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Why Do I Feel So Guilty?


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#1 silverclaws

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:38 AM

GUILT,I feel it so much,it is one of the worst feelings about all this.I feel guilty for being ill,guilty of not trying,guilty of giving up.Sure there are other people perhaps thousands if not millions out there that are not happy,yet most of them carry on with life as best they can.

Sometimes I feel I am a fraud,slacking and skiving from life,where others get on with it,I am not.My feeling is other people judge me so,my doctor and sometimes my psychologist,second guessing is wrong,but I cannot help it,I feel it so.I am responsible for me,and by that all that befalls me is because of me and I hold that guilt.

But something has to be wrong,before I was solvent,hard working and fastidious,now I just don't care,sure I have dreams but sometimes it seems as though that is all they are and I am grasping onto false hopes.Sometimes the thought maybe I should just give up my dreams,go out and get on with life,a dull job and a dull life which I know will bring me back to where I am now,it has so many times before.

Yesterday,I buckled to the demands of the tax collections people,I could'nt care less,if they wanted to take what little I had,then so be it.The collections people seeing my residence and what was not worth taking decided on another approach and even suggested I had desparate need of financial help and so had me apply for emergency financial aid.A good point perhaps and I was honest with everything,but I felt so guilty,guilty I had this need,guilty I was in this position and feeling I was a fraud.

I was sort of ok to start with,but the people left after taking some honest financial details,but during the 'interview',it was seen I had become slurry and listless,I felt unbelievably tired and incoherant.They gone,I slept only to wake brighter and feeling guilty.

Can anyone make anything of this,am I a fraud or what,why do I feel so guilty all the time?

Anyone feel similar?


p.s. the collections people resisted taking my ancient computer as I said I use it to visit here,which does help with my ailment.
I am a dream to some........................A NIGHTMARE to others !!!

(Merlin from Boorman's movie; 'Excalibur')

#2 slw

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:46 AM

i'm so sorry that you're going through this.
i think the feelings of guilt come along with the depression -- and have no basis in anything that you've done.

my son suffers from depression and apologizes all the time for how he has acted and what he has put us through.
we wouldn't ever not be there and we don't blame him for anything -- patiently explaining how none of this was his
fault and he didn't choose to be this way -- it doesn't really do much to help him feel less guilty.

the guilt can get worse and it makes some people feel that they are somehow evil or that they are responsible for
bad things in the world that they could not possibly have anything to do with -- or that they are the reason for loved
one's illnesses or problems

if you're seeing a therapist or pdoc, make sure that you mention these feelings, i really think they are a symptom or
either depression or anxiety -- or maybe both.

some people will feel guilty for taking up too much of the doctor's time or complaining when other people have "bigger" problems.
i just want to tell you that you are not alone and that none of this was your fault -- you would never have chosen to be this way.

#3 Burgy

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:04 AM

Hey silverclaws,

I agree with what slw said, that guilt is a part of depression, and it makes no sense. I'm feeling better lately, but I wrestled with intense feelings of guilt, remorse, worthlessness, and self-loathing when I was depressed. It didn't matter what was going on, I found something to beat myself up for. And if I couldn't find it in the present, I went into the past, digging up any of thousands of distorted memories to feel awful about. I was living in a personal hell inside my mind.

Psychotherapy can help a lot with that, but the strongest guilt-buster for me is antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs. I take citalopram, which is what you're on too, am I right? I forgot your dosage, but I'd say it's time to consider an increase. Your feelings don't make any sense, and they never will, so stop trying to figure them out. They're a symptom of a disease––DEPRESSION––and they need to be treated as such.
Posted Image We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. ~Buddha

#4 Goldstar

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:34 AM

I used to feel guilty quite abit too, I'd look around and think, 'Why is everyone else getting on with their lives and I can't? People so much worse off then me can do it, why can't I?', but you have an illness; 'depression' which is hard to except that you have, and you often (I know I have) feel that you should just be able to snap out of it, like it's your own fault, and it's not really an illness. Just because it doesn't look like an illness, like a broken leg etc. doesn't mean it's not worthy. So you shouldn't feel guilty, although it is one of the symptoms of depression lol.

