Distracting Depression

When our brains get so focused on one negative thing, it can be really hard to stop letting those thoughts spiral you into a pit of despair.

For me, my brain has a few cassette tapes that it plays on repeat for me when I’m really feeling depressed or anxious. Some of my mental illness’s favorite are “Nobody Loves You: An Unromantic Song for the Lonely,” “Megan’s a Failure (She Can’t Do Anything Right)” and “Let’s Lay in Bed Forever, Nobody would Miss Me.”

I have had some really negative thoughts spinning in my mind for the past few months but I found out that they were not true. Which is somehow always surprising to me when my anxious thoughts are false. Anybody else feel the same?

Lately I have been dealing with the repercussions of my action regarding that situation and I’m feeling totally awful about it. I let my anxious thoughts cloud my reality. I have been letting my fear of change get to me too.

Sometimes I have to disconnect my mind and focus on something else. I have to distract my depression and anxiety to make it be quiet.

What I often do as a distraction is to do something that I can be completely immersed in. Whether it’s studying Japanese (日本語を勉強する), watching one of my favorite movies (“Mulan” always helps), exercising or petting my cats; it makes a difference most of the time.

The reason I began studying Japanese was to distract myself from suicidal thoughts in 2018. It’s similar to why I became obsessed with makeup in 2016 to distract myself from even more severe suicidal thoughts.

I knew Japanese would take full brain power and determination to learn. I had to learn two alphabets plus be able to at least recognize basic kanji (they’re the more complex looking symbols). Studying the alphabets was the easy part too! On top of that all of the grammar and vocabulary makes it quite challenging.

Being able to practice on Duolingo, do lessons on YouTube and watch subtitled anime to hear how Japanese is spoken naturally makes me happy.

I have always enjoyed learning languages even though I’m not fluent in anything but English. I took Spanish and French in high school then German in college. I found German to be quite difficult since it was my first non-romantic language that I studied and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to devote to really understanding it.

How do you distract your mind from depression/mania/anxious thoughts/OCD tendencies? Please leave me a comment!

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17 Replies to “Distracting Depression”

  1. Your song titles cracked me up, thank you for that 😂
    I use distraction A LOT to cope with anxiety. I’m not sure I use it for depressive thoughts, but maybe I do. But definitely for anxiety, watching a favorite sitcom helps me.
    The bad habits include things like being on social media. But surviving is surviving, right?

    1. Hahaha I’m glad they made you laugh! I was hoping to get one laugh out of it 🙂 Exactly! If watching back-to-back Seinfeld episodes keeps you going then do it up. Thanks for commenting, Lilly!

  2. Hi, I detect myself with a lot of your ways but the best for me is to speak to Gid. Jesus saved my life when I attempted suicide many years ago. I had a life with 3 mental illness Bipolar 2 rapid cycle, ADD OCD and I occasionally disassociate but after I was born again I thank the Lord for a lot of healing. I used to hurt myself as well and have what I call, emotional paranoia. Please think about this. If you don’t know Jesus, ask Him in your life, if you do ask for His Holy Spirit help. It works for me. I m a true believer. God bless you. Please do not dismiss what I said. Think about it.

  3. My routine can be distracting, writing, or spending time with people. I almost always turn toward humor. Self love and compassion are also important to managing my depression.

      1. It may seem easy but it taxes the mind and body. After the daydreaming bout, I feel dull as hell and my legs hurt very badly because of the compulsive fast pacing.

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