional mind understands things as emotions. It speaks in emotions and feelings. Have you ever tried to force an emotion away, only for it to amplify and get worse? This is because you can't think your emotions away. You can, however, look at something that evokes another counter emotional response. This is like an affirmation... But this is merely a band-aid to the real fix. It is avoiding the problem and not confronting it head on; it is repression. A distraction to take your mind off it.

To deal with the irrational emotions of the mind, you must allow them to happen to you. You must give up and let them completely take you. Accept them. Surrender to them. Before you do this however, there are some warnings i must give you...

This will be painful. It will feel like hell. do NOT understate what i am saying here. You will feel worse than you've ever felt before. These feelings you'll feel? You have been running away from them and repressing them likely your entire life; this is why your depression has stuck with you. There is an uncomfortable truth lying in these feelings that you are refusing to accept, and so it has clung to you. You have resisted instead of giving up. These feelings may be so strong they can incapacitate you. PLEASE do not go in without expecting hell. You will be afraid, and it will hurt a lot. It will terrify you and make you feel a sadness you did not think possible, and you will have to stay with it and embrace it.

When you allow your emotions to happen to you, it allows your mind to process and callous over these feelings. It matures your emotional mind that you have ran away from for so long. This can take days, weeks, months of constantly giving up to your emotions, and allowing them to happen to you. But remember; this is growth. Think of the pain as.. Growing pains.. It will take you to hell, but trust that it will pass, and you will be stronger and more mature for it.

Dive into the emotions head on and take them all. Embrace the pain. It is maturity happening to you.

If your emotions are not allowed to happen to you, they will cling to you in your subconscious. You will feel them always in the background. You will become numb from repression. This is how depression happens.

So, in order to process the repressed emotions of the emotional mind you :

1. Become aware of the want/beliefs that are leading to the emotion that is making you depressed.

2. Evoke the emotions. Allow the emotions of said want not coming true to happen to you. E.G. If you want to be loved, imagine the opposite happening. Imagine you will never be loved or liked by anyone ever. You will always be betrayed etc.. Allow those feelings to happen to you, and dive into them. If you believe everything is pointless? Embrace the feelings of pointlessness that come up. Whatever feelings come up, dive into them and stay with them. Feel them fully.


*THE PART BELOW IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. DO NOT IGNORE*

Now when doing this, you'll find certain things will happen. Certain traps and pitfalls that can cause the process to go awry. It is essential you familiarize yourself with these things before attempting this method.

The first trap is :

1. Believing you are your mind. That you directly Control your mind.

If there is anything you should give up on first and foremost, before doing any of this? (which may seem counterproductive) Give up on controlling your own mind. Your emotional mind is NOT you. It is something that happens to you. This may seem insane, and not make sense at first.. But to change your mind, you have to give up on trying to change your mind.

When you try to change your mind, you create what is called the "feedback loop from hell". Example : let us say you're feeling depressed, and you want to stop feeling depressed. Well.. When you try to change your emotional mind, which you don't directly control (,because if you did, you could just turn off your depression whenever you want,)you will become frustrated when it doesn't bend to your will. This in turn will amplify said feelings.

I personally believe this is how most suicides occur. A desire to escape the pain of their own mind, and it not budging when they try to control it, thus amplifying it massively.

It is ESSENTIAL you go into this process understanding this THOROUGHLY. Spend some time thinking about, really get to grips with it. The LAST thing you want is to go into hell, and suddenly try to back out of it when it is outside your control. This could kill you, no joke. DO NOT TRY THIS METHOD WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THIS THOROUGHLY.

2. Believing you will never escape the feeling

When you go to hell, an idea may pop up in your head. It may say something along the lines of "What if this feeling never passes and i am stuck like this forever?". You must trust the feeling will pass, and embrace it with open arms. That pain is your growth; be happy it is happening to you. It will pass, i promise you; just stay with it and allow yourself to blossom.

It may take days/weeks/months of doing this to fully get over the feeling; but you WILL get over it. You WILL get out. Trust, and do NOT under any circumstances try to change your mind when the feeling won't stop. This will also lead to the feedback loop from hell i mentioned above. Again : DO NOT TRY THIS METHOD WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THIS THOROUGHLY.

------


On "Chemical Imbalances"..