It sounds like (just my opinion, could be completely wrong) you're stuck in abit of a rut in your life, that you need to address what had made you depressed in the first place. Maybe a carear change could be on the cards or something? I think that you have to truly fulfill yourself in this life to be happy, whatever that may be. If you can't get to see a councillor, you could try writing like a diary, with all your feeling in it and just see what you start to write? You might start to realise what you really want in life.

Goldstarxx
'There is no substitute for inner peace and happiness'

#5 silverclaws

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:59 AM

Hey silverclaws,

I agree with what slw said, that guilt is a part of depression, and it makes no sense. I'm feeling better lately, but I wrestled with intense feelings of guilt, remorse, worthlessness, and self-loathing when I was depressed. It didn't matter what was going on, I found something to beat myself up for. And if I couldn't find it in the present, I went into the past, digging up any of thousands of distorted memories to feel awful about. I was living in a personal hell inside my mind.

Psychotherapy can help a lot with that, but the strongest guilt-buster for me is antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs. I take citalopram, which is what you're on too, am I right? I forgot your dosage, but I'd say it's time to consider an increase. Your feelings don't make any sense, and they never will, so stop trying to figure them out. They're a symptom of a disease––DEPRESSION––and they need to be treated as such.


Thankyou Suburgatory,

I can wholly identify with your first paragraph,guilt is one amongst others there.The meds,yes,Citalopram I am taking,forty miligrams of the stuff,and to be honest,I am not sure what it is doing,sometimes I feel ok-ish,other times,despite what happens I sink,one of the things the psychologist identified was reactive depression,reactive to my scewed thought process,a process quite unlike most other peoples,I sink for what would be for no reason to other people and sometimes alien to me.

Maybe the scewed thought process is because I do analyse things,everything I come across and even thought and actions,I do seek to understand a reason or meaning to everything,something which drives me nuts sometimes,I just cannot stop analysing,I cannot accept things as they are,I have to dig until I am satisfied with a cause and if I cannot find a cause,I keep digging,trying different approaches until I know,which could be for infinity but I keep searching-ggrrrrrrrr!#

Is compulsive analysing a symptom,or a personality trait?
I am a dream to some........................A NIGHTMARE to others !!!

(Merlin from Boorman's movie; 'Excalibur')

#6 Jkm

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:29 AM

I imagine all of us get past the 'why' and go into the effect that depression is having and wonder what we did to seemingly 'cause' this to happen to us as we see the effect it has on our life. About a year after I was dealing with depression and anxiety, the place I worked for went bankrupt leaving my husband and three children without medical insurance, so I put the kids on state insurance, which is the best medical care I ever had, anyways.....

I haven't had a decent job since, and we're still struggling with paying the bills. I get the feeling that my family thinks it's my fault for not having a better job, but they don't seem to understand that I'm just trying to deal with the stressors of daily life and working the stressful field I came out of is something that may make my symptoms worse.

I'm just now applying for jobs back in the field. I guess I feel like I'm sticking my neck out when I do so. The poor paying job I have now has been plenty stressful and I knew when I took it that it would be. I just needed to see if I could get myself through it. It was kind of a testing ground for me. I have had a couple of run ins with the assistant boss who really doesn't know how to fix things and is dependent on her boss, so I figured that one out. She gets upset with me because I threaten her for the fact that after 2 years, she hasn't learned how to do this and that. Sorry about your luck, babe!

I'm ready to make a move, but I know all about the guilt I have felt when having to tell my kids that there is no money for all the things they used to take for granted. I hope this is a lesson for all of us. I was over indulgent with them and will no longer be. All that did was cause financial ruin. I do feel bad about that. It made me ill.

