If I Could Think My Way Out of Depression... I Would!


Insight is one of the keys to unlocking the chains of depression. Or is it? When I feel like no one likes me, my insight into my illness tells me it’s my depression talking. When I tell people I care about (and who care about me) that I’m doing fine even when I’m dying inside and I feel like a fraud, my insight into my illness tells me it’s my depression talking. When I fear nothing will ever help me to feel better or “normal,” my insight into my illness tells me it’s my depression talking.

Does that insight translate into a change in my thoughts and feelings? No, often it does not. In fact, that insight can make me feel even worse. “If you know it’s the depression talking,” I tell myself, “then why can’t you just get over it?” I would never say something like that to someone else, so why do I feel like it is OK to say it to myself.

Because when the depression is talking, it’s all I can hear. The voice is so loud and overwhelming that the power of my insight is either too deeply buried or it adds to my sense of failure as a human being. I know that I know better, and that does not make me feel better.

I am blessed to have a therapist with whom I can honestly share my thoughts and feelings. She hears me and understands me. She gently reminds me that knowing something but feeling something else does not have to be a “but” — it can be an “and.” I’m a human being with a real illness, where knowing one thing “and” thinking and feeling something else can exist at the same time. She reminds me that if I could think my way out of depression, I would… I would have done it long ago.

I’m not saying insight cannot be a useful tool in understanding my illness; it’s just not the be all, end all of my experience with depression. It’s so helpful to have a professional to share my thoughts and feelings with — one who can help me learn to use my insight for good.

If you need help, please get it! Please use the resources you have to find a caring and understanding professional who can help you sort through the troubling thoughts and feelings that are a daily part of your struggle with depression or any other mental illness. It’s worth it. More importantly, you’re worth it!

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by LarsZahner Photography


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Depression

profile of a woman looking down

When You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With Depression

Depression is a illness that exercises its power through the use of brainwashing. In moments where I am more stable, I can better acknowledge the power it holds over me. But in those darker moments I am captured by its spell. On those days, my relationship with my depression is a love/hate one. As scary [...]
hands typing on a laptop

Blogging While Depressed

I began writing this blog at 3:30 this morning as insomnia was kicking my butt. Seems I’m going through a bit of a depression period. And it sucks. I haven’t been motivated to do much lately, which isn’t helping to improve things. And normally when I’m going through a depressive time, I don’t blog. But I [...]
Cross image

When Being a Pastor With Depression Is a Complicated Combination

I’m a Lutheran pastor and I live with depression. This is a complicated combination. There are times when it brings great struggle and times when it brings great comfort and peace. First off, what does it mean when I say I’m a pastor? I work full time at a congregation with a few hundred families. [...]
Portrait of a beautiful blue girl

To the Friend Who Hasn't Heard From Me in a While

Dearest friend, I am writing to you because something just occurred to me. We haven’t spoken in a long while. I think it’s more to do with me than to do with you. When we became friends, we would make plans, meet up, talk and text all the time. We would laugh and make small [...]