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How I Combat Boredom and Guilt From My Depression

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I love to keep busy. I often have things scheduled into my calendar; if I don’t, I fill my time with TV shows, reading and crafts. I’ve never really been the type of person who gets bored since I have such an active imagination and need to be busy. However, mental illness, my depression in particular, makes me bored.

You know that feeling when you’re getting over being sick and you’re well enough to not want to sleep all day, but far too exhausted to do even the simplest thing such as watch TV, so you just lay there drowning in boredom? Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel during a lot of my depressive episodes.

My friends don’t seem to get that I’m not being difficult when I get like this and start complaining about how bored I am. It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose; I just cannot find the energy or the will to do anything. It’s almost like I feel that complaining about being bored with someone will make me feel something, which will be enough to pull me out of my depressive episode and want to do something. Sadly, it never really does anything except occasionally make me get into fights with my friends, which just makes me feel worse.

I usually love to read and watch TV, but when I get like this, even that feels like too much. Sometimes I’ll listen to audiobooks, but if I have to focus on something new I can’t seem to manage. This is why I have a small list of audiobooks I’ve listened to dozens of times, because they’re the only thing I don’t have to focus on.

Even that is too much sometimes and all I can do is lay there. Which leads to me thinking too much. This leads to me feeling even worse because the thoughts are all swirling and mixing with my guilt over not being able to do anything. It’s all a vicious cycle.

I’m trying to break this cycle by just making myself do one thing, such as read five pages. Sometimes it works and makes me feel better and other times it doesn’t.

The most important thing for me is for people to understand that when people with mental illness get like this, it doesn’t mean they are lazy. It just means we need a little patience and compassion.

Getty image by GaudiLab

Originally published: March 4, 2020
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