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15 Signs You're Living In A Depressed State + What To Do About It

January 2, 2014

There are different levels to depression, but when you're depressed, you know it. There's an internal collapse. Walls narrow. Your soul hallows. Your days blur. There's lots of licking nacho cheese powder off your fingers as your head grows a permanent pillow. Motivation is someone you used to know, a long time ago. These days you just read about it. Depression is not a teeter, it's a sink. Whether it's sudden or gradual, there's been a shift and you're aware of it.

A depressed state, however, is a slow leak you don't notice. It's a low tire you keep driving on. You know you're unhappy, but it's been so long since you tasted happy, there's no contrast. And you hold on to your sunken state like a baby blanket. You've accepted it. Because over the years, it's taken your self esteem hostage. You no longer believe change is possible or that you even deserve it. The result is a muted life.

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Living in a depressed state is worse than being depressed. Lack of awareness dissolves any urge to pull yourself out. You never wake up with the realization that you're not living.

It's a coma I know very well. I lived in it for most of my adult life. For many, this is what it looks like:

  1. Tolerable relationships
  2. Drive-thrus
  3. Hibernation
  4. Dehydration
  5. Processed sugar
  6. Closed windows
  7. Stuffed feelings
  8. Television
  9. Numbing
  10. Denial
  11. Guilt
  12. Shame
  13. Resentment
  14. "I can'ts"
  15. A cul-de-sac

Fortunately, life circumstances forced me to punch through the cocoon. Being stripped and rebuilding a new life created an awakening. New lenses and some tools.

But sometimes, I feel the slow tug of falling back into that deep trance again; awareness punches my gut and pushes me into to sun.

Many are not given this punch. Life doesn't force them into a corner, not giving them a choice to live different. So they go through their days dog, paddling just above water and accepting that this is what life looks like. What they're missing:

  1. Worth
  2. Revelations
  3. Fulfilling relationships
  4. Stretching
  5. Leaning into fears
  6. Daily sweat with a smile
  7. Water
  8. Sun
  9. Being a catalyst
  10. Dreaming
  11. Creating
  12. Building
  13. Walking with certainty
  14. "What ifs"
  15. Potential
  16. An open road that winds up a mountain top.
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You may not be depressed, but ask yourself if any of the words from the first list ring a bell, even if it's a faint bell.

Then tell yourself that 2014 will be the year you became aware, punched through, didn't give yourself a choice, that changed everything.

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John Kim, LMFT
John Kim, LMFT

John Kim, LMFT, is an author, speaker, and a licensed marriage and family therapist who goes by the moniker The Angry Therapist. He runs a practice that redefines “therapy” in the traditional sense. Kim became known as an unconventional therapist who worked out of the box by seeing clients at coffee shops, on hikes, in a CrossFit box. He also believes that the internet can act as a therapeutic tool with an online community as the main space for growth and healing. He lives in Los Angeles.

Meet him here and connect with him on Facebook.

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