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Posts posted by kag101

  1. Simplifying Life

    Stress is important for growth, but most people are overstressed.

    Here’s what I want for my life in order to simplify it: a rewarding but not draining job, no kids and pets, and a simple house. We live in a very special moment where it’s relatively easy to have a peaceful life. Never in the history of humankind was it so easy to have food, shelter, and safety. Success and money is important, but after a certain point it doesn’t change any aspect of happiness.

    That being said, if depression is too high, functioning in society is challenging. But I feel I am understanding how this monster operates. It’s not easy to deal with it, but learning its mechanisms allows me to have better coping strategies.

    I notice that I often swing from anxiety to depression. The practice is to find the Middle Path.


    Doubting Psychiatry

    Yesterday I read about Thomas Szasz, who was a big critic of pyschiatry. And it got me thinking about how I blindly believe in science. I was like, “What if mental illnesses are not a biological thing, but purely emotional?” A meditation teacher I really like, Jack Kornfield, once said,


    “We don’t talk to people, we medicate them.”




    When I am talking with a person who’s going through an emotional struggle, I do not put him or her on a label. Instead, I see him as a human being. Ultimately, I do think mental illnesses exist, but there are many cases that could be solved with heart-to-heart conversation. Medication may play a big role, but alone it won’t change much, I suppose.


    My Psychiatrist

    I think my psychiatrist is very anxious about seeing results, he doesn’t really have empathy, and he uses way too much masculine advice (such as take more action, fix your sleep schedule, etc.)

    I started taking an anti-depressant, and after a month I was feeling better (even though I don’t know if it was placebo effect), but I wasn’t 100%. Then, he prescribed me a one more to take. I do think it's too much. 


    Gaining Weight

    That’s definitely not a fun thing to go through, but it can teach you a lot.

    When that happens, self-esteem drops. It's perfectly healthy to want to look myself in the mirror, and like what I see.

    In the past, I lost weight by being very strict/fasting. But that doesn’t work in the long-term. But now, I am pretty confident that I can turn this around in a more solid way. I am going to the gym in a good way. I’m not obsessive about it, nor am I forcing myself to go there. I genuinely enjoy lifting weights. It’s very therapeutic.

    My guess is that by exercising, I will naturally want to eat more healthy. I just have to pay attention if I am not getting into “extreme discipline mode”. That's a big red flag. 

    Mantra: True change takes time. (Sure there are exceptions, but as a rule of thumb I shouldn’t expect to change overnight.)


    Listening and Observing Others

    I can learn a lot from simply being in the presence of others. Sometimes when a person shares their story, I get immediate insights into my life. When I see someone behave both positively and negatively, I can self-reflect in order to improve my own self.  


    Social Anxiety

    When social anxiety is present, socializing is definitely a tiresome thing to do. But the more I genuinely love myself, the less I care about the approval of others. And when I turn on the “fuck it” button, resistance melts away. It’s similar to taking alcohol. One moment I’m super nervous, then almost magically, social anxiety is no longer present. It feels really empowering to release anxiety by myself. 


    Clinging to Roles

    One thing that’s really important to become aware of is, clinging to an identification as a “socially anxious” person. It’s really twisted how “being the quiet, insecure, and depressed person” becomes a role I subconsciously play.

    Being brought up in a society that overvalues extroversion, I was often told, “Oh, you’re so quiet.”, “Oh, has the cat got your tongue?”, etc. And I internalized those judgments, and they became beliefs. And unconsciously I use these masks to protect a false sense of identity. 

    I used to compare myself a lot with my sister. She has always been the extroverted type of person. I thought that others would only like me if I was like her. That belief blocked me for a very long time. I also did not really like my friends, because they weren't high-status, so to speak. 

    Another thing that’s really key is to have a handful of people who accept me as I am. With that, my self-confidence increases and the need for everybody liking me drops. Other people won’t make me happy. First, I have to be happy with myself. Then, with my close friends. That’s what’s really important.

    I used to believe I could be totally happy by myself. Even though others can’t make me happy, happiness and joy can be multiplied in the presence of others.

    After I realized living only in my own universe was not the way, I got into a phase of thinking that I should find the “perfect” support network. But that doesn’t really exist. Supposedly developed people are sometimes the most problematic. 

    Nowadays, I feel I am getting more skillful socially. Two years ago, I was very underdeveloped in this area. I am still not perfect at it, but I sure got at least 60% better (in my good days). In my bad days, I sometimes struggle a lot and it feels like I got back to square zero, but that's just an illusion.


