Here you will find Dr. Mindset’s Pick of the Month. This Month’s Pick is on
Coping with depression on your own
Coping with depression on your own is very hard. Whether you’re away from family, lack friends or simply don’t have a supportive network of either, undergoing a bout of depression without such support is deeply difficult. However, this lack of a social network may be part of what is contributing to your depression, and as hard as that can be to face, acknowledging this can be a vital part of your self-care, aiding your journey back to wholeness.
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Removing technological negativity
- Consider going on a techno-diet. If you have inhabited an online world filled with negativity, from cyber-bullying and trolling, to a constant feed of negative news and preachy commentators, it can mess with your head. Removing yourself from all of this negativity can clear your mind and provide you with a broader perspective of what really matters in the world. Most of all, it can help you to regain your sense of self that can sometime get shifted dramatically by constantly reading too many negative opinions online.
Remember that while many people may use the online sphere to share a prescription for how people (such as yourself) should be behaving/living/voting/believing, etc., much of the commentary is no more than opinion and when it is angry opinion, it’s an ill-informed reflection of what such commentators feel is missing in their own lives. Do not take it to heart!
- Switch off your laptop or computer. Pull the plug on your phone. Stop using any digital device that you know you have a strong attachment to. Decide to take a break for several days, a week or even a month. If you feel you can’t live without it, that’s often a sign you need to learn how, in order to restore balance and self-control.
- Set in place a disciplined regime for future use of such devices. After taking a break, consider carefully how you’ll interact with the online sphere in future. Which elements were feeding your depression? It could be attacking and being attacked on forums, texting too much, reading too much into people’s Facebook updates, trying to be a fount of all knowledge on Twitter, etc. Whatever has driven you to feel down as a result of online usage needs to be tackled and removed for all future interactions. Some ideas to help include:
Answer emails at a set time each day. Do not stray beyond this time; let people know that if it’s urgent, they need to phone you. Your emails should not dictate your life.
Withdraw immediately from forums that get heated. Do not get drawn into any messy or nasty online discussions. Nothing is gained by such flare-ups; come back when things have calmed down (including you).
Stop reading the news. The world won’t fall apart because you’ve stopped reading nasty stories. Be more nuanced and choosy about the news items that you do read; stay informed on specific topics, such as business news or humanitarian efforts, by getting Google alerts or particular news feeds without dipping into any of the sensationalist stories aimed at making people feeling worse. Remind yourself that you do not have a duty to read sensationalism (and remember GIGO––garbage in, garbage out); there are plenty of positive ways to keep constructively engaged with the wider world.
If something causes you to feel negative, stop looking at it, stop using it, stop interacting with it. Period.
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