How to Win the War on Depression Today

We are born to disappointments. All of us meet them. Some are more sensitive to their point and bitter than others. We are often lofty in our wish, or sanguine in our expectation, that disappointments cannot but come. They come from foes and friends. They come in prosperity and adversity. Let’s talk more about how to win the war on depression.

There are two sides to the events which occur and which seem so discouraging to us a dark side and a bright side. We are prone to look only on the dark side, to see only what is gloomy and discouraging. We find a melancholy satisfaction in being miserable, and in making ourselves more unhappy, as if we had been wronged, and as if there were a kind of virtue in dejection and gloom in refusing, to be comforted. We keep chewing some bitter morsel and rolling it under our tongues so as to suck all the bitterness out of it that we can. Many of us are in great darkness, without knowing, or being able to discover the reason.

A bee has an eye, for I do not know how many facets, which multiply the one thing it looks at into an enormous number. Some of us have eyes made on that fashion, or rather we manufacture for our eyes spectacles on that plan, by which we look at our griefs or our depressing circumstances, and see them multiplied and nothing but them.

We are not merely burdened, we are possessed by a feverish uncertainty. We no longer look at things calmly and therefore truly, and everything appears to us in monstrous and distorted guise. There is no more fatal minister in human life than the disquieted eye. So long as the eye can gaze at things with a cool and quiet vision we see things in their true perspective and proportion. But when the eye is shaken into restlessness its focus is perverted, and everything is seen awry. The disquieted soul is not only possessed of a restless eye, but it is also the possessor of a nerveless hand.

Nothing is so bad as a continued and allowed downheartedness. The conviction that the circumstances around us are stronger than we can handle. There are times when life itself becomes burdensome and is often shortened, by excessive grief. It magnifies troubles. It drags at and prevents work. It shadows blessings, making the hard things in life prominent rather than the ameliorating things. By recognition of the fact that downheartedness is worst for us, we ought to esteem it as bad for us as a malignant tumor and do all we can to cure it before it grows and becomes fatal.

Some people constantly depreciate themselves, and they are thought sincere and humble persons. The truth is it is nothing more than a habit, or worse, an affected self-depreciation. The feeling of self-depreciation pervades the soul in the presence or recollection of some higher examples in matters of life and ambition. An artist of sensitive appreciation of superiority in the presence of a genuine piece of art depreciates to the dust his own performances. A poet with a true poetic sense, when they read or hear some grand poetry, feel very low in their own view. So is it in other things in life.

We Are Human. We Can’t Do Everything. We Can’t Control Everything. We Can’t Be Everywhere. We Can’t Understand Everything. We Can’t Be Someone Else. We Can Be What We Are. We Can Be The Best Of What We Are.

What do we learn from this war

  1. We cannot control our thoughts nor our moods directly. We can do a great deal to regulate, modify and diminish those of them that need diminishing. Increase those thoughts that need to be increased, by looking at the reasons for them.
  2. Question yourselves about your moods, and especially about your sad moods, and you will have gone a long way to make yourselves bigger and happier people than you have ever been before.
  3. The heaviness of heart is often caused by bringing the future into the present. We go out to meet the cares and difficulties of tomorrow, while we are bearing and battling with those of today. Planning is good. Over-anxiety is a pain. Sorrow in prospect is much more bitter and grievous than it is in actual experience.
  4. We are worth very little unless there is a tribunal in us to which we bring up our feelings and make them justify their existence and tell us what they mean by their noise and their complaining.
  5. Everything has two handles. The aspect of any event depends largely on the beholder’s point of view. There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
  6. Despondency must have a cause. If we can discover it, in any case, the old proverb holds good that a knowledge of the disease is half its cure.
  7. What can your anxiety do for you? Can it avert what you dread? No. But it hastens it. In many respects, our health, our outward well-being, and that of our household are committed to our own keeping and can be safely kept only by a self-collected mind and a quiet heart.
  8. Look at the past and it will answer. The vast preponderance with us has always been on the side of happiness. If we have been long of this foreboding habit, not one in a hundred of the sorrows that we have apprehended has reached us. Those, also, that have overtaken us have been lighter than we feared.
  9. No effort at tranquilizing our hearts is wholly lost. Did you ever see a child upon a swing? Each oscillation goes a little higher. Each starts from the same lowest point, but the elevation on either side increases with each renewed effort until at last the destined height is reached. So we may if I might so say, by degrees, by reiterated efforts, swing ourselves and stand high above all that breeds agitation and gloom.
  10. Outward trouble will not hurt us much so long as it keeps to the outward. The sailor cares not because the green waves with crested heads curl over and dash against the ship, shaking it from stem to stern. Trouble for the sailor is when from one to another the whisper passes through the ship, “We have sprung a leak.” The water in the hold is more dreaded than all the ocean without. Let not what is outside and temporal affect you on the inside.

Posted by Philomon Sylvester


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