A Recipe for Depression


1 December 2005





“In my time”, I have designed, constructed or assembled various out of wood, circuit chips, metal and computer software. All this design, construction and assembly has involved plans, diagrams, processes, schematics, assembly instructions or flow charts but the other day it occurred to me I should document my recipe for depression. Recipe? Where did that come from? Other than boiling water, I am not very experienced in the kitchen and recipe, at least to me, is a kitchen word. Recipe for bike assembly? Guess the word would work but flow chart for chicken soup or schematic for chocolate cake? Recipe for auto engine assembly? And then there is the depression part of it. Who would want or ever follow a recipe for depression?


Perhaps rather than a recipe, I just want to provide some warning signs, like “don’t go here” or “don’t do that” but I suspect there many different recipes for depression, as there is so much of it around, so all I can do here is provide what I know worked for me and assume that some of my recipe’s ingredients are common to all recipes for depression.


The Stultz recipe for depression is:


(1) Start with several unhealthy habits to include not eating anything or not much for days at a time, unless it is junk food, smoke at least one pack of cigarettes a day and ignore exercise.


(2) Add caffeine, lots of caffeine, preferably, empty calories sugar-based.


(3) Work at least 10 hours a day, everyday. 11 or 12 hours a day is better but 10 will do.


(4) Only sleep 4 or 5 hours a night.


(5) Add in at least 1 family emotional crisis. Here, most folks will get this “ingredient” in mega doses as a normal part of living.


(6) Totally ignore any form of relaxation or “escape”.


(7) Add in a good measure of self beratement. Remember we are all just parasites and have no worth at all. Remind yourself daily of your failings.


(8) Stress. You need lots and lots of stress. I call this juggling as it reminds me of juggling balls in the air. For me, anything over 7 balls at a time and I begin to degrade mentally. 9 or 10 things going on at the same time and I am a total stress disaster. Interesting that you actually have some control over the number of things you are juggling at any one time but if you want to stew up a great big old depression, handle too many balls for a very long time.


(9) Try to please everyone all the time. Sure fire method to feel failure, which is a good ingredient and can almost make a depression on its own.


And that is all there is but finally, and most importantly, stir all above manically for 4 or 5 years and bam: depression.


You are welcome.


For more Ron Stultz writings, click here.