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Trying To Talk Yourself Out of Depression Does Not Always Work

The actual professionals and the self-acclaimed psychology experts have embedded an idea via articles, blogs, and social media posts that talking about mental health issues, particularly depression, is perhaps the first and many times, the last, step to reclaiming a life without feeling the daily blues. However, the truth couldn't be any different. For starters, people suffering from depression are often in jobs and family roles where they have to speak throughout the day. Many people with depression have a rather well-established circle of friends with whom they converse every day. People visiting the family psychologist might continue to have long conversations about redemption, loss, and unhappiness and still, might feel that the therapy is not really making an impact. People need to realize that you cannot talk your way out of depression, at least not in most situations. For way too long, the role of counseling sessions has been given the maximum importance as a way to treat someone suffering from clinical depression. However, counseling and confessions are more important to address the problem and to make someone realize that it is okay to feel like not waking up, eating, exercising, going to school, or being regular at the office. However, the same approach does not help if the goal is to overcome depression. Many people fail to realize this assuming that therapy and treatment are the same and the more people talk about depression, the easier it will be to defeat the problem. Talking about depression can make the person more conscious about the underlying problem but therapy is rather different and it might not include a lot of communication.

Yes Art Heals but you don't need to be an artist

burst of colors drawing heals the mind
So, I was getting started with my Sunday morning chores which these days are more about DIY repairs. This time around, it also included setting up two small plants in recycled glass bottles to be put up in the kitchen, near the big window. An hour or so later, I chanced upon the drawings that my 4.5-year-old girl drew. This is when I realized that what I was doing and what I was looking at were both forms of Art. To turn this into a question – what is art? Is it as fundamental as creating something in a very tangible and creative way? I believe so. The artist could be anyone. In this case, my girl turned the canvas into art, using her skills, and drew us, a family. There is nothing to gauge her performance here. Such art is pure and unadulterated. It does not need inspiration or reason like filling out the galleries for an upcoming art exhibition.

caricature girl painting
Literally, anything that occupies your senses into creating something using your skills and some tools amounts to doing art, creating art, and being artistic. And I have realized that there is something deep, at the neural level, that connects art with our mind. To be brutally honest, since completing middle school I hadn’t been even close to being artistic. However, around 2016, my wife inspired me to do small things. This included starting a balcony garden. Once the planters came in, so did the need to paint and refurbish potting vessels and recycle a few things to be used as substitute planters. As a result, the spray paint cans, colors, and paintbrushes returned to my life. There is some therapeutic, close to healing, as your brush applies the color to a surface. It has a profound effect on your mind, taking it away from the daily anxieties, fears, and tensions.  

discover art childhood feel happy

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it disconnects you from the world though that is what I hear about great artists and real content creators. Even when using paint spray cans, the mind pacifies itself as you watch the mist of colors coat a surface, turning blacks and greys into vivid reds and bright yellows. Overall, the little bit of academic, greenhorn-level art that I have been able to pursue via these humble attempts has proven to be medicinally effective. There is no pharmacology apart from the chemical formula that is at the heart of many painting mediums these days. There are no after-effects apart from some drops that have marked your home tees and shorts. But there is a lot to gain from the experience. Even if you need to think, overthink, and surgically dissect your thoughts, slowly scraping away the soil build-up around the corners of a small planter can be a very effective medium to concentrate. You will realize that while doing so, you breathe a lot slower, you are less irritated, and overall, you are able to think less or more but with greater clarity. The latest in this small journey has been returning to using crayons.

This might sound nerdy and oversold but as the crayons give away and a part of them is martyred on the paper, you feel more in the moment, and break away from the past or the future that might be overwhelming you. As you start filling in within the boundaries of different shapes and forms, called shading perhaps, the simplicity of the task helps you relax. Another thing that I plan to start doing soon with my daughter, and as a part of getting artistic, is more drawings using chalk—this is one frontier that challenges me in a very unexpected manner. For some reason, the logic and sentiments associated with painting, coloring, shading, scraping, and layering don’t seem to apply as much when the tool is a piece of chalk and the medium is a school’s blackboard…

Prozac works but why not try the un-chemical way to feel good?

