When Depression Speaks

It really sucks when depression speaks.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Humans are a wonderfully diverse species. All one needs to do to see this is to take a look at the numbers of different languages we speak. We are so diverse, in fact, that as of 2009, there were 6,909 on earth; (Linguistic Society of America)(1). Similarly, Major depressive disorder also seems to have its own language. If this is true, what does it sound like when depression speaks?

Of course, it doesn’t truly speak, but what it does do is hijack one’s positivity and replace it with its own repertoire. This hostile takeover makes you hate the things you love, by nattering in your mind’s ear. And we humans, if we hear a lie long enough – it starts to become truth. Amazing how our own brains can take something it knows to be true, turn it on its head and make us accept a lie as truth.

Indeed, our interior script gets written in the style it’s either trained in or what its pre-programmed software has written – genetics. More likely, it’s a combination of these two.

Genetic factors in depression

So, when depression speaks, it’s often in a discouraging tone. For example, it will take you out of your entire routine. Saying things like “Nah, I’m not going for my morning run today.” or “F#$% it, I don’t feel like cleaning out my car.” For many of us, this negative speak can land us in bed for the day. For some, even longer.

In my own experience, when overtaken by depression’s gift to gab, I find that besides being talked out of all that is good for me, I am completely exhausted, drained by constantly trying to fight back against its powers.

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Under these circumstances, I find it difficult to rally against depression. I find it so hard because often I don’t realize that I am not my regular, positive self. It’s not always possible to be self-aware, and therein lays the problem. Ultimately, depression will win the day with its brand of speak. I say, let it! If for whatever reason it slips past my defences, I relent and let it have that day.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this;

  1. Give yourself permission to rest but set a limit. E.g., a day.
  2. Seek out/and or continue to seek therapy.
  3. There’s no shame in your mental pain.
  4. Finally, get your ass moving again.
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Once you have taken the time to weather the storm, get back to living. Don’t allow depression’s sneaky one-liners to take command of you for long periods. I, for example, will force myself out for coffee or I will find a quiet trail.

So, what does getting moving again look like for me? Well, simply put, at a turtle’s pace at times, while at others, I can hit the ground running. Personally, I gauge it on the amount of residual brain fog and exhaustion I feel.

Effective ways to manage depression

With that said, if I make it as far as the couch, it’s a success. Likewise, if I get up and feel well enough to hit the gym, it too is a success. The important thing here, I tell myself and now truly believe, is that they are of equal success. I’m tired of feeling bad for feeling bad. No more. It really is okay not to be okay. You got this!

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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