joelsuf said: Yeah I’ve had experience with antidepressants, but it was not good. In the 7 or so months that I took them, I pretty much felt like a shell. My motivation was at an all time low. I also have a high tolerance to medications like that as well. The life crafting thing is a very good suggestion. I just feel trapped at the moment I suppose and just going through motions. Its been this way for awhile now. I get spikes of good emotions but my happiness is overall really low. I feel like loss might have something to do with it. I’ve endured 4 deaths in the family from 2006-2008 and I don’t think I’ve ever recovered lol. Thoughts?
There are quite a wide variety of antidepressant options. Have you heard of Tianeptine? Some people also mix together a highly customized brew, that takes a long time to master. Others get vagus nerve stimulating implants, or even brain stimulating implants.
You might consider spending a few months on forums where people talk about their antidepressant and mood elevating cocktails. There is no one size fits all solution. You can’t just say, oh ya, I already tried Prozac, and then throw your hands up in the air. Brain chemistry is highly customized.
There may not be a chemical solution for elevating your mood, long term.
But then again, there may be.
And even if there is, you’ll want to support all aspects of happiness in all possible ways. Life crafting is of course essential, however it can be next to impossible to life craft when depressed, because the motivation is too low. So you need to do everything that you can, all at once. Slowly your semi-submerged boat will start to float. Eventually you’ll be cruising it around.
A good website about lifecrafting is http://revolutionarylifestyledesign.com/
Meditation and body centered mediations are mentioned by All-Good-Scottsmen (Every good life crafter will talk about the importance of meditation or chi-kung or yoga or similar). They are often considered corner stones of life crafting.
Another corner stone is having a purpose or medium to long term goal.
Another is of course fitness. Weightlifting is a must. Punching something is good.
Another corner stone is a sex life and/or female bonded intimacy life.
Another corner stone is long term financial advancement. It’s preferable if this is also your passionate mission.
Another corner stone is your location, and we might also just lump in your environment including friends and social activities and nature walks or nights on the town or bowling or whatever. Your environment and activities and general social life.
Update: A few more ideas:
- A lot of men find that limiting ejaculation elevates energy and mood
- Playing a musical instrument is an excellent way to work through moods. I enjoy minor keys, somber and dark musical phrases, ballads, and other moody shit. All of that is in me and it comes out of me. And then it usually tends to shift into more playful and joyful music after a while of playing. If you don’t know how to play anything it doesn’t matter. Just try out a few instruments and focus on doing what you personally are motivated and enjoy doing. Then focus on one or two or your favorite instruments. It will take years plus years, and every day you’ll get remarkably better at it. You’ll like it. You’ll see. Your self esteem will naturally improve as your skill becomes more impressive, which is cool – it’s fine to own some pride. But of course pride isn’t the only benefit of playing music; you refine not only your ability to create and express, but deepen your feelings and understanding of what can possibly be expressed. Music is cool. Even when you suck at it, it’s still cool.
- Moderate your diet. Don’t be fat. This takes willpower, which you have to expect to be low when your are depressed. It’s easy to want to drink or eat your way out of bad feelings. When the allies were fighting Germany in World War Two, there were battles on multiple fronts, and in multiple areas of technology. Battling depression is similar. Each single battle matters, and each single battle is part of a larger picture. Diet and drinking are as important as aviation technology. Maybe even as important as communications code breaking.
- Express yourself. If you like writing, then blog. Otherwise, sing spontaneous songs to yourself, or pray out loud. Hear your own stories, and tell your own stories. This has to be out loud or written down; it’s not enough to think. If it’s out loud it’s preferable if you sing instead of talk. It’s not hard to put your own words to any song. Do it in the shower at minimum.
- It’s not easy to get out of boring jobs, or to get away from boring or negative friends, or to leave a city that has a drab grey sky and unfriendly weather. If you can start a location independent business, or work at seasonal jobs, you’ll be able to spend time in new places. The shift to new locations is a huge fish slap to the face of perspective. Routine can be a great ally and asset, but when we are in a funk, it’s what we want to break out of. So work towards giving yourself the option to travel.
