I have been there. I know what it feels like. And I know that when you are depressed — not just a bit sad or melancholy but sunk in the muck — it seems like nothing can help. You get mired down.
I have an idea that can help.
Step one — Stop trying to cure your depression. Stop trying to feel good. That doesn’t work. In order to get out of the muck, you need another approach.
Step two – Instead of trying to solve the puzzle of why you feel so lousy, just commit to getting moving. Not fast moving. But just a little slow moving. Get out of bed. Wash the dishes. Go back to bed, but just for 15 minutes. And so on. You will feel lousy while you are moving, but at least you are in motion. Not just stuck in the muck. Congratulate yourself for taking this step.
Need help? Read Cskiszentmihalyi’s Flow.
Step three – commit to tracking the things that you do. After you do something, ask yourself, how could I have done that better? The next chance you get, try to do it better. Track if it works.
The thing is that depression gets out of control when the self starts attacking the self. This happens in the brain. In my case, it started from a sense of being overwhelmed by responsibilities. I started accusing myself of being a failure.
Trying to feel better doesn’t stop the attack. But when you move, you create new neural paths in the brain. Very small neural paths. Very vulnerable to being forgotten or attacked. But if you nurture these new neural paths, you re-wire the brain. Slowly. One step at a time. Gradually, the brain wiring that produced the attack loses its predominance over other neural pathways. The depression doesn’t disappear. But its effects are lessened.
This worked for me. Go for it.