This is a topic still up for some debate; but my opinion on the matter? I believe thoughts can cause chemical imbalances, and i believe chemical imbalances can cause thoughts. The point here is, they can happen both ways round. I'm no psychiatrist, but it doesn't take an expert to know taking drugs can alter the mind. It also doesn't take an expert to know thinking something can lead to a feeling. The concern is that a "chemical imbalance" becomes an excuse for never attempting to fix the root issue. I can't tell you if chemical imbalances are a real thing or not, and nobody really knows for sure, but i would say it can't hurt to try the method for a time above and see where it gets you.

In Conclusion..

Remember that depression is not about adding something to your mind that will fix the depression, but letting go of something you fear giving up on. You cure depression by taking away, not by adding. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
 
M

Mistral

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I am glad you put a conclusion and that it was only three lines long. The style in which you express what yourself is in the style of someone who is selling a wonder cure. This certainly turned me off.

However, what you are saying has a lot going for it. Often the last thing that people think about when they are seeking help for depression is that they do not need something added to their lives, whether that be therapy or medication or whatever, but that they have to let go of some things.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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Hi SJS,

Thanks very much for sharing your ideas. I started reading and it sounds interesting. I'm too tired to read it. My mind can't make sense of anything at the moment. Can you please make a summary in short points like:

1. Do this
2. Do this
3. Do this

I get that your intention is genuine. It's just too much for me to read.
 
S

SJS

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United Kingdom
Hi SJS,

Thanks very much for sharing your ideas. I started reading and it sounds interesting. I'm too tired to read it. My mind can't make sense of anything at the moment. Can you please make a summary in short points like:

1. Do this
2. Do this
3. Do this

I get that your intention is genuine. It's just too much for me to read.
1. All emotions come from a want/desire/aim. All wants/desires/aims come from beliefs. Beliefs are ideas you have agreed are true.

2. Depression fundamentally comes from wanting something you believe is impossible or too difficult to attain; resulting in a feeling of despair. Without one or the other? You would have no depression.

3.You must become aware of where your feelings of depression are rooted using the "why?why?why?" technique. This will lead you to the root want and/or beliefs that your feeling of depression comes from.

4.Allow yourself to feel the repressed emotion tied to that want/belief and stay with the feeling. This will callous your mind to the feeling, and emotionally mature you so that said feeling no longer gets to you.

e.g. If your depression comes from wanting to be loved, because you believe being loved means you are more as a person; allow yourself to feel the worst of not having that. Evoke the emotion. What if you are never loved? What is so bad about that? Feel the feeling fully without running away.

So basically : Become aware of the want that leads to depression. Let go of the depression by allowing yourself to emotionally feel the worst of the fears tied to the want, and staying with the feeling. Repeating this practice will dissipate the feeling over time as your mind callouses to the feeling. Similar to exposure therapy.

I still recommend you read the original post when you have time. Be patient, take your time, take notes, think about it. It isn't meant to be something you devour in one sitting, but something to ponder and develop in your own time. I was quite thorough for a reason. Because doing this kind of thing can actually be dangerous if you don't do it the right way. Or if you don't fully understand how to manage it.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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Thank you for going to the trouble of doing this. Some of what you are saying reminds me of the Buddha's teachings on suffering. I can't remember any of them now. I will have to read them again.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I have a question. My depression makes me feel nothing and desire nothing. I have no desires, apart from simply not constantly feeling so horrible.

I am unable to enjoy anything. I am unable to want to do anything. I don't even have physical wants - I have no appetite (it literally feels like I don't have a stomach. I never eat in the day because I'm not hungry. I never feel empty, weak and my stomach doesn't gurgle or grumble). I don't have any normal sleep desires. I am sleepy a lot, but I don't know how it feels to go to bed because I'm tired. I'm never tired when I go to bed. I have also never had a sex drive. No interest and no desire whatsoever.

So how does that work with your (very valid) thoughts / theory?
 
E

EclipticNight

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Quite a bit of that sounds exactly like how i interact with my darkside. For context it's a split in my mind, it's still me but a violent animalistic version that has its own feelings. It is in essence its own creature as part of my whole. It communicates via emotion. For me I really am two. I'm the logical and its emotional. Recently I did give up and allowed it to run my daily life. I can't say it lifted my depression because my memory is hazy while it's in command but I know it does have fun. When it sleeps I reawaken and come here. If I was not split I'd try it. Perhaps you should submit the idea to a study to see if it holds up to scientific scrutiny. It's a really good idea, seriously, but remember most of us have more than depression so you'll need to find ways to adapt it to various combinations like mine.

