Thursday, September 5, 2013

Human Nature from Depression Book

According to Huber, what are essential human needs?  What are common weaknesses?  What is success and what leads to it?  What parts of this argument ring true to you?  What would you critique about her argument?  For Mon Sept 9th, post 200+ word conversation-style response to this prompt.  You can choose one question to answer, or answer more than one.  Encouraged to makes connections to your own life experiences.  Encouraged to use quotes from the text (from part 1 or part 2).

29 comments:

  1. Throughout her self-help book, The Depression Book, Cheri Huber continuously asserts that in society, we have been “conditioned” to view certain feelings, actions, and pieces of our identity as unacceptable. As a result, in working from others’ judgements of us we “endlessly seek other people’s approval” (Huber 110) to feel worthy and justified of life - to feel safe. Hence, Huber indicates that a common human weakness is not simply our desire to please others, but to feel safely connected to others: to have a vein of acceptance into the mass of people known as society in case something breaks and we find ourselves in dire need of help. As a result, we spend our entire lives learning the dulling and restricting customs of a blob of mindless people (those, mind you, who all engage in the same self-numbing) so that as the blob rolls along the table, we don’t find ourselves ripped off and stuck to its tracks.

    In addition, Huber reveals how not only do we work to strengthen our ties to society, but we become so paranoid of this social death as to use energy to strengthen society’s inner ties to ensure its functioning. She explains, “If you realize you no longer want to do it, STOP. ‘Isn’t that irresponsible?’ You’ll never know until you stop and find out. You could practice with some of the many little things you do and hate but continue to do because you believe you should or someone told you you should” (Huber 112). Here, we believe so strongly we must act in certain ways - carry out certain tasks - even though we “hate” this because if we “stop,” it’s “irresponsible.” This single but powerful word signifies that in stopping, we are ignoring our duties to others, that “someone” else might be and is counting on our progress and product. Hence, if we were to stop, we would break connections of productivity in society, and eventually that massive safety net of dulled minds would break down, causing us to be alone. Therefore, Huber indicates that one of the most common human weaknesses is our desperate fear that the bundled mass of people will somehow leave us or even fall apart - that we will be alone and without connection, without safety. This crippling fear is so powerful that it forces the majority of us to sacrifice ourselves, our needs, and our identities to become slaves of society - the very society we circularly need because we lack internal support. Therefore, Huber reveals how the human weakness of fear and desperation for connection actually fuels the continuance of our society of widespread conformity, unhappiness, and meaningless.

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  2. Dina Kharag - According to The Depression Book, the human weakness of doubt can cause a certain kind of depression. This personal doubt is embedded into us as children due to parents, teachers, and society telling us what we can and can't do. Cheri describes this process, "As children, we learned that when we operated from who we are, we got into trouble. We learned that there is something wrong with us" (Cheri, pg 11). This is true because I do this all the time. I always question my actions and see if they aren't breaking any of society's rules or my morals. Sometimes I even did actions based on another person's influence and his/her morals wouldn't match mine. I would do this without knowing that I was afraid of being socially outcasted. This worry of being socially outcasted happened due to being abandoned by friends, being used due to my kind personality, and being threatened that friendships would end if I didn't do what they say. As a kid, it was torturous and it scarred my mentality. I even at one point isolated myself from my classmates because of these negative experiences. The effects that followed included me believing I would never have friends, eating lunch alone, and stopped enjoying life. I felt like I couldn't fit in and I made a barrier of feeling that I could never fit in. This was the first time I became depressed.
    When reading part 2 of The Depression oBook, it made me realize that it could had helped me repair my self doubt. Cheri made me remember how I shouldn't be influenced by other people and focus on myself, "People are judging and criticizing, and dismissing me all the time, but as long as I'm meeting my standards of how I should be, I don't even notice" (Cheri, pg 100).

