In a habitual procrastinator's way of thinking, if the dentist were to make such a detrimental comment, it won't matter as much because chances are, he'll never see that dentist again. Even when depression is properly diagnosed, there are still different diagnoses that can be given depending on how long the depression lasts and how severe the symptoms are. For people with depression, the most common symptom is major depressive disorder. To receive this diagnosis, someone needs to be experiencing episodes of depression that last for two weeks or more, and depending on how disruptive it is to normal life, it can be classified as severe, moderate, or mild. There are also different subtypes of major depressive disorder depending on the symptoms and who gets them. For example, postpartum depression is often experienced by women who have recently given birth. Postpartum depression affects an estimated 10 to 15 percent of new mothers and can last for months in many cases, often subsiding thereafter only to recur with a new pregnancy. Another well-known form of depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which seems to be linked to the time of the year when the symptoms develop. People typically develop SAD during autumn or winter, though their mood often improves in springtime. Research suggests that SAD may be due to the reduced sunlight during winter months. We will be talking more about postpartum depression and SAD later in the book. For people with milder symptoms who don't quite meet the DSM criteria for major depression, there is another diagnosis that can be given: dysthymic disorder, or persistent depressive disorder. While not as severe as major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder can still be serious, with symptoms lasting for years before finally being recognized. These depressive symptoms can also cycle with periods of hypomanic moods (a condition referred to as cyclothymic disorder) or else lead to more severe depressive episodes (also known as double depression). Whatever symptoms may develop, it is essential that sufferers seek medical help immediately to ensure that they receive the right treatment as soon as possible. Contrary to popular belief, depression doesn't just go away on its own. This was not an isolated incident. I bought my first bonds and stocks when I was ten and had a poster in my room with a picture of a pile of money on it and a caption that read My first million'. <a href=''>In</a> school, my class would participate in a mock stock-dealing game against other classes, buying and selling stocks. <a href=''>However,</a> as the prices we could trade in were the prices in that day's paper, and therefore yesterday's stock prices, I would call the bank every day to hear what the biggest increases on the stock market had been and my class would buy that stock. <br /><br /><a href=''>Grown-ups</a> call that insider trading. <a href=''>We</a> called it luck. <a href=''>In</a> short, at eleven, I was a pair of braces away from Gordon Gekko. <a href=''>The</a> reason why I am telling you all this is that, when you read the following pages, you might think that I was some kind of hippie kid who spent his days counting flowers. <a href=''>That</a> was not the case. <a href=''>Oh,</a> and Borsen was wrong. <a href=''>The</a> dollar dropped to 6 kroner. <a href=''>I</a> still hold a grudge. <a href=''>If</a> money and happiness were to describe their relationship on Facebook, it would read:It's complicated.' There is a correlation between income and happiness. Generally speaking, in richer countries, people are happier. The gross domestic product - the GDP per capita, a nation's wealth - is one of the six factors that explain why people in some countries are happier than others. However, it is important to emphasize that the connection is likely to be the fact that being without money is a cause of unhappiness. It makes sense to focus on improving material conditions in impoverished societies. Higher household income generally signifies an improvement in the living conditions of the poor - and, in turn, the happiness of the people. You've already learned that no matter who you are, what your background is, what your life is like, or how good of a person you are, bad things happen and there's not much you can do about most of it. You can only control how attached you allow yourself to get to the situations and occurrences. You can only control whether you get sucked into them or not. The problem with most of us is we allow bad things to suck us in and shake us up. We get emotionally triggered. We get emotionally invested.

We allow the bad things to affect our peace of mind and happiness. We allow them to rob us of personal power. It takes awareness not to get sucked in and emotionally invested. It takes practice. It takes knowing whether or not you can persuade the situation or circumstance. If not, have enough awareness to know when you should just let it be. Work around it. Don't bring it home with you. Don't take it to bed. Don't carry it around during the day. Push it out of your mind and forget about it because whether you think about it or not, it doesn't change it. It doesn't make it better and it doesn't make it worse. If you do have some control, still, remain detached and reverse engineer it. Figure out which actions led up to the problem. If it wasn't your doing, figure out the solution. Once you've figured out the solution, break the solution down into actionable goals and steps and give yourself a deadline to get it done. Leave emotions out of it. They don't help. They only get in the way. Once the problem is solved, move on from it and forget it happened.