And they say hindsight is 20/20. I guess. It's been rough, but I learned lots along the way about myself, and all of it wasn't pretty. I had to make some changes about the way I thought, too. Being depressed really messes with your mind. Learning how to think rationally and respond in a rational manner was a big lesson. It hurts....

Keep on looking into the future and figure how big a bite you want to take. Time will move on and things will calm down. Then you start all over again. Bigger and better equipt after dealing with this illness!!

All my love, Jackie
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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!

#7 Burgy

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:32 AM

I am extremely analytical, always have been, and medication hasn't changed that, nor do I want it to. It's part of my intense Scorpion personality, and it can be a great tool of exploration. But it doesn't have to involve guilt...that's an emotion that has nothing to do with analysis. We Scorpios are the investigators, we have an insatiable curiosity, and that's what drives us...right silverclaws? :hearts:

Hmmm. 40 mg is a good, medium sized dose of citalopram. If it's not doing anything for you, there are many other SSRIs to choose from. Maybe you could try a different one for a few weeks? Usually the SSRIs are great at stamping out that irrational guilt.
Posted Image We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. ~Buddha

#8 annehapper

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:10 PM

Silverclaws, I really feel for you - Guilt is an intrinsic part of the depression package that goes along with all of the symptoms the disease brings - which is perhaps something that would do you good to remember. I'm analytical too, to the point of madness - another Scorpio here! - but perhaps you, like me, have analysed your symptoms on one of your more-reasonable-to-yourself days and realised that depression is not just about sustained acute or chronic periods of being a bit glum, it's so much more than that - and I hardly need to tell you that. I feel that two things may help you, even a little bit:

1) You mentioned a diagnosis from a psychologist, are you seeing one regularly? If so, would it help to sit down and rationally list all of the things you think you should feel guilty for? This may be helpful, as your therapist can identify what part of your brain you're using just by seeing what side of the paper you start writing on, so they can identify pretty quickly whether you are actually being rational or if it's the emotional side of your brain that is controlling rational thought process. Regardless of that though, getting it all out and listed in front of you, when you have a good day and look at that list, hopefully the outcome would be that you'd think, "How can I possibly be guilty for all that? I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't feel properly - I am ILL. How can I POSSIBLY have the energy to set out on purpose to NOT do things? I hardly have enough energy to get out of bed!"

2) Now, alright, this reeeeeeally works for me - but it might make me out to be a complete and utter crackpot. If so, steer clear...!

Talk to yourself in front of a mirror. Have a full-blown conversation. Something like this:

"Hi, Anne. Wow, what IS your hair doing? And HOW many freckles have you got now? Sooo... What are you doing, just sat here doing nothing on a Monday morning? Laziness, is it? Just couldn't be bothered? Awww..."
To which I reply (oh god, this does actually sound completely bonkers...)
"Erm, no, I COULD be bothered. I got up, had a shower, got dressed, attempted to do something with my hair - and failed, admittedly, but still! - I had coffee and a cig, listened to some bouncy music, pep-talked myself nearly into a coma and I STILL. COULD. NOT. GET. OUTSIDE. When I tried to force myself, I nearly threw up all over the doorstep. That took guts and courage. I am a strong person, most of the time, I don't take cr*p from nobody, but today I didn't win. It doesn't mean I'm going to give up. I'll just keep trying until I've got this thing kicked. I don't deserve derision, I deserve a badge just for getting through this morning on my own! So there!"

That reeeeeeeeeally really helps me. I explain to myself how I see it in a rational self-supportive way, the same way I'd explain it to someone who wanted to say I hadn't tried enough.