If you want to throw ideas at me for how my mind works your welcome to, to see if it can be adapted.
 
S

SJS

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I have a question. My depression makes me feel nothing and desire nothing. I have no desires, apart from simply not constantly feeling so horrible.

I am unable to enjoy anything. I am unable to want to do anything. I don't even have physical wants - I have no appetite (it literally feels like I don't have a stomach. I never eat in the day because I'm not hungry. I never feel empty, weak and my stomach doesn't gurgle or grumble). I don't have any normal sleep desires. I am sleepy a lot, but I don't know how it feels to go to bed because I'm tired. I'm never tired when I go to bed. I have also never had a sex drive. No interest and no desire whatsoever.

So how does that work with your (very valid) thoughts / theory?
I have two theories for this, i'll go into dealing with all of them briefly, all of which are not mutually exclusive :

A) Your desire is subconscious (beyond your conscious awareness)

B) You have become adept at avoiding your feelings to the point of disassociation. This can feel like a kind of numbness. Like you want nothing, but really, you're just so disconnected from your feelings that you can no longer associate with them.

C) Your desire not to feel miserable is creating a "feedback loop from hell" i mentioned in the OP. When you want control of your own mind it creates a feedback loop. This is because your mind is NOT you, but something that happens to you.

Remember this : if you truly desired nothing, you would not feel anything at all. I am sure of one thing, that you want something, even if it is simply something to want.

So you want something, you simply do not have awareness of what it is yet. You must really ask yourself questions on WHY you feel how you feel. Why is it you feel nothing is worth doing? I can't read your mind for you, but it may be tied to nihilism perhaps.

Of course, don't let me put ideas in your head. Only you can really uncover what it truly is.

Some other ideas :

-If the feeling of wanting to want something is making you depressed, then your depression may be coming from a place of feeling like you need a meaning in your life. Like you NEED to want something. You actually don't need to want anything, and nor do you need a meaning. So in this instance you'd confront the feeling of needing to want, and where that comes from.

-Your desire of not wanting to feel miserable creates a feedback loop. In this instance you need to give up on controlling your own mind. This sounds crazy but.. To change your mind you have to give up on changing your mind. This means accepting that it is okay to feel depressed, and not making it a problem. By making it a problem, an aim, to be happy, you trap yourself in the feedback loop. Never make an aim for your mind unless it is to giving up trying to control it. Anything else might trap you in a loop.
 
S

SJS

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Quite a bit of that sounds exactly like how i interact with my darkside. For context it's a split in my mind, it's still me but a violent animalistic version that has its own feelings. It is in essence its own creature as part of my whole. It communicates via emotion. For me I really am two. I'm the logical and its emotional. Recently I did give up and allowed it to run my daily life. I can't say it lifted my depression because my memory is hazy while it's in command but I know it does have fun. When it sleeps I reawaken and come here. If I was not split I'd try it. Perhaps you should submit the idea to a study to see if it holds up to scientific scrutiny. It's a really good idea, seriously, but remember most of us have more than depression so you'll need to find ways to adapt it to various combinations like mine.

If you want to throw ideas at me for how my mind works your welcome to, to see if it can be adapted.
The difference between what you describe and what i am suggesting is that for my method you are not giving up control of your body, but merely surrendering to the feelings.

You are just allowing the feelings to be felt, you are not acting on them.
 
S

SJS

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I have a question. My depression makes me feel nothing and desire nothing. I have no desires, apart from simply not constantly feeling so horrible.

I am unable to enjoy anything. I am unable to want to do anything. I don't even have physical wants - I have no appetite (it literally feels like I don't have a stomach. I never eat in the day because I'm not hungry. I never feel empty, weak and my stomach doesn't gurgle or grumble). I don't have any normal sleep desires. I am sleepy a lot, but I don't know how it feels to go to bed because I'm tired. I'm never tired when I go to bed. I have also never had a sex drive. No interest and no desire whatsoever.

So how does that work with your (very valid) thoughts / theory?
I meant three theories..

Also; something else i didn't cover in my response to you.

