WHAT I F: (de)pression

Whenever I have to explain the vicious cycle of depression, I use parallelism to make it easily understood. Imagine that X is in a maze. The path is complicated, and X’s initial goal is to find the exit. During X’s attempts to reach his goal, X gets lost and cannot easily find the exit. Therefore, X uses up all his/her energy, going around the same path. As a result, X is tired and loses his/her interest because X has to take care of other needs now (i.e., the need to gain energy). Inevitably, the immediate goal changes and becomes to increase the energy levels. Meanwhile, X realizes that X cannot immediately find the exit. So, X starts feeling hopeless, angry, and maybe incompetent in reaching his/her initial goal; to find the exit. This situation leads X to be stuck in the maze.      

Now. Let’s pause and examine the situation as it is. At this point, the reasons that X was found in the maze are unknown; yet anyone can get themselves into this maze. X got lost- maybe because X didn’t know how to choose to ignore the signs or was misguided. However, instead of giving himself/herself the required time to rest, X decided to change goals to satisfy a basic need (i.e., energy levels). Then, X decides to tackle all goals at a time, leading to feelings of overwhelm and disappointment of not finding the exit. As a result, X becomes mentally paralyzed, stays stuck in the maze, and loses more energy; hence, there are more chances of staying in the maze for longer.  

If you leave yourself in the maze for long enough, then your body will adapt to the conditions of the maze. In other words, your set of normalcy changes. For example, feelings of anxiety, hopelessness inadequate sleep, and diet can become part of your everyday life. Consecutively, you cultivate an environment where you force your biology to change (e.g., sensitive stomach, prone to headaches, sleep, and respiratory problems).  

So, what’s the moral of the story? At any stage of the story, the protagonist has the responsibility for his/her actions and the way he/she feels. The sooner you realize that something is derailing you from your initial goal, then, ASK for help. No need to waste your time blaming the reason for being in the maze or why you didn’t figure out the exit sooner. You were not born knowing nor taught how to deal with being in depression. Be patient and equip yourself with the appropriate tools, to achieve your goals and have a healthy life.