Depression is something that can destroy a person from the inside out. Depression will tell you destructive and dangerous lies just so it can push you over the edge, and finish you forever.
Depression is a beast.
It’s an illness so insidious that sometimes you don’t realize the scope of its life-threatening power until you’re drowning under its wave.
It attacks your mind, body, and soul by seizing your neurochemistry, weakening your neural pathways, distorting your thoughts, exhausting your body, and leaving you emotionally vulnerable. And as depression rails against you, it challenges everything you know, trust, and believe. It deceives and mangles in ways that make depression one of the most lethal of mental illnesses[i].
I know this beast. I lived with it as a child and as a teenager. Its corrosive effects pitched me into a devastating depression and suicidal state that I barely escaped. I was lucky though. I got treatment and emerged from my depression with a keen awareness of what damage it can do. What lies it tells.
Here Are 7 Of The Big, Stupid, Destructive Lies Depression Tells You
1. “You’re not trying hard enough.”
Depression will tell you that you are weak and lazy. It will con you into believing that you’re not medically ill … and if you’d just only work harder at things, you’d feel better.
Truth: Depression is a very real illness that affects emotional, social, behavioral, and physical health[ii]. Like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, you cannot will it away or readily snap out of it.
2. “You’re broken and unfixable.”
Depression has a way of making you feel useless, worthless, and utterly unlovable. When you’re depressed, you’ll believe that no one wants to hear about your sadness or troubles. You’ll be convinced you‘re undeserving of love, tenderness, and attention from others. Depression will decimate your confidence and invalidate your sense of worth.
Truth: Research shows that negative thinking is the linchpin responsible for low self-esteem [iii]. So, learning how to use positive self-talk is vital to combat depression. Psychotherapy is a great way to retrain your mind-set.
Treatments will help you ground yourself with realistic truths about who you are, the strengths and talents you possess, as well as owning your flaws and weaknesses. You can learn to love yourself — as well as allowing others to love you — not in spite of your depression, but with acceptance of it.
3. “Nothing matters.”
Depression will coax you into believing people and things no longer hold value for you. Dread and apathy reign supreme where happiness and meaningfulness once ruled. You become less and less connected to things in your life. Depression crushes your world until it becomes a space of infinite emptiness. You don’t care anymore. You don’t try anymore. It’s all futile [iv].
Truth: Depression creates this helplessness by overriding your ability to control aspects of your life. Without direction and a sense of purpose, you slowly become powerless. Again, talk therapy offers ways to offset these self-defeating thoughts. It’ll take practice and patience, but when you change your thoughts, you change your world.
4.“Being alone is better.”
Depression isolates. It wants you to believe that being alone is safer. That it’s more comfortable to dwell in a solitary place than be connected and supported with others.
Truth: Studies show that depression worsens when we cocoon ourselves from others[v]. You will likely have to really, really push yourself to be with others — or allow others to pull you out of the black hole of depression. But it will be worth it.