This is my summary of Jacque Fresco‘s ideas about depression and how to deal with it (YouTube links at the end of the article)
Depression : permanent state of low self-esteem (or no self-esteem) combined with negative feelings (fear, anxiety, not feeling anything, don’t give a fuck about anybody, suicide thoughts).
Disappointment : when your expectations are not met.
Two factors of depressions:
– dependency : 10% of the reasons why you are depressed
– loss of identity : 90% of the reasons why you are depressed. Losing identity means losing the meaning of your existence: what am I doing here ? Who I am ?
Depression is linked to :
1. hopelessness and pessimism : no matter how you look at the solution, you can’t find it and you are lost.
2. loss of identity : your expectations were so high and when you fail to meet them, all your life crumbles and you lost the meaning of your life, and even don’t know who you are anymore.
The reason why you are so lost is because you lost predictability. You don’t know the right path you should follow. There is even no path in the forest for you to find your way back home. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
How to solve this predictability problem ?
1. You have to try something new and fail, in order to understand better how to tackle the problem (you gather genuine information). By many adjustments, tries and fails, you’ll begin to see more clearly what path you should take to reach your goals. Once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you will have hope. And closer you see the light, more will gain confidence.
2. In order not to fall into depression, and loss the meaning of an activity you are FORCED to do, you must find an incentive system to encourage, motivate you to continue doing this activity, so that there is a meaning behind what you are doing. This is the philosophy of reinforcement.
If you are a professional football player, you get automatic reinforcement if you score. People will applause you, it will flatter your ego and motive you to score more. Conversely, if you fail to score, nobody will applause you, you will feel like a piece of shit, have low-esteem of yourself, have this additional pressure to absolutely score from now on, because you failed meeting the spectators’ expectations, and you may depressed if you fail again. People need self-recognition to flatter their ego, to make them exist (to get attention just like having thousands of “likes” in FB or instagram).
Unfortunately, many activities don’t have rewards to push you to go on pursing the efforts of doing an activity. For example, if you are forced to do your homework, you can reward yourself with eating blinchiki afterwards to tell yourself you did a good job and to motivate you.
The best activities remain the activities you do because you like doing them. For example drawing: you don’t need a person to order you to draw, you can draw it from your own will because you love this activity.
3. Another way of avoiding falling into depression is to disconnect the result of your work from who you are. If you fail your homework, it does not mean you are a stupid person. It means your work was not good but next time you can improve it. So it was your work which was shitty, not you as a person who was stupid.
4. A concrete example to avoid being disappointed: if you do a public speaking in front of a crowd of 100 people, you can be stressed because you are afraid people may make fun of the stupid things you say. It means you care about people’s opinion and you are afraid to meet their expectations. But let’s take another example, a building is on fire, and you warn 100 people that they must exist as fast as possible the building because it is on fire, you will not be ashamed of speaking. Why ? Because you are only informing people. You are not scared of meeting any expectations from people’s opinion. So in a public speaking speech, if you think you are only informing people of a subject, without caring if they will agree with you or not, you will not get any pressure or any disappointment, even if nobody listens to you.
5. When you are depressed, it is important to ask yourself : why are you depressed ? Is it because you are afraid of people’s opinion ? But if you don’t give a shit of them, you would be more relaxed and you should be fine.
Remark : more you are dependent/rely on a person, more you have risks to fall into depression if that person disappears. Why ? Because this person IS your reason of existence. If this person disappears, your reason of existence disappears too. You must have your own life motivations that are yours, and which cannot be taken from you, no matter what happens.