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Depression and Suicide If you or a loved one is feeling depressed or suicidal, you are not alone. Talk with other users about your feelings here.

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Addicted to Depression - March 28th 2014, 12:40 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

For the past year or more, I have had intense anxiety and depression. I've tried all sorts of medication and been in therapy and tried to get better.
For a while now, I've been doing better, for the most part. But...and I don't know how to explain this...I can't let my depression go. If I've been feeling happy, I go and listen to sad songs. And that makes me depressed. I don't want to be depressed but I can't seem to let it go.
I've heard that depression can become a sort of identity sometimes, like if you've been depressed for a while, you think of yourself as depressed. Maybe that's it...
It's just hard. I mean, it's one thing being depressed but always trying to get better. It's another thing when you're better and trying to get depressed.
Just...what should I do?


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Re: Addicted to Depression - March 28th 2014, 01:11 AM

Hello Mara!

After reading your message - my first response was... WOW!! As in 'you really get it'! YES! We can become 'addicted' to depression. But it's not so much the depression we are 'addicted' to - but how our life has adapted to it. How we live with our depression has become familiar. And the familiar is always less threatening than something new and different. Even if the familiar isn't very good. Many women who are battered by their boyfriend - for example - will end up with a new boyfriend who also batters her. She is attracted to abusive guys. And for one reason only - she is familiar with that type of guy. And oddly enough - finds some comfort in the 'familiar'. If someone is depressed for a long time - that becomes their way of life. They know it. They know how to deal with it. And that's true - even if their not dealing with it very well. Like you said - it's how they identify themselves - to themselves and to others.

BREAKING FREE of that first requires a person to appreciate all of this - and THAT is exactly what you have done. You have taken a GIANT step forward in become free of depression. My advice now would be for you to make light of your habit - see if for what it is. Depression is something you have been dealing with. Depression is not who you are. See what I mean? Put depression in its place. Remind yourself that you are much bigger than any thought or feeling. Feelings - after all - are not facts. If you feel a depressive moment coming on - acknowledge it - and then decide what you want to do with it. So often - when we fear something - or no longer want to deal with something - we try our best to avoid it. But I say - grab hold of it. For only then do you have any say as to what happens next. "I'm starting to feel depressed." OK. Now what? Well... DECIDE how much power you want to give that feeling. Always put that feeling in its place. You have lots of other feelings too. Not always - but I think more often than now - we do have power over how we feel. Many happy [as in very content] people will tell you that they made a choice to be happy. And in doing so - began to focus more intently on those things that brought them joy.

I hope this helped. Even if just a bit!

GREAT BIG HUG
Craig!

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Re: Addicted to Depression - March 28th 2014, 02:52 AM

Thank you so much, Craig! I definitely get what you're saying. It's not easy, but I'll try my best not to let it take control of me.


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Re: Addicted to Depression - March 28th 2014, 04:11 AM

I I know what you're saying, depression as bad as it is it also makes you feel comfortable at times and when you're happy you don't feel that comfort, for me personally, happiness causes anxiety so I just try staying depressed.
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Re: Addicted to Depression - March 28th 2014, 04:44 AM

Hi there!

Nevertheless, I'm glad you've been doing better. That's great and it only goes to show that you can keep improving. The point that you're making does make sense. Depression can become a comfort zone, and without it you just sort of feel lost. Have you brought this up with your therapist? If not, I think it'd be a good idea to do so to see if your therapist can give you any additional advice.

Do you think you could slowly start to get out of that comfort zone? Like when you get the urge to listen to a sad song or do/think about something you know will make you sad, catch yourself and convince yourself not to do it. Tell yourself that it won't help you, that you deserve happiness and are worth recovery. And to assist in that, how about getting some hobbies to have things that you enjoy doing to go to?
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