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Anxiety and Depression

By Ray Terris

I did not intend to write anything about anxiety and depression in a website about success. However when I realized how prevalent they are in todays society I knew that I had to offer some help. Depression hurts people of all ages. I am not a medical doctor and if you have chronic depression you should seek professional help.


Causes of Depression

There are many causes of anxiety and depression, they are usually based on the pressures that other people and society put on us. Adolescent depression is far too common. Young people particularly try to please their peers and the adults around them. From a very early age we are bombarded with other peoples ideas and expectations and made to feel that anyone who does not meet their standards is somehow a failure.

You have to have a good education, you must pass these exams, get a good job, make lots of money, find a mate, get drunk..... "You cant do it? What a loser." Education, money and so on can be important but happiness comes first.

It is a wonder that anybody gets past puberty with any sanity left. We have to stop driving our young people crazy. I really do not believe that life is supposed to be some sort of rat race competition. We should be teaching our children, and ourselves, that life should be an enjoyable experience.

What is the point of pressuring a teenager to become this or do that, you are going to drive them into so much anxiety and depression that life is not worth living. Too often their solution is suicide.


Depression Self Help

Step one: You are not a loser, put that firmly in your head. You are a miracle of creation, you survived birth, you have survived this long and there is nobody better at being you than you. Nobody should have to live up to someone else's expectations, let them live up to their own, you have your life to live. This does not mean that you should not listen to advice or suggestions, you can learn a lot that way, but be your own person.

Anxiety and depression are introversion, looking inwards, it is time to come out. So here is how to go about...


Fighting Depression

Anxiety and depression hurts, it is not a nice place to be, you have to fight back. One of the nasty things about depression is that it makes you not want to do anything, except give up. Get tough with it, adopt the attitude that you are not going to let anxiety and depression rule you. Fighting depression is not always easy but it can be done.

It will not be easy to get started on the steps below but once you do, things get easier almost instantly. Have faith in yourself and take half an hour to get started, you will see that it does work. A little push now or a lifetime of misery later.


My Depression Cure

When you wake up, say out loud "Hello world" and smile, even if you have to fake it at first. Admire the day, even if it is raining appreciate that the plants need watering.

Go to a park or country setting and look around. Find a tree and take a good look at it, feel the bark and leaves, push on it to feel how strong it is. Then tell it that it is a good looking tree. Then look at some birds, animals and plants, notice something that you could like about them and compliment them on it.

I know that this sounds silly at first but a little silliness goes a long way towards curing anxiety and depression, making a life brighter. People will sometimes tell me that I am weird, I agree with them, I would hate to be normal. The normal in our society is rushed, worried and depressed, why be normal, be extraordinary. You should not go out of your way to be different, just be yourself.


The Game of Life

Find some goofy things to do. Have a water fight, roll down a hill, be 'childish'. Laughter is a good depression cure, it is very hard to stay depressed when you are laughing.

I remember in my late teens I had two friends who would act silly with me, just harmless playing around. There was one occasion when we were at the beach and there was a summer thunderstorm, everybody else ran to take shelter in a small cafe. We stood outside, linked arms and started dancing and 'singing in the rain', waving at the others through the window. A police officer came over and asked "having fun boys?", my friend said "Yes sir, we sure are." The policeman laughed and said "Good for you, keep it up", I think we brightened up his day.

The one thing that I noticed was that some of the people were giving us nasty looks and some were laughing at us. Three young ladies came out and joined us in the rain dancing, it was great. I realized that most of the people in the restaurant were actually jealous, wishing that they could let loose, I felt sorry for them.

You can have fun with just about everything, some things are important but they do not have to be serious.


All Things Pass

In my final year of school in England we had to take some exams called GCEs, General Certificate of Education from the University of London. We were led to believe that to have a good career you had to pass some of these. I was terrified of taking exams and they were a huge problem to me. The night before the first exam I was so worried that I went outside and started crying (Huh? guys aren't supposed to cry). It was obviously the end of the world.

When I looked up at the stars they did not seem worried, nor did the trees, they would still be there. This calmed me down, I realized that they were just tests, something to challenge me. If I passed or failed no big deal, life would go on. I am sure that if I had gone into those exams terrified, as many did, I would have failed them all. I passed all four exams that I took.

Looking back now, I know that passing those exams made absolutely no difference in my life for the long run. Yes I did get a 'good' job, it was so boring that I quit and went out to do what I wanted to. I have never regretted it.

Anxiety and depression hurts, give them up and start enjoying life the way you want to, regardless of what other people might expect of you. Yes take responsibility, be a good citizen, because anything else will cause you grief, but do it on your own terms. For even more on this look at Building Self Esteem.

Check out my other pages on Self Improvement and when you feel ready for it check out Unlock the Passion and How to set Goals to give your life direction.

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