This discussion is not about whether Prozac helps with anxiety. Yes, medicines like Prozac can help you control your anxiety levels but here, I am discussing some DIY methods that are not equally chemical, and don't make you chase around for a prescriptionI have had issues with restoring my mental energy levels every time they get depleted with a few hectic days. Ever since I turned 25, a pattern emerged where after a couple of days of sustained physical and psychological work, my mind would go into a caffeinated mode, unable to wind down and as a result, my anxiety levels and the associated digestive symptoms would surface. The medicines I tried over the years to control this habit and its root cause helped to some extent but there is a catch to using them. No matter what the pharmaceutical world says, there is a downside to every drug out there, prescription or over-the-counter. Once you get into the habit of using mood boosters, or in my case, mood-sustaining salts, there is a big chance your body and mind stop evolving to help you navigate and manage different phases of your life, and some need you to be alert and calm. My continuous run-ins with these meds also helped me uncover some things that could boost the overall mood and energy levels. These mental health tips are not stolen from the web or blatantly rewritten to engage the search engines. This is from my cup of psychological wellness and I am sharing some of it with you:

Discussing my Coleus...the plant of Gods!

illustration of how coleus plant looks
I will be adding images to this discussion soon but right now, my focus is on talking about the growing love for coleus. I chanced upon this plant last year. At that time, I did not understand the difference between foliage plants and flowering plants. Soon, along with my love for the plant, a bit of knowledge also seeped in. Within a few months, I realized that the coleus family is rather high on color combinations and bright, colored leaves but does not flower. Yes, sometimes you get some seed stalks but these are not really pretty. This is a means to create some seeds that can be preserved for restarting the pot after the winter has ravaged it.

What is the Myntra platform fee? and why should we pay for it?

I came back to Myntra after a bit of a break, busy exploring AJIO, Amazon Fashion, and Pantaloons, and this time around, while checking out, the billing structure suggested that Myntra is charging INR 20 per order as a Platform Fee! I am not sure what was going through the minds of the financial decision-making machinery at Myntra but honestly, it just does not make a lot of sense. Just imagine this - they are charging this fee under the pretext of "...for a hassle-free app experience" which makes you want to ask the Myntra team - all along, did the entire billed amount go to the manufacturer or the seller and the app was being kept "hassle-free" via goodwill and charity? Before this Platform Fee came along, Myntra, as a retail platform, was making no money from every transaction or purchase? Most people would agree, it was. It is too obvious that Myntra has been monetized like any other online shopping app. In the digital retail space, all of us know the game of tripling or quadrupling the retail sticker price to ensure that the "unbelievable offers" that claim up to 70% discount look genuine. That remains a banal and dimwitted effort to showcase the prices with a massive cutdown and nearly every shopping space online did it while many are still doing it. Even worse is some apps charging us on the grounds of Charity contributions just to ensure that their taxation liabilities remain restricted. But in this case, if the Platform Fee is not there, Myntra people will not ensure the 'continuous improvement' of the app? This makes you wonder - WHY ARE WE BEING BOTHERED AND CHARGED ABOUT IMPROVING THE APP?

Do you need experts to tell you that it is OK to Lie?

woman looks guilty feels bad about telling a lie
We are doing it all the time and still, we need the assurance that ethically and morally, there is nothing wrong with it? I am talking about lying spontaneously, lying on the go, and lying without giving it a second consideration. It has become imperative to our daily existence. Just the other day I found my wife hiding on WhatsApp. I couldn't be more surprised - why would anyone try to camouflage oneself on something as free and miscellaneous as this social communication platform? Because there are some people out there, toxic thought carriers whom you don't want to overwhelm your sense of calmness on some days, at least on days when Life already seems to be going in a tizzy. So, are there any morality calculators out there that can define when it is OK to lie? 

woman looks anxious feeling her lie was caught
Is it okay to lie, sometimes? The recent spate of events is sufficient proof that I have to lie, I have to make up stories, and more often than not it is not even for my benefit. I have to lie that I need to be excused earlier because there are things that need to be handled at home but essentially, the conversations are so damn boring - hanging around would have only meant more of myself and less of being a good participant in social situations. I have to create weird conversational backdrops for my father every time I want to buy something new for him - being honest would mean not doing some very basic things for an aging parent.

This recent article mentions that "Lying is often socially motivated" and features opinions from experts like Christian L. Hart [a researcher in lying and deception!], and he concludes that on most occasions people don't lie for "direct gains". This is true across most social situations. The intent that brings about lying should indeed be the only parameter to judge - white lie vs dishonest lying. The latter is more of a cover-up. The former is chosen because the absolute truth would perhaps do more damage. Therefore, lying in many situations is mathematically and logically the only choice.

The Delhi Choley Bhature Scene is Changing but not for the Good!

The bloggers are rampant and uncontrollable when creating videos about it, supported by the inexplicable appetite of social media content consumers, and it seems that no matter what season of the year it is, there is one equally popular food option during the breakfast, lunch, and dinner timings - Choley Bhature. While every hood in the city has its own favorite, Instagram and YouTube continue to preach the top 5, 7, or 10 places to reach the holy grail of Choley Bhature, and surprisingly, people in Delhi, people from Delhi, those who grew up within the city are as curious and sometimes naive, following every bit of social content to explore a new 'Choley Bhature' destination. While this transformation set in over the last 5 - 7 years, with the post-COVID [WFH] lifestyles also contributing to the cause, the overall Choley Bhature scene in Delhi has changed and not everything about it needs to be romanced with words and not every change should have been welcomed.

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