Jordan Peterson on depression

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Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist and professor. He is the author of Maps of Meaning and more recently, 12 Rules to Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The latter is a bestseller and has seen his popularity soar, as too in many quarters has the criticism of the 56 year old Canadian.

Here he discusses his family’s history of depression and his daughter’s battles with it.

In the full interview, he and Mike discuss Trump, Identity Politics, Responsibility and much more, here:

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  • Categories: Depression


Victor Winqvist says:

Specificly eat what now? What is he saying?

boorhadly says:

Iiving.. living with depression is a long drawn out war.. with yourself and your thoughts and feelings.. im fighting this war, as are many of you or those you care about. ally yourselves with those you care about.. let them know how much you love and appreciate them.. win the battle of making it to the next morning.. hope the war ends.. but above all, keep fighting

A Luke says:

My forms of Depression (MDD), Anxiety, Insomnia, ADHD having gotten worse and worse every year for over 10 years now..Not so ironically, my brain function has been diminished noticeably. I always tell people who don't understand Mental Disease, that I would switch with cancer (non-terminal). That may offend some, but when someone has cancer, their relationships, friends, co-workers,family feel utterly sympathetic bc of course, Cancer is a vicious deadly physical disease with no cure (NOR does DEPRESSION),, it is a normal part of our society that doesn't lend judgment about your weaknesses that may have cause it…MENTAL DISEASE is still stigmatized badly. It is becoming a true epidemic that will provide results in years. Most people who never felt real depression or constant panic attacks or sleepless nights or social anxiety cannot possible understand or comprehend how very vicious and cold and ravaging it is to the Mind and Brain. It manifest physically with exercise, lack of sleep, health…Those that tout the Laws of Attraction as a cure for depression. 'just make yourself happy and broadcast that happiness out to the universe so more happiness can find you' may have some very valid points that cannot be refuted. Again, much of it is simply chemicals' For a sufferer of Depression, even pretending to send out happy positive vibes everywhere is a fruitless effort which frankly, is quite harmful to the victim. They know it should work and does for 'regular' people. But for us, its double edged sword. A Catch 22. If positive attract like and negative their likes. So just change and be positive. This is another double whammy for Depression. We are limited by our minds to broadcast much positive vibes. So when tried and failed, it further erodes hope of finding answers.

Anna Vajda says:

The thing about depression is that it is a living hell but once you have been through hell a few times it is not so intimidating and you just keep going until you get through.

Valarie Apperson says:

It's probably the pesticides

Nate Connelly says:

Most accurate description of depression I ever heard is not wanting to die, but not really wanting to live either.

It's like living inside of a sort of … nowhere place in the middle somewhere. Absolutely nothing is of interest.

Ronan says:

When did Link from Rhett and Link gain an accent and start interviewing Jordan Peterson?

TheTRUTH IsOutThere says:

I believe that deep depression can often times be associated with great brilliance. Jordan is a brilliant man who can understand and articulate what most can't comprehend. What a gift and a curse! His daughter, I'm sure, is brilliant. Thank you Jordan for sharing your gift with the world! OO
P.S. Yes, big pharma has marginalized depression so they can sell their drugs. Now depression is thought of as a skinned knee that requires a band aid.

Derangedxzombie says:

Thing I hate most is when vain/fickle people that post scantily clad selfies on instagram etc, and coast along through life never knowing any darkness. They start trying to gain brownie points or likes by pretending they know of depression, posting self serving selfies with hollow captions.

Mental health is a serious thing, and depression is awful, especially as it causes or plays perfectly with anxiety and loneliness. Triumvirate of fun feelings. One thing that really helps with depression and the chemical imbalance (even if your situation hasn't changed, or there's still loneliness, anxiety etc) is running and sprinting. Or possibly weight training too. But sprinting worked wonders for me. You can think about the darkest times and they become just thoughts without the bad feeling attached.

Bradley Hudson says:

Vegans: “I feel so much happier/healthier since switching to this lifestyle”

JP: “My daughter’s arthritis/depression was cured by switching to an all meat diet”

I don’t even know what to fucking believe anymore

T M F says:

To summarise it with one word, I would say "Emptiness" How would you summarise it?

Joo Hee Healing says:

Did he say he and his daughter do or don’t eat meat?

Liliana B. says:

Depression seems to attack the will. The physical body feels too heavy to lift, even if one is skinny – thinking becomes foggy and feeling is lethargic. As Prof. Peterson says, pushing yourself to do things, be active and get out of the rut is the only way out. It takes a lot of effort but slowly the will is strengthened and the heaviness lifts.

पबिन्द्र राज मल्ल says:

Anybody with depression and OCD?

