depression, domestic abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness

Depression and Identity Crisis

Depression is much more difficult to “just get over” than people who do not have depression understand. If you suffer from depression then you understand how difficult that it is to get out from under it.

The things that people suggest to you are of no help at all. In fact, often times “suggestions” are more hurtful than helpful. At the very least, they are laughable.

You read articles about getting over depression or curing insomnia. They all say the same things, as if the writer is giving out some amazing new discoveries and cures.

Which ones of these have you not been heard? I bet none of them…

drink herbal tea

just go get some exercise

go out in the sunshine

eat better

listen to music

get more sleep

stop thinking about sad things

Here is the problem with these suggestion and the reason that they frustrate us. The ideas themselves are fine. The problem is that we are not doing those things when we are depressed because we do not feel up to doing them. The activities  may make us feel even more depressed.

The problem is not that these things are not good for you. They are very obvious to us and it is hard not to roll our eyes, when people say “Just go out and get some exercise.”

But it is the very problem of depression that the things on this list are either entirely too mild to do anything, like a bandaid on a broken arm…or they are impossible for us to   “just go do” Even when we do them, we do not necessarily feel better.

If you are in a severe depression, you are not capable of just going outside and jogging around the block. So, the advice to just go get some exercise, is not helpful in itself.

Listening to music is different for different people. Personally I have a lot of bad memories and sad feelings, that are automatically triggered by not only certain songs,  but styles and moods of music. There are certain types of music that can trigger sad feelings me, even if I am in a good mood.

Music is very personal. It is one of those things that has an emotional response because there is neuronal wiring associated with songs. Songs that were played during traumatic events, are always going to trigger us into feeling the way we felt at the time of the trauma.

Since I am a musician, it is possible that music is a particularly triggering thing to me. When I am in a severely traumatic situation, such as a break up, I avoid listening to music all together. I especially avoid listening to music that I like, because i am afraid of the songs becoming ruined for me.

Some people are uplifted by certain songs and certain styles of music. If any music is helpful to you, then it is a good thing for you to listen to it. Different people find different styles of music comforting, energizing, or peaceful. I have seem people mediate to music that I would find counter productive to meditating , but it works for them.

Sleep, is a whole problem in itself. If you are depressed it may be in combination with anxiety. If you are in a constant state of anxiety, then insomnia is going to most likely go along with it. The anxiety will keep you from being able to calm down and sleep.

If you are depressed, you sleep is probably all messed up. You may be sleeping during the day, in order to escape. If so, then you will have trouble regulating your sleep schedule. This cycle of disrupted sleep and not sleeping at the best times and amounts of time, will spiral into a nearly insurmountable problem.

It is true that lack of sleep, can contribute to depression. It is also true that too much sleep can make us feel more tired and less likely to exercise. All of these things have a domino effect, and add to the downward spiral of depression.

So, how can we get out of our depression? The answer is probably not in the list. In one way the answer is the list, but in another way the list is impossible to do. If  suggestions cannot be implemented, then how are they helpful?

The answer must lie in the causes of the depression

. No matter what people may say about their lives being great and they get depresses anyway, I do not really believe it. People can have a nice house, a nice family etc and still be depressed.

There is something missing in the lives of people who go into depression. There is something that you need, that you do not have. There is something missing or there is something unwanted that is causing the depression. 

I think we need to look at our lives in a rational and objective way, ignoring any thoughts that are not our own.  We can make a list of the things we perceive to be good. Make another list of the things we perceive to be bad. Then really think about our perceptions to find out if they are true.

If there is something that we  are “supposed to be” happy with, then we will tell ourselves that we are happy with it. Others think we should be satisfied with our lives, so who are we to be contradictory to them?

But others cannot tell us what makes us happy. Other cannot tell us what we really want, or who we want to be. It is easy to get stuck into a rut, with labels and other people’s perceptions of us at the lead.

It can be difficult for people that have C-PTSD from childhood abuse, including mental / emotional abuse, to be able to access what we want.

For most people questions like “What do you want?” and “Who are you?” are easy to answer. But for some of us, questions like “What do you want ?” are difficult to find the answer to within ourselves.

 If we had our hardware  (our normal development ) damaged as children, then our computers (our brains) do not respond the same way that other people’s do. When asked what we want, we automatically think about what others think we should want. What does my mother, my teacher, my boss, my church, or society think that I should want?

But that can be the very cause of your depression. If you are living a life that someone else thinks you should be happy with and not complain about, then you should be happy , right? NO.

You are an individual and you should have your own identity.

 If you have taken on the identity that others think you should have, then you are going to feel depressed and unfulfilled. How can we happy living our life the way someone else wants us to?

If you belong to a church or some other organization that dictates the lifestyle you should have, and you are depressed, then you might want to look at that. If we are living in a certain way in order to “fit in” , to “Be a good person”..to “be sure we go to heaven” …to “impress other people” or any exterior reason, and we have become very depressed, then we need to re-evaluate our reasons for living that way.

Religion that is based on fear can be a cause for depression. If you are tolerating certain behaviors from people, including staying in an abusive marriage and letting others dictate your behaviors….because of religion…and you have become depressed,…then you need to look at things in a rational way.

If you are living in a fear based relationship, and being controlled by anyone or any organization by fear,  then it is not surprising that you are depressed. 

We only get to do this life once. We should not have to live it in fear.

Living in any kind of fear creates extreme anxiety and this can cause PTSD over time. This would explain any depression or anxiety conditions.

We only get to live this life once. We should not have to live someone else’s life.

Personally I lived the way that the family that I married into, expected me to live. I did everything to try to please them, but in the end I was miserable at being controlled by them. I was not allowed to be my true self or express my real feelings and thoughts.

This is not to make anyone leave their church or divorce their husband. I am just suggesting that you evaluate your life choices, your lifestyle and your identity, in a rational, cognitive fashion. Then try to access you true feelings, that are way underneath any “people pleaser” traits that may be blocking your access to it.

Your unique identity is very important. Your identity as a person, how you want to see yourself and what you would be happy doing, are things you need to know. Ask yourself these questions and even write them down, if you can do so without causing any unsafe situation from an abuser.

What am I good at?

What do I really like to do?

Who am I good at helping?

What skills do I have?

What skills would I like to have?

What gift do I have, that I would like to contribute to others?

What is it about me that is being buried, or repressed?

What thoughts and feelings am I repressing, out of fear of others?

If I could rewrite my script, what would I be doing with my life right now?

Where would I be living and how would I be living?

If you can access some of this buried self…then you can get to know how special and amazing you really are. If this special person is being controlled by others somehow, then it might be time to at least realize that.

Kindness to yourself is the most important thing if you are depressed. Part of being kind to someone is letting them be themselves. Changes take time but accessing out true identity is the first step to kicking depression, in this writer’s opinion.

2 thoughts on “Depression and Identity Crisis”

  1. I really like your questions for self-reflection.. I’ve thought about a couple of them, but I really like the way you stated them together because it gives a bigger picture view of a situation.. I think I’ll copy them down and think about it.

    Like

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Let me know how you do with the questions and if you think of any that would be helpful to add to the list. I was writing this as a self help tool for myself. I have felt lately that I have lost touch with my own identity and have allowed other people to make me miserable. I do not think that we should have to miserable for the sake of others to be happy.
      People who truly care about us, would not want us to sacrifice our happiness for them. The other people are just taking advantage of us, so their ideas about who we “should be” do not count.
      Blessings,
      Annie

      Liked by 1 person

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