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Depression

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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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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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The first step, though perhaps not the last step, in overcoming depression is listing what you need. Right on a sheet of paper. That's the cause of depression, an unmet need, and oftentimes they've been unmet for such a long time we come to accept them as such. 

Then take your list of needs and talk about them with at least one other person as though you're taking responsibility for them. 

Simply getting the unmet needs off your chest in a mature way in the context of another human face gives us the emotional fluidity to figure out what to do next.

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On 4/9/2018 at 5:35 PM, Enlightenment Now said:

listing what you need...the emotional fluidity to figure out what to do next.

This is interesting, I often worry that my needs should not be a burden to anyone around me.  I know the value of writing in a journal, but hadn't thought of it from the angle of unmet needs.  I have avoided seeking a psychologist because of how friends had talked of their experiences, and the Zen/socialistic/egoless perspectives they took.  I have some pride about figuring out my own problems for myself, its lonely.    

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Smart people tend to turn in on themselves when facing psychological issues. This is how they solve calculus or o-chem problems, but it doesn't work so well with emotions. 

One problem is, in our culture, talking about emotions is conflated with indulging emotions. It's rare to meet someone who can discuss their emotions without feeling gross, but it's not only possible it's necessary for self-awareness.

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On 4/12/2018 at 8:27 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

I have avoided seeking a psychologist because of how friends had talked of their experiences, and the Zen/socialistic/egoless perspectives they took. 

A good psychologist wouldn't take on the role of some spiritual advisor. Meditation is very important to do for dealing with depression symptoms, but some people then take that step to do a full dive into Buddhism and discover egoless-ness. A good psychologist will give you strategies on how to deal with emotions. It's like hiring a personal trainer for working out. Sometimes you'll get good advice, but other times you might not learn anything new.

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12 hours ago, Enlightenment Now said:

talking about emotions is conflated with indulging emotions.

I am very physiologically affected by emotion, my own and the emotion of others.  I don't want to change that about myself because I think it teaches me something.  My mind returns to difficult emotions because I want to understand human nature.  Objectivism helps me bring emotion into conscious terms.  

Ayn Rand once said "I very rarely had an emotion that took me more than a couple days to get to the bottom of."  

I am seeing more objectively the way emotions can be manipulated by or blamed on others.  

I was listening to an audiobook last year that was interesting.  There is a space between what you experience, and how you react.  In that space is the story you tell yourself.  I can't remember the title.  

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16 hours ago, Eiuol said:

A good psychologist will give you strategies on how to deal with emotions. It's like hiring a personal trainer for working out.

True. Psychologists hate to admit this but we're personal trainers. Instead of getting the patients body to handle heavier weight, we get them to handle heavier emotion. Biologically, the process is similar. A barbell and emotion are both neurological strain.

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