When we are depressed we tend to become bogged down in the bad. You are probably thinking ‘well duh we’re depressed’ but what I mean is we attach to things that are bad for us, these things become our habits and this is when the depressive spiral occurs.
From my own experience I have noticed the smallest details which worsen my depressive state of mind; the challenge, however, is challenging this ‘comfort zone’. I call it this because our behaviour becomes very paradoxical. We latch onto things that are bad for us and make us feel worse because we know no other way to feel emotionally safe. I really hope this is making sense to you as much as it does to me. This is all just what I have noticed from my experiences with depression.
Now, these bad habits I am referring to can be something small or large.
I heard of one woman who suffered with depression who knew she was in the peak of it because she never opened her bedroom curtains and spent her time in the dark; I guess I too can relate to this bad habit. When we know sitting in the dark doesn’t help our dark state of mind we become painfully ‘comfortable’ in our dark state of mind and fear breaking through it and opening the curtains not only to the world but to the light. Even something as small as leaving the curtains closed all day can cause the depressive spiral to worsen in many ways. Firstly, the typical scientific way that if we are not exposed to the natural light this can make us feel lower than if we were to be exposed to it. More importantly, in depression, we may think ‘I’ve spent my whole day in the dark again. I’m so useless I can’t even open my curtains.’ Then we go to sleep and wake up feeling worse about ourselves, our lives and, of course, don’t open our curtains.
But there are bigger things that may become bad habits such as avoiding all social situations. I know many people who suffer with depression have done this and I have too. When I was at college I used to avoid going all the time. This meant I fell behind on work, spent the entire day in my own darkness and of course felt worse about myself and missed college again. These are bad habits we latch onto because we aren’t comfortable in depression but become comfortable in these bad habits because we fear life. I hope me calling it a ‘comfort zone’ doesn’t offend you. I do not wish to offend. It’s just the only way I feel I can articulate the paradoxical nature of our behaviour in depression.
It’s important that we challenge these ‘comfort’ behaviours that we latch on to. Taking drastic measures or small steps. If you’re a hater of the light take the leap of taking your curtains down for an entire day, a few days maybe even a week and spend more time in the natural light. Or if you’re afraid of social situations construct your own, invite some friends to lunch or have a very small dinner party with some family. For me with college, I thought about why I didn’t like going and I realised that as much as it may have been due to my state-of-mind it was also because of the college itself so I completed the first year and moved to a different college. The best decision I’ve ever made. It gave me a ‘fresh start’, I had a sense of closure and I have challenged my paradoxical confort zone.
In depression, it’s all about taking steps.
I believe in you.
-Your Inner Happiness