Friday, January 04, 2013

Down

What causes a depressive episode? Not staying on the meds consistently enough? Actual external events? Random fluctuations of body chemistry? For those of us with chronic depression it can feel like the trigger is nothing that's within our control and that leads us to find a scapegoat. Scapegoats give us a focus for our sadness and anger and they can be things like "I still don't have a boyfriend," "I'm fat," "I hate my job," "I still don't have a job," "I shouldn't have gotten a dog/new car/house/etc."

What's reassuring about this is that such problems are things we can do something about. In a state of depression we might tighten up the diet or work harder on job search. But since that's not the real cause of the depression, it doesn't usually work. I try to be careful now about scapegoats. What I'm fixated on, say my weight, might be a concern, but I remind myself that it's the depression that's making me feel like it's a crisis that has to be solved right now. It's the depression that makes me hate myself. It's the depression that makes me feel like things will never be any different.

Today it's okay to feel down. If I don't give myself that permission, the depression hangs on, so I've declared to myself that it's perfectly okay for me to feel down today. I'll have some hot chocolate, do some extra tapping (EFT), walk a little slower and remind myself that there's nothing wrong with feeling bad. If I don't do that, I'll get stuck on berating myself for feeling bad and that's just a downward spiral.

4 comments:

Mick said...

Happy 2013

Think its true of human nature to find a scapegoat if things arn't right. Much easier than looking at ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I used to blame my depression on bad boyfriends, bad jobs, no money, etc. Now after dealing with it for decades, I blame it purely on bad brain chemistry. And it still pisses me off. Janet G.

Regina Rodriguez-Martin said...

Janet - yeah.

Regina Rodriguez-Martin said...

Thank you, Mick. You're right.