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  3. In the Depression Book the author asserts that it is human nature to judge yourself to a higher extent than you judge others. The author portrays this as a weakness and shows the reader that our expectations come from within ourselves rather than from external sources. Because of this, it is very easy for us to depress ourselves when we do not meet our own expectations yet we allow others to ostracize us without lowering our opinion of them.
    In my opinion this article is extremely flawed. I do believe that we as humans augment and perpetuate society's expectations of us. However, I do not believe that this makes our standards entirely self manufactured. It is not realistic to think that we hear a criticism once and automatically turn against ourselves to try and fix the problem. It is far more regular that we are repeatedly told things about ourselves from others and begin to believe them over time as we notice the flaws and enlarge them. This reiteration makes our self hatred far more subjective than the author insinuates. While we do not always create our problems, we do tend to perpetuate them. Furthermore, it does make sense that we tend to judge ourselves more harshly, but that is necessary to our wellbeing. We cannot control anyone but ourselves and we have the ability to change ourselves if we do not meet our own standards. Because of this, I believe that the authors statement about weakness being our inability to judge ourselves fairly is flawed. While it is true that we are quite critical of ourselves, it is sometimes necessary. And although we do perpetuate others' criticism, the initial doubt of ourselves does not always come from within.

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  4. Cheri argues in The Depression Book that it is an essential human weakness to internalize superficial outside problems far more than is necessary and blame one’s self for everything involved. The need that balances this imperfection is the ability to accept that you are doing this to yourself and move on. The root of the problem is not in what is happening around us, but how we react to it. It is easy to fall into this pattern of self loathing, once an event has happened the easiest person to blame is yourself because you are the only person you have total control over. She then argues that in order to overcome this you need to accept the complexities of what is going on and stop blaming yourself. Once you take these steps, according to Cheri you should be better. Although this rings very true for me I do not see how it would help people who are truly depressed. This acceptance, forgiveness, and moving on mentality works for me. In fact, it is how I deal with everything that life throws at me, such as toxic friends, and I have been thinking with this general concept for quite a while. However, I fail to see how this would help people who truly know the meaning of depression. Sometimes, a problem is so deep seated that it is not okay to just “accept” it. This is the same as the depressing of feelings that the book blames for all other problems, and is only a temporary fix. Although the weakness of unnecessary blame and the need for acceptance are perfectly valid claims for human nature, I believe that they are a much more general idea more true for the general population than depressed people.

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  5. I have to say, I agree with each of the girls who have written before me! Each argument they presented is looked at looked at closely in The Depression Book and emphasized to be one of the things, for lack of better words, that lead to depression. To me, however, one of the greatest and most common human weaknesses, as argued by Cheri Huber in The Depression Book, is our harrowing approach to feelings, particularly our own. Huber notes that “Our feelings are the most intimate experience we have of ourselves” (Huber 21). I believe this is an accurate definition of our personal relationship with feelings. I find that our feelings are often so intimate that we become fearful of them, afraid to face them because they are extremely intimidating and truthful. Huber argues that this fear, the fear of our feelings, is related to our depressing and depression... She notes that with fear comes, denial, rejection and judgment. And states that we often punish, blame and discipline ourselves because of how we feel. “It’s not the feeling we’re having that’s a problem, it’s our judgment about that feeling” (Huber 20). We all feel feelings and often times feel the need to blame ourselves for feeling a certain way. When we approach our feelings with this automatic judgement and hatred or refuse to face them entirely, we are ultimately destroying our well being. In approaching our feelings through these matters, we become unable to pinpoint what we truly want. Though our feelings may be “the most intimate experience we have of ourselves” (Huber 21), rejecting them leads us to be extremely distant from ourselves… An issue I find to be unhealthy and dangerous.