    Not Clinging to Moods

    I sometimes feel normal; irritable; euphoric; or depressed.

    Sometimes there are obvious causes for an emotion. At other times there aren’t. But what I have noticed is how important it is to reach out to someone who is trustworthy. Developing real trust is so important.

    This way, through sharing my presence with someone I like, it’s easier to find a solution. Keeping problems to myself will not help. Sharing them with the wrong people is just as bad. Talking with the right people can cause a “chemical reaction”, a trans-mutation. Then, after spending some time by myself, I am able to integrate and digest the conversation.


    Being very simplistic:

    Irritablity = lack of sleep and/or stress.

    Depression = lack of meaning and connection

    Social anxiety = unease in the body, low self-worth, and lack of bond.


    Btw - my soccer team lost the final today :(

    I may write more about that on another post, because it's enough for today.

  2. After I wrote last post, I talked with my friend about this fear I have of being neurotic about making new habits.

    Afterwards, I felt a sense of relief, of like, "It's okay if I don't do it perfectly. Let me loosen up. I don't have to be so hard on myself." Rigidness is like stretching a rubber-band, that is, if you apply too much force, it will break. 

    Then, two days later, I had a depressive episode. It was very unpleasant, and it is really bad for my self-confidence -- because there's a sense of fear that it will happen again anytime, and I will be clueless of what to do. 

    Sometimes I exaggerate things. It's like putting something under a microscope. For example, I micromanage my mood. If I get a little depressed or a little euphoric, I start to panic. And that makes matters worse.


    I had a trip planned with my family for Easter to the country side. Because I was a little depressed, I didn't want to go. But then they convinced me to do so. It takes humility to change my mind. Stubborness is a feature of the ego. If I had being closed-minded, I would be in my hometown, probably overeating and watching hours of YouTube. I'd also be guilting myself for not going.

    At some point while they were trying to convince me, I had a thought of hope, "Maybe it won't be that bad. I got this." 

    I think my psychiatrist did a disservice to me for telling me that the full effects of antidepressants happen in 20 days. It's just an unrealistic expectation. I am really considering finding a new one. 

    During the car drive, I was very chill. I am very good at picking songs, and I did it throughout the drive. That's one of the perks of being a Highly Sensitive Individual. I just got to know how to make good use of my energy, otherwise, I get easily drained. 

    When I arrived, though, the depression came back. I was very quiet and uncomfortable. My little cousin was playing all the time with my sister, and I got a little jealous of her. 

    Then, I called my friend. I told him that I feel embarrassed to be seen when I am not in a good mood. And he said something to the effect of, "Fuck other people. Focus on yourself now. I am proud that you got out of your comfortable zone, and that's enough."

    One of the things I have realized about depression is, I got to go gently with myself. I can't brute force my way out of it. Neurosis only adds to the problem, and it can make me go the other extreme and get euphoric -- which is just as unpleasant as depression. 

    After that, I came to my uncle's house, and there I saw my 8-month-old cousin. He is very quiet, yet he's so cute. I love those moments when I sense I can simply let go of depression, that it's no longer serving me. It's like the light of awareness dissipates it.  

    I think depression will still happen, but more sporadically. And it won't take long to go away. 

    Then, today I went to a waterfall. I got in the water. It was very cold, but it was very refreshing and therapeutic. 

    Oh, and btw - I'm glad I am not being neurotic about doing physical exercises. This is just as bad as being sedentary. 

    Cheers =) 

  3. Observing If I Get Neurotic

    One of my patterns I have when I am trying to recover from depression is to get highly methodic. For example, I used to be addicted to doing lists and brute forcing myself into doing all the tasks.

    When I am in this “discipline” mode, I have no flexibility whatsoever. I try to control every single thing, like a micro-managing boss. I also get very attached to the clock.  

    The problem with this is approach is that I lose spontaneity. And it’s a strategy based on fear. Because I don’t want to “screw things up”, I try to control things as much as I can. But, instead, I should focus on cultivating a relationship of trust with myself. This takes time. I can’t expect to change all my life around overnight. I got to go gradual and steady. Otherwise, I will likely go to the opposite polarity and fall into very bad habits.

    I notice that this “discipline mode” is happening right now, but on a smaller scale. I have recently decided to change some habits. From most important to least important:

    1- Fix my sleep schedule

    Over the past months, my sleep schedule has been terrible. There were days that I woke up at 5 pm.

    Since last week, I have been going to sleep from 10 pm – 1 am, and waking up at 7-10 am. I am using an anti-allergic medication that makes me sleepy. I will use it until sleeping at the right time becomes a habit.

