Too much reality leads to despair

Hunter Hogan looking at the Treasury in Petra
Hunter Hogan on a cliff in Petra
The accidental climb down Petra

Experiments have shown that people with depression tend to have a hyper-accurate perception of the world and other experiments have shown that people with a more realistic view of the world have higher rates of depression. Despite the general belief that a realistic view of the world is a good thing, this research suggests that we need to be somewhat delusional so that we can be mentally healthy.

For many years, I have had a horribly accurate view of the world and I have been severely depressed. (My view is not perfect, but it is certainly more accurate now than it ever has been.) I feel that I am out of viable options for improving my life. I have been comparing and contrasting my current life with my past accomplishments, however, and I cannot see major differences that prevent me from overcoming my current problems.

In the past, I have somehow accomplished things that should have been impossible. I was the first person to earn a full-time income from competing in the strategy card game, Magic: the Gathering, for example, and it really should not have been possible for me to do that before the six-million dollar pro tour was created. Or while in Petra, Jordan, I decided to take a path that I was not sure was a path but if it were a path, it would be a much shorter route to the bottom. It was not a path. I got stuck on the side of a cliff and had to scale down 40 feet of cliff. When I was at the top, if I had had a perfectly clear view of things, I would not have taken the risk that it was not a path. But even though it turned into a dangerous climb, I was able to accomplish the climb and I enjoyed the challenge!

Rationally, I am able to make these calculations: I understand that even though all of my options have a low chance of success, I will probably, eventually, overcome my problems. Emotionally, however, my hyper-realistic view of the world is devastating. I want to act, but my despair is so overwhelming that my arms feel heavier than lead. With nearly every action, my rational mind is battling against my emotions so that I can accomplish anything.

It is strange that I want to have a less realistic view of the world.

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