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  7. Throughout The Depression Book, Cheri Huber emphasizes the idea that the depression we feel isn’t rooted from the depression itself, but stems from underneath the feelings of depression. As if feeling numb and empty isn’t enough, Huber argues that the state of depression in itself is a vicious cycle wherein we tend to beat ourselves up for being depressed - we are not nearly as compassionate to ourselves as we would be to our loved ones... And this "beating up" process leads us to stay in a place of depression far longer than we have to. Huber encourages the notion that it is okay to be depressed, because depression isn’t necessarily “bad.” We have been told, and have come to believe, that depression somehow means you are “sick,” or something is “wrong” with you, and we judge ourselves harshly for allowing ourselves to have that experience - yet many times we learn the most about ourselves during times of pain - and depression can be one of those times.
    By highlighting the tendency for individuals to isolate themselves inside this state of depression, Huber unfurls one of the many essential human needs- compassion. Huber argues the best thing we can do for ourselves during this state, is love ourselves just as we love others and take it as an opportunity for spiritual growth and personal acceptance.

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  8. I am blown away by the quality of argument of all of you who have already posted. Thank you for your precision, bravery, and insight into the meaning of Huber's argument in our lives.

    Folks who are posting from here on out, lets make sure to respond to others' posts. If an idea has already been presented, acknowledge the person that began it, and further/deepen the idea.

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  9. In The Depression Book, Cheri Huber argues that a lack of individuality and a need to conform, in a way, are humanity's greatest weakness. The need to conform to others ideals and ideas causes depression, and thinking about what you should be only deepens that feeling. Cheri says, "As children we learned that when we operated from who we are, we got into trouble. We learned there is something wrong with us... [what Cheri is suggesting] is THERE WAS NEVER ANYTHING WRONG WITH YOU" (Cheri, 11) Instead of arguing for what we want, for what we are we, as humans, simply accept others laws as truth. Although some norms are expected, sometimes we lose sight of why certain things were even implemented. Humans are all unwilling to be themselves, so we surround ourselves with lies and falsities. We refuse to accept that, yes, maybe it actually is better to just be yourself. Yes, the saying is a millennium old and cliche, but maybe it is enough to just, "be yourself"
    The rest of the book simply sounds like hippie mumbo jumbo, but then I don't exactly get depressed often enough to need any of the advice. When I do get depressed it's usually only for a day or so, which hardly qualifies as a debilitating disease and seems more like plain old sadness. I cannot know how that feels and I cannot guess. The general concepts, however, do make sense for regular life, people should be accepting of themselves, and take the time to reflect.

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  10. Huber believes the key to success is staying true to ourselves, and she claims in order to accomplish this, we must ignore the fear and guilt that keeps us from knowing our true self, and instead treat ourselves with compassion and acceptance.
    “We hate and avoid in others what we’re not willing to face in ourselves.” (Huber 99)
    In so many pieces of literature, this common human theme is brought up. The antagonist and the protagonist are commonly very similar, if looked at closely, yet they are so against one another they are blind to everything else. Yet Huber argues, if we just take time to break down the negative feelings we have surrounding ourselves, and really look at who we are instead of constantly hiding it away in denial, we can start to figure out who we really are. If we can obtain this, suddenly life wouldn’t be as hard, there would be no one to constantly put down everything we start to do, and no one to decide our hardships for us. Huber believes if we can just face what is within us and love it like we used to, life would be something we enjoy. Life would be a success.

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  11. I would have to agree with Nyssa about how Huber is trying to convey a message that the key to being successful and living a life fully of happiness and joy is staying true to ourselves. That means that one must do what makes them happy, being self aware, taking care of yourself, not being afraid to try new things and most importantly following what you believe is right without having any influence or disapproval from another person. As Huber writes, we “endlessly seek other people’s approval” (Huber 110). We do what we feel is safe or what is not out of the ordinary in order to feel accepted into society. By doing this one does not remain true to themselves because of this dependence on another human to approve or disapprove ones actions. Huber demonstrates that his is a common human weakness, how reliable we've become to allow another person to influence us on what makes us happy and what does not. We only do what we are told to do, resulting in a unsuccessful life because as I have mentioned earlier on this is not being true to one-self. One must do what makes them happy, and if does not simply stop and try another thing. We must take care of how we are feeling by feeding the soul what makes one happy by being in tune with out emotions, being aware and accepting what is going on around one. One must stop to numb what is going on denying how you are feeling just for another persons satisfaction and approval, because that only makes the circumstance worse and it is not being true to oneself. Huber believes that if we all stop try to be something we are not and instead accept who we are and remain true to that life would be peaceful and enjoyable without a constant battle between how you feel and how others perceive what you feel.