    2- Eat less

    With the big wave of depression that I experienced (especially in the end of last year), I started to binge eating a lot, until I can’t eat anything else.

    With that, I gained some weight. I don’t look like how I look at the moment. My thighs are getting big, I gained a little belly, and my cheeks are chubby. I know that neurosis will not help me. In the past, I lost too much weight too fast. But sooner or later, I would gain the weight back due to the yo-yo effect. 

    I went to the psychiatrist today, and he gave me a lot of generic nutrition advice. If I wasn’t “vaccinated” against neurosis, I would probably hit the gym everyday and eat as little as possible. Instead, I want to find the middle ground.

    3- Go to the gym

    I started to go to the gym after more than a year. Even though my psychiatrist was putting a lot of pressure for me to start as soon as possible, it took me about 1 month to start. But, now, I have a genuine desire to weightlift. It’s not something I will have to drag myself to, but instead it's a natural desire

    My biggest fear is to have incorrect form or to overtrain. I know how good weightlifting can feel like, and I don’t want to screw this up.

    I also have to be very observing if I am getting neurotic about going there. It’s okay to miss a day. I have to be in tune with my body so that I can feel if I am respecting it. 

    4- Use rapé three times a day

    Rapé is an indigenous medicine I have been using over the last year. It helps me to evacuate, and also calms down anxiety. I admit that I have been overusing it.

    So yesterday I decided that it’s best to use it only three times a day. I will not be super strict about that. But I will try to stick with that.



    Discipline is like a rubber-band. If you stretch too much, it breaks.

    So I will observe how I feel in the next few days. 


    One thing that I miss is working. Some jobs I had were really stressful. But some were very rewarding. I used to give English lessons. I have a very tensed up voice, which makes it hard to speak for a very long time. I probably need to do theater, speech therapy, or singing classes.


    A really close friend of mine told me a very good analogy of what recovering from depression looks like. It’s like having a broken arm. You have to have patience. First, you have to plaster it, and wait until it’s ready to remove the plaster. Then comes physiotherapy. In other words, I can’t skip steps.

  4. Harsh Moves

    I have been feeling quite well over the last week. And there is a tendency to take massive action. But I know from experience that this is not going to work. I have got to nice and steady. Neurosis won’t help me.

    I am searching for a new psychiatrist. Mine is not emphatic and uses too much masculine compassion. This approach can work with some people, but not for me. I am already too rigid with myself; I don’t need my doctor to be like that.

    One of my fears was to get euphoric. That is, going from one extreme to the other. Depression – Euphoria. Fortunately, this is not the case.

    I feel healthy. Many people told me I'd feel an emotional void, that I would feel artificial, but that hasn't been the case for me.

    I can see the bullshit of the world, but I don’t get drag into it. I know that I have to change from the inside out. Not the other way around.

    If I keep feeling like this, I will sure make progress in my life. I am behind other people my age. But I can quickly catch up. I am very competent and intelligent. I notice details that most people don’t.

    I have highly sensitive personality. So I need time to recharge, which is very different from dwelling into depression. I need a natural break.

    I notice how most people are very innefective, overwhelmed, and addicted to “doing”. If I manage to create a life that I can produce, while also being able to relax, then I am on the right track.

    If am at peace with myself, the behaviors of others don’t bother me. I simply ignore it, or I leave. With no harsh moves.


    “You either choose your problems, or problems will choose you.”


  5. It’s been 20 days since I started my new medication. So it is acting by now. For the past 8 days (last time I posted here), I have been feeling well. But yesterday I started to feel highly irritated. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have all the sleep I needed. I will see how I feel tomorrow.

    I made some research and I found a condition called dysthymia. It’s a moderate type of depression characterized by bad humor. And this new med may cause that. It's almost impossible to relate to others when I feel irritated by the slightest thing. I've noticed that when I am at peace with myself, the behaviors of others don't bother me.

    That being said, I know that some side effects are likely to reduce after a while.

    I still don't have a solid base. I fear I may break out at any time. 

    My mind still tends to rationalize the state of my mind as if there are mystical forces operating, such as horoscope. Luckily, I spot those types of thoughts and I can disregard them. I also feel a little paranoid sometimes, but, again, I notice those thoughts and it's pretty easy to disregard them.

    This alteration in my humor made me realize what depression really is. It is very clear when it happens.


    I’m afraid I won’t adapt to any medication. Or that I will feel artificial with antidepressants. But I have to wait and try more before reaching to any conclusion.

