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I do confess to struggling with chronic depression most of my life, and I am on medication for it. It leads to a crippling lack of motivation, and I often self-sabotage. I was wondering if Objectivism has any specific take or advice on this kind of thing as a philosophy based on an individual's drive to achievement; truth be told im not particularly sure why im making this post, but I find philosophy can be therapeutic sometimes. 

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I'm going to take this opportunity to link to previous related topics: here, here, here, here, and here. There are probably more, in this sub-forum.

Since you're on medication, you already have a doctor giving you advice, and if your depression is caused by something physiological, then psychological approaches may not work. 

Objectivism, as such, does not address psychological depression, but it does speak to happiness -- so perhaps it does, in the negative. However, as a philosophy, the answers are very broad. It boils down to: pursue a productive purpose that makes you happy, because it lets you apply your abilities and creates something you value. 

The nitty-gritty is important too: good sleep, exercise, social contact/visibility and so on.

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The thing with depression is that physiological causes are rarely ever the whole story. There is also some amount of one's position in the social world, or some deeper things besides strictly how your brain is working. It's difficult at times to keep up a motivated outlook. Sometimes, physiology makes it more difficult than for other people. Personally for me, there is a mix of all this that leads me to show symptoms of depression.

Objectivism has had an important role for me so that while at times depression is there, it helps me to prevent things like self-hate, or beating myself up as a bad person. I don't feel that, and I attribute it to a few principles of Objectivism. Some Nietzsche, too, but my opinion on him is complex.

1) Benevolent Universe Premise
No, this doesn't mean the universe "wants" you to be happy. Rather, it's a belief that evil doesn't win out over the good, that is, if one acts justly and acts virtuously, evil cannot last. This isn't to say tragedies don't happen - after all, Rand wrote "We The Living", which is really good at making the point that on a wider scale, the triumph of good is affected by things like respect for individual rights.


2) Art fuels one's passions
Rand wrote this, I recommend reading all of The Romantic Manifesto:

"Since a rational man’s ambition is unlimited, since his pursuit and achievement of values is a lifelong process—and the higher the values, the harder the struggle—he needs a moment, an hour or some period of time in which he can experience the sense of his completed task, the sense of living in a universe where his values have been successfully achieved. It is like a moment of rest, a moment to gain fuel to move farther. Art gives him that fuel; the pleasure of contemplating the objectified reality of one’s own sense of life is the pleasure of feeling what it would be like to live in one’s ideal world."


3) Celebrate the good
Perhaps this is obvious, but it is important to see the good in the world and celebrate it. Some people are truly jealous of success, seeing happiness as zero-sum, and think a successful billionaire is inherently bad. This is what Rand pointed to as hating the good for its good qualities. At times, a depressed person may want to wallow and blame others. If you go out of your way to admire the good, you'll have an easier time recognizing that it is possible to achieve your goals by your own efforts. It's a sense of self-responsibility.

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True, depression can be caused by various reasons. Due to emotional baggage, carrier failure, stress and many more and It's quite difficult to get out of depression. Always do invest some time for doing activities that you like, socializing can also be helpful. Always stay positive and live life happily.

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