Depression: Robin Williams, Linkin Park and Me

Three years ago, almost to the day, Robin Williams killed himself. Long-term depression seems to have been a contributing factor.

Three months ago Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington killed himself. Once again, long-term depression reared its ugly head.

It’s a reminder of my own struggles with anxiety and depression.

After Chester Bennington’s death one of my readers, Bob, sent in lyrics pointing out that, “Some think the song ‘Heavy’ was a cry for help.”

I don’t like my mind right now

Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary

I’m holding on

Why is everything so heavy?

Holding on

So much more than I can carry

I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down

I’m moved by “One More Light” which tells of a life cut short. The song was written for a friend who died too young of cancer, but after Bennington’s death the words take on new meaning.

Should’ve stayed, were there signs, I ignored?

Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?

We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep

There are things that we can have, but can’t keep

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We’re quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do

Bob ponders,

I now realize that his songs were “journals” of his constant battle with depression. It’s sad thinking of people battling like that, being traumatized and fighting every day to keep their head above water.

He was talking to “us” all along, voicing his inner battles. He literally used his platform to help people thru his music. Very touching.

Here’s what I’ve learned  

I’ve gone the rounds with depression a couple of times in my life and I’ve endured at least three major bouts of anxiety — punctuated by moments of terror throughout each day, and accompanied by impulses for self-harm.

Since I’m shrink-averse I’ve never seen one. I wouldn’t recommend self-therapy for everyone and some people simply need medication. But my self-therapy has worked spectacularly for me. Here’s what I’ve done:

Meditation: Each day, right after I wake up I focus on my breath for 10 minutes. When I notice my mind is wandering I bring it back to my breath.

When I first began the practice it felt like I was “failing meditation” but the constant refocusing is the point — that’s what rewires the brain.

What works best for me is to begin by focusing on something that needs healing — my knees, or something. Invoking the placebo effect can’t hurt, and it really calms my mind down. So I typically do that for the first five minutes and then focus on healing my mind; letting things go.

Today it’s become very easy to let go of thoughts I don’t want in my everyday life. I’m a master at it now.

It’s a process. At first it took every bit of willpower to keep from being drawn back into the darkness. But what was once a mix of will and meditation grew to automatic letting go.

Ode to joy: I once heard that people who are depressed are not able to connect to joy. So every morning after I meditate I do an ode to joy.

I figure that if I can feel depressed and anxious about nothing, I might as well feel joyful about nothing too!

Laughter is actually powerful medicine, so I try to laugh everyday!

Even if you take meds, all of this can help!

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 10, 2017, in psychology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. I am glad I chose this post to read and comment on today.Thankfully not today, but for about two months I did feel like I was barely keeping myself above water, my emotions would rise up and down like waves. This has actually been something I have struggled with since about 15 years old. I think a lot of factors from my childhood have to do with it, so it makes sense once I became a teenager that I would feel everything at once. I believe I had done my best to keep hard memories/feelings dormant but once I went about my life certain things became triggers. Regardless, I am happy to have overcome emotional obstacles and hope to continue finding peace and methods to keep that peace around longer. I enjoyed you sharing about your mediation process and the outcomes of it. I have also tried meditating, downloading apps to help but stopped when I felt I wasn’t good at it. This post has inspired me to try again for a positive outcome!

  2. Its actually comforting knowing other people share the same experiences of depression and anxiety. Music definitely is something that everyone can connect with and helps ensure people they are not alone through their struggles. I myself haven’t gone through depression as those who are clinically diagnosed, the usual life struggles which I see normal. I have however been working hard to improve my anxiety. Some days are better than others and with the state of our current world it has been more difficult. Meditation is something I have also started doing, it really helps to clear my mind, not overthink, and live in the moment. Its been said depression is worrying about the past and anxiety is worrying about the future. The best way to battle these problems is with a combination of self help and medication. Joy and laughter come from surrounding yourself with amazing people and I am so lucky to currently have those kinds of people.

