7 Big, Stupid, Destructive Lies Depression Tells You

Destructive Lies Depression Tells You

Social attachment, interpersonal connections, even hugs, and affectionate touch raise levels of oxytocin, a natural pain reliever, and feel-good hormone. The truth is that being with others who support you and believe in your recovery exponentially reduces depressive symptoms.

5. “There’s no hope.” 

Depression doesn’t want you to feel hope or believe that any real kind of change can take place. It will shrug off any motivating beliefs you have, squash suggestions from others, and debunk treatment as a way to get better.

Truth: Like helplessness, hopelessness is grounded in pessimistic thinking[vi]. The negative thoughts that exaggerate hopelessness often lead depressed individuals toward self-destructive thoughts. This is why seeking psychotherapy or medical attention is so important.

And while you may not want to go to therapy (because you’ve lost all hope) you may find others “forcing” you to get help. In the short run, you’ll be angry when others intervene, but in the long run, you’ll thank them for caring so deeply for you. 

Related: 5 Lies I Believed About Depression

6. “You’ll never amount to anything.” 

Depression convinces you that even if you can feel better, you’ll never be or have anything of value. Depression will deform your positive beliefs and strike down your dreams. It’ll leave you vacant. And depression decays any optimism for greater things.

Truth: Many who have struggled with depression can live full, productive lives. In fact, many high profile people, including President Abraham Lincoln, Writer J.K. Rowling, Artist Michelangelo, Actor Harrison Ford, Choreographer Alvin Ailey, Actress Courtney Cox, Entrepreneur Richard Branson, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Rocker Bruce Springsteen and Baseballer Ken Griffey, Jr. have been very successful in their chosen professions[vii].

7. “Suicide is the way out.” 

Depression, at its worst, corrodes your ability to think and reason. It keeps your focus rigid, narrow and dangerously limited to believing that dying by suicide can relieve you from your emotional and physical pain.

Truth: Getting immediate intervention will diminish depression’s lethal hold on you. With psychotherapy and/or medication, your symptoms of depression will lessen[viii].

As you recover, you will likely be surprised that you ever thought of dying by suicide because possibility, promise, and hope have emerged in your life again.

Depression is a serious, but treatable illness. Don’t let the lies depression tells you make you think it isn’t.

There is always help.

There is always hope.

References:

[i]  Coppen, A. (1994). Depression is a lethal disease. Prevention strategies. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 55:37-45.
[ii] Palazidou, E. (2012). The neurobiology of depression. British Medical Bulletin, 101(1):127-145.
[iii] Brown, G.W. et. al. (1990). Self-esteem and depression. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 22(5):225-234.
[iv] Huesmann, L.R. (1978).  Learned Helplessness as a Model of Depression. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
[v] Steger, M. & Kashdan, T. (2009). Depression and everyday social activity, belonging, and well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(2): 289-300.
[vi] Beck, A. et. al. (1993). Hopelessness, depression. suicidal ideation and clinical diagnosis or depression. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 23(3):139-145.
[vii] Serani, D. (2011). Living with Depression. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
[viii] Mann, J. et. al. (2005). Suicide prevention strategies. A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(16):2064-2074

Written by Deborah Serani
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

Never believe the lies that depression tells you. Yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but the more you listen to it, the more you will drown. If you suffer from depression, always remember that it’s not the end of the world, and no matter how bad it gets, you will always have help, hope, and support in your life. You just need to reach out for it.

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