In an earlier edition of our Antidepressant Tablet Newsletter there was a piece about depression being a comfort to some depressed persons. When talking about getting in touch with our feelings and regaining our equilibrium, this is what might be said:
How many times have we heard this from those who are depressed. Our future blogs will talk about the “comfort” of depression.
Many depressed people say that this feeling of worthlessness and hollowness is all that they have ever known. In fact, they tell us that “since it is all that I have ever known, I’m too scared to feel something different.” In other words, their feelings of sadness is like a lifelong friend, accompanying ever step of the way and so to change now is asking the impossible. Their whole identity has been centered on how bad they always feel. Even though they are sick and tired of being sick and tired, they cling onto their familiar and secure sadness. This is all they know and can’t trust themselves to surrender this debilitating sadness and attempt to feel something different. It is a risk to try and feel cheerful. Being sad all the time is predictable – at least they know what they have. Getting oneself undepressed is almost too frightening for them to think about, much less spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to escape it.
How can I help myself out of this pit if I believe that what I have is better than what I might get. I recommend first of all that a person believing their life is unmanageable and out of control because of their depression, begin to search out alternate ways to get one’s life back on track. We understand how your compulsion to depress yourself might make you feel secure but it does make for a life lived in misery and fear. You want to admit that you no longer want to live this way. You have to say that you are now wiling to listen to other people and find out how they are able to risk feeling something other than sadness. You know that the only thing to lose by your desire to quit saddening yourself, is the fear of the unknown. If you have felt this sadness, all or most of your life, you without doubt can learn a new way to escape the personal sadness and constant fatigue which has disconnected you from yourself, family and friends.
We have a lesson plan, and escape route if you will. It is right in front of us. In plain sight. We call it the 12 principles of Depressed Anonymous. Believing is seeing.