  3. The mind is a mystery in so many ways and we all have a different story. I wonder, if these celebrities were ordinary people, would they still have suffered from depression? Not to say that people who aren’t famous don’t suffer from depression because they absolutely can/do, but being a celebrity and living that kind of lifestyle I imagine is very difficult. They are always in the limelight and everything they do is scrutinized and when they are struggling they have to put on a face. Our society is built on the fact that showing signs of weakness and vulnerability is bad and that a person should just “suck it up”. There are so many pressures all around us, especially with the evolution of the internet and social media. It’s no wonder suicide rates have increased by 30% since 2000. Affordable easily accessible treatment and reducing the stigma are some key factors in changing the narrative.

  4. This post certainly hits close to home for me. I have suffered for depression and anxiety ever since I found out those were the labels for the things that I feel every day. When people in the media or people you look up to suffer from the same things, you seem to feel a sense of understanding amongst these people. Nothing in life comes easy but when you struggle with your mind and your mental health it can leave you feeling incredibly deserted and lost. I am lucky enough to learn how to help myself as you have but sometimes it may not be enough. I have recently started therapy and I do feel it has been helping, without medication. Having someone debunk your mind and tell you things you may or may not want to hear is extremely helpful. I’ve also never really been a religious person or someone that goes to church and speaks about God but when I meditate I usually find myself praying. I guess this helps me come to terms with what’s bothering me and the wants and needs that I have. This post made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Very well written thank you for sharing what you’ve learned.

  5. Depression – also characterized by many as a form of mental illness is a real deal. It is not about feeling sad but completely different. I did not know much about it until I studies in some details in my earlier psychology class about stories from many, who did undergo various forms of depression among both sexes. It seems to be related to law of any interest in activities, day to day things including work, home, lack of appetite, not being able to want to talk or mingle with others, difficult concentrating across all category of activities, not being able to sleep and complete lack of motivation – different kind of feeling altogether. Apparently, no two folks dealing with depression have similar symptoms and/or experiences. Also, both men and women experience different symptoms while sharing some common symptoms. There is a huge stigma associated with depression in most countries but more so in the under-developed countries resulting into overall lack of awareness making it difficult to treat people as such for depression.

    Studies have shown that it is typically higher in females considering girls reach puberty earlier than males. In fact, the female reproductive changes as well as the ones during fetal movement forms the basis of all mood disorders and in fact women have twice the risk than men as a result. Various studies have shown that depression results into individuals committing violent crimes. It also leads to stress, anxiety, and short-term memory loss. Persistent depression can even result into permanent brain damage.

    Depressed men are more likely to abuse alcohol and other substances. Both men and women respond differently to antidepressants. Men take long time in recognizing signs of depression as compared to women, who can describe it much better. No wonder, depression symptoms in men go unnoticed for quite sometime before being treated. The first step to recovery in depression is learning to understand that you have one and in depression without getting stigmatized. Just like our physical body needs to be kept in check, our mental health including the brain needs to be kept in check as well and nothing to be shamed about. Seeking professional help in treating depression is like visiting a doctor for any physical illness. Meditation, staying connected with other people, staying the sun, in some cases prescribed anti-depressants, cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the modern day techniques to fight depression.

  6. Men with depression are more likely to abuse alcohol and other substances. Men and women might respond differently to antidepressants.

  7. Thank you for your article. My best friend has severe depression. It was really hard for me to understand what she was going through until I experienced (and got diagnosed) with depression myself. I think what was so hard to accept was that she always seemed so happy most of the time, much like the persona of Robin Williams, until she got to a point where she was unable to get out of bed even while taking her anti-depressants. From the outside its easy to dismiss someone’s pain from an invisible illness because I think its harder to empathize with something you haven’t experience firsthand. I later learned that she had attempted suicide three times and used to cut herself. She said the physical pain felt better than her emotional pain. She now gets tattoos for the same reason. Recently she starting seeing a life coach who has taught her similar methods of meditation and relaxation techniques for when she gets anxiety attacks, she is so much healthier and seems genuinely happier than before. As for me, I do yoga to help combat my mild depression. I highly suggest it!

