Effort vs. Effortless

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by fromthatshow, Nov 5, 2008.

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  1. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    Does it take effort to get better?
    Does it take effort to get out of depression?

    I say no. I say it takes no effort.
    What requires effort and energy, is to stay depressed. It is very difficult to stay miserable. It is not easy to see why we keep ourselves miserable, but it is difficult to stay that way.

    To be happy and be completely yourself, that takes no effort at all. I realize this as I am exhausted wearing masks all day. But on the rare occasions when I take my mask off, no effort is needed, everything flows and is natural.

    To be well requires no effort in my opinion.
  2. aki

    aki Well-Known Member

    It takes effort to keep going, keep on with your life, work, go to school, just get up, stay slightly hopeful, whatever. And it takes effort to get help...like it can be a relief to tell people..but also a massive stress and can seem humiliating and degrading.

    But yeah, I know what you mean, if you're constantly anxious and het up and negative. And trying to keep up with expectations, yours and other people's. Just let go. Let go of everything. A big part of me isolating people is because I want to cut all the ties I have with people to try and achieve freedom.
  3. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    mmm...semantics, and philisophical viewpoints come into play here. I think
    it takes tremendous effort to become NON depressed, or even semi

    I think we are talking around the same basic ideas but not meeting in the
    middle verbally. like, supposedly it takes less muscles to smile than to frown.

    maybe so, physically. but emotionally, if smiling is completely false
    and possibly even a sarcastic act, sure it's easy for a second. doesn't
    mean the person is happy. just means "here's a smile. F* you :biggrin:"

    to become undepressed takes a huge amount of emotion and mental effort.
    so, i respectfully disagree without necessarily poo poo-ing your viewpint :smile:

    perhaps fpr some, it IS easier to be undepressed. that would then beg the question...
    "how come depressed if it's easier the other way?"
  4. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    So you're better and you're happy?

  5. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    not better, not happy
    i realize that days when i feel a slight bit of happienss, i expend a lot less effort than days when i feel depressed
    depression takes a lot of effort is my belief. my next question is why would I want to spend so much effort on being depressed?
  6. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    maybe you are less depressed than some other people are in the first place.
    this would certainly have an effect on your opinion of how much effort it
    takes to bother getting out of bed, shaving, and making a cup of coffee.
    if all that stuff comes easy without effort, maybe you aint all that depressed?
  7. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    Ah, sorry. I guess I misread your post.

    I could go on at great length as to why I disagree with you thesis, but, hell, that's me. If doing what you do works for you, go to it. :smile:
  8. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    I have no energy to do those things when I am in the worst depression, which is why I think that it requires a lot of effort to remain depressed. All of my energy is used upon maintaining my negative state of being, as opposed to using that energy for say making a cup of coffee. And so I think it requires more effort to be depressed than anything else.

    Well I am just very philosophical, and I tend to generalize a great deal when I write.
  9. anonymous51

    anonymous51 Staff Alumni

    A good way to think of the mind is as a flowing river. A constantly flowing river is fresh and vibrant, bringing rejuvination to those who taste it. Once a river stops flowing it becomes stagnant, dark and festering, breeding parasites that feed on the life that once flourished in its waters. So to me, the mind must be constantly motivated to be free from the 'infection' of deppresion.
  10. worlds edge

    worlds edge Well-Known Member

    I should have also added that there is also at least some empirical evidence to support the theory you're holding. The psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman has done quite a number of studies, usually with groups that face almost constant rejection (like life insurance salesmen), to figure out what personality traits tend to produce success. One of the odder conclusions he came to was that the most successful were often the most unrealistic, in the sense that they overestimated their success and underestimated their actual failures.

    To put this in the perspective of someone depressed: You may have some very damn good, empirically verifiable reasons to be depressed, over which you have not the slightest control. Assuming Seligman is correct, someone who has a realistic idea of the obstacles they face may in fact fare far worse than someone who does not, as long as the "unrealistic" individual underestimates actual failures and overestimates actual successes. I keep meaning to pick up some more of his books, but so far Learned Optimism is the only one I've read.

    On a personal note: I violently reject Seligman's conclusions, at least in this area. (He also has some interesting thoughts on OCD that I kind of agree with). There's something very deep in my belly that just cannot accept a universe that runs on principles like this. In fact, when I took the "self-help" test in the first part of the book, I came out as so severely depressed I was advised to seek help immediately. Fuck that. :smile:

    Anyway, I guess the above is just a long-winded way to say that I wasn't going laissez-faire on ya, simply that I must grit my teeth and admit a rational basis backed by at least some empirical evidence to what you're claiming. As much as I want to gag for doing so.
  11. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    I didn't mean you are wrong or even that I disagree. actually, it never occured to me to view it as you. I had assumed that being depressed was not a choice and therefor, how much energy could it take? like, as in, it
    comes natural like falling off a log. intersting...maybe it is sapping all my energy, as i sure dion't have any :blink:
  12. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    So why are you depressed? Do you like it?
    If it takes effort, why are you staying depressed?

    My opinion is reverse. Its easy to stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself, but it takes great effort to deal with problems. (This is meant in general, not for you)
    That's from my expiriences:)
  13. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    That's the question I need to answer :)
    Comes down to guilt.
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    If I think about what bothers me I may be upset about things that have happened in the past or things that are going to happen in the future, and my mind creates these thoughts that bother and upset me. And in a way that's effort, because if my mind thinks of nothing then how upset am I? So there's effort in being upset. However to get my mind to think of nothing seems to be more effort than to get my mind to think of something. Which kind of seems wrong somehow, perhaps it is?
  15. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    On a practical level, it depends where you're being pulled towards. If you're being pulled out of a rut or something else that is holding you back, then it takes effort to force yourself back into that safe depression. If you feel like everything in the world is keeping you in that rut, then it takes more effort to get out of it and renew your life, than it does to stay in and keep things the same.

    On an emotional level or inside your thought processes, it does take more effort to constantly undermine yourself than it does to just get on with your life. The effort is mostly involuntary though and often takes a conscious effort to stop it. You're right in that it is a constant drain on the psyche. I don't think enough depressed people realize how much of their energy goes into sabotaging themselves.
  16. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    If I didn't know a little bit about you from before now, and you told me that you found it was more difficult to be depressed than it was for you to be happy I'd tell you to stop taking the piss out out of the rest of us or to stop faking it for attention.
  17. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    depression is not "feeling sorry for yourself" don't know where ya got
    that one, but it aint accurate.
  18. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni

    That is another thing I don't understand. How we say people fake it for attention. If people need attention, shouldn't we give them some? I mean, it is important to not overdue it, since there are others who need attention too? But how can you fake it for attention? If you need to do that to get attention, isn't that a sign there is a problem anyway?
  19. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    If they need attention or someone to talk to then they should just say so. If they are going to come up with a fictional crisis to draw attention to themselves, then they are abusing the trust and compassion of others for their own emotional gain. While it's true that it is a problem in of itself, lying in order to gain attention is no solution to any real problem and diverts attention away from those who have more serious problems but lack the talent for histrionics.
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