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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Depression: Deep Statement of Anger, Not Sadness

Everyone is affected by depression at one time or another in their life. 

Dealing emotionally with depression is hard and creates problems in your life and relationships. The quote "Depression is anger turned inward" has been taught and passed around for years as a way of understanding the process of this deep emotional depression. I always felt the sentence was not complete. The definition didn't explain enough. There was not an ending to this quote so no one could figure it out. 

Over time the end of the quote came to mind."Depression is anger at yourself, turned inward, for your inability to perform up to or fulfill expectations of yourself or others according to yourself, family, friends or social standards. This now the statement is complete, makes sense and has closure. 

Then over thinking sets in. Along with the anger due to depression, there is a tendency to isolate and withdraw in order not to fail again. Perceptions become distorted, and emotions skew toward being false based on the distorted perceptions. Which, in turn, causes harmful thoughts and behaviors to turn to self-defeating, raise fear and in severe cases moves into suicidal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

For example, when our country or any other country performs poorly economically it goes into in what is called a "period of depression" by national and global economic standards. Humans respond in the same manner. If we lose a job, a relationship or a sports contest we experience feelings of depression. 

So next time you have depressed feeling as the result of life events, look at how you are judging your performance against and at what or whose standards to compare yourself to. 

Recognize those beliefs, feelings, and thoughts on what you have learned from your experiences and make an action plan to improve your situation and life. You have the power to change what expectations you strive for.
                                     Coach Bill

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