I read something very interesting the other day about the nature of depression, which is often coupled with anxiety, or alternate bouts with both of these unfortunate psychological states. We tend to think that when we have gone through a traumatic or “depressing” event in life, such as a divorce or a death in the family, or the loss of a job you’ve had forever, that thinking about it, and reflecting are therapeutic.
In fact, many times, this can cascade into a sort of obsession, and ruminating and thinking about it constantly actually can catapult your further down into a depression spiral, as well as to elevate your anxiety levels.
Depression and anxiety are one of the biggest psychological problems in the US today, and more and more people are being put on prescription antidepressants, which can be habit forming, and many times they don’t even work or can make the problem worse (see herbal depression treatment options for other possible solutions to blue moods or occasional bouts of mild depression).
Unfortunately then, what a lot of patients end up going through are alternating bouts of depression, which are further exacerbated by introspective thinking. We do tend to think that this is good for us, that it makes us better people, but in fact, too much time alone with your thoughts can have the opposite effect. It can make you self-centric, and you can start obsessing about your problems, furthering your depression state.
Socialization is key. Keep yourself busy with social activities, as well as with hobbies that you genuinely enjoy, that tend to make you only focus on the task at hand instead of your current personal situation that may have you down.
Studies have shown that incessant ruminational thinking about something that is making you unhappy actually retards the depression recovery process and keeps you “stuck” in that same pattern for longer than if you just think about it briefly, admit to any shortcomings or mistakes on your part, then move on and forget. More easily said than done, but I supposed this adheres to the “no use crying over spilt milk” way of thinking.