First, I’m not depressed if you saw the title and felt worried. I’m taking a break from my usual topics because I read an article on depression that hypothesized it was a different state of consciousness, not just another emotion. I’m not sure what that definition means, but depressed people often describe depression as something you can’t understand unless you’re really, truly depressed.
But every description I’ve heard sounds like what I’ve experienced. I’ve felt profoundly depressed at times and mildly depressed many other times. I haven’t felt meaningfully depressed in a while, but I’ve never lost the sense of what it feels like. Over the years, I’ve found ways to avoid it become too deep so it would be hard to get out of it. But when I felt it, it felt like how people describe it.
I haven’t studied psychology beyond undergraduate classes and a lot of reading, and, I guess, a fair amount of leadership research and practice, but it seems to me not a state that non-depressed people don’t or can’t know, or at least I don’t know.
Maybe I’m ignorant and won’t feel bad if someone relieves me of it if I am, but I speculate that what characterizes extreme cases is an inability to escape it. I’ve learned techniques to lead and manage my emotional state. Without them, I could see feeling depressed leading to being mired in it.
Some may call me insensitive, but then they’re calling me ignorant, believing I don’t know it. I’m sure I’m missing important things. Maybe I don’t know depression in the extreme. We can’t feel others’ emotions so we can’t say if what one person feels is what another does.
In any case, I’ve learned ways to create the emotional states I want and practice them daily. If I got caught in a loop I suspect I’d feel as depressed as anyone, but it takes time to get trapped and my sidchas mean I never get more than twelve hours for depression to take root.
If it were up to me, we’d teach everyone as kids social and emotional skills of how to create emotions intentionally, as well as resilience, persistence. My theory suggests tools to prevent and resolve the emotion for people who want to escape it.
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