Steps To Get Over Your Floundering Depression
to get over depression
If your mental state causes serious problems in relationships with
others, day-to-day work, or in social activities, you suffer from
clinical depression. Clinical depression can improve only with
psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or a combination
of the two. This website deals only with normal behavioral
Overcoming depression is about overcoming your
primitive instincts. Scientists have uncovered the mechanisms of the
lateral habenula, LHb, a pea sized organ in your brain, which manages
these instincts in the context of depression. It assumes that mistaken enthusiasm caused your
current misfortunes. To prevent you from making further mistakes,
the LHb uses all the defeatist resources of your mind to question
your competence, while diminishing your energy levels.
A major part of your inner resources are conspiring to
convince you that your efforts are doomed. Do not underestimate the
hard work needed from you to bring back your mind to its normal
state. You need to shift from a dismal lack of energy and motivation
to a settled, open, energetic and reward seeking state of mind. You
need to take 6 pivotal steps to overcome depression.
step is to understand the insidious mechanisms used by LHb. The
second is to recognize the situation and decide to overcome it. The third is to still those negative emotions, which trouble you. The fourth is to
uncover your untapped opportunities. The fifth step is to use
mindfulness living to prevent desolate thoughts from pitching you into despair during your daily routines. The sixth step is to adopt a few breathing exercises to retain your balance. Even if you are under considerable stress,
these 6 steps can gradually overcome your slide into depression.
how LHb generates depression.
a decision to get over depression.
to terms with the troubling issues in your life.
your untapped opportunities.
mindfulness to energize the routines in your life.
breathing exercises to maintain vagal tone.
How to get over depression
Step 1 - Do You Know Of LHb?
much spirit and energy can cause an animal to ignore the presence of
a predator, or consume poisoned food with gusto. The LHb was designed
by nature to reduce your optimism, if you misjudged the reward value
of your activities, or if you were expecting trouble. LHb
activity makes your world view distorted. It subdues
forebrain activity, blinding your view of your opportunities. The LHb
also activates your negative emotions, escalating your vague fears
into dismal emotions. You expect trouble. You feel scared even
without a real threat. Your guilt emotion overcomes your common sense
and punishes you with self criticism. Losses appear more probable.
discovered that LHb activity was directly related to a pessimistic
view of life. When a monkey did not receive an expected reward, the
activity of LHb neurons increased. So also, when there was an
unexpected reward, LHb neurons became inhibited, automatically
releasing dopamine and raising the energy and enthusiasm of the
animal. By continually stimulating inhibition of the LHb, a patient,
suffering from therapy-resistant, severe major depressive disorder,
is reported to have achieved sustained remission of depressive
The negative effects of LHb activity are enhanced
by a neural
Term Potentiation (LTP). Generally, a single pulse of a signal to the
presynaptic neuron of the LHb will cause excitation, along with a
subdued response, in its postsynaptic cells. But, when the negativity
of LHb heightens, the postsynaptic cell will continue to be excited
for long periods on receiving just a single pulse stimuli from the
presynaptic cell. LHb will keep driving you deeper into depression
even when it receives only faint negative signals. With even minor
setbacks, LHb will cause every situation to appear disastrous.
to get over depression
Step 2 - Why Is A Purpose Necessary?
second step is to understand that a simple purpose in life can help
you overcome depression. The famed psychiatrist, Frankl has assisted
thousands of suicidal patients around the world to return to normal
life. He suggested that a simple decision to survive grants life
energy. Having encountered the horrors of the Nazi concentration
camps, he lived to narrate the dreaded moment, when a fellow prisoner
ceased to struggle for life. Usually, the prisoner refused to go out
on to the parade grounds. “He just lay there, hardly moving. No
entreaties, no blows, no threats had any effect. He simply gave up.
There he remained, lying in his own excreta, and nothing bothered him
any more.” He had lost the energy for life. Such people died soon thereafter.
submitted that, despite the capricious torture and beatings,
thousands of inmates still had the spirit to struggle against all
odds to eke out a life. They had a purpose in life, whatever it was,
which helped them to survive. But, these were not ambitious goals. It
was just a hope of meeting a son after the war. Even a decision to
harden oneself against suffering was a sufficient purpose. After the
war, Frankl established the acceptance of a purpose in life as a
major field in psychiatry. You may have become unhappy with your
workplace, with the future possibilities of your career, or even with
yourself. The second step in overcoming depression is to decide to
overcome your pessimistic viewpoints. Make recovery a purpose in your
to get over depression
Step 3 - Have You Identified Your Setbacks?
setback in your life activates the LHb. Low self esteem,
dissatisfaction and pessimism continually trigger negative impulses,
which activates the LHb. This website suggests how such impulses can
be overcome. Overcoming low
will not make you an extrovert. But, all those troubling self doubts
will not assail you at parties. When you overcome
you will not be attacked by persistent messages of discontent.
