Incorrect/Incomplete Information That Can Keep You Depressed
- The belief that depression is genetically based– There are actually very few types of depression that are “genetic.” It is not the norm, but once you believe that your depression is in the family you stop looking for ways to feel better and accept it as fate. It is actually much more likely that your depression is “learned” or finds its origins in dysfunctional thought patterns you leaned from your family or from an unfortunate past incident.
- The belief that medication can “cure” depression – As helpful as they can sometimes be, especially in a crisis, medications can also sometimes hinder treatment. They make you feel better by alleviating the immediate pain but by doing so they remove your motivation to work through things. If you then choose to go off medications you find yourself back where you started. Cognitive therapy has been found to have longer lasting effects on depression than medication alone.
- Not understanding where your depression comes from– If you haven’t dealt with or learned why you are depressed to begin with then it is unlikely you will get better. This can be scary or seem overwhelming but broken down into small parts is very manageable. Sometimes it is actually a huge relief to find out that your problems may have stemmed from a dysfunctional background and all it takes to feel better is a new set of cognitive and emotional skills.
- Not implementing a complete plan of action– You should have a specific action plan to put in place in order to feel better and in control of your own life. This means all aspects of your life have to be planned around overcoming the depression. Chances are if you have suffered for a long period of time these things are not in place. Depression typically involves a feeling of helplessness, loneliness, sense of being out of control and, often, dire hopelessness. If you are on medications you may experience fatigue as a side effect. This makes it hard to exercise or have the energy to do the things you need to do to get well. If this is a problem you should definitely discuss it with your doctor and see if there is another option for you. A complete plan of action will include strategies surrounding your physical self as well as your mental self.
- Allowing the depression to define you– Your focus should be on feeling something other than depression. Yes, it’s terrible and yes, it feels like it is swallowing you up. But don’t let the depression overtake everything else in life. Focus on something fun that you want. Try to think about how awesome it will feel to have that fun. Even if it ends up that you do have a genetic type of depression, there is no reason you cant enjoy a laugh or someone’s company or an afternoon out as much as the next person.