Literatus: Winning over severe depression

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

MILD depression is normal. Your significant one left; your latest board exam failed for the second time; lost a 15-day salary in a taxi… anyone feels that once in a while. Feeling down for normal reasons, that’s definitely normal.

However, feeling blue for reasons beyond the necessary, that’s entirely different. It’s obsessing at getting depressed. The death of my favorite comedian Robin Williams showed how depression spiraled into a bottomless pit.

The 2000 revised edition of the DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association) diagnoses major depressive disorder in the presence of at least five of the nine symptoms (visit my blog for the list of these symptoms).


In summary, depression colors everything dark, every struggle helpless, and every prospect hopeless. It is dark pessimism at its worst, dominating the mind. In acute situations, medication greatly helps in reversing chemically the general sense experience, forcing in the needed emotional balance while controlling the downward spiral. However, long-term protection against severe depression happens when a person has learned the mental skill of combating these pervasive negative thoughts from dominating the mind. In a nutshell, act on these five.

Dissociate from the depressive thoughts. Stare at this darkness from afar. Relax, and take not yourself seriously. Challenge its accuracy and truthfulness. Discover that the depression simply forced these thoughts as correct.

Honestly permit yourself to be imperfect. Forgive yourself from your mistakes. Shake off the dust, then move on.

Associate with positive people. Depression tends to isolate. Never let it. Fight back, and associate with people who care; but then only those who see the bright side of life. Enjoy the times with them.

Write the negative thoughts away. Jot down all negative thoughts as they come. Let them go. Once its impact has weakened, inspect it and realize how the depression exaggerated their correctness.

Hold on to the virtuous and beautiful about you. Amidst the darkness of depression, you continue to be a decent and a beautiful person. Strive to remember and hold on to what is respectable about you and all noble deeds you did in the past. The right time comes to let your virtues and good works rescue you.

Renew your relationship with God. If you used to believe in God, the time has come to renew your faith and relationship with him. Depression cannot defeat those who trust in God’s love. Pray and seek His aid. Each time you look up to Heaven, you release the gloom inside.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2014.


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