I had Cold Depression
I was in a long-term, low-grade hidden depression 21.5 years ago. I just didn’t know it. I now realize I had Cold Depression. (not the same as regular depression).
I think a lot of people in the US, UK, Europe and other “developed” countries, have Cold Depression too, but don’t realize it.
I want to change to this. Mental health needs to be openly discussed because many of our friends and colleagues still struggle silently, often unknowingly.
Let’s cover these topics in this article:
- My story: how I became aware I had a problem and what helped me overcome it.
- Why it matters to acknowledge that you may have Cold Depression.
- Solutions: Cold Depression is curable.
My story: How did it start?
At school, I earned a math degree — you can’t get more rational than that! I used to run my business very logically and made organized to-do lists, visualized pros and cons, and created many spreadsheets. Then in 2000, I started doing spiritual intuition training and applied it to my business.
It has been 20 years since I stopped only using my logical brain to run my businesses and stepped up my intuition to help me make faster and better decisions.
Before this shift, I wasn’t fully happy.
I used to worry about making the right decisions. I would work long hours, sometimes drinking beer to keep going late at night. I would create complex pro/con spreadsheets but still end up hiring people who were not a great fit for my company, who stole from me and messed up projects.
I tried to put on a smiling face for my staff and clients, but it was a sham.
My business did not turn me on anymore. I was a complaining expert. The passion had gone from my life.
I was numbed out.
I would go out drinking on weekends to try to add some joy into my life. But that didn’t really work for more than a few hours. (And the hangovers and health detriments sucked!)
And at home, I would overeat to stuff down the negative emotions, gaining 30 pounds in a few short years.
Things weren’t looking good…
Honesty in 2000
In 2000 I joined a truth-telling group to try to save a 7-year relationship. The romantic relationship died, but through truth and communication skills, we expressed what we had not been able to do in the years before and remain friends to this day.
Then I went to a nine-day honesty retreat and started bringing better communication skills into work.
I came out at work and in public as transgendered and bisexual because living my truth became more important to me than obeying other people’s judgments about me.
I went to hundreds of conferences and workshops on personal growth, spirit and magic, and gradually my intuition started to increase.
I added handwriting analysis to my hiring process and cut out all the bad hires I had made before. That reduced my stress at a stroke!
As I explored intuition and spirit more deeply, I learned that we create our own reality.
Realizing that I had created the mess in my business was a bummer for a while… until I realized how I had the skills to recreate it any way I wanted.
As a result of a car accident in 2001, I had whiplash. To address my constant neck pain, I started doing yoga regularly. Soon I had quit drinking and had cleaned up my diet, started meditating and was going on ten-day yoga retreats twice a year.
Later, I trained to become a yoga teacher. More as a way for deepening my spiritual growth than to teach, but boy, did it kick my butt and wake up my intuition.
In 2010 I started to get strong messages from my intuition that I should go to the Andes in South America. I didn’t know anyone there; why should I go, or what the heck would I do there? I was frightened out of my mind.
But I made the decision to listen to my intuition and booked a one-way ticket. I arrived in the mountains of La Paz in Bolivia and felt more peaceful than I had in years. I knew I had made the right decision. I also met many other yogis and spiritual workers there – I was at home in the Andes. What more? Because of all the positivity, my software business started running better than it did when I was in the US.
Later, I moved to Cusco, Peru, where there are even more healers and other spiritual people. I continue to live there in South America for six months of the year and (during non-covid times) spend the rest traveling in Europe, Asia and the US in the other months for conferences, entrepreneur events, and the simple joy of traveling.
It was clear: my Cold Depression had lifted.
So does that mean you will have to pack your bags and book a one-way ticket to a faraway corner of the world? No. You do not need to make drastic changes to cure your Cold Depression. Or give up your logical thinking brain.
More on simple cures below. But first, let’s look in more depth at what Cold Depression is and why it matters now.
What is Cold Depression and Why it Matters
Cold Depression is a major life and work ennui. (Ennui = is a feeling of despair. Listlessness and dissatisfaction arise from a lack of occupation or excitement. Dull, apathetic.)
Some business people are what we call “9-5 workers.” They just want to do the minimum to get the job done. No learning new techniques, no exploring cool tools or any modern methods.
They have been burned out by the rat race of Corporate America.
I read that 40-50% of Americans want to quit their jobs in 2021. With this kind of burnout and Cold Depression, I can understand why!
Plus, many people are burdened by mountains of bills, debts, and big mortgages. In other words:
Expenses > income.
If you remember the classic 1999 movie “Fight Club”, they can feel trapped in a consumerist binge cycle that rivals that of Tyler Durden, where they are trying to distract their pain from the Cold Depression they numb themselves to.
It is not just consumerism, Cold Depression can also come from a lackluster personal life, ill-health or simply living in the wrong place.
How does Cold Depression differ from “Regular” Depression exactly?
