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8 Lies Depression Makes Me Believe About Myself

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I have chronic anxiety and depression. I am 68. The prednisone I have to take for asthma sometimes has a huge impact on my mental health. It tips me into deep depression. At least I know why I am feeling so low.

When this happens, I think dreadful things about myself. I need to not believe my thoughts. My thoughts become more and more morose as I slip into depression. It’s like a big black hole that is a whirlpool that drags you downwards and doesn’t let you out!

These are some of the things I think about myself when I am severely depressed. These are the thoughts I need to stop believing.

1. I am useless.

No, I am not useless. This is my depression talking to me! It is the same way as how the bottle talks for the alcoholic. I can no longer do the things I used to do.  Some days I can do very little at all. But that does not me I am useless. My chronic illness has resulted in me having to change the way I live my life.

2. I am “stupid.”

No, that just isn’t true. I am an intelligent woman who successfully worked in a profession. Anyone can have depression and this has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence or common sense.

3. I am worthless.

Society sets such high value on wealth and acquiring things. It holds these things in esteem. I don’t actually value wealth and things. Worth is not linked to healthiness either. My worth isn’t from extrinsic things. It is based on the inside qualities I have such as kindness and compassion. Being chronically ill does not define my worth as a human being.

4. I am just a burden.

It is hard to have to ask for help and to accept that I need to do this. This doesn’t make me a burden. Being ill is a part of life just as all he fun and enjoyable parts are. Illness can be difficult. I would not hesitate to be my husband’s carer so why believe he doesn’t feel the same way? Depression grabs this thought to just take me deeper into that black hole.

5. Things are hopeless.

No. I won’t ever be cured, that’s what chronic means. But life is still good. Again, this is rampant depression trying to undermine me. 

6. What is the point of constant drugs and medical help?

This thought is itself pointless! My illnesses require the help of modern medicine and I have much in life for which to be grateful. It sometimes feels like a bit of a merry go round. Life without my medication just wouldn’t be possible! So this thought is ridiculous! 

7. No one cares.

Don’t believe this one! This one is depression at its worst. This one can be really destructive. I can make a long list of people who care deeply. 

8. I can’t do anything.

No. There are many things I can do and still do. Yes, things have changed, and yes, there are some things I can no longer do. But life is a continuous series of changes. Depression’s thoughts are always so negative! Another thought to be rejected. 

I am not my thoughts. Depression produces thoughts that try to take over and the thoughts are extremely unhelpful. My thoughts are sometimes totally untrue. They can produce awful feelings if I don’t challenge them. I need to remember to not believe everything I think.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Unsplash photo via Angelina Litvin.

Originally published: September 12, 2017
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