By: Kristin L. Roush, Ph D., Guest Columnist
Depression: Before you reach for the Prozac, part 1
*On a serious note: please know that this series is intended to be a spoof, a lighthearted invitation to look at how we sometimes create our own misery. It is by no means meant to be disrespectful or minimizing of many people’s true pain, particularly around depression and anxiety.
A proven technique to generate an internal state of depression is to start on the outside and then focus on the inside.
This two part article will begin with your physical appearance. In part two we will concentrate on your outward behavior.
This systematic approach will slowly but surely destroy your life spirit.
Wear drab, dark clothes that communicate to the world that you are invisible or deserve to be invisible.
Browns, blacks, grays, and navy blues are best.
Be sure your clothes are over-sized, wrinkled, and not clean. A low slung hat or hairstyle that hides your eyes is a particularly effective touch that will keep you feeling unworthy.
It telegraphs to the world your morose and sullen nature and has the added benefit of calling attention to yourself as a misunderstood outcast.
Some people will be merely intrigued; others will feel sorry for you and that’s exactly the effect you’re after.
Manage your facial expressions. Always wear a frown and do not make eye contact with people.
Use your face to express only minimal emotion; boredom, superior disdain and chronic irritation are the best options.
The well-timed rolling of the eyes is a classic passive expression of disapproval. It has the added benefit of giving you plausible deniability.
When someone calls you on it, you can indignantly protest, “I didn’t say anything,” thereby absolving you of any responsibility for your toxic presence.
If you need assistance, consult withdrawn adolescents. They are masters of this technique.
Manage your body language. Always walk slowly using a short stride with your head down, hands in your pockets, and looking only 3-5 ft. in front of you.
Be sure you maintain rounded shoulders and a hunched over posture. Never, ever look up.
While sitting, cross your arms, keep your head down and throw in the occasional despairing slow shaking of the head accompanied by a long, tired sigh.
I hope you found these tips helpful in your efforts to become a truly depressed person. Stay tuned for other installments from The Fine Art of Misery series.