When accepting nihilism, which means becoming okay with pointlessness, be prepared for a difficult time. Assuming your need for meaning is the root issue. This is because to accept pointlessness is in essence the same as losing everything that matters to you. This is extremely difficult and painful to get over. However, if this is the issue, once you're over it you'll have an extremely emotionally stable and happy life.

In the instance this is the issue, confront the emotions that come from the feeling of pointlessness. Dive into them and allow yourself to feel them fully. Maybe it will come in the form of extreme boredom, or sadness. It doesn't matter what it is, your mind will adapt to dealing with it if you properly allow yourself to feel it.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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Hmmm! Thank you for that! Yes, I do agree. I do actually have desires. I want to NOT feel stressed / anxious / bored and empty all the time. So I WANT to feel better / happier.

I do want to want things. Like, I WANT TO want to be interested in things. I WANT TO want to go places. And not because I feel like I SHOULD want things. I don't really care what I supposedly SHOULD feel. I just DON'T want to stay in bed all day, half asleep and avoiding living my life / doing anything at all, because it's SO BORING. It's really depressing to not WANT to do anything. To get no enjoyment from things.

So actually, you are right. I DO feel things. I'm not numb or dissociated. I DO feel. It's just that those feelings are unpleasant / anxious / bored / empty. I just can't feel pleasure and enjoyment, emotional or physical. And I don't want to feel THAT way.
 
stevie_sloth

stevie_sloth

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I meant three theories..

Also; something else i didn't cover in my response to you.

When accepting nihilism, which means becoming okay with pointlessness, be prepared for a difficult time. Assuming your need for meaning is the root issue. This is because to accept pointlessness is in essence the same as losing everything that matters to you. This is extremely difficult and painful to get over. However, if this is the issue, once you're over it you'll have an extremely emotionally stable and happy life.

In the instance this is the issue, confront the emotions that come from the feeling of pointlessness. Dive into them and allow yourself to feel them fully. Maybe it will come in the form of extreme boredom, or sadness. It doesn't matter what it is, your mind will adapt to dealing with it if you properly allow yourself to feel it.

Ooh no. I am deathly afraid of losing certain things and people that matter to me! I don't believe or feel that life is pointless.
 
M

Mistral

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Thank you for going to the trouble of doing this. Some of what you are saying reminds me of the Buddha's teachings on suffering. I can't remember any of them now. I will have to read them again.
I also thought that a lot of what was written in the first post was similar to Buddhist teachings. For example, letting go of desire and cravings is part of what they call the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism.
 
D

Dazed & Confused

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I also thought that a lot of what was wrote in the first post was similar to Buddhist teachings. For example, letting go of desire and cravings is part of what they call the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism.
Yes, that's what I thought too.
 
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SJS

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I also thought that a lot of what was written in the first post was similar to Buddhist teachings. For example, letting go of desire and cravings is part of what they call the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism.
Yes, i agree. I wouldn't describe myself as a buddhist at all, but i believe there is a lot of stock in what they believe when it comes to mental health.

In essence, what i find so powerful about the concept of the buddha is the surrender. Not to depress anyone further, but i believe everything we do is eventually lost to time. Humanity will be lost, everything we've done will be lost.. It is all already gone. Now i don't see that in a negative way at all. I just understand it as true.

It makes me let go of everything i try to hold onto in life because at some point, whether i like it or not, it will be taken from me in one way or another. Be it by death itself, or by some other thing.

In terms of mental health? Giving up and letting go is extremely powerful...I'd argue the majority of mental health issues are caused by people being unable to give up. Hope is actually a really dangerous thing for a person's health, and the world we live in does nothing but tell you to "achieve achieve achieve", and "never give up!".. But this type of stuff doesn't seem to be in line with accepting the objective reality, that being that entropy always wins. All your achievements mean nothing in the span of time.

The desire to achieve, for most (in my opinion), comes from a feeling of incompleteness. Human society has a habit of telling you that you're incomplete, and then shows what completeness looks like (usually in the form of celebrities and such). Then people spend(or waste) their lives trying to attain this idea of completeness that someone else planted in their head, assisted and supported by their feeling of incompleteness. But it is all just a head game you're playing with yourself.

It is the feeling of incompleteness that stops them realizing they always were complete to begin with.
 

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