So I’m going through a mild depressive stretch right now, for the last couple of weeks, and I had this insight about my depression, and I wanted to share with the rest of the class and see if it resonated with anyone else. I think it’s a useful insight, but I’m having some trouble applying it, and I’d love some feedback from other depressives, or other people who are familiar with depression, on how to translate it into action.
The conundrum, which I think almost everyone with depression will recognize: The very things I need to do to alleviate my depression — exercise, getting outside, socializing, taking care of business and battling entropy, even just getting showered and dressed — are things that the depression makes more difficult to do. Depression, among other things, saps motivation, and makes it difficult to do… well, anything. When I’m having a depressive episode, no activity feels good; everything I do makes me feel restless and twitchy and uncomfortable and like I’d rather be doing something else. When I’m active, I get tired and want to sit down; when I’m sitting down, I feel restless. When I’m with other people, I feel overwhelmed and like I want to be alone; when I’m alone, I feel isolated.
The insight: Since nothing I do feels good anyway, I might as well do the things that have a chance of snapping me out of the depressive episode, and of making me feel better in the long run (and indeed in the medium run).
When I’m in the middle of a depressive episode, being active and inactive, social and solitary, outside and inside, all kind of suck. So I might as well be active, be social, go outside. It’s not like being inactive and solitary and indoors are actually going to alleviate that twitchy, uncomfortable, restless-but-exhausted, “something isn’t right” feeling. They’re not. When I’m in the middle of a depressive episode, I carry that feeling with me wherever I go. And being active, being social, going outside, are all things that might actually drive the feeling away, or dial it down.
A very perceptive insight. But it’s still not getting me off the sofa. Thoughts on how to translate the insight into action?