Column: The fine art of misery

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.

Appearing Depressed

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.

Leave a Reply