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  12. Huber states that it is a human mentality and a weakness to compare oneself to society and conform to the general cultural norms. One can argue that if every member of society conforms to the standards of other’s, society itself is devoid of originality. Only through breaking traditions and establishing a personal identity can an individual gain contentment in his or her life. The drive to override the conscience that one was born with is the same as driving down a street that is not through. In the case of depression, humans being to compare themselves to their peers or friends in a desperate attempt to discover what is wrong with them as an individual. Huber argues that the fault is not within the personality of a depressed person, but in how they nurture and embrace that personality and character. The path to succession is in realizing that success itself has always and will always be available to any individual that wishes to achieve it, though the journey may different for each individual. Acceptance stands as the first step to improvement and success. Only through understanding who one is and how he or she reached that point of depression can that person then plan out a course of action. In the book Huber offers advice to aid people in learning how to understand themselves by practicing meditation or slowly breathing for five minutes. Each step taken away from conformity is a step taken towards recovery.

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  13. “We hate and avoid in others what we’re not willing to face in ourselves,” (99). This is the reason why there’s so much hatred in the world today. When people have a problem accepting a part of themselves because it’s not how they think it should be, they sometimes look for this similarity in others to try to find some sort of connection. In this case, this connection, for lack of a better word, comes in the form of hate. This hate for others makes us feel a little better sometimes, but it’s only there because we don’t want to make room for acceptance. Hate is a lot easier than taking a really good look at yourself and trying to come to terms with your own flaws. Denial of who we are is really like the fog Huber mentions, and it does seem a lot easier than dealing with the sharp pain and disappointment of not being who we set ourselves up to be. Unconditional love is something we are all looking for, and this kind of love comes along with unconditional acceptance. With these virtues, there will be a lot less hatred, and like Huber says in the end, once we find a compassion for ourselves, we will find a compassion for others and who they are.

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  14. It is often said that depression is bad. Yes, when one is depressed, feelings of sadness and anger rise to make a person discouraged. Huber's argument reveals that with depression outcomes strength and the ability to aid others in their depression. A human weakness I believe revealed in this text is that there is an obsession with being happy, an outlook on life that says: perfection. Many people get depressed is because they compete with other people.Agreeing with Shemuel's comment, humans often compare themselves with others. People think that they need to be more advanced than their peers. The necessity to be "happy" is weakening the human ability to learn a lesson from depression. People do not realize that being depressed is ok. You just need to understand that you are not accepting yourself and your abilities. One accepts and loves what others do but you need to nurture yourself. Depression does not feel good but it is a learning process that one can either accept or reject. Without being depressed, how can one learn? How can one help others who are experiencing the same struggles? It is easy to become depressed, drowning yourself in the world's standards. I have to agree with Nyssa also that one simply needs to be him/herself. Once you can accept yourself and your abilities, you can teach others that loving who you are is the best thing there is. As cheesy as it sounds, I think that what Huber argues is true.

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  15. I agree with Randy and Nyssa about how the key to being successful in life is to stay true to yourself. In order for us to stay true to ourselves, we must push away the fear; both of trying new things and the fear of facing who we really are. Huber states, "Living your life in fear that you're going to do it wrong is like an explorer who is afraid of getting lost" (96). Living your life isn't about doing it right, it's about exploring the world and mostly yourself. If we live in fear of everything we do and it being the 'right' thing to do, prevents our success. Human beings are always trying to fit in and be 'right', but whenever we conform we lose us and it just doesn't feel right. It takes a lot of effort to put on a mask everyday so why don't you just be yourself? In addition, in order for us to stay true to ourselves and in result successful, it's important for us to put ourselves first. The author states, "Be sure you take care of yourself before you try to take care of someone else". If we are wrapped up in other people, we become in a sense dependent on them. We are certain that our happiness and being safe depends on how we take care others. For me personally, if someone is ok because of something I did, then I feel like I did something good and therefore I am good. This isn't healthy because my well-being and success depends on other people. In order for you to know who you are really are, it is important to step away from helping others and start to help yourself. The most important relationship you can ever have is with yourself and if you treat yourself kindly, everything else will fall into place.

