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depression tips

The other day I was picking on posts that have unhelpful-to-me tips for handling depression. In this post I'll mention a helpful-to-me depression aid, and ask for some advice.

Helpful-to-me thing: http://boggletheowl.tumblr.com/
This is a depression support blog where a cartoon owl offers a lot of encouragement and a little bit of advice. Some of the people writing in say upsetting things and sometimes Boggle is a bit too sweet. But I find the high encouragement to advice ratio helpful. (When you're depressed, what are some helpful things for you?)

Advice request:
I used to e-socialize a lot via mailing lists. These days it seems all the topical activity that used to occur in mailing lists has moved to Facebook. I check Facebook once or twice a day. But I've noticed that I usually end up feeling worse afterward. Part of it is that people post so much bad news. And OK, I do belong to some groups there where the whole purpose is to post bad news. But it's not just those groups that make me feel bad. I guess I could just quit reading FB, or limit myself to reading only a few people I have no other way to connect with. But it would be nice if there were a less drastic option or some way to approach FB that doesn't get me all riled up. (Does this happen to you?)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/807231.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
I'd never seen Boggle before. I like Boggle and think Boggle's way of looking at depressive thoughts could sometimes help me too.

When I'm depressed, the most helpful thing is for a person close to me to say, "I'm here and it's OK for you to talk to me about being depressed." They don't have to give advice, although advice can be helpful. But mostly it helps to be "held," listened to, and told I'm cared for even when I feel like an awful, useless, miserable person.

Intense dark music can help. Looking at pictures of nature, space, and dark imagery online can help. Also, holding my stuffed kitty and petting him and telling him how I feel.

None of these things make depression go away, but they give me a sense of connection to a wider world of feeling and art and beings, and my own world doesn't seem so empty. That's important for me. I mean, talking to my stuffed kitty can feel like connecting to the whole Universe. As silly as this sounds, it can be almost a mystical experience, and I usually find that comforting.

I know what you mean about mailing lists. I miss them. LJ works in a similar way and serves a similar need, but the mailing lists I've been on had a lot more people who shared my interests (such as writing) and talked about them intelligently, deeply, and often. Of course, I haven't put a lot of effort into finding compatible friends on lj. But, shared interests or not, the friends I do have are very kind when I post about depression. And I can post very sensitive stuff here without feeling self-conscious.

Facebook has never served the same purpose for me as mailing lists. IME it's a place for banter and the sharing of recipes and cool pictures. I don't mesh well with people who use fb to talk to their families and keep up with old school friends. That's just not how I use fb. I will never have real intimacy with most of my fb friends. Though occasionally, there can be surprising moments of mutual understanding and epiphany.

I do get riled up quite often when I look at my fb feed. There's way too much bad news, too many political posts (even when I agree about politics, I hate thinking about it), and stuff about animals in need of help that I can't give. I feel lonely every time facebook tells me that one of my friends has a new friend or is going to some cool event (since I'm housebound). Everything about facebook reinforces my Outlier position, which sometimes feels good and sometimes feels bad. So I don't read my feed every day. And I don't belong to any groups.

I went through a period of several months when I didn't use facebook at all -- I did all my e-socializing and self-expression on lj, because people here like to go deep. That's difficult on facebook, though I'm letting myself rant there these days. It's a bigger audience, but there are fewer people who respond with insight or support. But it feels pretty good to let myself rant whether people respond or not.

These days, what I like to do on facebook is post weird pictures and quotes and stuff that probably challenges my mainstream friends. I spend most of my time on my own page. I create a world for myself with what I post, and my friends are welcome to share in it or not, as they choose.

I think a less troubling way to approach facebook would be to avoid my feed and only look at the timelines/pages of people who post stuff I'm interested in. Also, it's liberating to be able to restrict who among my friends actually sees what I post. That way, I can avoid getting comments from people whom I know will annoy me, without the drastic step of unfriending them. Although I looked for the restriction menu yesterday and couldn't find it, so maybe facebook has done away with that feature. More likely, it's moved the menu just to spite me.

I hope you don't feel the need to quit facebook, because I like getting your comments. I'm purely selfish! But seriously, if you need to get away from fb, I completely understand why.
Apr. 12th, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
Boggle is good. Calming Manatee is another good blog in this same vein.
Apr. 12th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Apr. 12th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Intense dark music can help. Looking at pictures of nature, space, and dark imagery online can help.

These help me too.

Your FB doesn't depress me. Sometimes I feel mad because life is hard for you right now in ways that are society's fault. But that's not the same thing.

There are two ways to restrict people:
--On a person's page, click Friends, and in the menu click Add To Another List, then Restricted.
--Anywhere on FB, click the gear icon in the top right, click Privacy Settings, Blocking, then in the Restricted List setting, click "Edit List".

Apr. 13th, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
I'm glad my fb doesn't depress you.

Thanks for the info on how to restrict people.

Apr. 12th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
The best thing for me when I'm depressed is to have someone come and take me for a walk. This someone is Mike about 98% of the time. He knows that I don't want a walk and he knows that I know that it'd be good for me and he tells me this and it makes sense so most of the time I go with him and walk.

And we talk about what else I can do to make myself feel better. Sometimes I think there is nothing that will make me feel better, but if I can find something to physically do, even if it's something dreadful like housework, if someone does it with me and talks with me while we're doing it, I will begin to feel better.
Apr. 12th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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