  8. As a Linkin Park fan, I was in total shock when I heard the news about Chester’s suicide. Linkin Park’s music captured so many emotions I experienced during my adolescent years. Lyrics from songs like “Numb” or “In the End” helped me feel a little more connected to the rest of the world because someone, probably the person who wrote the song knew exactly how I was feeling during that time. So when I learned of the lead vocalist suicide I was baffled. How could someone who became famous by producing music about personal struggles take his own life? It made no sense to me and it still doesn’t. The music Linkin Park is famously known for captures the essence of sadness, suffering, and depression so incredibly well, maybe a little too well. I have never been diagnosed with depression but I have had my fair share of mental meltdowns and I have hit rock bottom at least once in my life, so I am no stranger the emotional roller coaster ride life’s ups and downs take us on. What I do know is that there is no pill out there that can cure depression, if there was I am pretty sure Chester would still be with us today. I agree that meditation, exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of rest help but it is up to the individual to conquer their unhealthy mental state.

    Let me explain, when I went through the lowest point of my life there were three things that helped me push through it, my family, the change in my environment and developing new interests. Growing pains are never easy but with the right support system it helps makes the process a little more manageable. For me, my family was my support system. I know I am luckier than most because I had the support of my family, however, there are many places support can be found, friends, hotlines and support groups. There were so many things that didn’t go the way I wanted it to so I decided to change my surroundings and kept a distance with people who were toxic in my life. I decided to keep myself occupied and focus on personal interests like traveling and taking classes, do more things that made me happy. I am not saying that my strategy will work for everyone but depression is a mindset that many people choose to stay in. It’s difficult when someone is in a rut but I believe everyone is empowered to change their mental state when it comes to depression.

  9. I found this article to be very interesting, because I have also struggled with depression and anxiety for many years. My depression first kicked in when I was 13; I was fighting against anorexia, and everything seemed to get worse and worse. I felt very weak and sad— I could not find any reasons to leave my bed. Things finally started to get better after my therapist pushed me to go seek medical help. Then, the psychiatrist prescribed me Zoloft for about a year.

    Since then, I have had a few depression episodes that require me to go back to Zoloft every now and then. Unfortunately, none of my psychologists or psychiatrists ever suggested meditation as a way of self-treatment. The author highlighted the importance of meditation, by explaining that through it, she learned to let go of any worries and calm her mind down. After reading this post, I feel very motivated to try out meditation as a way to control my anxiety and depression.

    Finally, I really liked the author’s idea that if one can feel depressed and anxious about nothing, one can also feel joyful about nothing too. I never thought about it that way, but it makes complete sense. Whenever I feel depressed, I do not ever have an actual justifiable “good” enough reason for it— I just allow my distorted perception of reality dictate my feelings. Our minds are very strong, and it is important to be reminded that we should be the ones in control of our emotions.

  10. I have been living with chronic severe depression and anxiety my entire life, I am also a survivor of attempted suicide back when I was a teenager. I’ve lost multiple friends and even a long term boyfriend to suicide. This has always been an issue that hits really close to home for me and always gets me emotional. I’ve learned to slightly keep my depression under control by taking up multiple hobbies to keep my attention elsewhere but the anxiety never goes away and I often suffer from horrible panic attacks in my sleep. Losing people to suicide is probably what makes me work so hard now to try and keep myself in check and to be stronger and not lose myself like I did so long ago. It’s a hard battle to face everyday but experiencing the loss and how horrible it is to be absolutely helpless in trying to save someone you love and care about is what motivates me to stay strong, I never want to make anyone feel that way because it is the absolute worst feeling.

    • I’m sorry that you have had to struggle with this. Meditation really helps me. For some people who have struggled with this meditation works fine if you just empty your mind and let that go. For others it helps more to fill the empty space with something positive like healing energy, strengthening energy. I would encourage you to try this. I’m so much better now.

