About 16 million Americans will suffer an episode of depression each year. Symptoms of depression include depressed mood, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, irritability, disturbed sleep, fatigue, slow movements, poor concentration, and thoughts of suicide or death. Part of what makes depression so pernicious is that it distorts your perception in a way that perpetuates depression. It makes the hole you’re in look much deeper than it really is so you don’t even try to get out. However, depression can be treated effectively and the sooner you get help, the less likely you are to have another episode. Here are some common lies depression tells you.
“Life will never improve.”
Perhaps the biggest lie depression tells you is that life will never get any better. When you’re in the pit of depression, it feels like it’s just always going to be that way. It’s impossible to imagine a better future. However, this is only because you’re projecting your current feelings into the future. What’s more, when you’re depressed, you’re actually experiencing a high level of stress, which limits your imagination. Your fight-or-flight response is on all the time and the possibilities you can imagine become truncated. In reality, life is full of ups and downs and neither lasts very long. If you happen to be in a depressive episode, your most likely future is much better that what you’re currently experiencing because you have nowhere to go but up.
“No one likes you.”
Another common lie depression tells you is that no one likes you. This is part of depression’s tendency to isolate you. You may feel like everyone is better off without you, but it’s only the depression talking. People may even tell you how much they love you and how important you are to them, but you may discount what they’re saying for various reasons, like maybe they have to say that because you’re related or they’re just trying to make you feel better. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother trying to make you feel better. It’s important to accept the good will of your friends and family, even if depression makes you feel like you don’t deserve it.
“You’re just lazy.”
Everything is harder when you’re depressed. It’s harder to get out of bed, your movements are slower, you get tired easily, and you have trouble concentrating. When you can barely drag yourself out of bed, it’s easy to start thinking of yourself as lazy, but again, that’s just the depression. Depression is physical as well as mental. It often takes an enormous force of will to function at at all when you feel depressed, so really, you are the opposite of lazy.
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