It sucks worse when someone calls it a choice.
If you think that’s what happened to me, you’d be wrong. In fact, my depression isn’t acting up at all right now. Mine comes in waves, strong ones, usually resulting from me screwing myself over, someone else screwing me over, or me just sick of feeling emotionally confused. Otherwise I tend to be rather blank. Not externally, that I fake, but internally yes. And I enjoy that. I enjoy that without feeling joy, because. . .
because I’m blank so . . .
so It’d be kind of hard to feel the joy of it all.
Now anger . . . that’s a whole separate beast in itself.
Anyway, when I am deeply depressed and wondering if there is a point to anything at all, if there is even a point to fighting it or coping with it or learning to accept it, I hate when people tell me “cheer up” or “stop being so negative” as if I’m choosing to be intensely negative, as if that’s something I strive to do in my daily life.
Now, let’s pause.
Mostly because this is a touchy subject for those of us with depression. We know we hate people who tell us our depression is a choice. That’s like telling someone with Cancer to stop choosing to have cancer, or someone struggling in active psychosis to stop having psychosis.
But we’re also aware that because depression is something everyone has experienced at least once in their life (not on a clinical level, but on a basic level), it’s hard for them to separate our experiences from their own experiences. We understand that they figure because they can snap out of it, we should be able to snap out of it just as easily. We’re aware that they’re not fully understanding our situation, but they aren’t.
That being said, they do have a point.
*Shields face from angry people*
Just kidding, I’ve honestly never given a shit if people don’t like what I have to say.
I care, but it’s a different kind of care.
Whatever, that’s off topic. The point is there does come a point where we do have a choice. We have a choice to consistently tell ourselves that we don’t have any choices, we’re stuck like this, we’re doomed to live like this and die like this. If you’re telling yourself that, you’re making a choice to do so. And making that choice only further progresses your mindset.
If you don’t believe that, well then I don’t know what to tell you. Because nothing I tell you will convince you otherwise. And it’s not my job to convince you that you have choices in life, that’s something you either need to realize for yourself or never take advantage of.
While I agree that no one chooses to have depression, I disagree that there aren’t some people who choose to take part in maladaptive thought behavior patterns, even when you’ve exposed those patterns to them. It’s often the case for SOME people (NOT ALL) who take therapy and come out saying it didn’t help them.
Assuming your therapist wasn’t a complete prick, how much effort did you put in?
Did you do the exercises? Did you enact coping mechanisms and discuss which ones work for you and which ones don’t?
Or did you go in expecting them to do the work for you because, well, shit, you just can’t do anything right?
Hey, hey, don’t give me that look, there are people out in the world who act like this. Yes, I struggle with depression and self harm and anxiety and this and that and blah, blah, we could be here all day going through diagnoses and criterion, so I empathize with these people. What I don’t empathize with is their unwillingness to work on themselves.
What, you expect a magic fairy psychologist to land on your head, tap your hair, zap your brain with some fairy dust that you hope isn’t just cocaine, and “poof!”, you’re all better?
I don’t think so.
If the world worked like that, we’d all be cocaine addicts.
Which I mean, if you think about things practically, at least we wouldn’t have an overcrowding of people on the planet. Life spans would be significantly shorter.
Let’s not knock it before we try it.
Quick fixes. That’s what we’re obsessed with. If you’re not willing to work on yourself or break your back trying to change the way you think, that negative pattern, than I guess you really are up shit creek without a paddle.
Quick fix for the overpopulation issue? Gas half of the population against their will and bury them or launch their bodies into space. That’s a quick fix. Would you condone that?
If you won’t condone that, why do you condone pressuring yourself to find a quick cure for your issues? Remember, if you can’t will a world in which everyone would follow what you do, in which your actions become normality without contradiction, you’re acting unethically, and this applies to yourself and to others.
In other words, if everyone in the entire world tried to fix themselves with quick fix magic, well, it wouldn’t work because 1) magic doesn’t exist and 2) neither do the quick fixes, everyone would be searching for something that doesn’t exist. So there’s your contradiction.
It’s important to see that while you may not have put yourself in this situation deliberately, you are in this situation and therefore you’ve got to manage it. That’s that age-old argument you had with your parents and siblings when you were a kid. Your brother left his dirty dish on the table and your parents tell you to clean it and you say “I didn’t put there!”
So what? You live in the household, you can pitch in every now and then. You can take control and manage something that you didn’t ask for.
It’s such a simple concept that’s so hard to enact in ourselves. That I also empathize with. You get so used to being in one mindset that even when people point out the faults to you, you find reasons for why their wrong and end up keeping yourself in that same cycle.
Depression makes you feel as if you’re out of control of how you feel and what you feel. It’s playing a trick on you, a mean one. You may not have had a choice in developing depression, but you have a choice in whether you want to live according to it’s rules or not.