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  16. Some common weakness that Huber points out in The Depression Book is not being able to be satisfied with ourselves and that we have to fix the way we act and look. We think that we have to live up to a set of standards and knick pick at little things that others make us insecure about. The most noticeable human need that is pointed out in the book is being able to feel part of something, knowing that others care to hear our opinions and, those we can relate to one another. I think till made a really clear point about how we get so obsessed with strengthen our personality to be approved by society. I also agree with Kate, Randy, and Nyssa that yes that the key to success is to stay true to one’s self, but it is also a key that people don’t follow through with. In one way or another, each individual has changed their personality to obtain something they want. For example, if you were the type of person who liked staying home a lot or didn’t like big crowds, and one of your friends said,
    “Hey you should totally come with a bunch of us to a festival.” And your response was, “Eh, no thanks.” But they said, “Oh come on it’s going to be fun! We are all going! You don’t want to miss this. You will regret not coming.” Then you kind of give in and say, “Yes.”
    I don’t know how others feel about that, but to me it seems like you aren’t staying true to yourself. It’s not always easy to stay true to yourself, even though it’s something we all want to admit we do. There are two convincing points that Huber has to help her arguments, in the first part of her book she writes, “We think we need to blame ourselves for our feelings, or feel guilt about them, and then punish or discipline ourselves.”(Huber pg.21) I find this compelling since we think that everything that isn’t right to someone else is also wrong to ourselves. I think that also doubting ourselves is part of the problem that people feel the need to blame themselves. This relates to the other persuasive point that Huber makes, which is, “The problem is that we have been taught to believe there’s a problem. It’s like being told that something is broken and trying to fix it and never succeeding. Because it isn’t broken.” (Huber pg.106) I think an example of the point she is trying to make is, when you were in elementary school and the teacher told you to do a math problem and you had the correct answer , but the teacher said, “No, you did it wrong.” That’s the type of feeling of not being suitable can ruin or alter one’s feeling of not being assimilated by others.

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  17. “I believe that what I’m experiencing is real. If I let go of that and get into the present, I realize the present is quite manageable.” (Huber 81) In life, people tend to get too caught up into the future or into their own problems. Sometimes, we just have to step back and analyze the situation before choosing a course of action. To many people, seems like a large scary thing that just wants to take over their lives and prevent them from doing the things they want. In part, they are correct. Depression does stop people from doing the things they want. However, it is for a reason. Depression is what allows the person time to step back. I agree with Jamie by the fact that some problems are “too deeply seeded to just accept.” But I believe that the author is not trying to say that. She is simply trying to tell the reader to distance himself or herself from the situation and try to not base decisions purely on their emotions. When one does so, they would find that the situation at hand is a lot easier to manage. In removing feeling or emotion from their thought process, things would become a lot more logical and easier to except. For example, let’s say that a family member passed away. Instead of thinking “How am I going to live without him/her?” we could think, “How do I go on from here?” In this way, we are acknowledging that the “experience is real” but we are also living in the present and embracing the situation.

