Jeff Montanari

The Roadmap to Avoid Depression

This is not an easy task. When you find yourself in a depressed state it can be a very difficult situation to change your mood. Depression is a result of several potential pitfalls of life from trauma to divorce, to PTSD, to financial burdens and even family problems. It promoted addictions, bad habits, relational problems, and numerous other character flaws. But it is also a mental control mechanism which limits your ability to function normal in everyday life. We are designed to be normal people, enjoying everyday life to the fullest! Your brain gets “stuck”, like when you have a song repeating in your head continually. It is the same manner of control, your brain gets “stuck” in a cycle of depressing stimuli which impacts your mood, emotions, physical abilities, and desires. Often, sometimes because of trauma, we “feel” things are not correct, not right, or something is happening. A quasi paranoia which feeds into a self-inflicted depressed state of mind. We absolutely cannot live this way. We deal with life and each day, one moment at a time. We face whatever challenges arrives, one challenge at a time. Never allow your mind to use “fear of the unknown” to remove your happiness with depression, over that which we cannot control, or that which is unknown to us. Assuming is likewise the same tactic to trip our brain into this depressed state. Breaking away from this and changing the mind is the key to healing and you controlling your thoughts and where your brain goes rather than these feeling controlling you. It is a learned skill.

I do not believe people are designed to “cope” with depression, rather we are to correctly manage ourselves away from a depressed state by retraining ourselves. To cope means you agree and admit that this is a sickness that must be tolerated. Let us refuse to tolerate such life limiting control.

Anxiety is an alert for us to know we are tinkering or going on the wrong road. I am not referring to having too much coffee. That can be a trigger also. People who say, face your fear, attack it, you can do it. Be careful, as you are not required to do anything for anyone that usurps your mental wellbeing and impacts your quality of life, which comes first. People say family first, remember your mental state comes first also.

Here is an example. Your bored and on the phone looking at photos, you see a photo which triggers a memory. This memory triggers an emotion that causes you to think all day about a situation. This thinking, places you into a sad state of loneliness, fear, nervousness and ultimately a depressed state. Your depression lasts 8 hours as you struggle to grapple with what took place in this situation as you think deeper and deeper about it. Ultimately you end up in this depressed condition for 8 hours as the day passed. You’re not productive, you’re on the sofa, tired and frustrated. You lost and someone else won the moment.

So how do we avoid such events in our lives? What is the trick to avoiding these potholes of our mind? Again, it is not easy to do, it is a forced, learned, discipline.

The answer is, you must know yourself well enough to have a map and to follow it. You must know where you can and where you cannot go. And if your good, you will be able to look back, in time, and know you conquered these triggers and be able to talk freely about it after you have left the mental cocoon of control. At that point your mind is not controlling you from these triggers, you are able to deal with them and function in life. You would have won the battle.

So, if you know certain memories or photos bring you to a certain mental state, you 100% avoid them. If you know a conversation causes a recollection of trauma, you 100% avoid this talk. If you know a place or a location triggers an emotion that would hinder your quality of life for some past reason, you 100% avoid it. If you know a person which has a mental history that causes potential stresses for you, you 100% avoid them. If you get trapped into a depressed state without warning and you know you are not strong to fix this, what you do is simple. You MUST change the moment. Here are a few examples, get up and take a shower and yes, get distracted with focusing on something else that will maximize your mental capacity. Like filling a cup of water, your mind must be filled with a focus or task that squeezes out the depressed condition. You do this by changing the context of the moment. You do not want to take a shower, ok, then get up and stimulate your mind by starting a project, finishing a project, go shopping, engage in a responsibility that must be done, challenge yourself with a good fitness regimen. Exercise is an excellent, a superb way to reset the mind and refocus our brain and emotions. Again, it is not easy, but you MUST find what works for you and reset the mind. After, you then make note that you cannot, absolutely cannot walk that way again, avoid it at all costs until you are strong enough to own it and know that it will never be an obstacle again. You have overcome depression.

You control your destiny, easy or not. You control your quality of life. You make strong decisive and sound, positive decisions at each crossroads, take whatever detours are required, but your mental wellness is dependent on these specific decisions, only you can make.

You control your enjoyment and know life is full of happiness, joy and positivity as God created it to be. But, again, you’re not looking for a distraction per se, but you’re looking to take the right road on your mental brain map for the best quality of life possible.

Each day, each moment is critically important. Once the moment is done and gone, you have either won that moment or lost the time in life. Make the best of each moment as we cannot get it back.

About the Author
Dr. Jeff Montanari, author of "God Made You a Jew", a theological expose' on combatting missionaries. Dr. Montanari discusses issues between religious faiths in defense of Judaism. He is a graduate of Regent University and Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim. An endorsed military Orthodox Jewish chaplain with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol. He is also a blogger with The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, Arutz Sheva 7 and is a lifetime member of the Jewish War Veterans, a member of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER). He holds membership as a Daedalian, the Naval Order of the United States and Military Order of the Loyal Legions of the United States. He is a former associate Rabbi at Congregation Pirchei Shoshanim, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Pacific Region District chaplain, and an Orange County Sheriff’s Department chaplain. Ari Ben Avraham A.A, B.A., M.A., M.Rav., D.MIN.
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