So – last week, we talked a bit about depression.
(Well okay – I talked about depression; I seem to do most of the talking around here. You know I welcome your comments, right? Feel free to start a discussion…)
Anyhow – I was saying that your brain runs on juice, and that depression sucks out all the juice that makes your brain run.
Basically – depression is like a big bully inside your head. It sits there and calls you names. It tells you stuff like “you’re useless”, or “you’re worthless”, or “you’re not good enough”. It compares the person you are now to the “old you”. It tells you to feel guilty and ashamed of who you are now.
Depression is so good at messing with you because not only does it tell you all that stuff – it also makes you believe that nonsense.
Don’t get sucked in!!!
Unless this is the first post that you’ve read on this blog, then you probably realize by now that I repeat myself when I have something important to say. I said this last week, but I’m saying it again: Depression is an illness; it would be great if there was a “juice gauge” on the side of your head, like a gas gauge in your car, so you could actually see when your brain is running low on juice – then it would be easier to accept that depression is real.
Sadly, there’s no juice gauge. Instead, you’ll just have to trust me. (I’m some chick you met on the internet, so trusting me has got to be a good idea, right?)
Depression is an illness, not a choice. Here’s a couple of ways to fight back:
– “if it were a physical illness“: Ask yourself this: If you were physically ill and not able to get stuff done, would you be saying nasty stuff to yourself about it? No, of course not. You’d be annoyed and frustrated that you’re sick, but you wouldn’t blame yourself. Well, depression is a physical illness – it’s a juice deficiency, and that part is physical. You didn’t ask for this. So try to quit beating up on yourself about it.
– “if it were happening to a friend“: Ask yourself this: If one of your friends were struggling with this, would you be telling them that they’re useless and worthless? If you have peer support, you probably know some buddies who struggle with this stuff. When they do, you probably tell them you’ve been there too, to take it one day at a time, and to do their best and take it easy on themselves.
You say the nice stuff to your buddies because that’s supportive; you say that mean stuff to yourself because that’s depression. Talking to yourself like you’re talking to a buddy is a way to cheat depression and offer yourself some support. If you can offer yourself some support, you might be able to put some juice back in your tank, so you feel up to doing more stuff, and slowly digging your way out of depression.
Sounds so simple, right? Yeah, well simple and easy are two different things, and this is going to be a LOT of work. For a lot of folks – too much to do on your own. If you’re struggling to get better on your own, don’t just sit there and tell yourself you should be able to do this alone – that’s your depression bullying you again. Most folks can’t do this on their own, and you don’t have to. Get some peer support, and then get yourself to therapy. It’ll help you get better.
I’d love to have you share your thoughts, comments, and questions. If you do post a comment, please don’t give specific details of your trauma – these may be triggering to another reader. If you’d like to offer criticism, I’ll take it – I know I’m not perfect, and I’m always willing to learn. If you do offer criticism though, I’d really appreciate it if you could do so constructively (ie., no name-calling, please). Thanks…
You can find me on Twitter and on Facebook.
~ Dr. Dee Rajska, C. Psych.
*Fine print: Please feel free to share the link to this blog wherever you think it might be helpful! Reading this blog is a good start, but it’s no substitute for professional help. It takes a different kind of courage to admit to yourself that you’re struggling. PTSD is not a sign of failure – it’s a sign that you’ve been through a lot, and have tried to stay strong for too long. If you need help – you’re in some pretty great company. Reach out, and give yourself a chance to feel better.
**Really fine print: The content of Coming Back Home is copyrighted; please feel free to share the link, but do not copy and paste content. Unless otherwise noted, all original photography on Coming Back Home is copyrighted. The photo gracing today’s post was taken by Murray Chappell, and I’d like to thank him for generously allowing me to use his work. Please do not copy photographs from Coming Back Home without permission.
8 thoughts on “More on Depression: The Bully Inside Your Head”
Thanks Dee for making it much easier to understand how it impacts us in our daily lives.
Thanks Derryk, for your kind words! I’m happy to do whatever I can to help!
Another empowering message Dr. D. I might just start trusting you……a wee bit. 🙂
I applaud your efforts.
Thanks so much for your message.
What’s this? Did you say I’ve earned a wee bit of trust…? Hey, that’s not bad for a chick you know from the internet, who talks about imaginary zebras 😉
Yes the bouts of depression really drain the life out of you. I rarely “feel” down or depressed but realize that I’m heading into the darkness when I don’t have any energy or interest in doing things I normally do. Must say though that the meds have helped reduce the severity and the counseling has helped me realize when I’m in a dive. Certainly no cure but much better than all the dark years after the tour. Keep up the good work Dee.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Joe! Take care of yourself!
Very well put Dr. Dee. Depression is a terrible disease that can swallow us whole. Fortunately, like a lot of diseases we get symptoms before the full onset. It took me almost thirty years, but I have gained quite a bit of insight on the subject. With the help of medication, exercise, friends & family and vigilance, I have been able to keep it at bay for six years now. I am very aware of it, but no longer fear it.