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  18. I agree with Keira that some of the weaknesses that Huber identifies is that people are not satisfied with the kind of person they are; they keep wishing to be this majestical character in their head, and it’s preventing them from “being with [themselves]” (6). People feel inclined to answer to society around them by attempting to live up to their standards so that they may fit in. However, as Huber points out, these “standards” that people try to live by are “really our own projections. We judge ourselves by our own standards, project them out onto other people, then believe that they think those things about us” (98). These standards of society that people attempt to adhere to are simply reflections of who we want and wish to be. We hope to be a certain person with a certain character and certain qualities, yet we’re not happy with ourselves because we don’t believe we can be that person. Huber describes this as “being caught in this awful loop of my [own] making” (109). In reality, though, “we endlessly seek other people’s approval when the only approval that means anything to us is our own” (110). One thing that stood out to me was this quote on pg 96: “Living your life in fear that you’re going to do it wrong is like an explorer who is afraid of getting lost” (96). This quote virtually underlines the idea that acceptance is central and key to our identity; we must accept everything for what it is, because we cannot change it. The only thing we can change is how we react to it (another point that Huber makes several times), and how we chose those decisions. This ties to the common human fear of the unknown; we’re naturally unwilling to accept anything that we don’t know, and we try to suppress that. Huber argues that we must embrace it and trust it for our own sake. We must acknowledge our own feelings and welcome them into our world, or else we’re bound to be depressed forever, hoping to cure a disease that we won’t even accept is hurting us.

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  19. Well I'd say I have to agree with Olivia and everyone else who wrote about feelings being the more important argument that Huber writes about in The Depression Book. I also would like to add on to Hannah's and Randy's argument that success is reached by staying true to one's self. I suppose that depression is a serious feeling, but after reading this novel and based on my own experiences and knowledge; I come to realize that depression is indeed just another everyday feeling. Huber emphasizes the need for acceptance and understanding towards ourselves. Many people have a hard time accepting life for what it is, there has never been a promise that man walks on earth without taking wrong turns and hitting tough stretches. It is like this that we get stuck in this desire to want a "better" life, the wonderful and dream enchanted life because we are unable to accept. Huber writes, "Rather than focusing on what you want to have...or get...or do, focus on how you are - NOW - because how you are now is all you'll ever experience"(Huber 80). This quote highlights the desire to want, however wanting leads to ungratefulness for what we do have. Huber suggests that we accept whatever we poses with thankfulness. To avoid falling into a never ending depression, we have to be considerate of our own lives. and accept things for what they are. To avoid going out of our way to give things a different picture.

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  20. To branch off Olivia's comment, I see in Huber's writing a human weakness surrounding our relationship with feelings. One can view their feelings either internally or externally, and the weakness identified in Huber's writing is that we are stuck only seeing our feelings from the internal perspective, therefore not being able to step back to find acceptance. I agree with Olivia about the intimacy of feelings, and how we become so closely tied to these feelings that we become trapped in them, and then fearful of them. Huber supports this by writing, "If I stay in the depression, I'll never see what is underneath it" (83). Depression is portrayed as a frame of mind, a room we walk into and momentarily reside in. When our relationship with our feelings is solely internal, we become trapped in the room, staying within the state of depression instead of taking the external view and seeing what's underneath the depression, what's really holding us prisoner in the room.

    I also agree with TIll that the author argues society is labeling feelings such as unhappiness as unacceptable, leading to self hatred when we find ourselves depressed. This idea of fighting to always remain happy because of expectations connects to Mildred in Fahrenheit 451.

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  21. I agree with what Hannah wrote in her post. Many people fail to see that through our suffering, we gain the strength and wisdom to overcome any other struggles that present themselves to us in the future. However, many people fail to see depression this way. We live in a society that is not fully informed about what depression is. There is a stigma towards people who suffer from depression. One, of the weakness I think that Huber points out in her book is, as Hannah stated in her post, this preconceived idea of what happiness is. We look at others around us and compare them to ourselves, assuming that because they have what we lack (and desire) they live wonderful lives. Everyone's idea of what happiness is different and if we constantly live our lives believing that we can define happiness, we'll just find ourselves suffering even more. We need to learn to accept ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. And instead of being ashamed of depression or putting down those who suffer from it, we ought to educate ourselves and others about what depression truly is and help those who suffer from it overcome it.

