Why Do I Feel Guilty to Do Something About My Depression?

Question by Wozza291: Why do I feel guilty to do something about my depression?
I think I have been depressed for a number of years now. I think it has been that long that it has become the norm and I have not even noticed. I am always occupied with something pointless or my mind is constantly thinking things that I it is not always noticeable to me. The thought of going the doctors about this just seems a world away to me. I find it difficult to even leave the house and go on a walk or to the shop. I just can’t imagine sitting there in front of the doctors and explaining my problems. I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Not only that but I always feel that there are people with much worse problems than I. Modern life is full of stresses and there are people who have it really, really hard. I do not even have a job. I just feel like I would be one of those who moan about things and I should just get on with it. I also just do not believe a doctor can help me and feel that only I can sort my life out, not someone who doesn’t even know me.

Thing is, I just do not know how to sort out my life. I feel absolutely powerless. Hopeless. Like there is just absolutely nothing I can do. I just try to keep myself occupied. Usually reading a book or watching a film or most of the time just wikipedian crap, googling things, reading the news online. Anything that just keeps my mind on something else.

Suicidal thoughts have been recurrent over the past few years. I have even listened to potential funeral songs and imagined that I was at my funeral and then that song comes on and thinking how people would react. I seen Wall Street Money Never Sleeps and the scene where he jumps in front of the train really stood out for me and I rewinded it a few times. I don’t think I have the bottle to commit suicide but how would I know? I also think what is the point in that as we won’t get another chance. Surely it is better to just Be, to live, rather than not exist. I do not know though if things will get worse and then suicide is my only option. I have always been really overly ambitious, a fantasist or idealist most probably. But these days I just wish I had a job and a normal life.

Best answer:

Answer by Erin Geerlof
Like you, I have suffered from depression for years. However, mine is caused by an abusive childhood and I was forced to see a psychiatrist. I tried to kill myself a couple of times, and my mom would call the cops. Trust me, you don’t want to live with depression. It just makes you feel like crap day after day. Going to the doctor is a hard step. But have someone you trust go with you and encourage you. It may be of help. Good luck!

Answer by gardensallday
I also have had chronic, long term depression. Imo, therapy is better than medication. also, don’t underestimate the value of physical exercise, which exercise helps more people with depression to a greater degree than ANY other treatment, and the side effects are all positive. Also, getting more social contact – when depressed, people often isolate, which just makes the depression worse. some people have seasonal symptoms, and light boxes and/or dawn simulators can help with that.

medication for depression appears to be no more effective than placebo (google antidepressants placebo kirsch for one famous study). I’ll give you my depression tips also, but I really think you should consider therapy. Try the free computerized therapy listed at the end in my advice.

Generic Practical Depression tips (PRINT THEM OUT):

Check out your library for self-help books on depression.

Could a prescribed or over the counter medication be causing or worsening your depression? Many meds are culprits, including birth control, blood pressure, pain, acne, antipsychotic, anxiety (benzos) or sleeping medications, and also alcohol and illicit drugs and MANY others.

Hypothyroidism is a depression mimic. Sleep disorders like sleep apnea, or interrupted sleep (crying baby, barking dog), or burning the candle on both ends, can cause depression.

If your depression is worse in winter, you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or your depression could be partly seasonal. Use a light box (10,000 Lux (light intensity) at about 20” – about $ 300 online, you don’t need full spectrum, it needs a UV filter, Sunray is a good brand). I have extra windows, painted the walls peach & yellow & have a skylight. There’s a link to a cheaper lightbox & more info at psycheducation.org. Also take 1000 to 2000 IU of Vitamin D in winter – if you live in the north, you are deficient in this vitamin, so you may as well see if it helps.

Try meditation like progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. See The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. Free 15 minute guided imagery at healthjourneys.com.

Go out with friends, & if you don’t have any, join a club e.g. hobby club, bowling league & MAKE yourself go. “Isolating” makes depression worse!

Exercise 1/2 hour a day, & anytime you feel depressed or anxious. LOTS OF RESEARCH SUPPORTS THIS as the most effective depression treatment of all.

Insomnia?: Go to bed & get up the same time each day, even weekends. Don’t use your bedroom to watch TV, read or use the computer. Don’t do stuff that revs you up before bed, like exercising & using the computer. Light from computer screens & TV wakes you up. Blue light is the worst offender – dim the lights and use an old-fashioned incandescent bulb the last hour. Make the bedroom very dark, even cover up the clock. Use a noise machine (makes wave sounds etc.) to cover up disturbing sounds. Avoid caffeine after noon. Try soundsleeping.com for free relaxing sounds.

Put colorful, happy things around the house. Do nice things for yourself. Make a list of things that make you happy, like: bread fresh from the oven, the crisp sound of a saltine cracker breaking, fresh sheets on the bed, touching frost on the windowpane, etc. Read that list when you are down. Use comforting scents. I like vanilla & cloves.

Work on time management if you are overwhelmed. Cut back on other responsibilities so you can spend more time with friends & family. Ask for help with chores.

Spend more time with your pet, if you have one.

DON’T listen to sad music! Listen to upbeat stuff- same with movies & novels.

DISTRACT yourself. Read a novel, watch a comedy, go out with friends, play cards or a video game, whatever keeps your mind busy.

Volunteer. Helping others makes you feel better about yourself & you make a difference, too. If you are religious, your religion may help keep you involved in the community.

Put a half-smile on your face. Changing your expression is proven to help change mood.

Cognitive Behavioral therapy is the most effective kind of counseling. Try free computerized CBT at moodgym.anu.edu.au. Also, if you have an abuse history, it is likely to be a major cause of your depression.

If suicidal (not just “suicidal ideation,” but you are impulsive or have a plan), find a community hospital with inpatient behavioral health (yellow pages). Don’t call 911 unless you have already hurt yourself, because otherwise the police come & take you to the closest place & that could be a horrible state hospital.

Fill out a psychiatric advance directive to protect your rights & inform professionals about your care during a crisis. Links to your state’s free PAD at bazelon.org.

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