Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coping with moods

There are times when I slip into a depressed mood. It was more frequent when I was a teenager. Now it is not particularly common, but it has happened a few times in the past two weeks. When I am not in such a mood, I understand the following things:
  • Often, I become depressed when I am coming down with a cold. I don't realize it at the time, I just feel depressed. Then the next day when I wake up with a sore throat, it's like the dawn hits me: "Oh, the reason things seemed bad is not because they are bad, but because I was coming down with something."
  • During the times in my life when I regularly talk to someone I feel connected with, I don't get depressed.
  • I am also less susceptible to depression when I live with someone, even if it is someone I don't feel connected with.
  • I am most susceptible to depression in the evening, and when I'm home alone.
  • Getting lost in a fictional world for a long time (in the past, I watched TV, not it's only books) can cause depression, but it can also cure depression. It seems to me that during the absorption in the fictional world, there comes a time when I hit bottom or something, and after that, I come back from the depression.
  • Listening to music or doing movement such as dance or tai chi can be helpful.
  • I tend to be depressed when I come home from an event at which there were many people and I did not feel connected to them.
I have been more susceptible in the past two weeks because one of the people I normally feel I can connect with has not been available, because I came down with a cold, and because I went on a trip that was probably beyond my energy level. In times when I feel fine, such as now, I have been thinking about these things, trying to understand it, so that I can prevent depression, or can respond appropriately when it hits. And yet when it does hit, I feel no desire to apply wisdom to the situation. My desire at the time is to indulge the depression. But sometimes the voice of wisdom can overcome the voice of desire. One thing that helps wisdom to overcome desire in such a situation is the discipline of habit, and for me at this time in my life, that comes from druidry. Druidry is what tells me to meditate, practice ritual, and spend time outdoors. Sometimes I don't feel like doing them, but when I do them, they help to bring peace of mind.

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