  11. pompousplatypus

    My experience with depression can be summarized with the phrase “crabs in a bucket”.
    A part of me wants to do something about my state of mind, but another part of me pulls me back down. This constant struggle only makes it worse.The feeling of wanting to be motivated but you can’t be. Wanting to change but not doing anything to actually change. I have had days where I spend hours lying on my bed when i should be doing other things. This very problem had affected me the most when I was 17. I was skipping classes and some days just not going to school. I almost didn’t graduate from high school because I was missing out on so much school work. When I did go, I would be falling asleep because of how tired I was. Being unable to focus in class made me think “why bother?” My grades plummeted, only bringing me down more
    About four months into the school year, the school had me transferred to an alternative high school. I never thought that something as simple as transferring schools would be able to help me, but it did. I didn’t realize it at first, but it was much more than just going to a different school, it was a change of pace. It was a different experience than at my previous school. It helped me improve my grades, I was no longer skipping classes, and I was much happier. It helped me realize that when my depression is getting to me, I need to do something out of the norm. Do something I haven’t done in a while or have never done. While it may seem as something simple, it has definitely helped me become a happier person. I still find myself lacking some motivation and feeling hopeless, but I am still in the process of trying to overcome depression. Its a difficult thing to do, but knowing that it has gotten better for me in the past gives me hope for the future.

  12. This is a great blog that highlights something many do not want to talk about: depression and anxiety. I believe few have not suffered from one, if not both, of these adversities. Prevalent among every age group and every sector of society, it is something that is rarely talked about as many still do not understand it or know how to help someone suffering. Depression is widespread in my family, and sitting by helplessly as they suffer in silence is heartbreaking. As this blog points out, cries for help are often missed.

    When I first heard about Robin Williams I couldn’t believe the news. How could someone so talented, so funny and amusing, with so much to live for, resort to the drastic act of suicide. It made no sense to me. Surely there must be more to the story, I thought.

    There always does seem to be more to the story, things we cannot see or do not understand. Depression is something that no one can understand unless they have experienced it themselves. The deepest lows, the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are insidious.

    As more and more attention is brought to the topic of depression, and it becomes more talked about (this blog is a perfect example!), society is becoming more educated and informed about the signs and symptoms related to depression and anxiety. Meditation is a perfect example of a small, but very helpful, step towards taking control over your thoughts. I also am a very big believer in the concept of Gratitude, making a list daily of things in my life that I may take for granted. At the top of my list are the words: Be Joyful!
    I loved your post – thanks for sharing!

  13. Depression and anxiety is no joke. My husband and I were heartbroken when we found out Robin Williams had committed suicide. Robin Williams spent his life making others laugh. Maybe this was his scapegoat from reality. From his appearance, you would have never thought he was depressed or unhappy or would have ever taken his own life. As a society, we need to learn and understand the symptoms of depression or the cries for help to be there for those in need. Suicide in groups can be contagious especially when it comes to famous people or young teens. We hear about cases on the news, the internet, and in the newspaper. I can see how others may feel it’s appropriate. It gives people with suicidal tendencies ideas on how to plan for a death and how it’s viewed by others. We don’t know how the person is feeling or what they’ve experienced in the past or present. We really need to listen when people talk to us. Everyone is so busy these days and we no longer know how to communicate with each other. This is why it’s so important to smile and say hi to people. You never know what they are going through and a simple smile or conversation can make a difference or save a life.

  14. I believe that having depression is the worst, you have to deal with a lot. Its sad to see so many people deal with it themselves and then know that they gave up their lives. I grew up in a town called palo alto, the suicide teenage rate went up once i was in high school and it was sad to know that these teens aren’t getting help because they felt alone and got to deep into their thoughts. I myself when through a time where my depression got so bad that i ended up doing self harm and ended up being admit to the hospital and it was the toughest time for me. I could only imagine the pressure that Robin Williams and Linkin park and other famous people go through to keep themselves together for their fans, i feel like sometimes we forget that famous people are also human and they go through struggles that non-famous people go through. Depression is not an easy thing to talk about with others or to get help but people need to know that they are not alone.

