I’m never calling it dysthymia again!

Dysthymia also goes by the name ‘neurotic depression’. No clue why I didn’t know that; I’m a little shamed of myself. But neurotic depression sounds far more exciting/frightening to me! I like it. I like it a lot. I don’t think I’ll actually switch terms, but I get a perverse sort of joy from knowing I have ‘neurotic depression’.

I know it’s not for everyone, having such a flippant attitude towards their mental health, but I figure ‘hey, why not have some fun with it?!’. I choose to embrace my madness. It doesn’t make me any better or worse than anybody else; there are a lot of other people out there with their own issues. It doesn’t make me weird. It doesn’t ruin my life (hmmm…although I could argue this one a bit). I just makes me ‘me’! 🙂

What about you? Are you like me, and just take your problems and run with them with a smile on your face (or at least some psychotic laughter)?

Positive Post on School Stress and Mindfulness Meditation

If you’ve not been scared off by the shameless alliteration in the title, congratulations! I’m in an alliterative mood, as I am working on an essay that focuses around alliteration in Anglo-Saxon poetry. It is one of my last essays; I only have one other. So, I will tentatively state that I have survived crunch time! This is, of course, being willingly ignorant of the looming exams, but I’ll have plenty of time to worry about those later, once I no longer have to concentrate on the papers.

That concentration thing isn’t always so easy though (note: I wasn’t ashamed of the alliteration; I am ashamed of this horrible segue). It’s not that I cannot concentrate. I’m actually very good at concentrating usually (I am a victim of thought-tangents though). My problem is, I’m not so great at concentrating on the right thing.. This means that when I should be working on an essay, I might, instead, be entirely focused on making sure my plants are properly watered, or that my instruments are tuned correctly. Alternatively, when I should be doing work, or getting out of bed, or generally enjoying life, I might be entirely engrossed in the idea of how miserable I am. Herein lies the problem: when I get onto these negative thoughts, I can’t stop – that’s how good my concentration is. Meditation has been suggested to me as a way to work on this (and for better health overall), but I’ve just never been able to get into it and stick with it. It has recently occurred to me, though, that mindfulness meditation could provide me with the good effects of meditation and put my concentration to good use.

To explain mindfulness meditation as I understand it, it involves focusing your mind on the present time and noting the things you are experiencing in that moment. For example, if you were to take a moment now, and focus all your attention on, say, the feeling of your clothes against your skin, your breathing, your heart beat, etc., and just notice at these sensations, you would be mindfully meditating. Will it help you with stress, depression, anxiety, etc.? Studies have suggested it will…but i think I’ll have to find out for myself. 

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