When depression is getting the best of me, I’m already experiencing self-imposed punishments and maintaining unrealistic expectations.
Feeling Overwhelmed & Comparing Myself to Others
I’ve been overwhelmed with life in general lately, and the bombardment of social media is starting to have a negative effect on me. Some days, I feel like everyone has something really awesome and exciting going on, while I’m a useless, unproductive slug.
Obviously, this is a huge thinking blunder on my part, yet it’s been an ongoing problem that I would have thought I’d have overcome by now. It’s a fact that one of the worst things people can do to diminish their self-esteem is to constantly compare themselves to others. I have friends who refuse to join any social media sites because it brings out feelings of jealousy and unworthiness. While I can totally relate, I feel they’re doing themselves a disservice, because while they’re blocking out the perceived bad stuff, they’re also denying themselves the fun and often-hilarious benefits of being part of an online community.
Pressuring Myself to Be More Productive
When depression is getting the best of me, I’m already experiencing self-imposed punishments for not putting away the laundry or sorting the mail. While I’m cognizant that what others are doing with their lives says nothing about mine, the unrealistic pressure I place on myself to do more is based on an absurd notion that whatever it is I’m doing is not enough. Those thinking errors open the door to a pathway that leads toward destructive, false beliefs about myself.
Figuring Out Rational vs. Irrational Thinking
My goal is to find a way to be content and satisfied with all that I do—and not put myself up against others’ accomplishments and enviable experiences that I see online.
Depression has a way of knocking me down, doing its best to steal any pleasure derived from my triumphs, as well as the impediments I’ve conquered despite the mental health condition.
Staying clear on which thoughts are rational and which are irrational sounds so easy, yet it’s something that defies my mastery. Right now, logic tells me I’ve done enough writing for the day, while the ridiculous, depression-fueled thoughts are shouting at me to do more, more, more!
Question: Do you find that you punish yourself for being depressed? If so, how do you stop the negative self-talk? Let me know below.
Originally posted February 7, 2017.