Val isn't playing life coach by sharing some useful ideas gathered over 7 decades of life experience and hundreds of books on human nature.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not in fact, just surrounding yourself with assholes.
Don't Ask for My Credentials, Just Keep an Open Mind
Books and books have been written on the topic of depression, each, either merely paraphrasing the other, or laboring to use a different approach for an effect of originality.
That would depend on the specialization of the author, which somewhat comically reminds of that old adage:
"When hammer is the only tool you have, sooner or later everything starts looking like a nail."
So, an orthomolecular psychiatrist is likely to see depression as a possible lack of nutrients feeding brain; a neurologist is bound to talk about lower levels of feel good neuro-transmitters like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, norepinephrine, dopamine or endorphin. Endocrinologist's concern will be a hormonal imbalance; an internist may blame it on chronic constipation; whereas a classical shrink will see traumatic experiences in formative years, marital or job issues, as the cause of depression.
Let the above crazy mess of science give you a hint why, despite my enormous passion for exploring human nature, I never got an intellectual appetite for becoming a shrink, but just for a hell of it completed a 2-year course in psychotherapy. And even that I never used in my own cooked conclusions about what's going on between human ears -- it was more like just an "intellectual gym" for me.
Thus, none of the following is coming from the official text books about depression. Being a self-educated mini-expert in matters of hypnosis and everything related to it, I simply intuited about depression being a result of our unknowing hypnotizing ourselves into it.
Let's see if it could sound convincing enough to you -- maybe even to the extent of some of you using that approach to it.
I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous -- everyone hasn't met me yet.
When a Cultivated Position of "Life Sucks" Describes It Best
In the context of this approach to depression, we'll be seeing self-hypnosis as a state of being switched to our autopilot consisting of our belief system, or programs of strategies we are living by.
Being mostly lazy thinkers, we let that autopilot choose for us what to think, feel and do -- not freshly assessing situations consciously. We just scan over our memory bank fishing for similarities from some past, even if forgotten situations. Similar to using the computer, where one typed word will offer different contexts of it.
Whatever happened in that past from which our response is fished out, need not be relevant at all to our current situation, and yet we are bound to use those same emotions and attitudes.
For example, we may be standing in lineup behind a man whose moustache unconsciously reminds us of our grade school teacher who made fun of us in front of the whole class, making them all laugh, including our little secret sweetheart.
So we dislike that man, who could really be someone very tactful and pleasant person, nothing like that teacher of ours.
This is exactly what self-hypnosis means -- a belief that is beyond our conscious reasoning imposed on us from within.
When a string of similar emotionally charged experiences are repeated for some time -- if they happen to be of a negative kind, and after they have reached their critical mass -- we may have practically hypnotized ourselves into an emotional positionality best described as "life sucks".
We get depressed.
I can sympathize with people's pains, but not with their pleasures. There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.
Crazy Nature of Hypnotic Beliefs
Let me give you an example how really ready is our nervous and endocrine system to instantly switch from a depression into a joy.
Namely, most depressives are under strong conviction that only a prolonged therapy, or a diet combined with exercise, or certain nutritional supplements, can remove that cloud from their heart.
But look. Imagine that you are in that crappy disposition, totally convinced that you are doomed to feel that way and your nerves are shut beyond repair --all until you casually check your lottery tIcket, and...
What happened? You still can't believe that you have just won the jackpot, so you keep checking, and not believing -- but not to the point that you would suddenly say: "Well, too bad that I am depressed and my nerves don't allow any joy".
Suddenly your nervous system is rapidly mobilizing some intensities of happiness that only minutes ago you didn't think you were capable of.
There is nothing rational about hypnosis, folks, since it's based on beliefs which, coupled with strong emotions, can make some idiots out of us.
From a casual remark of your mom that "you are such a clumsy kid", after you knocked down a vase with flowers -- may result a hypnotic belief that you've got to be a bad lover disappointing your partner in bed. Just because back then you disappointed another important female in your life.
Some craziest negative beliefs we may take into adulthood -- just because, as kids, up to the age of six or so, our brain is constantly operating in the predominant theta brainwaves -- which are the ones predominant during hypnosis.
Hence the household truism about "kids being very impressionable".
Anyone going to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
We Can Snap Out of Our Emotional Hypnosis
And so it is with depression.
We unconsciously amplify the significance of an experience, or string of similarly emotionally charged experiences which keep haunting us like some inner phantoms, against our best conscious understanding of life.
Which is to say that many depressed people can't figure why they feel that way, as everything apparently works for them. Brain simply computes such feeling after something only associatively related to a crappy incident in past triggers it.
They don't realize that they are in something that I would here call "emotional hypnosis" -- or "hypnotically stuck in the past". Like that man in the lineup who suddenly screws up the rest of our day with his moustache.
The problem is not that we cannot snap out of it, but we cannot because we don't know that we can.
Just like in the above example with winning big on lottery -- in one moment we could swear that absolutely nothing could possibly cheer us up -- and then we are suddenly denying that verdict and jumping around like possessed with joy.
Or compare it to a non-swimmer who shies away from the pool's deep end, whereas the very next moment, as his body has figured how to stay afloat -- he is overjoyed and not caring anymore about how deep is the water under him.
We may say that he "snapped out of his emotional hypnosis".
Sometimes the most appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
"Doing" Happy Emotions
Do we have to learn self-hypnosis to de-hypnotize ourselves from depression?
Try to see some good correlation between depression and impression. Just like depression is messing up our impressions about ourselves and life, so the opposite is true -- our impressions, those with a hypnotic intensity are at the cause of depression.
And that's where the solution is.
We have to start impressing ourselves consciously -- which pretty much translates to becoming actors. Everybody can act, we don't need an audition in front of a Hollywood impresario to be labeled a promising star.
Our new hypnotic belief about our being a happy person doesn't happen by telling ourselves that we are one. That for the simple reason that our nervous system's language is mostly one of our acting, our posture, our facial expression.
So, if you are depressed, you may talk to yourself that you are happy until you turn blue in face, but it will do nothing comparing to how you are impressing your nervous system with your acting.
So, I would say to a depressed person:
Put a smile on your face and keep it there for some time, and then do it again regardless of the situation. When alone in the house, laugh, laugh like a man possessed with that deep belly laughter that massages your solar plexus with that network of nerves where energies of depression are stuck.
Dance around your living room like Fred Astaire to some nice music; call some friends and sound like in a great mood. Play with your dog...if you're a woman, go to beauty salon and change your hair style and color, dress into something better. Go creative, and don't forget to feel silly in the process while celebrating life.
Will that automatically make you a happier person?
How will you know if you don't try?
So, that would be my take on depression. You don't have to "buy" it -- after all, I am not "selling" anything here, it's free, while a shrink will charge you just for hearing about your childhood.
Let us all cheer up a little more -- depressed or not.
© 2022 Val Karas