im always here when im feeling down. im tired of my life. i cant control things in my life. i live in a religious country which is hard for me. i have depression, im losing hope. i know i should not rely on god because it is not true. im losing direction and i cant find inspiration to live.

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Your post here is very concerning. I hope that you are able to find some resources. It looks like you live in Manila. I understand, the Philippines is a very Catholic country. I see that you are a member of the Philippine Atheist group on A|N. It might help to post in that group, since they would be more likely to be able to know your local situation. Good luck to you, don't despair.
Find whatever single avenue of competence and strength you have and hate out the very hearts of anyone who causes you to become depressed. For me, such a route was chemistry. I loved the labs for the class and I was better at science in general than my lab partner. I had spent much time and bother before I had that class in a funk of depression because I couldn't convince the noisy, overly-confident, ever-wrong people who speak in vague mysticisms or who thrive in conversations that change topics every two seconds of any one solid fact. Chemistry in particular was a great vehicle for this, as the quantization of matter and the restriction of the list of possible sequences of events that may follow from a particular setup from infinitely many due to "the mysteries of the universe" down to one or very few are crushing blows to people who exhibit magical thinking.

Just being exposed at all to the names of the laws, theories, etc. that support the science gave me the ammunition to shoot down believers in magic--e.g. bringing up the quantization of charge and the oil drop experiment. So if you can find some avenue of competence that allows you to derive utter, damn-near-hedonistic pleasure from steps that attack your depression--and hopefully do so with an endlessly solid defense, like there is with the experimental backings for chemistry--then take it without delay.
You sound like you are following a path similar to mine. I have never been religious, but depressed - yes. Handling and overcoming major depression can be a long and difficult process. I have tried many things, but at times I have been unable to find reasons to live. It's you who decides. I like to think of the words, (incorrectly), attributed to Winston Churchill:-

To succeed, there are three principles . . .
1. Never give up;
2. Never give up;
3. Never give up.
What's holding you where you are?

I'm thinking a drastic change of scenery might be good for you.

So ditch whatever responsibilities you have where you are, pack your things, and experience somewhere new.
Sometimes you can fix the life you're in... sometimes you just have to abandon ship and find a new one.

Maybe try moving to a new area... or maybe even a new country.

Life is to be experienced.
So experience it.

A change of context can do wonders. You might be surprised how much.
A long term solution is keep looking for new friends. It is very important to find people as similar views, including not having a religion. This will take time, but it is something to keep you focused on.
I agree - prayer is so unreliable.

I can't help. I can't be there for you - because I live in New Jersey - far away. Also, I am not a medical professional and it may be that you are suffering from a chemical imbalance or other treatable affliction. I do not suffer from this type of depression and cannot say that I know how you feel.

If you can't get medical help, I know that singing has been shown to help many people - even if they suck at it. I'm not kidding. Music is one of the rare activities that 'lights' up a huge percentage of the brain in brain scans. (See: This is Your Brain on Music and Musicophilia)

Viktor Frankl offers another thing that might help. Find people who need you. Try and comfort them. This may be a monumental challenge for you in your condition. But try it - even it is cooking or serving at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or whatever. Certainly in a religious country they will have these. It might pain you that people are being served 'religion' with their soup - but work to fill someone else's belly. Try to make a child smile. Give your seat to an old woman on a bus. Ramp up your generosity. This can really help.

On a more philosophical note, here's the way I see it:

One aspect of atheism is that you don't believe in a 'better place' (or worse place) after you die. This is all you have. Religious people tend to think this is a hopeless way to look at things. I feel it is just the opposite.

If this is all we have - in a 15 billion year old universe - that is a beautiful and inspiring thing to know. It is a unique, extremely rare, and unbelievably precious opportunity. And keep in mind the words of the inimitable Oscar Wilde: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars."
I care about you. And I am worried about you. Look for the good, do not dwell on the bad. Sometimes it takes a lot of looking but it is there. Take small steps. Do not try to "fix" everything at once. Take control of just one little thing and go from there. Find someone to talk with, a doctor if you can find one, a friend if you can't. Best wishes. My thoughts will be with you. Please take good care of yourself.
Depression can be a serious matter - ultimately it can lead to suicide. Depression comes in two types: reactive depression and endogenous depression. I have major endogenous depression.

Reactive depression is normal, and comes from some life event which one finds to be depressing. If a loved-one dies, you'd expect to feel depressed. After a while, this depression ought to ease off. This process is called grieving.

Endogenous depression is an illness. It has a genetic basis. Over the decades, there has been a certain stigma attached to depression. Some people think that all one needs to do is to 'pull one's socks up', stop being a wimp, and get on with life, and the depression will go away.

I view it more like having diabetes. Diabetes is an illness which, like depression, comes in two forms. The two types of diabetes are: Types 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle form, and may be successfully handled with dietary approaches. Type 1 diabetes is endogenous, or genetic, and is insulin dependent. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes cannot overcome by ‘pulling one's socks up’, stopping being a wimp, and getting on with life. The diabetes will not go away. It must be handled with insulin injections, (as well as care with the diet). Medical problems like diabetes and depression may not just go away, though they can - but I wouldn't bank on it.

Endogenous depression warrants some medical intervention. If you live in the Philippines, I have no idea of what might be available to you.

One of the problems in endogenous depression is that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain. The key chemical involved is serotonin, which is hormone which affects mood, and a boost of it tends to lift the mood out of the depressed state.

In depressives, free serotonin is soaked up by the brain, making it low in the brain bloodstream. I take an anti-depressive medication with fluvoxamine (maleate) in it. This fluvoxamine maleate is an SSRI or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It selectively stops the brain from soaking up serotonin, and thus improving the patient’s mood.

There is a lot more to overcoming endogenous depression. Being depressed tends to lead to all kinds of negative thinking, which over time becomes part of the person’s identity and personality. The help of a mental health professional is a way of analysing these maladaptive ways of thinking which, (believe me), are extremely difficult to alter.

I know that some people will pooh-pooh the mental health profession and its practices, and if this be the case with any readers, good luck to them. As I said, I don’t know what is available in the Philippines. Here in Australia, the medication must be prescribed by a suitably qualified doctor.

As a side issue, I find that the huge number of illnesses with which we humans can be afflicted is evidence of the unlikelihood that a loving god designed us with any kind intelligence. As an atheist, it is entirely compatible with the vagaries of us having evolved in a godless world.

P.S. The suggestions made by others are well worth trying, but as a fellow sufferer of depression ofthe endogenous type, I recommend professional, qualified, non-religious medical help.

P.P.S. Anti-depression medications can have mutiple side effects, and it may take some trial and error work with a health care professional to find one which suits the patient concerned.




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