What to Remind Yourself on Days When Depression 'Wins Out'

Most help sites promote the idea of fighting through depression. Carrying on through the storm. Positive thinking.

What is rarely spoken about is when depression temporarily wins out.

Firstly, this is nothing to be ashamed about. This is simply one of the most difficult sides of depression — and it runs deeper than the inspirational quotes or “putting a war face” on. I call them, “write off days.” These days are the kind that people who don’t have depression probably struggle the most to understand. Why on a “bad day” can’t we just make do? Do something we enjoy? Put a funny film on? Many people with depression have bad days and those things usually work.

Here’s the problem with “write off days.” The things I usually enjoy don’t even come into my mind. It’s not that I suddenly hate that band or hate that TV show, I’m just indifferent because my mind is clouded. There’s no room for simple pleasures. Switching the TV on and finding a Disney film isn’t going to comfort my mind today. Going out would mean getting out of bed, taking a shower, picking out something to wear. Seeing a friend would mean being able to think of words to say.

Some days aren’t about being a warrior.

People get sick. People have days in bed to recover — and this is what I need to do sometimes. It doesn’t make me any less brave or any less of a person. Tomorrow, the next day or the next week, things are going to get better. They will feel better. The inspiring quotes will make sense. The music will sound good again. My favorite film will make me laugh and I’ll enjoy putting on something that makes me feel good. This is the real me — I need to remember not to be fooled by the person in my brain on a “write off day.”

This is not a post about embracing your depression or letting it win. This is a post to say it’s OK to have these times. You will get better, and the way you are feeling now is temporary. Please don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s allowed.

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

Thinkstock photo via berdsigns.

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

Related to Depression

A woman stretching in bed

The Beautiful Thing My Husband Did When Depression Left Me Stuck in Bed

I was standing at the kitchen sink when I felt the plug being pulled. My emotions turned to black, every ounce of energy escaped and where my soul had been was a vacant void. Everything had drained out of me and emptiness was what was left. Within minutes, I was depressed. Nothing had happened. I [...]
woman standing against abstract achitecture with grunge texture,illustration art

How Emotional Abuse From My Childhood Makes It Hard to 'Take Up Space' Now

In the household I grew up in, I learned love wasn’t freely given, it was hard won. I was first made aware of the space I took up in this world when I was told I was an “accident” baby, a baby who caused a marriage that later ended in divorce. The words, “You were [...]
young man sitting on edge of room with depression

Do You Understand: A Poem About Living With Mental Illness

I wake up to the sound of my alarm ringing in my head… Already my heartbeat is racing in fear and that is how I know I’m not dead. This is the fourth alarm two hours away from when I should be out of my bed. But today that won’t happen, there’s too much I dread. I know [...]
young blonde woman sitting by window crying

To the Emergency Room Nurse Who Questioned My Depression

“I’m only going to write in your chart that you have anxiety, not depression.” “That’s a bad label for a 23-year-old to have.” “It will run your life if you don’t get off those meds.” “What could you possibly be depressed about?” To the male nurse at Phoenixville Hospital who said these things with a laugh to [...]