When I Realized Depression Was Making Me Self-Absorbed
I’ve had depression for over five years, and after a wide array of medications, therapy sessions, self-help books and friendly advices, I have learned something that may be key to my recovery. It may be common knowledge for some, but for me it was a turning point. I learned it thanks to a close friend, without her knowing the value in her accidental teaching:
My depression was making me self-absorbed.
This can strike as an insult to the reader, but I ask to be humored for a few more lines to prove my point.
People experiencing a major depressive disorder are so inside the pit, the world beyond it sometimes ceases to exist. How many of us haven’t asked ourselves countless questions like these:
How can I care for my family or friends when I don’t even care about myself?
Do I need to worry about someone else’s problems when I cant even cope with my own?
The answer is quite complicated. I think depression breeds a rather macabre vicious cycle:
“I need other people to feel better, but since I can’t care about others, I feel isolated and left alone with my problems and mental imbalance.”
“I can’t care less of the problems the person in front of me is having when I am thinking nonstop in suicide.”
“The issues affecting the rest of the world seem small in comparison to my misery.”
It’s not that I am an egocentric person or that I don’t care about other people. It’s simply that all the noise in my head prevents me from listening and connecting.
So, the graveness of my discovery falls upon me like a ton of rocks: depression has not only taken away my happiness and mental stability, it has taken my ability to care about others. I used to be a guy who was always there when needed. Now it’s all about my illness, my mental state, my problems and my depression.
How can I improve?
Parting upon the premise that my being so deep inside the pit, prevents me from seeing other people, maybe contacting other people in their own pits would help. But help who? Only me? Group therapy won’t work for me if I see others as mere tools to my recovery.
I need to break this cycle somehow. I want to be able to care for others, to be a good listener and return some of the help that has been given to me for all these years.
I just need to keep looking for an answer that, right now, eludes me.