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What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

Did you ever lack motivation until the point of asking yourself why you should leave your bed? Have you felt like you had no control over what is going on around you? Like, nothing makes sense and no matter what you do, it is not enough? Did you feel worthless and guilty for something out of your control?

Depression feels closer to that and then it finds the way to go beyond, because it’s goal is not to wound or disable. Depression aims to kill. It has beaten me down thousand times, and I want to show you its dangerous tricks.

1. Bye, bye motivation…

Welcome, apathy.

It is a weird feeling that starts crippling your being. It acts almost unnoticeable in the beginning, like things are getting heavier in your mind. They lose color and brightness, fading into something that becomes a duty more than anything else.

I remember not wanting to write or read. The TV shows I followed started making a queue. Thinking about projects or plans made me snap and complain. I avoided getting involve in new things because nothing seemed appealing.

From things that are intellectually engaging —like new projects- to the physical aspect —like sex or sports, nothing awakes your curiosity. All seems dull and pointless. Trips, festivities, visits… all have an odd taste, like flavorless.

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It is a tragedy, and it gets worse.

2. Being bored to death

This might be surprising if you have never been through a rough episode, but it can get really, extremely boring. Depression will suck out all the happiness of things in your life little by little.

Yes, since motivation doesn’t boost your spirit anymore, your enjoyment gradually decreases. Going out seems like way too much effort. Movies don’t make you feel engaged anymore, neither conversations nor hobbies. You might do it because it is what you are supposed to do —and because otherwise people would get suspicious.

But the truth is that your interests start decreasing until they almost disappear. You want to kill time but don’t know how, and days just get longer and longer. I sleep. A lot. Others get intro alcohol or drugs to boost their senses or get numb.

And one day you find yourself bored to death, wondering what happened to the person you used to be. Deep down you know that something is wrong, and that is when it starts getting really scary.

3. Depression brings up the guiltiness

This is probably the worst of all the side effects of this disease, and all its outcomes —professionally and personally— are devastating.

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When it reaches dangerous limits, depression will hold you back from carrying on with your normal life until the point of neglecting your duties and responsibilities.

In my case, I couldn’t get myself out of the bed in the mornings —it just seemed pointless- which led me to miss way too many classes. I wasn’t even able to go to birthday-parties or other kind of social gatherings. I couldn’t find a reason to move on.

I felt the worst human being on earth, and the more down I felt the less I wanted to engage with things. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is a real trouble. You become fearful of others and guiltiness attacks your reason.

In any case you are responsible for not being able to get up. You are not lazy or irresponsible, but you will torture yourself again and again feeling disappointed for something you can’t even control.

That is why one of the first lessons I had to learn is to treat myself compassionately. Breaking through that circle of negativity is incredibly tough.

4. Hopelessly worthless

Do you know what is a vicious circle? “A situation in which an attempt to resolve one problem creates new problems that lead back to the original situation.”

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I can’t count how many times I caught myself thinking “you are worthless,” “nothing of what you do is worth it,” “you should just give up and crawl into your bed.” That is called irrational thinking. Of course, it doesn’t have to make sense.

You are demotivated, bored, exhausted and tired; you feel guilty and frightened; everything you do is wrong and everybody will blame you if they discover it. The light at the end of the tunnel gets smaller and smaller until the point you end up believing you deserve what is happening to you.

It is a terrible feeling, probably the worst I have ever felt. I couldn’t stop thinking and I made up any kind of stories and excuses to believe it. That is why it is so hard to fight this monster, because it uses everything it can despite making sense or not.

5. This is a never-ending battle

I have a recurrent, unjustified disorder. That means it comes and goes for no reason. If you ask me why, I can’t answer: it just happens.

Actually, I was doing incredibly great lately when all of a sudden, I found myself unable to sit down and work, sleeping 13 hours average per day and barely eating. All that after spending months rocking like a pro writer, freelancing and starting a bunch of new projects.

Do you realize how painful it is to look back and have no reason to justify that? And the worst is that I know it will happen again. For me, it is cyclic. I can’t know when it will be back but I now that one day I will find it hanging around the neighborhood again.

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What do you do when you face that kind of situation? I work. I work as much as I can during my good times. I give everything to make sure I will have something to hold on to while I am navigating through the storm. And, of course, I find support.

There are thousands, millions of people out there enduring this misery. There are communities dedicated to help and offer support. I do help when I can, because it is necessary. I know depression is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but I can’t wait for it to go away to start living my life.

So don’t let it win the war. This, today, is just a battle. It might go better or worse but what really matters is that you tried and that tomorrow you will keep striving. Never give up. Give your 100% each day, even if today’s 100% is just breathing and taking a shower.

You are worth living this life.

More by this author

A Sorry Letter To Myself, Though That “Me” Doesn’t Exist Anymore What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression 5 Reasons Why Youth is a Time of No Regret Step-By-Step Guide: How To Manage Your Anger

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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