Photos of Conan in Movies

Beating Depression

Tuesday, 09 January 2007

Everyone suffers from depression every so often, this is not such a big deal IF you can turn your thoughts around to beating depression... otherwise you can sink lower and lower into your troubles until they seem to be your whole world.

There have been times in my life when beating depression has been a rigorous daily exercise , even just recently... 

#1 TIP: You are most likely Magnesium deficient, get a good organic based supplement, some Magnesium cannot be absorbed by your body so don't go the numbers do a little research. I personally went from massive depression and lethargy laying on the couch all day to jumping about like my normal manic self injust three days after taking a good quality magnesium supplement.

Epsom salts are a good way to boost your magnesium, take a bath in a cupful. (UPDATE 2015: I now add a teaspoon of Magnesium Chloride crystals to 6 litres of drinking water that I ingest daily, MgCl can be bought online easily.)

Several months ago, there seemd to be little happening for me, no jobs where forthcoming, no movies were scheduled and it looked like the Military Coup here had scared away foreign investors.

Things were looking bad as no foreign movies can get insurance so they move to other countries, same with the larger budget foreign TV commercials, so work prospects were minimal to say the best, the new government had started anti-foreigner propaganda with an announced plan to nationalise all foreign owner businessesand the rednecks who'd openly slander/abuse you in the street as a foreigner.


I planned to move to Phom Penh, Cambodia  and teach English for 6 months until Thailand sorted itself out, I had had enough.Keeping an upbeat attitude and always with an eye out for opportunities I "luckily" saw the opportunity to write BANGKOK ADRENALINE, volunteered to write it, had a test run in which we sat for 16 hrs and wrote the whole first draft - then we went looking for the money and with a group of friends we all ended up pulling a movie together and making our own work and our own opportunities during this difficult time.

So working is one very good way to beating the cause of your depression, however there are other ways that I have used in the past:


Tactics To Beating Depression

Everyday I would write a list of things that HAD to be done that day, never too much to stress me but enough to keep busy. This ensured that everyday I would be getting closer and closer to my goal, at times all this list consisted of was to go to the gym and workout hard, and do the laundry, and eat well all day.

Keeping active keeps your mind occupied so you are not in a constant struggle to keep your thoughts positive and for you to be beating depression you do need to keep a positive focus on life.

Then at night just before I went ot bed I would write 4 good things that happened that day, when you are depressed even this simple task can be hard. But by writing out four good things just before bed it forces your mind to think of good things just before you go to sleep, helping your mind dwell on good things for the next 8 hours. Think of these good things as you fall asleep.

Think about it. Are you going to get a better night sleep thinking about the unpaid electrical bill or the how nice lunch time was sitting in the park with the birds chirping and the sun on your skin and just being able to relax alone, and the good looking girl who walk past and gave you a big smile. Really which one will give you a better nights rest? 

Read my other article on 5 ways to get a good start to the day.

Vitamins can help. B12 shots in particular can help with mild depression and lethargy. Drinking destroys B12 so if you drink often look into this method to help with beating depression. 

In NLP  there is a technique where you go to your darkest thoughts and live out your greatest fears in your mind - you see yourself living with that most horrible of outcomes, and let out all the despair and anguish that you feel - cry it out, scream it out, whatever it takes. Then you turn over on your back, facing up with closed eyes still and see the light - the place you came from - then you slowly return to your 'base level', the place where you started until you consciously rejoin the group.

The effect of this exercise is to remove the fear of that bad thing happening, since you have already experienced it, you have nothing to fear from experiencing it again. It is also often a emotional block remover, in that it lets out feelings bottled up from past experiences. When you remove the fears and worries from your life you are on track to beating depression.

I did not know this method to beating depression at the time, so have done instinctively before was to sit under the shower and let the bad feelings run uncontrolled through my mind and body until they had completely run through me, I would let the warm water wash everything away, down the plug hole, and just stay there until everything had run its course. All the bad feelings were through and my mind had examined every concievable outcome from where I was at that time.

At the end of this type of session I would be left feeling scrubbed clean on the outside and washed clean on the inside. But beating depression needs you to let those feelings wash away, don't get down to them and then wallow there forever, let them all out then bring yourself back up once you are exhausted.

For me this worked as I have always had a high affinity for water, I grew up on the beach, I practically lived on the beach as a teenager, I partied at the beach, I took my dates to the beach, I met my friends at the beach and I love the crashing waves of the ocean on a golden sandy shore. For me water is pleasure and fun (despite several near drownings and a rather scary encounter with what turned out to be only a dolphin) - this washing over me makes sense to me to wash out the bad feelings.