You know how hard it is just getting from morning to night.
Give yourself more support. You deserve it. :hearts:

#9 TukuMusic

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 05:34 PM

Silverclaws,
I have a problem with guilt as well. Once browsing through Psychology Today, I came upon an article that said that we feel guilt when we don't have a proper idea about what to feel guilty for. While guilt is definitely linked with depression, as everyone has said, it is also a personality trait, I think. I have learned that for me, my guilt is a way to control myself, prevent myself from doing things that I think are bad or cause myself to do things that are good. Guilt is a motivation, because I don't feel that I have any. Perhaps because depression, or whatever this is, sucks your hopes and your dreams away... Perhaps it is something similar with you?
The silver lining in the cloud with guilt, if you manage it well, is that because you would naturally seek to avoid situations which bring upon guilt, you end up being a "good" person in your own mind... you are moral, because you will feel guilt if you hurt someone else, steal, lie, etc.
At least that's how i look at it.
You are not worthless even if you chide yourself all the time and feel a pervasive, dark guilt. Reality exists outside of our minds, and out in reality, you are not worthless.

#10 Lizzy

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:37 AM

I still feel guilty about putting the cats into rescue when I was too ill to care for them in 2002, it's a lump in my guts that I can't change. It hurts.

I worried that I 'put on' my husband in those months during 1996, I never felt guilty because I know depression is not a 'fault'. There is nothing I can do about the illness but it is up to me to talk to my Doctor to make sure that I get the care I need. During my deep depression that was difficult as I could not express myself, I couldn't pull the words out of my brain to my mouth in order to talk. As my medication 'kicked in' and I improved, I wrote down how I felt and what I needed. My doctor and I worked through my lists on many occasions for 2 years to make sure I was on the right track.

Taking charge albeit in small ways, helped me feel well again. I still get days when I can't function as well as I would like due to intense tiredness - a side effect of the medication - generally though I don't feel guilty any longer about what I can't do around the house: making a list each morning helps me to see just what I *have* achieved.

We have an illness. An illness which drains the energy out of us, pretty much like flu or ME - we can't help it. We don't recover as quickly as from the flu even though we feel we perhaps should do! So we see things not getting done and guilt creeps in. STOP IT! Little steps.

make sure that each day you eat well: you give yourself a treat [or several]; make that list of chores to work through, any not done today can be put off until tomorrow - remember tomorrow never comes, it's always today ;-)
Lizzy
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#11 May_It_Be

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:24 AM

Guilt has been a major component of my depression for as long as I can remember. Not because I was abused as a child, or suffered some kind of traumatic experience while growing up, but because the guilt was a direct influence of my overal illness. I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder when I was in my early teens, but this has since expanded to include bi-polar and, currently, major depressive disorder, which has debilitated me for the time being.

I feel guilty about my past. I feel guilty about my present. I feel guilty about my future. I feel guilty about my feelings. I feel guilty for my desires, dreams, goals, hopes, and yearnings. I feel guilty when I love something, or someone, because it must be for the wrong reason. I feel constantly under this self-imposed spiritual condemnation, like everything about me is in some kind of profound rebellion against God. I feel guilty every second of every day, and the guilt is so real, so oppressive, it's nearly impossible to disentangle myself from it. I literally feel like I'm dying inside, like everything within me is decaying, that I am a wretched, evil person. And my brain begins this entire, perverse process of twisting everything, literally EVERYTHING, into this labyrinth of confusion, condemnation, and violent guilt, to the point that I simply exhaust myself as I try to navigate through the darkness and find some kind of relief, some fleeting glimpse of freedom.

And I feel tremendously guilty about the financial aid I have to rely on at present, as I get through this. The disability, as I go through recovery and treatment. The help from family. I am ashamed to the core of my being, and cannot so much as show my face in anything but the darkness. I feel worthless, I feel like a failure. I feel literally trapped, broken, and deeply, deeply guilty.

So yes, I understand what you're talking about. I pray that you are able to find some relief from your guilt. I pray that you find the right treatment to help you weather through this storm.

Warmest Regards,
Sarah.

Edited by May_It_Be, 16 August 2007 - 03:26 AM.

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!




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