  15. After Chester passed away, his wife put a video of him up a few hours after he committed suicide. He was full of life laughing and smiling with his son as they tried different flavors jelly bean. She captioned it as “I’m showing this so that you know that depression doesn’t have a face or a mood.” That video was so special because Chester did not look depress. It is an inner battle. Since March, I was in a bad position with myself. I took work off and started working one day a week (because work was a part of the depression). I used the extra time and put it more towards school and six months later I began to feel better. In the six months being alive was not something I looked forward to but looking back on those times now, I thank the universe for my existence now.

  16. It’s sad how people can get lost in their own thoughts. Thank you for sharing your ways of dealing with depression! Life is so stressful for all of us. I’m 21 years old and I don’t know many people who are my age and not depressed, which makes me sad. If we don’t start hunting happiness we will just get lost.

    I recently was so depressed, I’m thankfully doing better now. Making new friends, learning new things helped me get better. I basically learned how to find happiness in small things. Anxiety is another thing. It’s hard to explain it to the people who don’t know how it feels and how small tasks can be so exhausting. Because there is a voice inside your head who constantly talks and it’s really hard to not to listen to that voice.

    Also art helps a lot. Hearing and seeing things from artists who are dealing with anxiety and depression, makes us feel like we are not the only ones who are struggling

  17. Powerful song though huh? I’ll shorten my response above if need be, but I wanted to just add this in too

    • You bring up important thoughts from the heart. Thinking of using it in a post.

      • It’s so sad what happened in las vegas. What is eerie is some relation of what I just wrote about with men handling conflicts. And the scary thing, is this guy didn’t have signs of mental illness, he obviously has to have screws loose or lack of empathy to do the horrendous thing he did. But he was wealthy, a white male, had a girlfriend. He wasn’t a loner and was in his 60s. Not radicalized as far as I’ve heard and wouldn’t seem to be working for ISIS. ISIS claimed it, but I think it was them trying to bait our idiot president to go that road and alienate muslims more. But nothing on him would show up on background checks that would stop him from buy or owning a legal gun because he didn’t have a previous crime I believe.I’m not sure if he was a former military guy, but he was a gambler, and I think I read he lost $ gambling or a lot in vegas.

        But the crazy and sad thing is it’s not uncommon for some men to instead of dealing specifically with what bothers them, they can take this anger and want to on anyone, innocent people who have nothing to do with such men. This “me against the world” if anything despite the differences with terrorists or mass shooters is a mindset that plays in pre determined or impulsively of going on a warpath against life, against people and the lack of coping having to do with that or not letting emotions int he right way like women do. Then there’s thie nihilism that can effect men it seems too, perhaps from the burden or being more or doing more and then when that bubble is popped that they are not, they can’t handle it. I don’t know if these thoghts interest you and my other in relation to this incident as far as this aspect of men and realted to the incident. If a post does come, I don’t think a picture of the man should be posted, I know he killed himself, but guys like that don’t need anymore attention to their face or name. But their name left out and picture left out and but talk about these things.

      • What he did is not normal. I wonder if they’ll find he lost a bunch of $ gambling or had relationship problems. It can take a while to find things out. Maybe he just objectifies humans so much and wanted to see what he could get away with as some weird ego-boost? (Not realizing the gun fire would trigger the smoke alarm in his room.)

  18. robot boy- The person could be a runaway teenager, a soldier or an orphan. The person is traumatized by certain events and considers his/her depression as something that can’t be explained. The song ends with a message to the person telling him/her that the world is always ready to help, and is a kinder place than what he/she perceives. The phrase “Robot Boy” is a metaphor for someone who feels or expresses little to no emotion, just like a robot does.”

    lyrics “You say the weight of the world
    Has kept you from letting go
    And you think compassion’s a flaw
    And you’ll never let it show
    And you’re sure you’ve hurt in a way
    That no one will ever know”

    and then eerie with the last lyrics “Just hold, on the weight of the world
    Will give you the strength to go”

    Even though it seems redundant, I like it, because the song is so based on the music and message, the message is not the same and continues and just the harmonizing. I love the intro with the music and even before the singing but the keyboard or mimic of it and the “oooo” harmonizing before the singing and the transition to the singing with the music. Such a climatic song, like a last hurrah which is sad too. Here’s the song.

