I’ve often commented on this blog about how we are at least sometimes responsible for our depression. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized how that might come across to people. Especially when they’re in the throes of a depressive episode. When I say responsibility, I don’t mean we should feel guilty.
It’s so easy to point the finger in so many outward directions that we never look inward. And yes, I will be the first to admit there are outside forces at work. Our health, our relationships, our finances, stress; they all can contribute to a depressive episode. So when I say we should look inside ourselves as well, it’s never to condemn ourselves or to feel guilty that we are depressed.
I felt guilty about my depression for years. That made it even worse.
Even today, I’m apt to feel guilty when I’m depressed. I know that I don’t have any logical reason to be depressed. But then if depression were logical, we could talk ourselves out of it. Right?
So it’s not my intent to pile on guilt. It’s just that I really believe we have many resources within ourselves to get better. (I’m talking to myself here as much as to you.) And just so you know, I practice what I preach.
I have had a really rough four days. I’m taken aback by it because I haven’t had a serious episode in over twelve years. However, I have been in considerable pain from the oft mentioned foot issues. I have also felt very stressed caring for my mom even though I love her dearly and consider her a remarkable eighty-nine year old. Then there’s the responsibility I feel for others in my life. I can take life way too seriously at times. I think this last year has probably just caught up with me. I have a doctor’s appointment next week. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
Even though I could perhaps explain my low mood now on all these outward circumstances, I know that other people have handled far more than this and done far better. I know that I have allowed myself to wallow in some self-pity. I’ve sat there in my self-inflicted mess, and wallowed in what I felt was unfairness.
But that didn’t do me a lick of good. So each day, i got up, got dressed, put on my best “face” and forced myself to do the things I know are good for me. I didn’t feel like it. But I also didn’t feel like making my condition worse.
As long as we refuse to force ourselves to do what we know is good for us (and don’t mistake that fact that it’s a choice), we will not move towards health. It’s one of the hardest things to do, to get moving when you’re feeling so bad. But it has to be done.
We have to move towards something or we simply won’t move at all. Not moving is a prescription for disaster.
So don’t feel guilty because I suggest, as do the majority of professionals in the field of mental health, that there are things you can do to help yourself. And when you think about it, it means there is something that can be done.. So often depression makes us feel a helpless victim.
We are not helpless.
We are not victims.
There’s a lot on this blog to help you. I hope you’ll read it. I didn’t manage my depression for years by sitting on my backside. I won’t conquer this one that way either.
- Personal reflection triggers increased brain activity during depressive episodes (sciencedaily.com)
- Hole of depression (talkingaboutbipolar.wordpress.com)
- Personal reflection triggers increased brain activity during depressive episodes (eurekalert.org)