Regaining Control Over Depression

By Enoch Li

Why is depression so daunting to some? Why is it so difficult for some to lift themselves out of the mental state?

Control – we’ve lost control over the environment, the situation and ourselves.

Perhaps in reality we haven’t really lost the control. But it feels so, and we perceive it to be so.

We feel desperately helpless and look for something to hold on to and yet can find none.

Worse, we don’t seem to understand why we feel so scared and helpless.

It is irrational and impossible to explain to those around us who have not had that experience.

So we are lost. We are confused. We are frightened. We twirl in our own fear.

Particularly for control freaks like me, that sense of loss is even more demoralizing and intimidating.

Imagine walking blindfolded underground in the sewers, and unknowingly falling through some big well with nothing to hold on to – not that I’ve done so but it’s the best way I can describe the trepidation of not being in control.

To regain control over oneself, try writing lists – lists of:
•    things you want to do
•    things you like
•    your strengths and weaknesses
•    hobbies
•    achievements
•    places you have been to
•    places you want to go to etc…

It doesn’t matter what lists you make but just keep writing.

Then narrow the lists down to see which ones you could realize in the short term, and which ones involved more planning.

Pat yourself on the back for things you had already achieved.

Yet look for aspects you would like to improve on – do you need to learn to calm down and be patient?

Or learn breathing techniques for your panic and anxiety attacks? What brought about stress?

Finding out issues you could work on is the first step towards regaining control.

After identifying the items you would like to improve, work on, start a new hobby, or a city to visit, then you could start making a plan.

First, write down the top 3 things you would like to change.

Then think of how you would like to be ideally for these identified issues.

Third, devise some steps that could take you where you would like to be.

If you don’t know how to, try looking for books related to your area and see what others say about it. A simple search on the internet could also suffice.

Make realistic and reachable goals in the short term and give yourself a deadline.

Gradually, you can make small changes to the situation and yourself.

Little by little, you will feel that getting better isn’t such a Herculean task anymore.

Control – control your mind and thoughts, control your actions.

You can do it. And you will get better.

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By nochnoch


Enoch Li was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. After completing her education in Law and Political Sciences 7 years ago, she embarked on a career as an international executive in the banking & finance industry.

She has lived and worked in Paris, London, The Hague, and Tokyo. She now resides in Beijing. Enoch started to suffer from, most probably due to stress, severe migraines, Meniere’s disease and severe depression at the end of 2009 and has been struggling with it since.

She is recovering but has lapses occasionally.

See more articles by Enoch Li

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Added photos & comments by site author Douglas Eby :

Musician Shawn Colvin said, “Since seeking help and getting appropriate treatment for my depression, I have felt more engaged with and closer to family and friends, and have been able to fully capture my creativity.”

From post Dealing with depression to access our creativity.

Alanis Morissette: While on tour to promote her album Jagged Little Pill [in 1995, at about age 21], Morissette began to feel helpless. “There had been this dissonance in the midst of all the external success. Because on the one hand, I was expected to be overjoyed by it, and at the same time I was disillusioned by it… Having been so freaked out about my bouts of depression and everything that I’ve experienced, I’ve actively sought out different ways to turn to my innate joy.” [Photo from]

Her feeling “disillusioned” sounds like the kind of “crisis of meaning” discussed in the book The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person’s Path Through Depression, by Eric Maisel, PhD

Related site: Anxiety Relief Solutions  – Multiple drug-free self-help products and programs to relieve social anxiety, stage fright, performance anxiety and other forms of stress and anxiety.


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