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  22. I agree with Hannah that many people think that depression is a bad thing that happens to them, however Huber argues that depression helps strengthen people and also can serve other people as a comfort or as protection because people can hide some of their problems with depression. Huber also argues that depression is not the only problem for a person, there are other emotions that affect what a person is feeling and those emotions might no necessarily be those who we think as negative. They might be positive emotions, such as happiness and joy. I also agree with Nyssa that Huber's argument is that we don't know our true selves and that makes it difficult for us to be able to accept ourselves. “The work is to develop the same relationship with yourself that you would be willing to have with someone you love. Actually, you would be willing to have with someone you hardly know" (Huber). Huber argues that we as humans pay more attention to what others are feeling and going through and we even care more about people we hardly know, more than caring about our own well-being and this leads us to a lack of acknowledging our feeling. If we don't pay attention to ourselves we might not realize what is going on with our bodies and with our feelings. In order for us to persevere through depression we need to pay more attention to ourselves and give some time to listen to what our body is telling us. It is okay to feel like we need some time to ourselves rather than being paying more attention to others.

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  23. I agree with what everyone has said, Huber does make some valid points about how humans feel depressed based on feeling judged by others and not feeling accepted by others and themselves. I was very pleased when Huber brought up projection, since that’s something my mother has been talking about for the past year or so. I felt, though, that they didn’t use projection as correctly (or I suppose as similarly to how my mother describes it) as I had hoped. Projection is much more useful than perhaps some of you may think, and it’s not always used with depression. Inevitably, projection is used to pinpoint what makes you angry, not necessarily depressed, and what makes you hate yourself. This connects to what Huber was saying about how self-hatred is part of depression, which is sort of why I wasn’t so happy they didn’t bring up the topic of “anger”. I have also noticed that this book mainly talks about only one way to get over your depression, which I find to be not very useful. They continuously repeat how our weakness is to basically sucum to human judgement and hating ourselves, and the solution is to go inwards, accept your depression and what you are depressing, and really, get over it. I, in all honesty, think that’s an easy process (though I understand some may find it extremely difficult). To me, accepting your depression and understanding it is the easy part, and perhaps getting over it is just as easy. But what if you can’t? What if you have a perfect understanding of depression and the mechanics of it and all that, but what if you can’t let it go? Connecting this book to other discussions and readings I have seen about depression, it’s all the same, it’s as if there’s one type of process to help get over depression. For me personally, I don’t really have anything I’m depressing over, and really, most of us probably aren’t even depressing over anything either, perhaps that’s why some of us are not enjoying this reading simply because we’re not actually depressed. I’ve seen someone go through this process, and it works, so why are some students flat out hating this reading? It’s because we’re mistaking this, well, “teenage angst” with full on “depression”. Since I have a basic understanding of what depression is, I also think Huber is mistaking depression with self-hate. Throughout this book she continually talks about how we “hide our true selves” and feel “judged by others”. That’s not depression, that’s more...feeling self conscious and hating yourself, but you’re still walking about and actually getting up in the morning. Huber isn’t talking about how it flat out feels hard to exist, she’s talking about how it’s hard to accept yourself (I really hope I’m making sense here). I think the problem with this book is just misunderstanding what depression is, from both us as students and Huber.

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  24. I agree with Raven, the book does talk about self-judging a lot. And it tends to portray this judging as a weakness. The book says how because we judge ourselves on a really high level, we cannot meet the expectations we create and become depressed. It also talks about how we think that others think of us the same way we think of ourselves. The author portrays this as one of the biggest mistakes humans make when it comes to analyzing. This means that this is one of the big human weaknesses. If we stopped judging ourselves, our depression should go away.
    Another thing that humans do wrong according to the author is that we help others first, then we help ourselves. The author goes on urging the reader to help ourselves first no matter what. If we take care of ourselves first, we will not let the depression pile up, and we will feel better.
    So general point the author makes is that by over- judging ourselves and not helping ourselves as soon as possible, we have more reasons to be depressed. So these things are our weaknesses. So if we learn to avoid these things, we can potentially be less depressed.

