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This listography is dedicated to all those suffering with depression or anxiety. Feel free to peruse the lists even if you don't have any existing issues. They contain advice on various aspects of life - from eating to sleeping to building confidence and so on.

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Depression and anxiety are serious medical conditions. When you hear someone say something like "Just relax" or "Get over it" or "Stop being lazy", don't feel guilty.

First of all – take the idea that all people fit somewhere on a bell curve. For many different things. For example, let’s take the ability to feel physical pain. You have receptors for that. Well, there’s people who have waaaay too few receptors. Sometimes there’s something wrong with the pain receptors themselves. Ever hear of congenital analgesia or congenital insensitivity? Where people can’t feel pain? Well, something in these people’s nervous system is whacked up. “There are some cases where the condition is caused by increased production of endorphins in the brain…”

Endorphins are just one kind of neurotransmitter – a chemical with a message for your body. They're “happy” messages and they need to go somewhere. So they hook up with receptors. But…! Guess what? These endorphins can hook up with your pain receptors. So, yes, too many endorphins can mean not feeling pain! Now it makes sense why – when you won those concert tickets over the radio and you hit your funny bone on the table – it didn’t hurt as much as it normally would! You were too happy to care.

You can also have too many pain receptors. You can feel pain over every little bump and bruise. Not fun. So of course someone who can’t feel pain at all is going to think you’re weak if you have too many pain receptors! “A toe stub? Seriously? Get over it. That’s nothing.” People who feel too much pain and people who feel none at all fall on opposite ends of the bell curve. They’re the extremes. There’s definitely people in the middle, close to one end or the other, and so on.

What I’m trying to say is – people have varying levels of ability to cope. You’ve got neurotransmitters and receptors for your emotions. Yes, you do. If you produce the right amount of “happy” messages, you’ve got a good amount of receptors, there’s nothing wrong with the receptor’s shape, performance, etc. - then it probably takes a lot to really upset you.

Like the person who can’t believe someone could feel pain over a simple toe stub, you might think it’s ridiculous to feel depressed about getting a B- on a science test. But what if there’s something wrong with that person’s receptors? What if they don’t have enough receptors? Or enough “happy” messages? Be mindful about the bell curve.

With all of that in mind, please don't believe that you are doomed to feel depressed or anxious. There are so many ways to help you cope if you're not good at it by yourself. You need some healthy crutches (metaphoric ones. 'Cuz the other ones put fire to your armpits).

jun 23 2013 ∞
jun 27 2013 +