    In the following week, I will go to the psychiatrist, and I will say things as honestly as possible. For example, I have been taking pregabalin for muscular pain. But I am not sure it’s doing me any good, in fact, I think I have been feeling swollen because of it. I also think that the psychiatrist gives me advice for taking action, when I still don't feel good enough to do things. And this tends to backfire. 

    I worked out yesterday. It felt pretty good. It’s something methodical and quite therapeutical. I hope I am not making any gross mistake that can lead to an injury.

  6. Barely Hanging In There... But Then Hopeful... 

    Today I woke up in lazy mode. I just wanted to do whatever was the easiest and escape from my responsabilities. Then, a friend called saying he had forgotten something in my house. I really wanted to not deal with that, but I had no choice but to invite him to my house. 

    I almost had an anxiety attack before he arrived. I get very ashamed of being in a depressed state, and I don't want anyone to see it.

    It's really twisted how I get attached to a particular state, and sometimes it's hard to let it go. It's a feedback loop. That is, depression feeds my actions. And my actions feed my depression. 

    After a while when he was at my house, something clicked inside of me and depression seemed like a silly thing. I stopped giving it my attention. I realized it was safe to let it go. Not because I neurotically wanted to get rid of it, but because I knew I didn't need it. I love when that happens. 

    Then, I went to his house. We watched a lot of Death Note episodes. Sometimes I think it's best if I can avoid those type of dark things, but it's actually pretty fun and intriguing. We watched some other things, and then we started to have a deep conversation. 


    About two years ago, I was addicted to meaningful conversations. All I wanted was that. But I have realized they naturally arise. There's no need to force them. 

    Right now, it's 3:36 am. I am feeling pretty peaceful and hopeful. I often forget the healing power of being in the presence of someone I trust. And even though I often scold myself for not being good enough, or for not being where I think I should be in my life; I have these moments of *exhale* calmness and okayness. No need to figure anything out. Tension will only make matters worse. But instead, to trust that by simply being who I already am, I will be guided to the right path. Deep down, I still think I'm just a lazy spoiled guy... 


    Reminder: beating yourself up will only make matters worse. 

  7. I had this emotional breakdown today. I slept very heavily and woke up very late. I thought of forcing myself to wake up, but I didn't have enough will power to do so. And I thought of how challenging it is to have the typical western routine. When I was at school, I struggled a lot with that. And I'm not sure if I'm able to get back to it. 

    So, basically, today I didn't really live, you know? I was just eating a lot, playing, and not interacting. I don't like to feel this way. But hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up sooner and get some momentum so that I can enjoy the day and have more vitality. 

    On Wednesday, I'll go to my psychiatrist. And I feel like this is a burden. I feel I have to give explanations to him, as if I were a little child. I need to feel more empowered. 

    Yesterday, I argued with a friend. And even though I don't see her in more than a year, it gave me a very unpleasant feeling that she cut ties with me. And it's strange how the mind works sometimes, because the more she rejects me, the more I think about her. Not necessarily in a romantic way. 

    That's it for today. Thanks for reading. 

  8. Today I realized how unhealthy it is to live with parents, especially in my 20’s. It is a comfort zone that turns me into a prisoner. Now, I could get neurotic about this and desperately try to “break free” from my parents, but I know this doesn’t work very well. Instead, I have to be a “strategic motherfucker”. It was a very deep inside.

    Also, I don't really like the title of this journal. When I write "My Depression", it's as if depression is my little baby... But anyways... 

  9. The last few days haven't been easy. I realized that my psychiatrist forces me too much. He applies way too much masculine compassion. He's way too pragmatic and straightforward. However, in my case, this backfires. I know what I should be doing. I know I should be doing more physical exercises, working more, sleeping in a more consistent time, etc. But I feel overwhelmed by all of this. And what ends up happening is that I end up doing nothing.

    Another thing I don't like about him is, I always feel the need of giving explanations for my behavior to him. And if I am not doing much, I feel too ashamed to tell him, which makes me tell half-truths. 

    One thing that's been bringing me down is that I see too much darkness in the world. I see how my friends and the people around me are not genuinely happy. 

    I used to do crazy spiritual practices to bypass all of this. The world around me (and inside me) is unhappy? Let me meditate the shit out of that so that I don't have to deal with that. At least, now, I see how fighting with reality only makes it worse



  10. Why I Was Feeling Nauseas (Probably)

    Today, I think I understood why I have been nauseas. Long story short, I’ll probably have to stop using the shamanic snuff I mentioned yesterday. I admit that I am a little addicted to it. I am using it as a crutch.

