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Depression Samskaras


Conditional Love

Feel worthless on the inside

  1. childhood: worth depends on what I do

    1. when I mess up -> I feel terrible ->
  2. Is your worth dependant on what you do?

  3. Upbringing
    1. trophy child
    2. parents upset with you when you don't perform

You don't have to be the best, just one step forward

Building a healthy sense of [[Identity]]

  • unconditional love for self


Protective Hopelessness

If there's no point to anything, I don't have to try Don't try anything -> can't fail

Hopelessness isn't a problem, it's a solution

Samskara: going all out and falling short - pVelocity & dragon boat and every job - trying my best and still completely failing at doing my job

Success & Protective Hopelessness

Succeeding is worse than failure with protective hopelessness

[[Depression Samskaras#Falling Behind]]

  • success take away the safety blanket
    • you realize how far you have to go
  • example
    • 25-year-old starting community college
    • before: high IQ on the internet independently studying

They intellectuallly figured things out

It's painful to do the right thing - doing a few push-ups is painful - look how high this mountain is - you should've started years ago - you can't even bench 200 - when we do the right thing, our mind punishes us

How to digest protective hopelessness

Falling Behind

Dr K's guide: falling behind

Where it comes from

U of T - always behind

Problem of escalating impossibility

  • procrastinating before a test
    • study: 1 month away for a month
    • not doing anything after a week: need to study 1.5 hours/day
    • we push that thought away, distract
    • each day you don't study, the stress and panic grows
    • then you have to study 8h/day
    • then it feels impossible
  • regret of not studying earlier
  • oh thank god it's over
  • where did all that built up energy go?
  • creates the sense of I'm behind
  • seeing other people doing things
  • you know you're capable of doing things and aren't able to live up to it

Selective thinking

Emotion of falling behind -> scans evidence to support it

brain is trying to convince you that you've fallen behind

Brain creates a Frankenstein perfect person from people doing better than you - this person is smarter - this person is better looking - this person is stronger - this person is more charismatic

in reality - it's ignoring the whole thing - this person might be a complete asshole - this person has a drug problem

Catching up

Why don't we catch up?

Catching up is paralyzing - Any step you take forward feels like it's not enough - action that's wrapped in an expectation - if I want to be stronger, I need to go to the gym

Let go of catching up and the idea that you've fallen behind

Redemption arc

You're letting go of the fantasy of the triumph

the more you fall, the higher you have to be to make up for it

drop out of college -> need to start a billion dollar tech startup

All you need to do is move forward

Inability to forgive

  • assign blame to the right place
  • then forgive anyway

Fantasy Trap

Too much focus on regret in the past - screwed for the rest of their life - shoulda woulda coulda - if I didn't make those mistakes, how would my life be?

  • instead of using negative emotion to move them forward
  • they fantasize
  • do nothing to fix the problem
    • most of the learning/motivation comes from negative emotion
  • example
    • bullying -> fantasy of beating the bully up
    • doing nothing

Fantasy: replace negative emotions -> positive emotions - negative emotions spurs us forward - lose that fuel

What to do about Fantasy Trap

  1. Tolerate negative emotions
  2. What am I gonna do NOW?

Living in the present sucks - dealing with all your mistakes - fantasy trap: escape from the present

Last update: 2023-04-24