|Posted on 17 March, 2015 at 8:00|
Depression is a disease of lies! Whoa! That seems a little dramatic, doesn't it? Well, actually, no. That statement pretty much hits the nail on the head. Depression IS a disease of lies. This is something I have come to believe after counseling many clients as they deal with depression, and as I have dealt with my own depression. Depression wants you to think nobody cares about you, that nobody wants to spend time with you, that you are a burden.
These lies, and others, keep you from reaching out to people. They keep you from doing the things that could help you feel better and less depressed, such as exercising regularly, spending time with friends and family, eating nutritious foods, and keeping a regular schedule. Unfortunately, the very things that can counteract depression are the very things that are so difficult to find the motivation to do. And then there's that little voice whispering in your ear (or that huge voice screaming in your face, depending on the day) telling you not to bother, that no one wants to be your friend, and you should just give up. Because, you see, when you feel depressed you believe anything depression tells you. It's when you are feeling better that you are able to logically recognize the lies as such. That's why it is so important to become aware of the lies and call them out when you are feeling good. If you wait until the next bout of depression strikes to try to identify the lies, you will buy into every single one.
You must internalize the truths that combat the lies depression tells. Of course, the lies are endless, but below are some examples. I'll add statements addressing these lies, but please make them your own by using words that are meaningful to you. Remember, you must use logic to power through.
I'm not worth it, I'm not good enough: Good enough for what? Why are you worse than other people? Have you done something so horrible that the rest of humanity should shun you? That really seems unlikely. It's okay if you aren't perfect. Nobody is. We're all just going along in life, doing our best to have a good one. You can do that, too. Give yourself a break from the comparisons and just be who you are.
No one cares about me: Really? Not a single person in the entire world cares about you? Start listing the people in your life (parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coworkers, babysitters, children, etc) and truthfully consider that statement. "Does my mom care about me? Yes, of course she does. What about my boss? My sister? My husband?..." This is an example of All Or Nothing Thinking. All Or Nothing Thinking tells us there is either perfection or failure, with no in-between. It only recognizes 1 and 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, leaving out 2 through 9. Allow yourself to consider the middle of the spectrum.
No one wants to be around me, no one wants to hear from me: Why not? Why wouldn't people want to be around you or hear from you? Again, what have you done that would make people want to shun you? Probably nothing. We all like to spend time with our friends. Assuming you have chosen nice people as friends (if not, that's a whole other issue we should discuss), they would like to spend time with you, too. When someone you like contacts you, you feel excited/glad/happy. Just like when you realize all your mail isn't junk or bills: "Hey! There's a personal letter in here!" Same with a phone call, text or email from a friend: "Hey! Susan just texted me! Wonder how she's doing? Maybe we can get together and catch up." Reach out, and allow yourself to be "reached out to," too.
Keep on checking what depression tells you. Often, you will find, it tells you lies about who you are and what others think of you. Don't buy into this. Don't believe the lies. Always search out the truth.