Cold Depression is different from regular depression. Cold Depression is a lack of joy in life and work that is covered up with being busy or with addictions. More details on CD and how it differs from regular depression below.
FYI, Modern Western society has very high rates of depression and other mental illnesses — 60% in 2020 alone. That leads to more and more homelessness and addictions too.
Read more about the incredible rise in mental health problems in the last few years with the pandemic and lockdowns in these 3 articles:
- COVID-19, lockdowns and financial pressures have inflicted emotional wounds around the world.
- The mental health emergency- How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted our mental health?
- Depression Rates in US Tripled When the Pandemic First Hit—Now, They’re Even Worse
And even in those avoiding the most dire problems, there is endless stress, depression, and apathy.
Definition: Cold Depression
Depression, in this case, is numbed out with addictions to drugs, shopping, sex, TV etc. A lack of joy in life and work. Nihilistic behaviors and perversions are common. Info overload and stress without rest. Always “on.”
Here are some differences between Cold Depression and Regular Depression:
|Active, busy, successful on outside
|Social, outgoing. Appears upbeat.
|Doesn't let themselves have time to feel sad
|Feels sad and down most of the time
|Uses food or drink as a way to cover up feelings
|May skip meals, doesn't care to eat
|Lack of meaning and joy in work and life
|What is the point?
Here are some examples of Cold Depression:
- Cold Depression is getting up and going to work each day and looking at the clock every hour until the hour of 5 hits. Or it’s begrudgingly serving the last 5 years until you can fully retire.
- Cold Depression is losing a loved one, grieving appropriately, and still…years later…lacking the ability to connect to others.
- Cold Depression is waking up in the morning, doing the prayers of gratitude, looking at the bright blue sky, and wondering why you are here on this earth.
- Cold Depression is frequently wondering, “Is this all there is?”
- Cold Depression is when the kids are off to school, you’ve completed your workout, dinner is organized, and you are walking circles in your house looking for something meaningful to do to kill the time until you pick them up.
- Cold Depression is having many choices on a Friday or Saturday night but not having the desire to get dressed and go out.
- (List above from the article Cold Depression, What is it?).
Overall it is a lack of connection to spirit and our soul/higher self.
“At its core is a deep sense of loneliness, a prevailing sense of anxiety and a loss of meaning. This can feel like the soul has gone silent, and we cannot hear the voice of our soul.”
In my experience, Cold Depression affects more than 90% of Americans at some point in their lives.
The “Energy Bunny” cover-up
We instinctively counter the numbness of Cold Depression with behavior that fulfills the need for stimulation. A person experiencing Cold Depression does not seem depressed to herself or others. This is because she is busy, active, and appears energized.
She may overwork, create “emergencies” or drink 6 energy drinks a day. He may engage in extreme sports, risk-taking, and/or substance abuse. The insensitivity of the Cold Depression leads to reactivity, impatience, and drama. Do you know anyone like this?
Cold Depression is not just a personal challenge, it occurs across an entire population during a global transition, such as the one we are in now. When there is a major frequency change, Cold Depression can increase to profound levels, like a sudden tide.
Healing Cold Depression
- Recognize that we may have Cold Depression instead of constantly covering it up with busyness or addictions
- Do a digital detox day (no devices, no wifi, no phone) once per week
- Removing such distractions makes us more aware of the numbness of Cold Depression
- It gives time to connect with the spirit
- Ideally, get out in nature for a walk, fishing or camping
- Exercise and seeing the wonder of nature can clear the fog of the Cold Depression.
- Go to bed earlier
- Because often we sleep deep before midnight
- More sleep, in general, helps us heal
- Exercise daily
- Do a media fast (no news, no movies, no radio) regularly
- No one feels good after watching the news. It might be stimulating while you are watching, but it feels like you just ate a plate piled high with junk food.
- CNN and other news shows lost 50% viewership the 2020 (Forbes article)
- News is fear-generating
- There is a general lack of trust when it comes to certain news sources, and people feel manipulated / cheap / dirty
- If you have a church, temple or other spiritual group that brings you joy, then go regularly
- Spiritual activities are extra good for counteracting the lack of connection with spirit that occurs in the Cold Depression
- And any joyful activity can help
- Hang out with other positive people
- No more “Debbie downers” or at least seriously restrict the time you give them
- Learn something new every day
If you are having a really bad day/ week/ life
- Please reach out for help to friends. Family or mental health professionals
- In the USA all Suicide prevention lifelines are free and confidential. They are also available 24/7
- 1800 273 8255
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- There are similar organizations in most countries
- You may also find reading and listening to these blog post and podcast episodes helpful. They list some good additional resources too.
- From Business Burnout and Apathy to Focus and Joy – Intuitive Leadership Mastery
- 101 Avoiding Burnout (Intuition, Hormones, and Health Methods) with Ollie Matthews
- 090 Entrepreneurial Anxiety, Apathy and Depression (Virtual Meetup), with Melanie Ginsburg and Samantha Alvarez – Intuitive Leadership Mastery