Advice and Help During the Breakup of Your Relationship

DEPRESSION: WHEN HAPPINESS AND A ZEST FOR LIFE BECOMES A CHORE


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DEPRESSION: WHEN HAPPINESS AND A ZEST FOR LIFE BECOMES A CHORE
By the author of How to Get Over a Breakup.

 

(Click here to download this entire article in PDF format)


REM SLEEP DISORDERS

 

I often wonder why medications work on some individuals, but not on others. Could it be that some depressions are actually undiagnosed sleep disorders? For example, the drugs that create a break in REM sleep patterns have specifically helped many who suffer from depression. Therefore, it is now believed that many forms of depression and anxiety may actually be linked to overly long REM sleep patterns and apnea. Unfortunately, too many doctors and clinicians treat depression as a mental disorder rather than a physical disorder. However, many forms of depression may be cured simply by wearing a common CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) mask at bedtime or by taking the drug Clonazepam, which is intended for REM sleep disorders.  If your depression is one that has resulted from a sleep disorder, Clonazepam or a CPAP (or both) may be the answer for you.


I have to wonder if a possibility lies in the fact that maybe depression could be a sleep disorder where the brain is stuck in a sleep-like state of non-arousal.  There is a light-switch (OK, the light-switch is actually metabotropic GABAB receptors and the GABAA/glycine ionotropic receptors) in our brain that switches off when we are sleeping. It does this to prevent our physical bodies from moving about or thrashing out when we are dreaming, or physically acting out our dreams. Perhaps science will one day find a link between that light switch malfunctioning on an ‘asleep-to-awake’ level, which may cause our brain to remain in a sleep-like lack-luster state. This sub-lucid state may create that lack of vitality, verve or lack of a zest for life that is actually the defining core associated with depressive feelings.

 

SUPPRESSED ANGER

 

I believe that many more ‘common’ forms of depression are caused by suppressed anger. The victims of domestic violence or narcissists tend to become depressed because they are unable to express their anger without punishment or fear of retaliation by their abusers. Some people get angry with their lives, their bosses, their circumstances, and, in the absence of having any control over their situation and unable to express their anger they become depressed. Bottled up anger becomes depression. And anger is about ‘control’. Or rather, the lack of it. Anger is a simple reaction to feeling as though we have no control over a certain situation (such as a demanding boss or abusive spouse) or even feeling we have no control over our own life. Over time, individuals who have learned to stifle or hide their anger – or to ‘bite their tongue’, if you will – become withdrawn and depressed.

 

Most all anger is about feelings of lack of control. If something falls off the top shelf and hits you in the head, you may get angry because you had no control over it. If your boss makes you work late, you may get angry because you have no control over your boss’s decisions. If someone cuts you off in traffic, you may get angry because you couldn’t control how he or she handled his or her car. If you find yourself just plain angry all the time, you must examine your life and see what part of it you feel you have no control over. Maybe a cheating spouse, a disabled relative you must care for, or a dead-end job? Perhaps this isn’t even the life you had planned for yourself at all, but you have no power over changing it? If I have said it once, I have said it a million times... The key to peace and happiness is ‘acceptance’. And as long as we fight that which we cannot change, instead of ‘accepting’ it, is as long as we will remain unhappy, miserable, bitter and angry.

 

However, not all depressions are caused by an ‘obvious’ lack of power and/or suppressed anger. There is also a long-term deep-rooted depression that some are almost born with, or that develops at a very young age of which suppressed anger cannot be held as its cause – except, perhaps, in the case of child abuse, incest, trauma, or neglect.



These individuals lack zest and optimism. They become defeatist and pessimist at a very early age, and oftentimes their circumstances cannot be held accountable. Many have wonderful families, no history of abuse, great opportunities, lively and bright futures and live in good neighborhoods. The depression is something inside of them rather than the result of anger suppressed or environmental contribution. However, feeling as if we have no control over our lives and situations can also cause anger in a child or young adult, and suppressing or subduing this anger may also lead to depression. There are situations that we may not be aware of in our own child’s life – situations where they may not feel in control. These situations could be social or school-based bullying or even parents who focus too much on their child getting good grades, putting pressure on the child to try ‘harder’ or apply themselves more to their school work. Fighting parents, controlling or self-focused parents, or discord in the home may also contribute to a child feeling like they have no control over their life. Being ostracized by their peers, feeling ‘different’, or feeling insecure about themselves can also lead to suppressed anger. Now add the possibility that this child or young adult is also one who internalizes too much, and the resulting cocktail is a bitter one to swallow. If I could write a screenplay on adolescent depression, this would be it.

 

It is in ‘acceptance’ – and in the understanding that we have no power over certain situations, events and people – that will bring us a peaceful retrieve from our anger-induced depression.



CONTINUE ON TO PART 3 >>



Other articles on this site by this author:
How Women Become Bitter
If you want to be lonely, hook up with a narcissist.
When You feel Loneliness in a Relationship

 

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