    • Thanks for sending this end. Do you think that men are more likely to be this way because they are taught to repress there emotions? I do.

      • Yeah I do. As a man, I can talk about my problems, but it’s hard and takes me awhile, because I’m too upset about whatever stress or frustration and going through and anger can be in the forefront. It’s weird because anger might be the sign of sadness for guys and what is shown through first. It’s only after the venting and cussing or whatever and stewing for a while that I may feel a little depressed or that sets in if I’m very upset and frustrated about life or work and feel overwhelmed and my ego is tested. It’s very uncomfortable to feel helpless and just “take it” and instead the emotion instead is to either fix the problem or combat it. But some problems you can’t fix and it sucks because then the wheels are spinning and just dying to do something other than talk about it and just take it up the ass pretty much.

        Just deal with it and move on, but I’m like fuck that, I don’t want to accept it and move on, fuck this, fuck you fuck fuck fuck, i’m going to find a way to get the last laugh or do something that makes me feel better even if it’ spiteful. I don’t go there but I know the emotions, it sucks though, they say revenge is not a good thing and never is, but I think the way man are taught we have to fix our problems, so instead of going around the obstacle or coping with it, you have to take your frustration out. Luckily it’s in the benign way for most men as many guys are not psychotic and have morals and it’s more from the sense of bitching, being very grumpy, cussing, etc. But the malignant part of some men unforuntately could spill over to getting in bar fights, road rage fight, domestic abuse, maybe homicide if they already had screws loose or rapoe, who knows. II think guys who abuse women and violent are scumbags but perhaps our soceity isns;t helpin and maybe if society was better even guys with screws loose would be able to cope and not abuse people. For me, having morals and a big heart and very compassionate and strong empathy, my anger is in the bitching sense ha. I get grumpy, but often don’t vent out but am quiet when I’m mad, because I’m stewing and just want to be left alone because I don’t want to have an outburst.

  19. I just wanted to add this, because I came across this song from a guy I work with. I listened more to linkin park years ago and just didn’t hear their stuff on the radio and thought some of the music wasn’t as good, but actually it just got overlooked because they ventured in different genres. I think it shows their experimentation and versatility, Incredibly talented, but so unique for a rock band, or they were like modernized with different elements. They had guitarists, drummer, singer, but also a dj and their side man, he would be the back up vocalist, very talented guy too and he could rap.

    How many rock bands have an mc? He rapped right along with Jay z with linkin park did encore with jayz back in 2004 with faint that featured the back up vocalist of linkin park as it was more rapping to that song. But this song, ventured in the like edm, pop genre, but so damn underrated. Beautiful and powerful, even if you don’t care for it, I thought I’d share it because I love finding musical “gems” I call them. I never heard the song until someone who has there albumss happened to play it and I asked the name of the song. But it’s so moving and sad too, because the song is called robot boy. It’s Chester like in 3rd person talking to “robot boy”, you only find out now that chester was “robot boy” I

  20. Great advice and I do believe meditation does help. Thanks for this post!

  21. And it doesn’t help when people are battling their specific personal depression and issues and then you have depressing societal things going on. For example, as you know, Trump And Kim jung getting into a little man cock fight. Fricking scary, thinking about the possibility of any nuclear missiles shot off and the catastrophe that can come and then charlottesville, Virginia and the white nationalists and horrible event there with the clashing and people that died from the POS nationalist running them over. So much depressing things going on not just in the world, but here in our country. Trunp blamed OBama of course for dividing our country, but trumps been the one, lying as usual, who has caused more problems and more of a divide in america.

    • Unfortunately Trump is governing pretty much how I thought he would – except worse. Even more of everything. I thought he would be scary and he is. I never had nightmares about politics until the last few months.

