Depression? Questions to Ask – Before Giving Up!

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and depression may make you feel as if life isn’t worth living.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.


Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWilTravel)

Lake Tahoe Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWilTravel)

Depression? Questions to Ask – Before Giving Up!

Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water.

Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?

Have you showered in the past day? If not, take a shower right now.

Have you stretched your legs in the past day? If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the energy for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite tempo, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days? If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days? If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand? That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

If daytime: are you dressed? If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.

If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep? Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!

Do you feel unattractive? Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll help fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you over-exerted yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually? That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.

Have you waited a week? Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week.

Symptoms of Depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness or unhappiness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Tiredness, fatigue and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but also overeating and increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away!

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

Saturday Farmer's Market in Ashland, Oregon

Saturday Farmer’s Market in Ashland, Oregon

Overlapping haikus (for a friend)

What the f*ck is up?
Your haiku is depressing.
Stop with the bullsh*t.
I hope you feel better now.
Don’t try suicide.
Why do you need a semi-colon?
You have survived.
You are loved by many.
Have a nice today.

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C'mon, this is funny!

C’mon, this is funny!

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are places to get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat with them online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/.

Here are some common warning signs of suicide, as provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings