where a woman can build her strength and freedom

How do we prevent a sink into depression?

Fight hard, like this boxer, to prevent depression.

Everyone has depressed feelings sometimes.
Anyone who tells you they don’t is either lying or manic.
Feeling down from time to time is entirely normal.
It’s just part of living. Life is hard, and sometimes it gets to us.
Depression is different.

It isn’t a passing feeling. It’s a defeated state of being.
Once we sink into depression, we have a hell of a time getting out of it.
That’s why it makes sense to prevent a sink into depression before it happens.

But how do we DO that?

Self awareness

The first thing we need is awareness of our own state of mind.
You can begin right now to pay more attention
to what is going on in your head.
I bet you spend a lot of time
thinking about what is going on in other people’s heads. 🙂
But now it’s time to turn off the internet
and listen to your own mind.

What do you hear?
Well, if you are like all the rest of humanity
you will hear a battle going on.
A battle between one side of your mind and the other.
This battle is going on in you today,
and will be going on till the day you die.
The outcome of this battle will be the key factor
determining how your life goes.

The two sides of the battle

On one side is your healthy ego. This is your I/your soul/your self.
On the other side is your inner enemy.
Religions call it the devil.
Psychoanalysts (like me) call it your sadistic superego.
It’s the destructive part of your mind.
It attempts to destroy your ego.
It does this by lying to you and attacking you.

If allowed, it makes continuous vicious destructive accusations against you:
You’re a loser. You’re ugly. You’re a fat, useless slob. You’re an idiot. You’re hopeless.
You are nothing but a burden. Everyone would be better off without you.”

Jim Morrison, the lead singer for The Doors, was aware of the battle.
Unfortunately, he listened to his inner enemy and committed suicide.
But before he died he left a warning to us
in his song Riders On the Storm:

There’s a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin’ like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If you give this man a ride
Sweet family will die
Killer on the road, yeah
Link to: The Doors – Riders on the Storm

Awareness of the battle must lead to ACTION

The job of your healthy ego is to shut down these accusations
and stop the attacks.
You must tell your inner enemy to “Go to hell.”
Recognize that this smooth talker is out to kill you.
Laugh at all the idiotic accusations coming at you
and kick the murderous hitchhiker out of your car.
NEVER pick up his lies and accusations
and start beating your own head to a pulp with them!

Even if there is a grain of truth in some of the accusations of weakness
do not give them any power.

Maybe you are overweight, just lost your job or your partner, just flunked your exam, etc.
But your sadistic superego only wants to make it worse.
It wants to cause you to sink into depression
by beating you down mercilessly
and convincing you to GIVE UP and QUIT.

This is exactly the opposite of what your healthy ego wants to do.
Your healthy ego wants to overcome your feelings of defeat and make it better.
It wants to face any weaknesses you have, and build yourself stronger.

So, how do you prevent a sink into depression?

1) Become aware of the battle going on in your mind,
and learn to recognize the voice of your inner enemy.

2) Notice the first stages of any destructive attack being launched
by your inner enemy against your ego.

3) Unleash your ego’s fire power,
and immediately shoot the lies and accusations down in flames!

4) Have the courage to recognize, face and deal constructively with your actual weaknesses
so that you will become even stronger and more capable of preventing future attacks.

Who dares, wins.
You can DO this!

Dr. Hall

PS For more on the battle, please see First steps to build your mind