- Consider joining some communities. I’m an atheist, but that doesn’t mean that prayer communities are not helpful. Buddhist communities are full of atheists, and can fulfil all the same spiritual needs and many more as theist communities. There are yoga or reiki or poetry writing or chi-kung classes being taught in most mid to large sized cities. There are all sorts of continuing education classes that get people together into the same room, engaging on stuff that makes them feel like a group. Some groups claim to be saviours, and of course you’ll always be best off disillusioning yourself from that belief from the beginning. Neither Amway nor Tim Ferris nor God is going to save anybody. It’s just nice to be active in a group.
- Depression and stress go hand in hand. Be careful to lower your cortisol levels. Even if it means using anti anxiety medications if you truly need them. Research your options and be careful of addiction; benzos can be helpful, but are dangerous too. Deeper research will reveal better options, if stress is an issue for you. Of course lifestyle crafting must be your primary end goal, as always, but don’t rule out short term medical options to help move you forward.
- Self acceptance and self love can be consciously cultivated, through training techniques. Buddhists own that tech, and call it Maitri. You can learn loving kindness meditations. These will help you to relate to yourself and to other people. Some say that just sitting still doing nothing (mindfully within a disciplined meditation technique) also cultivates loving kindness, because you can’t run away from yourself, and so have no choice but to eventually just make friends with all the hidden corners that keep getting exposed. This doesn’t work if you just ruminate. You have to also let go of thoughts and learn to be mindful, attentive, and loose.
- A lot of people find being in nature to be therapeutic. As is exercise, as is being among friends or in an engaging group. You might be able to join in on or organize regular outings in your area. A lot of cities have organized mountain walks or similar activities that anyone can join. Or you can get away by yourself. You can make it your job to put activities on your calendar, put alarms on the activities, and get up and go do the activities when the alarm sounds. Even in the middle of depression, it’s an improvement to be moving through motions than not moving through motions. All the little motions are cumulative and shift things.
- Meet a girl. Even if you have to travel far. Getting laid and feeling affection for and receiving affection from someone is a huge lever on emotions. It can make us higher than any drug, or hurt as much as a dentist drill. Sex and relationships are enormously powerful life crafting tools. My blog is largely about relationships, so you already know how important they are to me. Of course this aspect of life crafting is a craft, and a very difficult craft. You’ll go through all sorts of pains and pleasures, and the ups and downs never stop. My opinion is that this is fundamental and necessary to optimizing happiness; I don’t believe that MGTOW is a realistic option for a good enough level of life satisfaction.
- There are a few drugs that have been shown to give immediate improvement to depression. One is ketamine. Psilocybin (shrooms) and ayahuasca can also have long term effects. Research how to optimize your trips. Take them seriously as spiritual journeys. You can prepare for them through regular meditation before the fact, and being careful with the setting and company. Don’t just hang out with friends who bro-scream in wonder at the hallucinations in the bushes, and ramble off unedited stream of consciousness incontinent-mind-noise. That’s not a trip; that’s standing still. “Oh wow man!” is not what you are after. Hallucinogens are not merely a new fun channel on the TV set. They can help you to learn about and become more aware of and integrated with your own mind. So don’t reach for the popcorn and treat them like an action movie. Do them very rarely and give reverence to the act. Consider hallucinogens the same way you would consider a lucid dream; a chance to physically see how you embody your own mind. Some of your insights from shrooms will be useless and even wrong and distracting, so don’t take them too seriously. The shift in perspective itself is the thing. Just step outside for a bit, to know that there is an outside.
- Dress well even when you are alone. Dress pants in the house are better than sweatpants. Keep your house tidy and tend to plants and purchase and arrange fresh flowers regularly. When you are most depressed, vacuum and clean. Your house is the outside of your mind. Everybody wants a nice view from the inside. You are your own house-guest. Treat yourself like one.
- Decide on actionable goals and make them your missions. Social goals are fundamental, as are others mentioned or specific to you. Your goals can be lofty or mundane, as long as the first steps are just outside your current reach, yet reachable with time and effort. Take the time that it takes to know what you want. Then take the action that it takes to get what you want. Then start again, because by then you’ll be a new person and will have new options. Always be striving. Learn that striving is not something that comes before reward; striving is it’s own reward. That might take decades to learn. But learn it. If you do nothing else, at least be patient and diligent enough to learn that one thing. Discover for yourself that goal seeking itself is pleasurable. Then use all your wits to choose life enhancing goals. Then you will be more and more enjoying the process, while reaching. With all the usual ups and downs.