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When Depression Makes You Feel Guilty for 'Wasting Time'


There are so many things I could be doing right now.

That’s a thought that often crosses my mind while I’m lying on my bed for the umpteenth day in a row, occasionally scrolling through my phone but mostly staring at the ceiling. Sometimes I end up falling asleep if my mind decides to stay blank for long enough.

I could be cleaning. I haven’t really been putting things away and there are piles of stuff all over my room. Maybe I could grab my laptop and finally get started on that novel I’ve been wanting to write for the past decade or so. Or I could try and job hunt again, even though I’ve exhausted all the possibilities and my resumĂ© isn’t impressive enough to anyone.

But I can’t bring myself to do anything.

It feels as though the depression I’ve struggled with for more than half of my life is a physical being that’s purposely keeping me from moving. People are trying to contact me – I should get back to them, but I can’t. I need to get up and make dinner, but the thought of getting out of bed exhausts me. I can’t stop the whispers in my mind that tell me there’s no point, anyway.

That’s where the guilt sets in – the guilt of having depression.

How many hours have I wasted just lying here? What kind of things could I have done or created in all of this time? Maybe I’d have a job if I’d spent more time perfecting my resumĂ©. Maybe I’d already be a bestselling writer if I’d been writing instead of staring at the ceiling. Perhaps I’d be more than the nothing I feel.

I still can’t bring myself to do anything and I feel guilty for all of this wasted time.

I already have all these regrets of not doing anything, of thinking about the things I could have accomplished had I not convinced myself it wasn’t worth it and just stayed in bed. The guilt is another physical being that holds me back. I feel bad for not being a “normal” person with a “normal” life. Instead, I just stare at the ceiling as the guilt eats away at me.

Nobody should be made to feel bad about having a mental illness, but I bring this guilt upon myself. It’s a vicious cycle that feels impossible to escape.

But then the depression sets in, and I add it to the list of things I can’t bring myself to do.

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Thinkstock photo via kitzcorner