When you’re having trouble dragging yourself to the gym, think of the admonition of psychology writer Tal Ben-Shahar: “Not exercising is like taking depressants.” If you’ve already got the melancholic deck stacked against you, don’t ingest metaphorical despondency drugs by living a sedentary lifestyle.
One symptom of depression is the lack of motivation to do things that once brought you joy. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of motivation, so if your brain becomes deadened to it, your drive decreases, and you get into a funk.
We’ll start off looking at the history of depression in the West because I think it puts this experience shared by many a great man throughout history (including Abe Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Tolstoy, and Buzz Aldrin) into some much needed context. The way we look at depression in the 21st century isn’t the way it’s always been viewed, and an exploration of this changing perspective can help you see your own depression in a different light.