You Can Find Passion, Even If You Suffer From Depression
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 - Author: Chandler Colby
When you are depressed, you do have a harder time finding pleasure in things. In my own life, depression diminished my ability to engage in my job, a job I had wanted since I was 12 years old.
As a sixth grader, I decided I would teach college English when I grew up and I pursued that goal, even though I didn’t know much about it. I worked in college writing centers. I was a graduate assistant and taught writing classes. I finally earned my master’s degree and I entered a terrible job market. Between the difficulty of being an adjunct instructor without any job security and growing mental illness, I simply couldn’t continue doing my job.
But, after a period of unemployment, I returned to work as a writer, which was actually my first job as a high school student, when I wrote columns for a local newspaper. Though I still lacked job security, I found that I could manifest the energy to work. I could write at my own pace and direct my own career. Finding a passion, a joy, extended into every area of my life. And, though I still suffer from depression, I am better able to enjoy my life.
By taking note of my talents, I found a love for work.
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what you are good at. For what do you have a natural ability? You shouldn’t be focusing on skills and activities in which you take no pleasure. Instead, think about things you are good at and like doing. Do you excel in something that also delights you?
When you are considering your talents, think also about the things at which other people have told you that you are good. Have you been complimented on your skills? Sometimes others see what we cannot, and this is especially true of people who deal with depression. Your depressed brain may say that you aren’t good at anything, but you need to ignore it.
In my own life, I had always been complimented on my writing. I consistently did well on written assignments in school. Professors noted I had a strong writer’s voice. I sometimes wrote articles for the joy of researching them and putting something together, but I never sent them to publications. When I sat down and thought about it, I realized other people were right. I did have talent.
You may get in your own way by poopooing things you feel are too unusual or impractical. But, even activities that feel silly can be passions. You can’t get caught up in what you believe other people will think. This isn’t about pleasing them; this is about pleasing yourself. Also, you don’t have to be good at something for it to be a passion. Finding your talents is simply one way to look for joy. And, you don’t have to make a passion your career. You can find just as much joy in a hobby as you can in a career. The only thing that should matter is whether or not you like doing something. Finding that thing will give you a much-needed break from depression.
Chandler Colby is a professional writer who enjoys his work most of the time. His work is featured in lifestyle publications and on motivational blogs. He has been published online and in print. He is also a regular contributor for https://www.addictions.com/.
Some Additional Resources:
The Summit Wellness Group - Written and curated by Women of Color, this guide features over 60 resources for People of Color
Prevail Recovery Center – An excellent guide full of resources for Black LGBTQ+ people
Centric Behavioral Health – Abundant resources for Asian Americans in the LGBTQ+ community