Also I never spoke to anybody else about how I truly felt, and this is the first time I have talked about  how I went about beating depression.

What I see other people doing wrong is that they will dwell on the bad feelings, they will talk to everyone who listens about the things wrong in thier lives, they talk about almost nothing else. When they sit and think they think about bad things, they are scared of the worst possible outcome, the 'badness' is constantly in the forefront of their minds and on the tip of their tongue. Concentrating on the bad things is not going to help you in beating depression, you need to focus on the good things in life.

You need to make a small step forward everyday, for me it was going to the gym. I knew if I kept at it I would eventually succeed by beating depression and  as long as I worked out and got bigger then I would still be reaching out for my ultimate goal.

What is it that you can do each and every day to get you closer to your life ambition?

If you are having trouble beating depression maybe try one of the tricks I used and wash away your feelings, maybe look up an NLP practitioner in the phone book or Internet (often referred to as Life Coaches), refocus your mind on being productive, even if it is just a little, even boring repetitive chores are good for keeping your mind off what depresses you (gardening or yard work is a good example).

Exercise daily. Exercise keeps the blood flowing and helps regulate your hormones. It also releases the body's own natural feel good chemicals and endorphines, helping make you fell happy and well.

Sunshine or vitamin D supplements if it is winter outside. Vitamin D deficiency leads to a deficiency in your own hormones, this leads to a lack of motivation and depression. You've heard the term "Gloom" it refers to a lack of sunlight, and it also refers to depression there is a good reason for that. Get out and get some sunlight, it won't hurt you unless you bake and burn yourself. Be sensible and you'll feel better.

Iodine deficiency. Iodine regulates the thyroid hormone, which regulates the metabolism and fat loss. Low metabolism and increased fat gain, leads to lethargy which leads to depression. You can get Lugol's iodine online or at many health stores, read the instructions and start at small doses, increasing gradually, or better yet just eat some seaweed (easy with Japanese foods).

Eat Nutritious Foods. Eat healthy foods, eat plenty for your body weight, mix up your diet and eat somethign different every meal. Eating junk or convenience food will make you feel worse with blood sugar level crashes, the additional chemicals and strain on your body to digest a litre of sugar (soda pop) and 2 cups of low quality oil (pizza).

Consider changing your life circumstances. Work out what will make you happy, what you want from life, make a move, change jobs, change careers, change countries. Thing about taking yourself out of your depressing circumstances. 

Stop worrying so much

Sure you aren't going to get over it all immediately, but if you keep steaming ahead by the time the fog passes you'll be beating depression. You'll be surprised how little it all meant in the big picture of your entire life.

Which reminds me of another technique I learned from Amway. Think about the major problems in your life (there is usually just one) how is this going to affect you in 1 week, 1 year, 10 years - will you even remember the cause of your depression in 10 years? Probably not, will it still affect you, probably not. So get on with your life and remember sometimes 'bad things' happen but in the end they turn out to be good. As the old saying goes every cloud has a silver lining. Sometimes things happen that make us sit back and re-evaluate our lives and inevitably turn out to be the best thing that happened to us.

Also if you keep moving ahead you might come into contact with the right person or group to turn things around for you. 

From no prospects to making our own movie - sometimes you just have to get out amongst it to find the opportunity that can turn your life around, then seize the opportunity.

UPDATE 2015: I'd say the biggest change in your life would be diet if you suffer long term lethargy/depression. Change to an organic diet with as many raw foods as possible (salads, fruits, sashimi, steak tartare, etc) this will help regenerate your system. Yes I know organic is expensive, but it is cheaper than constant medication and medical bills and it is cheaper than living like a zombie your whole life. Life is meant to be lived, give yourself the best chance you can to get the mental/physical energy to enjoy it.

If you find this article of benefit please just drop me a note so I know whether I should continue to write articles like this.

Beating Depression - Clinical / Long Term (esp if using anti-depressants);



*UPDATE: A reader sent me a long email regarding Testosterone Replacement Therapy. As a male if your reproductive organs (or pituitary gland) are damaged from an accident or just deterioration from old age and bad diet then you will feel depressed as you do not have your hormone levels functioning properly, if you think this might be the case for you get your levels checked by your Doctor and get medication if you suffer from this.
** UPDATE (2015): If you are against injections or would prefer a supplement solution you can try DHEA, or the "hot" ginsengs, aswaganda, rhodiola, and/or black Kohosh, horny goat weed and many other herbs as these all support the endocrine (hormone) system without dumping in a lot of one type of hormone and possibly upsetting the balance.


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