Introducing the Pan-Affect Chart

The Pan-Affect Chart is an attempt to itemize and categorize all of the pleasant and unpleasant sensations we experience throughout our lives. This includes physical sensations, emotions, as well as social and intellectual drivers. Why create such a chart? Among other reasons, it can help us figure out what mix of feelings we are experiencing at any given time. It can also help us understand what others may be feeling, which can help us understand what motivates their actions and decisions. The chart can be viewed here.

Labeling our unhealthy pain

If you have suffered from difficult episodes of depression, anxiety or other similar psychological troubles, and you do not know why, then you are actually suffering in two ways: first, from these difficult episodes themselves, and second, from the tormenting confusion of not knowing why this is happening to you.

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The real reason we suffer from depression

Losing our job. Flunking a critical test. The complete breakdown of a close relationship. It’s normal for our feelings to drop to the floor when life punches us hard in the gut. As we try to understand and slowly adjust to these difficult life changes, we might experience a bitter and potent mix of disbelief, anger, sadness, loneliness and disappointment. But this kind of “depression” could in fact be seen as a normal, even healthy, reaction since it happened for a reason: the various feelings, unpleasant as they might be, encourage us to reevaluate our lives, our relationships, our expectations, and our plans for the future. And when these painful feelings fade away, they for the most part stay away, unless we are unfortunate enough to encounter a new major life setback.

However, the kind of depression I really want to talk about is the unhealthy kind, the kind that strikes many of us for no apparent reason. Continue reading

Man standing on ledge

If you’re on the ledge of life, don’t kill yourself, fix yourself!

Are you feeling depressed? Tired of living? Can’t see the light at the end of that dark, seemingly endless tunnel of suffering? If so, you’re not alone—more and more people are sinking into what sometimes feels like a bottomless pit of despair and desolation, struggling to climb out. After spending enough time down there, many start questioning whether it’s worth going on living this way. I’ve been there many times. Maybe you’ve been there before too, and if so, a part of you knows the agony eventually ends. But when you’re in the midst of being hounded by the Black Dog of depression, it rarely feels that way.Continue reading