One of the implications of depression is the way time seems to drag. It's a reflection, in part, of the lack of drive that accompanies low moods, but there are other reasons. For example, depression may result from loneliness and isolation which culminates in long days and nights for the person affected. Busy people are also affected by depression and if they need to take time away from work, the contrast at first welcome, may soon result in boredom.
Everyone knows what it feels like to be bored. Clocks seem to tick more slowly, concentration drains away, everything seems dull and tedious. If this sounds just a little like depression it's no coincidence. People who are prone to boredom also seem to have a higher risk of developing depression. The fact that some people can be so understimulated has sparked interest in the nature of boredom and its implications for a range of psychological conditions*.
Most commentators agree that some form of stimulation, usually in the form of work, is a useful and effective way to combat depression. Naturally, the type of work is significant. Common sense dictates that returning yourself into a highly stressful work situation is counter-productive. Low moods within a stressful job can sometimes make it hard to consider alternatives. For those who struggle with their work role it can make sense to change jobs, or take a step down the ladder, or consider some arrangement where work is shared or redistributed. If you believe there are no such options then the sense of helplessness and depression quickly worsens.
Some people have no idea how they use their time. For them, there aren't enough hours in the day to squeeze in their activities, hobbies, socializing and the like. Time for this person simply flies past. The secret ingredient is they simply enjoy themselves. I know, wonderful if you're that kind of person, but people with depression are different and they need to acknowledge the fact they may never be that other person, if indeed they ever aspire to be.
What we can take from the jolly ‘not enough hours' person is the fact that the brain likes to be used in ways other than worry and rumination. Brains like some entertainment and novelty and the more the brain can be absorbed in some activity the quicker time passes. Within this context, depression can do without negativity, so steer away from violent and depressing books, movies and video games. Using a computer can be entertaining, fulfilling and supportive, but it is also an isolating experience. Find time for other, preferably social activities, and strike a balance between work and leisure time for the most beneficial use of time.
* Carriere, J. S. A., Cheyne, J. A., Smilek, D. (2008). "Everyday Attention Lapses and Memory Failures: The Affective Consequences of Mindlessness" . Consciousness and Cognition 17 (3): 835-847. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2007.04.008.
Published On: July 05, 2011