  22. Oh I love your “self-therapy” techniques. While I understand they might not work for everyone, I do believe they could help a lot of people. Thank you for sharing!!!

  23. This post offers so much incredible insight ~ from a band and comedian I both admire, to the words of this post to help understand the danger of depression.

  24. Having depression is worse than having broken bones.

  25. my personal experience with depression has always revolved around wrong life choices. Mostly different types of addictions. I was always cross addicted. moving from one to another, starting one addictive habit in the hopes that I can get rid of the old one. Never really worked, They would eventually gang up on me. All of these people have been addicted to one thing or the other and depression was a symptom of that addiction. When you rape yourself, the body bites back in revulsion.

    I am sure that they must have had some scarring incidents in their childhood. my 2 cents…

    • Thanks for sharing about your experience with this.

      Both my depression and my anxiety usually come from trying to meet too-high expectations and then experiencing anxiety or depression when I can’t meet them. I have to learn to be easier on myself, too.

      There’s a helpful book called “The Four Agreements.” I actually didn’t like reading the book — it’s a hard read, but I discussed it with a group of friends and the discussions were actually really interesting. One agreements is “do your best.” I first interpreted that as “be perfect.” But that’s not what he meant at all. You can’t be perfect. But you can do your best. And whatever your best is will vary from time to time. You may not have the time, talent, energy to accomplish everything you’d like. Just do your best.

      • Both my depression and my anxiety usually come from trying to meet too-high expectations and then experiencing anxiety or depression when I can’t meet them. I have to learn to be easier on myself, too.”

        That’s me a lot, though I don’t usually have a hard time to be happy randomly or force it. I can get sad or depressed but not like that clinical sense. I think the chemical imbalance depression or post-partem depression women can deal with is definitely worse. But I can get negative very easily and it’s due to anxiety and tough time with coping with things not working out as I hoped or thought would. And yes, high expectations too, but I don’t like the thought of them being too high or for anyone to think they are. My ego doesn’t like that and it can create a chip on my shoulder as a result. I can create a burden having high expectations and being proud or ego driven. Then with the fact where it seems like almost every thing in my life where I felt like finally something I hoped for or wanted and had it, and then teased and don’t get it or taken away. Or a position you thought would be good and then stuff you didn’t know or changed after you already get the job and it’s worse now.

        And then you miss out on one that would have been good and would have had. Just so many regrets and like why there is anxiety which can create feeling depressed or hopeless and unfortunately what I call “guarded optimism). When something good comes up, instead of being excited, I will be very cautious almost wondering if something bad is going to happen or it not work out. You know kind of like how girls and guys can be guarded with their emotions if they’ve been burned bad in a relationship or relationships or heartbroken or hurt and take a long time to warm up again to someone. It can be like that for me with situations and stuff where guard my emotions because of previous let downs, failures and such have hurt me and I remember them. And because everytime I find something I would like it either gets taken from my grasp, one that I don’t like or something. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most patient person.

      • Yes, I have had some of the experiences you describe too. I’m trying to look at it differently now as a learning experience. I didn’t get what I wanted or hoped for but what did I learn from the journey? And what have I managed to contribute anyway? I’ve found it that helps me to be more positive. Thanks for sharing about your experience with this.

    • Yeah Chester bennington, the poor guy, was sexually abused by his uncle when he was a child. So sad. So I think that’ what lead to his very low self esteem, PTSD, which probably lead to recurring deep depression. Which leads or can lead to drug abuse. And stuff like sexual assault, rape and molestation, I think that can haunt a person for the rest of their life. So it is sad that he had to go through something horrible like that. Georgia I Think said she might being up a blog sometime about sexual abuse and effects and such.

      • Yes, since the anniversary of Robin Williams death is tomorrow I decided to write about this first and I will write more about the horrible effects of sexual abuse later, relating it back to the unfortunate and untimely death of this very talented man. Thanks for sending me some material on this Bob.

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