Depression and Control

Often, when I’m depressed, I feel like things in my life are out of my control. On good days, I feel like I only have energy to deal with me, and so the rest of my life (classes, chores, family stuff, socializing, etc…) gets ignored or neglected, leading to a lot of chaos.

Contrarily to that, in other ways, I’ve noticed with myself and others, that people try to take back control in ways that are really out of their capabilities. This actually helps to enforce the isolation* and discomfort the depressed person feels around others, and when taking other’s potential opinions into consideration. Alternatively, it can be a useful defense mechanism to protect oneself from judgement and unfair and inaccurate assumptions.

People who struggle with depression can often try to take control by assuming to know what others are thinking and judging another’s capacity/delicacy and willingness by what the depressed person feels, rather than by the actual output from the other person. This allows the depressed person to have control of how they perceive the situation, but not necessarily the situation itself. In my cases and in the cases I’ve seen with my friends, thinking objectively while depressed either happens too often in a bad way (looking at the extent to which one cannot and does not affect the world) or is impossible. To have more control of a situation involving someone else actually involves more objectivity. It’s good to step back, and let the other person determine what they can and cannot handle, what they believe, and how they are going to react. However, feeling too objective in a bad way does not allow someone to access how friends, coworkers, family, etc… truly feel about the situation of the (insert title here) person’s depression. It allows room for people who are dismissive of negative feelings to voice their opinions, but that’s it. Depression doesn’t allow room for thinking much in a healthy way, so the balance of voices tends to override the depressed person’s control, and they end up trying to gaining perceived control instead.

As a result of this, and, perhaps, the cause of this,** the negative voices/thought patterns/mindsets become more and more habitual and the person struggling with depression is left getting control where he/she/they can, even if that control means feeding into the depression by inaccurately judging and/or rejecting (either purposefully/consciously or not) anything potentially positive, including feedback from others.

*and rejection they feel, not necessarily from other people, but from the assumed healthy ways of thinking other people (who are not depressed or struggling with another debilitating illness) have adopted

**It can be a cycle. It doesn’t have to be. I don’t think it goes both ways all the time. I haven’t looked into this as much.

NOTE: There are a lot of things I didn’t go into in this entry (wanting positive feedback when depressed, dealing with giving yourself more room for control and objectivity, whether or not this is possible for everyone with depression, dealing with actual negative feedback, perceiving things correctly, etc…), but these are all different topics that can be touched on in different entries.

A/N: I apologize if this post is confusing or wordy or poorly written. I will most likely come back to it and edit it if I feel it really needs it. As always, feel free to comment. ::)

Depression and Control

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