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  25. I agree with Hannah on the fact that many people search for 'perfection'. Huber says, ' We endlessly seek other people's approval when the only approval that means anything to us is our own'. People keep searching for the 'right' way of feeling things and reacting to events. There is no right way. The people around them endlessly plants ideas in their minds that there's a right way of reacting to certain emotions. This is a human weakness. We often allow these thoughts of 'perfection' to be planted in our minds which creates a ideal life in our heads that we try to create. There is no such thing as perfection. Many people feel as if depression is a bad thing because you're not happy. Happy is the 'better' feeling whereas depression just means something is wrong with you. That is absolutely wrong because like Huber says, "Being depressed and unhappy is sometimes just part of life. It doesn't mean that something has gone wrong with life any more than rain is something gone wrong with the weather." (90). Just because there is a low point in life, it doesn't mean it's the end of your life. Being happy comes with being unhappy. Although it might be hard to accept, it is something many struggle with because it isn't what others tell them to feel. If one can push away those fears of not reaching 'perfection,' they can overcome the need of approval from others and accept the low points in their life and give approval to themselves. I also really loved the way that Huber makes people realize a very important part of life. "IT IS NOT SELFISH TO LOVE YOURSELF. If you can't find compassion for yourself, you'll never find it for anyone else." (117). People always make judgements towards other because they love themselves. They may convey it as being 'selfish' because they care about themselves. No, that is not selfish because in order to feel compassionate about someone else, you have to be compassionate about yourself. The point that Huber makes about loving yourself before others is the most powerful thought I love. Loving yourself gives you a sense of what it's like to feel loved in order to know how to give love. This is a powerful statement that is NOT selfish at all because you are the only one who can save yourself from anything and loving yourself is the first step to make sure you love and trust yourself enough to save yourself.Learning to love yourself the biggest human weakness of all.

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  26. Huber makes some good arguments concerning the premise of being consciously independent. But what Huber didn’t foretell in her teachings is that, doing things that are considered socially unacceptable might not always be the most advantageous to ones well-being. A personal example is when I went to a college football game on Saturday there were a few fans on the visiting team boisterously cheering for their side. The hundreds of home team fans didn’t particularly enjoy their company. Thus a brawl ensued. When the police arrive they only kicked out the visiting team fans, during this the whole section of home fans rose up in applause. According to Huber the visiting fans should feel a sense of accomplishment or great happiness because they choose to be who they are no matter the environment. Only the opposite happened they became irate and became dangerous to others and themselves. The moral of my example is that being apart of society gives a person some form of protection. Huber has no advice where or to whom to express yourself freely too. This is very dangerous because Huber’s work is purely based on ones emotions. These emotions could blur someone’s judgment causing them or others unintended harm.

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  27. I agree with everyone's arguments that Huber clearly idealizes, especially when Hannah's when she talks about "accepting yourself" and to "teach others." When Huber says, "Take care of your needs before attempting to take care of anothers," (Huber 93)he is indicating that in order to take care of others, one has to be able to accept their own self, face your own problems first, and then remedy it towards others around society. How can one possibly accommodate someone else when one can't even support them self? It is the necessity to embrace yourself first, accept any hindrance that surrounds you, don't try to change that hindrance as it will actively be apart of your mind, and let yourself be free. That's when you can be that spiritual presence that can support other people. A common human weakness that practically most of our society shares today would be dwelling upon the past. Dwelling on the past is something that is an everyday sequence especially towards people who can't let go of stress of depression. Huber says, "But I've always done it this way. But I've always been this way. This is just how I am." (Huber 119). To feel that actual "contentment" in your life and to shatter your depressive state is not to seek memories from the past, but to forge new ones. People don't realize that in society that they are oblivious that having a new start in life can actually benefit them instead of counting on past experiences.

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