Psychological Self-Help

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Finally, some therapists (Cammer, 1969) think the body just runs
out of energy, causing us to feel depressed. Maybe all feelings are
repressed along with the painful depression, producing a lack of
interest in anything. Furthermore, lethargic disinterest means we don't
have to try new things, take risks, meet challenges, or express
feelings. Like all other behavior, apathy has its payoffs. Hoffman
(1993) attempts to explain and correct "feeling tired all the time." 
Considering all the good one can do and all the fun one can have,
it seems sad to live life bored. Make your work into play
(Csikszentmialyi, 1975). Most of the techniques for depression would
work on boredom, but specifically try these ideas: make some changes
in your life, find something valuable and important to do (volunteer to
a hospital or a school), take an interesting course, exercise, use your
brain to think of self-help projects to do, get active--DO SOMETHING.
If there is some irritation with the person or situation boring you, with
a little tactful ingenuity you can probably change the situation.
Examples: turn the mundane chore into a competitive game, simply
tell the other person you are bored (they probably are too), or figure
out what is irritating you and change the situation or your thinking.
Most of the time, the solution is not just finding some way to fill one
afternoon but finding a worthwhile, exciting purpose for your life
(chapter 3) and developing self-esteem and self-efficacy (chapter 14). 
Methods for Coping with Depression
We have seen that sadness, hopelessness, loss, low self-regard,
loneliness, guilt, and shame are complex conditions or processes. The
causes are complex and so are the solutions. It is hard to pull yourself
out of a sinkhole of misery, sometimes impossible. When you feel most
like doing nothing, you need to DO SOMETHING! When the future
looks most bleak, you need to face it with some hope. When hating
yourself, you need to accept what you have been and work on being
better. So you may need help--therapy, medicine, family counseling,
and/or religious faith. But, eventually, no matter which "cure" you
take, you will have to help yourself; there is no effortless, magical
Throughout this chapter we have seen the wide-spread and devastating
nature of depression and sadness. About 20% of us Americans are
significantly depressed. Within that 20%, there are about 10% of us who will
suffer a major depression within our life times. Major depression means you
are so sad, tired, and debilitated that you can barely get through the day, you
don’t connect with other people, and you often have a lot of physical, eating,
and sleep problems. With major depression, you may also be weighed down
with guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, and feelings that life just doesn’t
seem worthwhile. Until this happens to you, it may be hard to imagine. You
may be especially frightened because you don’t know what to do to feel
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