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Defeating Depression; Putting Yourself in Control

Updated on July 22, 2015
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Finally fusing the final strings, radiating with jubilee after surmounting that formidable task, attaining to reach the peak of the mountain that you just couldn't move, and then...
you crash back down.

Now, how many of you have actually felt like that; felt yourself effortlessly shatter even after achieving the greatest of your objectives all because of an insignificant comparison? i.e.: mastering that song you've been working on for weeks only to find someone on Youtube doing it better; completing that tedious assignment only to find yourself not getting any recognition, yet that coworker that fools around on the computer during all the right moments gains more brownie points with the boss; hoping to achieve your dream only to find the process too complicated because everyone else makes it seem just oh-so-easy?

It's funny how in the age of technology, where everyone has the tools to attempt and reach anything even from their nice cozy beanbag chair, many people are feeling more diminished; hopeless, rather than hopeful. Now, why is that?
You may sometimes be thinking to yourself: "I work myself just as hard as the other guy, sometimes even harder , so why do I feel like all of my efforts are futile? Why can't I just be happy?"

It seems that depression has become a more prevalent issue in which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): 1 in 10 of Americans are suffering from depression; now, yeah, that's only 10%, but that's 10% of 316 million people, that's 31 million people, and the statistics depict that there will continue to be an annual rise of 20% more diagnoses.


So, why does any of the above matter, and why are you wasting time reading this? Because I want to divulge some information which may help you view life a different way and which may make your day at least 1% better.

Okay, enough extraneous rambling; here's what I've got to tell you:
This age of technology has opened us to many things, more than we take notice for, and this is where the phrase "tread lightly" truly applies.
We've accustomed to expecting and demanding. Because of our highly competitive society, along with our inborn desire to prevail, and we've become dependent upon being the best, or else we feel as if we're nothing at all. Constantly, most of us check social media or some other news feed in which we become informed upon accomplishments and discoveries being made, and the first thing most of us think of, aside from "hey, that's pretty cool.", is "why can't that be me?"
"When will I be able to accomplish something as noteworthy as this? What legacy will I be able to leave? Since everyone is accomplishing everything and I'm not doing anything except reading amateur freelance articles and spamming people with Candy Crush invites, then I'm nothing, and I should feel guilty for not accomplishing anything up to this point."

Now, to what extent some of us feel that varies, but I can guarantee that at one point or another you allowed yourself to feel that way and all it did was make you feel bad about yourself; in fact, many admit to feeling useless because they constantly compare themselves to others, and that's a factor to why we've reached the highest suicide rate in 25 years: 19.88%, according to the CDC 2012 statistics data; about 12.6 suicides per 100,000 Americans.


With this in mind how many times have you caught yourself doing the same thing? Comparing your accomplishments to someone else and completely degrading yourself?
That's the first step to happiness; who cares if a person can ____ better than you? If everyone were the same, or if you were always better, than it'd be like replaying the same level of a game that you've mastered hundreds of times already. How mundane.

That leads to the second step: stop using challenges as a setback; rather than a hindrance, use it as a motivating factor.
Remember when you received your first paycheck, or solved that tedious math problem, or even the first time you didn't burn the popcorn? Didn't you feel at least a bit accomplished? That's how you should feel every time you achieve something. Get rid of the "oh, yeah, I did this, but I'm sure others could have accomplished it sooner/better than me" mindset. You did it, you spent your energy and gave it your all.
Those "accomplished folks" have gone through the same process, they just used it as a motivating force; don't diminish your accomplishments. We all learn at our own pace and accomplishing something once will allow you to build on it and reach that level of recognition, it just takes time; give yourself credit for what you do, even if it's just getting up in the morning and making it through the day.

On the aspect of time and demand, a large hindrance is that we expect to achieve satisfaction instantaneously; if accomplishment doesn't immediately follow, then we've failed and we feel as useless as like the second ALT or CTRL key on our keyboards.
If you focus on getting something done and learning to be satisfied with whatever outcome, then you'll find yourself more happy than if you expect an immediate outcome or something in return. Do things for yourself, not for others.

If something goes as planned, awesome, give yourself a pat on the back! If not, accept it and look forward to retrying and succeeding; show how your flame of desire can't be easily extinguished. After all, what's lingering in anger or remorse going to do? In the end you'll simply end up wasting more time and add on to your guilt.

Don't forget to look past someone's limelight; everyone else has been where you are, they just learned to persevere through their hardships, so can you.

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Recap

  • Respect yourself and others' accomplishments; that could be you someday and you wouldn't want others belittling your worth.
  • Your weakness will unlock your strength, only time will reveal.
  • Hardship and failure is necessary for being able to appreciate accomplishments.
  • Don't focus on self-depreciation; compare to carry on,
  • Don't always expect and demand; accept things for the way they are because not all is within your control.
  • Don't compare others' best with your worst, they've probably been exactly where you were and chose not to stay downtrodden.
  • Reward yourself for even simple tasks that may not seem like much, but pay off in the end; just don't get full of yourself.
  • Happiness is a state of mind, a state of acceptance; don't always expect for the tangible.
  • Slow down and take a breather; if you aim to accomplish everything at once, what will be left?

When you still feel useless, take a moment to realize that

  • You've learned to read, speak, and interact with others; that's more difficult than you give yourself credit for.
  • You've already been through and conquered so much in the last __ year(s), why stop now?
  • Make a list of all of the people you've met, and remember all the times you've helped them out or made them smile
  • As long as you breathe and as long as your heart beats, there's always still time to try something new.
  • Challenges built character, they've made you who you are, and I'm sure you're not alone; there'll always be someone backing you up, whether you realize it or not, even me, the Jackass Freelance Writer
  • Moments of sadness and pain allow us to appreciate happiness and satisfaction when it occurs; something as simple as getting complimented or hanging out with friends can mean a lot more than a hundred extra bucks on a check
  • Hey, you've made it to the end of this article and get to take out your frustration or anger on me or to go ahead and click that 'x' on your tab/browser; you still have energy remaining even after your long day, kudos to you.

Have you unlocked a new perspective upon happiness?

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