Don't keep memories lying around that trigger emotions and cause you to act like a victim. Once it's done, it's done. There's no need to get sucked back into it after the fact. A young mother goes to her pediatrician with her son, who is experiencing repeated ear infections. The physician notes that smoke exposure (through secondhand smoke) is a significant factor for children who have ear infections. The mother, indeed, is a smoker. Her doctor "counsels" the mother in a confrontational and blaming way. The mother can't wait to get out of the doctor's office and is not at all likely to change her smoking habits. This is not MI; it will drive a patient, any person, away from what they know inside needs to be done. The same doctor, with the same patient, can offer and receive a very different experience. The doctor can ask open-ended, nonjudgmental questions and reflect back to the patient what she has said. The pediatrician can also enlist her patient in problem solving and ask the patient what she thinks she can do as first steps. The patient is thus engaged, perhaps even relieved to be finally talking about her problem(s), and is far more likely to take some critical first steps in managing her tobacco addiction. William Miller, PhD, was a pioneer in MI, dating back to the early 1980s. His book with Dr. Stephen Rollnick remains one of the best references we have on this subject. What Miller and Rollnick describe is an interpersonal approach that is truly collaborative, a means to mobilize a person's own motivation to change. Clinicians who employ MI do not fight with patients' natural resistance to change, but rather help the patients see their ambivalence to change while supporting that part of them ready to take a step toward recovery and better self-care. Limited, achievable goals are set, monitored together with the patient, and starts and stops are expected and empathized with--all the while maintaining a belief in the patient's intrinsic strengths. MI began with the treatment of addictive conditions, but its use has spread widely to primary care and the management of chronic health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and depression.

Whatever may be your background, training, or professional or lay status, this intervention is one to know. One last difference between casual and habitual procrastinators is that casual procrastinators are often more apt to express remorse when they've inconvenienced someone than a habitual procrastinator would. This is because habitual procrastinators actively abdicate their adulthood, and so display little regard for orderliness, timeliness, consequences, or for the feelings of others. When they're forced to deal with matters, they're often angry with whomever or whatever is requiring them to respond responsibly. Although they are very angry with themselves, they often internalize that anger--if they feel embarrassed, pressured, or put upon, they may occasionally hurl an insult to save face. Let's take a look at some additional aspects of habitual procrastinators. Simply put, habitual procrastination is not taking care of one's needs on an ongoing basis, except when forced to by external circumstances; however, this malady also has a political meaning. By "political," we are not referring to government, taxes, or to voting on Election Day, but to the relationships that we have with others. Many habitual procrastinators have remarked that they began noticing what they could get away with from an early age. This practice is commonly called getting over on others, and many procrastinators have mentioned to me that they engaged in this behavior, and that it may indeed relate to their current procrastination. For example, when I was a boy, I wanted to get over on my mother because I did not like being ordered by her to brush my teeth. I rebelled against that responsibility by pretending to brush my teeth--recreating the sound by swirling my toothbrush inside a plastic cup filled with water, emptying out the cup, and repeating this several times while the water faucet was going full-blast. In reality, much like our friend Charlie's attempt to avoid the dentist, I put more energy into the act of not doing, than if I had simply brushed my teeth in the first place. Everyone experiences unhappiness at some point or the other in their lives and, as a result, people may think that they know what people with depression are going through. But anyone who has experienced both has no problem recognizing how different unhappiness and depression really are. For people who are unhappy because of some problem or a recent setback or even when grieving the death of a loved one, it is still possible to find comfort in friends and family to ease the pain. In fact, there are a number of ways to cope with unhappiness, whether through the sympathy of people in our lives or simply by telling ourselves that "this too shall pass." And, sooner or later, the unhappiness does pass. But for people suffering from depression, there are no easy fixes. Even though family and friends may offer emotional support, these symptoms don't disappear the way that unhappiness does. Because of what some researchers have termed the prison of depression, experiencing these symptoms often means feeling isolated from the rest of the world because other people simply can't understand what is happening.