Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. But, with this advice, anyone can be!
Have you had a go yet? Would you like to?
Perhaps you’ve dabbled in the past and have felt a little bit down sometimes. Maybe you’ve gone the whole hog and have suffered episodes of this awful condition.
Did you ever find out why? Did you ever wonder how you could do this properly? Really properly, next time around?
Well, if you did, then wonder no more. Read on and find out how women can aspire to plumb the very deepest troughs of depression.
I’ve left out the forces of patriarchy, the genetics, the problems inherent in surviving a difficult childhood, the problems women reportedly face with serotonin levels. These are beyond your control. This article focuses, instead, on what you can change.
Put yourself last. Every time. Never consider your own needs, feelings or desires. Place yourself at the service of partners, children, friends and colleagues. Never say “no” to anything. Nobody will mind. They probably won’t even notice. Keep it going for half a lifetime and one day you’ll find yourself exhausted, run off your feet and wondering why nobody ever does anything for you.
You taught them! You robbed yourself of individuality. You allowed people to walk all over you.
Learn helplessness! Tell yourself you can’t do it. Repeat this often enough and you’ll come to believe it. Believe it for long enough and you’ll be right. Keep finding reasons not to try. Keep looking for ways in which not to begin working toward your goals. Do less! Do nothing! Let that inner critic run wild and you’ll soon discover that the less you do, the worse you’ll feel. The worse you’ll feel, the less you’ll do.
Ride that death-spiral downwards and you’ll hit rock bottom in no time at all. Never begin with just a single step. Never acknowledge your strengths. Refuse to accept that you’re just as valid a human being as the next person. Revel in your helplessness!
Refuse all offers of help. Never let anybody step in to mind the children, care for your aging parents, give you a chance for a break. Tell yourself that you’re the only one who can do any of these things. They’ll stop offering in the end and you’ll be able to tell yourself how nobody cares.
Get some vicarious stress! You haven’t nearly enough of your own to deal with and so you’ll need to take on everybody else’s too. Women are great at this, so you’ve got a good head-start on us men.
Surround yourself with miserable people. Bathe in their gloom and worry for them. Worry, fret and concern yourself with the problems of your nearest and dearest until their stresses become yours too. They’ll love you for it whilst failing to notice that your Atlas-like shoulders can’t keep the weight of the world aloft forever. One day you’ll stumble and depression will be your prize.
Whatever you do, never find friends who look at life through a positive lens. They’ll only make you smile along with them.
Ruminate! Researchers Freeman and Freeman (in 2013) found that women have a more ruminative thinking style than men. Churn, turn and burn those negative thoughts into your head. Investigate them from every possible angle and don’t forget to catastrophise. See how disastrous every scenario could feasibly turn out to be and give yourself goosebumps, nightmares and anxiety. In fact, don’t just give yourself anxiety, really focus on it, make it worse and tell yourself how useless you are for feeling that way.
Never forgive yourself. Never praise yourself. Torture yourself with terrible thoughts and devote your life to them.
Never practise mindfulness. Never find something better to do. Never visualise that worried part of your head as a person and talk to them to calm them down. It will never work. Nothing will. It’s hopeless.
Neglect the basics. Eat junk. Comfort eat and enjoy the added bonus of weight-gain with which to beat yourself up a little more. Never sleep enough or sleep at absurd hours. Drink a shedful, abuse drugs and you’ll feel wonderfully terrible.
Don’t take care of yourself. Never exercise, no matter what. Exercise destroys adrenaline and creates endorphins. We wouldn’t want that! Let your hair run wild, let your figure go, never mind about personal hygiene and soon you’ll find that you hate yourself with even more of a passion.
Go compare! You might have a good figure, a set of excellent qualifications, a comfortable lifestyle and friends galore, but if you look hard enough you’re bound to find something missing. You’re certain to find someone who’s just that little bit prettier, wealthier or slimmer than you are. Go on, there’s something wrong with you. Find out what it is, dwell on it (see Route 5) and make it the centre of your world. Compare yourself to everyone else and revel in your suffering.
Statistics show that psychotherapy is at least as effective as medication in the treatment of depression. Both, together, are even more so. Refuse to believe it! You can do it all alone. Therapists? Waste of money!
Of course, I’ve missed out plenty of other potential routes to depression. Nonetheless, if you try hard enough you’re bound to find them for yourself. Try, try, try! These eight routes are, however, enough by themselves. Focus all your efforts upon them, live, breathe and sleep them and you’ll one day be the most depressed woman in the world. Hurrah!
Author: Paul Hughes
Editor: Travis May