Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Depression is not a chemical imbalance in the brain.

On 21 May 2013, at about 4PM, it felt as if someone pushed a button at the back of my head during a meeting at work. My body then refused to follow my brain’s instructions. Anything not work-related was not a problem (eg, driving home). After listening to my story, my doctor did not prescribe medication.

On 20 July 2022, University College London published a “major review of prior research” claiming: “After decades of study, there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression” (eg, Times). Given my own experience, my response was a simple duh !

My job was always my joy and a shelter from a failed marriage. At home, I felt unappreciated. At work, I found appreciation and sometimes gratitude. On 21 May 2013, the pressure at work to give false and/or misleading answers was the final drop in an already full bucket. I haven’t worked since 22 May 2013.

In 2006, NY Mag published an article with the following subtitle: Where Work Is a Religion, Work Burnout Is Its Crisis of Faith. This subtitle summarizes my burnout and subsequent depression. Losing faith in your beliefs is the ultimate disappointment in life; not a chemical imbalance in the brain.

It took me some 18 months to recover. During that time, I analyzed the Why, What and How. My local doctor did offer some names who could assist me in that process. They failed gaining my respect for them. I decided to do it myself. I had several breakthroughs, including divine intervention.

Nowadays, you hear and read stories about people claiming they have had multiple burnouts. Others claim there is a depression epidemic. Probably, our expectations (eg, family, relationship, study, work) are just too high. Any (major) disappointment becomes a burnout with or without a subsequent depression.

Once you start lowering your expectations, there appears to be no bottom in that well. People will continue to disappoint you. Probably, you are confusing expectations (others) with your own standards (eg, source). In my view, people having low ambitions in life are less likely to get a burnout and/or depression.

Lower Your Expectations Song (2016) by Bo Burnham
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-comedy show

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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