Pessimists wince with each negative turn in life. “It is all my
fault.” “These things always happen to me.” “Why did this
have to happen to me?” When you overcome
your mind will comfortably accept the usual setbacks in life. “What
can I do now?” will become your response to such events,
to bring balance, use the Self
to listboth the negatives in your life and the actions you can take.
If you can do nothing about a difficulty, write down the consequences
of failure. Putting down that inevitable possibility will make
you realize that, whatever happens, the sun will rise again. The
process will help you to come to terms with failure. As negative
feedback to your LHb reduces, it will become quieter and the slide
into depression will abate.
to get over depression
Step 4 - Have You Spotted Your Opportunities?
shifts the goals of your mind to the fearful avoidance of problems.
Actively oppose the LHb activity, which convinces you of troubles in
the future. Begin a persistent search of your world for opportunities.
Professor Wolfram Schultz discovered that it is the presence of a
reward, which promotes the release of dopamine by neurons in the
early reptilian (approach or withdraw) part of the human brain to the
forebrain. Increased dopamine intensifies forebrain activity,
bringing clarity to objectives, making the mind feel more energetic
and elated. Heightened prefrontal activity also inhibits the LHb.
But, it is not the reward, but the expectation of a reward,
which releases dopamine. Schultz noted that the release increases, if
the reward is greater than what is expected. It continues only for
the predicted time period, when a reward can be expected. The release
reduces at the end of this period. The releases stop if the rewards
have become a matter of routine. Moment by moment, your system needs
to look forward to a reward to feel focused and energetic. But, it
is not easy to find rewarding work. Even as you search, make your
daily routines into rewarding tasks through mindfulness
to get over depression
Step 5 - What Is Mindfulness?
LHb reduces your energy and escalates your anxiety. Breathing becomes
constricted and the chest tightens. Each small setback sends more
glutamate and your mood dips. The heightened sense of dismay leads to
increased expectation of future letdowns. While moods don't have
specific signals, the triggered emotions indicate the moods.
Normally, you are unconscious of this effect. You can stop
this autonomic action in its tracks through mindful self awareness.
Learn to become aware of the setback-depression-chest tightening
activity in your body, which finally dumps you into a pit with a
distressing world view. Self awareness will change the nightmare
into merely the unpleasant experience of a weight on your chest. Each
act of self awareness will stop the escalation of your stress
While you attack the bouts of depressing impulses,
which assail you, you can add interest to your daily routines by
paying "mindful" attention to them. The average person may
spend his time in one of six focus areas - sleep, human interaction,
daily routines, meditation, problem solving and
entertainment/satisfying curiosity. You sleep, interact with family,
friends and colleagues, brush your teeth and eat your food, solve
problems in the office, watch movies and read books. During all these
activities, LHb will initiate negative emotions. Memories from the
past, problems of the world and hopes for the future will distract
you from your focus areas. Mindfulness exercises can free you from
this distraction, help you to powerfully concentrate on “the now”
and improve the quality of your life.
to get over depression
Step 6 - How Does Breathing Contribute?
poor state of the vagus nerve is also linked to depression,
inflammation and heart attacks. Stress causes under-activity of your
parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the presence of the
inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Low GABA activity occurs in anxiety
disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, epilepsy, and
chronic pain. The vagus nerve is the command central for the
parasympathetic system. It communicates the state of your viscera to
the brain and signals your organs to “rest-and-digest” during
times of safety. The mind opens to opportunities in the environment.
As opposed to this, the sympathetic nervous system resorts to
“fight-or-flight” responses, inhibiting reward seeking behavior.
1921, Otto Loewi discovered that stimulating the vagus nerve
triggered the release of acetylcholine and GABA, lowering heart rate
and blood pressure. Deep diaphragmatic breathing with a long, slow
exhale stimulates the vagus nerve, shifts guidance to the habitual
controls by the cerebellum, creating fluidity in thoughts and
actions. Strength training, with an emphasis on a robust exhale, as
you push the weight is also known to stimulate vagal tone.
higher vagal tone index is linked to physical and psychological
well-being. Well conditioned athletes have higher vagal tone.
Healthy cardiac function is directly linked to stimulating the vagus
nerve. Deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale—is
key to stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing heart rate and blood
pressure. You can consciously tap the power of your vagus nerve
simply by taking a few deep
long exhales. Use breathing to reduce the LHb impact on the
daily setbacks you face in life.
This page was last updated on 12.04.2016