Ingrid Burling says:

When I suffered with depression, as soon as I became aware that I was in a dip, or vortex as I used to call it, I would always use the same system to get myself out. I would take a bath, wash my hair, do a face mask (feeling physically comforted was an important step for me), eat something, go for a walk, have some tea in a local cafe, if possible, and then go home to do some housework or work at my desk. It took me a while, and these simple actions didn't resolve the underlying cause or trigger the depression (I used counselling for that), but it got me out of the vortex and gave me a sense that I was not entirely incapacitated by the depression. I also used art – painting abstracts with whatever colours represented my mood. I was very strict about that. I used to date the pictures and put them away. After a few weeks, I would take them out, put them all side by side in date order, and then look at how my mood had changed. The first time I did this, I could not believe the change that I saw. I realised this was physical evidence of my progress. That alone had a major impact on my ability to believe I could heal.

drizzydmy s says:

How did his hair get thicker from his younger professing days?

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Beats by Clover says:

its an overall feeling of total dread. A feeling of "oh im fucked" but not nervous. More like a constant unconfortable state.

Basically its a feeling of nervous mixed up in a soup of hopelessness along with no confidence

Beats by Clover says:

ive asthma and depression. Asthma is an inflammatory disease

126er says:

I suffer from anxiety and I can't hold jobs down as I became very stressed.
Lotto would solve alot of my problems.
Terminal cancer would also help just the same. My anxiety is crippling.
My depression isn't so much there.
I know depression well.

Semmelein says:

As someone suffering from depression for years, I must say that this is probably the best, incredibly honest, most encouraging and also uplifting video about depression I've ever seen.

Sabeel M says:

I thought that was Link then giving the interview. Had me confused

AlienCyborg says:

This is a great video, with great insights by Mr Peterson. A common perception of depressed people is that they want to be depressed, because they don't seem to care about finding a solution for their problem and reject well-meant advice. This is inaccurate. I've lived with depression for a very long time. It's one of the worst hells imaginable. It robs you of precious years of your life. You don't know where all that time went, but at the same time, you feel old, tired, and broken before your years. Depression can make 20 years feel like 500. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say it's like a state of living death – a completely empty, unsatisfying existence, void of all purpose and meaning, made all the worse by knowing that there are people out there who still know what happiness and success feel like and don't regard these things as the foolish beliefs of the hopelessly naive, like a child believing in Santa Claus.
It's very easy to tell when someone has absolutely no understanding of what it's like to be depressed. As such, their advice is often wrong or unhelpful for your particular situation (ie. what works for one person may not work for another). Without having been there, you cannot know what depression is like and can't preach. Not shouldn't – can't. Depressed people can feel when they are being preached to and will not respond positively to your advice. Would you, if you had no legs and someone told you that you could walk just by thinking happy thoughts? This can, to the average person, make it seem like depressed people "don't want help," when nothing could be further from the truth.
Mr. Peterson doesn't preach, nor does he promise miracle cures. (That's another thing depressed people will be skeptical of. Their world is a completely, fatally hopeless one, and they don't believe they even have a future, much less believe in miracles.) He says a lot of things that the "preachers" would agree with – shoulder your suffering, you have no better solution than to try and deal with it, etc. But when it comes from someone who has actually experienced depression and known many loved ones who have also experienced depression, it sounds like truth, rather than bullying or preaching. I promise you that depressed people have not closed their minds to truth. Only ignorance. When people who are both knowing and compassionate speak, they listen. So if someone you love is suffering from depression and you don't know how to help them, you can start by finding someone who does, and perhaps point them to this video.
I didn't know why Mr. Peterson was considered controversial, but a quick look at Wikipedia revealed everything. Criticizing leftist politics these days is career poison, no matter how right you are. Having heard the man speak, he seems kind and like he truly believes in helping people – which is accomplished neither by mollycoddling nor by being an arrogant, self-righteous asshole. (I've met plenty of people who claimed they were "honest," when really they were just nasty and unlikable.) The left favors mollycoddling and treats the hurting of feelings as a literal crime, which will only weaken people in the long run because it will leave them unprepared for even the simplest challenges of everyday life – and that is not what anyone, least of all someone suffering from depression, needs. Reality bites and you should embrace those people who want to help you become a badass and CRUSH the negative influences in your life, not protect you from every little thing that might possibly hurt you – because that's not possible.
The best solution – not a 100% effective solution which will work 100% of the time, but the best one available to you – is to shoulder your suffering. Some days will be worse than others, but you can conquer them. You've made it this far, and you're stronger than you think.

Eviya says:

Maybe a wrong observation, but I have noticed that Jordan Peterson is very reactive to the inteverviewer: if he is being interviewed in an agressive way, then he reacts accordingly. If he is treated with respect and genuine curiosity (like in this interview, thank you), then again he mirrors similar reaction. As the psychotherapist, shouldn't he be in control of his emotions?

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