    And even though I say to myself that it helps with my anxiety, I might be fooling myself. In fact, I think I have been using it so much that it has stopped being effective. I also fear that, because it is psychoactive, I may have problems with it.



    Crutches & Addictions

    Three months ago, I stopped using weed. At first, it was sort of difficult. But nowadays, it’s something that don’t even come to mind. I mean, I’m curious to see how would I feel if I got high again, but it’s a manageable desire. And my main strategy was through rape (shamanic snuff). It would make me not want to smoke.

    I fear I will exchange one addiction to another. For example, instead of using rape, I might start binge eating (which is much unhealthier). Or get neurotic about gym. 

    On the other hand, maybe I am ready to let this crutch go. My mind comes up with all these really vivid scenarios of crippling anxiety & depression that might happen in the future. Unfortunately, I have a hard time not taking them too seriously.



    Opening Up With Psychiatrist

    Last thing I want to mention is that I actually don’t feel that comfortable sharing the truth with my psychiatrist. He’s all about masculine compassion. I know I have a victim-mentality, and that people shouldn’t console me all the time. But truth is, I feel very overwhelmed by all of his recommendations. I told him that I will try to start weightlifting and acupuncture this week.



    I got a wave of depression tonight. I only slept 4 hours today, so I’m not sure if it’s depression or tiredness. To be honest, I feel sad, confused, and overwhelmed. I have been thinking a lot these past hours... And curiously, I was very uplift during the day... 


    Thanks for reading!

  11. I went to a bad depressive phase that lasted for about 3-4 months. All I wanted was to stay in bed, eat, browse the internet, and sleep. I didn’t want to see my friends, nor interact with others.

    I have had social anxiety since I was 11. During that phase, I was fearful of others seeing that I wasn’t happy. I also gained weight during that period because I was binge eating a lot.



    The only thing that made me get out of my house was going to soccer games. For some reason, I’d feel alive when I was there. Totally grounded in the present moment. It was like a defibrillator. But my “aliveness” would only last for maximum 3 days.



    I already went to a psychitriast in the past. Long story short, I didn't adapt at all to the medication. Then one day, I simply quit.

    And I started to go to ayahuasca ceremonies as an attempt to heal myself. In the beginning, I felt great. But eventually I had a maniac and psychotic crisis during a ritual. Now, I don't take ayahuasca anymore.



    Nowadays, the only indigenous medicine I use is rapé. It’s made out of tobacco and tree barks. It’s really effective for anxiety. It grounds me. Even though it's psychoactive, I think it's safe. 

    Rap%C3%A9-instrumentos.jpg?resize=750,57           3251573226_ae646dcc39_b.jpg


    Thanks to a great friend of mine, I started to go to a psychiatrist. I have started to take medication (antidepressant) three months ago. And I feel much better.

    In the beginning of the treatment, I wasn’t able to be authentic with the psychiatrist, because I thought he would judge me. But now, I feel comfortable sharing how I am truly feeling.

    With medication, I feel well most of the time. That being said, I still have some emotional relapses.

    I have experienced two main side effects: the first one was anorgasmia (not being able to achieve orgasm and ejaculation). Fortunately, this only happened in the first month of the medication.

    The other one is bruxism (grinding my teeth). This makes my jaw tired and can cause problems in the future (e.g., headaches). I think I already had that in the past, but with the medication it has intensified. I went to a dentist and I am now using a mouth guard when I am sleeping to alleviate the problems caused by the grinding. Unfortunately, this also happens during the day...



    I started today an extra medication today (also antidepressant) so that I don’t have relapses anymore. Using only one medication, I feel well for like 6 days, then 1 day I feel shitty.

    I also have to stay alert to see if I go to the polar opposite and start to feel euphoric. If that happens, it probably means I have bipolar type 2. So I will probably have to use lithium... 



    That said, I tend to put myself under a microscope:



    Anyway, I hope I adapt to this new medication. One side effect I have already started to feel is nausea. But my doctor said this will likely stop.

    During this year, I started to make some money. It’s a very rewarding feeling to do something I like and also get paid for it.



    Things I want to achieve:

    - Get back to teaching

    - Get in shape 

    - Start doing psychotherapy

    - Fix my sleeping schedule 



    In this journal, I will post:

    > how I am feeling

    > if I am progressing or not in life

    > venting and random thoughts

    I might also post quotes, videos, and songs. This will not be a predominantly doom and gloom journal. It might happen sometimes though. And I will also be careful to not overshare stuff.  


    Feel free to post comments here and PM me, but please do not say things like “medication is evil, dude”  


    Thanks for reading! :)