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Negative/dark environment


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When I'm feeling "better," negative or dark objects like books on War, dark music, a dark house, and isolating, not connecting with people, feel completely natural and appealing, but when I'm in a dark hole I recognize them as being very unhealthy. It's almost like I'm two different people  viewing my life--one view when I'm better, another when I'm in the black hole of a depression relapse. Does anyone else feel the same, and how did you go about removing these negative aspects of your life when you're feeling "better"?

Edited by camilo
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I tend to view depression as a natural formation/resource.

I invoke the cave metaphor to describe my depression experience.

A cave is a great place to consign useless emotional baggage.

I try to keep myself anchored outside my deep, dark, dangerous depression cave.

I keep reminding myself that I am not helpless confronting Old Man Depression.

I have  an unlimited supply of clever metaphorical tools.

Hope this can help a little.




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Hi camilo,

I have had that experience too but I couldn't have put it into words as well as you have. 

Something that helps me, although it might not be helpful to you or others is this:  When I am feeling low, I tend to get "locked into" a "could be better but isn't better" frame of mind.  It is almost as if I am a prisoner of this outlook but not aware of it at the time. 

I look at myself and my life and think "could be better."  I look at others and think the same:  "could be better."  Almost everything and every event I look at brings this "could be better" thought into my head.  And that thought and those thoughts have a tendency to make me feel depressed, angry, guilty, frustrated and even hopeless.

In such a state of mind, I gravitate towards negativity in art and music and in others areas of life.

When I feel good, I notice that this outlook, this personal prison is somehow shattered and I am free.  I tend to look at myself, others, things and events in the world and think:  "Wow, could be worse but isn't worse, thank goodness!"  And a whole set and subset of feelings come of this:  hopefulness, satisfaction, joy of living, peace, appreciation and gratitude.

To kind of keep from getting trapped again when feeling low, I actually post little signs around where I live and work and even in my car.  The signs read:  "could be worse, but isn't worse."  The signs remind me to not get trapped into the "could be better but isn't better" frame of mind.  The signs remind me:  "You're going down the dark path now but it isn't inevitable."

Sometimes when I am feeling very, very low, the signs don't work as well, but they always help a bit.

Sometimes I will be talking to someone who is kind of lost in the darkness.  They will say:  "Everything stinks."  If I ask "why" they will say something like . . . "well today a plane crashed."  And I think, well today 10,000 planes transported hundreds of thousands of people safely to their destinations." 

Or someone will say:  "I am no good because I did such and such," and I will think, well Adolf Hitler caused the destruction of tens of millions of people and so I can't see how your doing such and such makes you a bad person compared to him.  And so on.

I don't say any of this as advice to you or anyone else.  I am not qualified to give advice that you or anyone could or should rely upon.   And there are mental illnesses that biologically affect thinking and mood and not easily overcome.

Dark music attracts me a lot when I am depressed but I can't even bear to listen to it when I am feeling good. 

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that somewhere along the way, we got it into our heads that goodness was the same as perfection.  And therefore we got it into our heads that whatever isn't perfect isn't really good. 

But this seems questionable to me.  Good and bad are not points but a range of values.  The thing about equating goodness with perfection is that it makes all bad things equal which is pretty frightening.  If all bad things are equal, then being rude is equivalent to causing the Holocaust or equal to the actions of dictators who order campaigns of mass starvation and genocide. And that can't be true. 

A child once told me that she was "bad and no good."  When I asked her why, she told me that she was no good because she didn't get straight A's on her report card.  Now I don't know how bad it is to not get straight A's in school but I am pretty sure it is far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far away from the kind of badness done by people like Hitler and Stalin.

Anyway . . . that is what helps me.  Hopefully many people will see your post and respond with what helps them and you will get a chance to see better words than my poor words.

Best to you!

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Hi camilo,

I think its fine to explore dark topics from an intellectual perspective to learn from it.

I was intrested in historical wars and serial killers like why they do these things as some of them publish books or write long essays.

Typically what I see is someone experiences pain and projects it onto random people who do not deserve it. Too many innocent people die during wars. They die  for mistakes selfish leaders make or random innocent people.

Its best to let people learn and think for themselves. You dont want to live in a censored world. There are many topics that take mental resolve to learn about.

In the past college was only reserved for upperclass. The poor would go to bars and pulpits while the rich would learn these new peddled theories. I like that education is accessible with the internet but there is also more misinformation as well so its important to apply critical thinking and take the topics with grain of salt.

You have a lifetime of experience, you are smarter than you think.

Edited by Evergreenforst4
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