This may sound shocking to you, but I think you may be trying too hard
. Depression is linked to disease pathology in the brain; atrophy [wasting away]; up to 20% atrophy in the amygdala, up to 28% thinning of the cerebral cortex. THOSE ARE HUGE NUMBERS AND REPRESENT HUGE LOSES TO THE BRAIN.
And in way, depression is your brain's way of telling you something important, very important. If you stick your hand in a fire, you feel pain. The pain is not just something to overcome by trying harder. The pain is a way your body tells you: get your hand out of the fire now!
I think depression is your brain telling us something. It is a source of important information. It is making us sick to save us, to get us to the doctor's office, to medication and treatment.
Part of the treatment is "giving up" unrealistic expectations. Almost all familial and social expectations "presuppose" health. They "assume" health. But the assumption
is hidden. For example, [if a blind man could see] he should be like those with vision. [If a paralytic could walk] he should exercise every day. All familial and social expectations, all these abstract ideals "assume" health: [IF I WASN'T SUFFERING ONE OF THE MOST BRUTAL BRAIN ILLNESSES KNOWN TO MANKIND] I "should" be the ideal son or daughter, I "should" be the ideal brother or sister, I "should" be the ideal friend, the ideal male or female, the ideal attractive person, the ideal employee, coworker or supervisor, the ideal student . . . even . . . even . . . the ideal "normal" person. But that's the point: I am not in good health. I am in very poor health.
I'm not going to tell Mr. Stevie Wonder that he should "try harder" to see. I'm not going to tell a paralytic woman to run the Boston Marathon, or climb Mount Everest or swim the English Channel. All these things "assume" health.
A brain in serious depression is suffering profound atrophy and brain cell death. It is suffering from unbelievable volumetric loss.
So I am going to say something different. I'm going to say: consider "not" trying harder. Consider being good to your brain. Consider going easier, not harder on yourself. Lower abstract unrealistic or perfectionistic ideals. Abandon abstract ideals that make you feel bad and are detriminetal to your mental health. Instead of beating up your brain for its "failures', try beating up abstract ideals that hurt your brain.
I know this sounds counter intuitive. But please consider it. I don't usually give good advice. And perhaps this isn't good advice. But at least consider it. Others here will probably give you advice that is more helpful. Depression is a cruel, vicious, brutal disease. You are an innocent victim of it. When others tell you to "try harder," they are knowingly or unknowingly, wittingly or unwittingly, making things worse. I hope you conquer your depression. I hope you eradicate its dark shadow over your life. All the best to you!!!
Edited by Ep1ctetus, 08 September 2012 - 08:31 PM.
Mental Illness is a serious health condition not to be trifled with. It requires treatment by highly trained, experienced, qualified and Board-certified physicians, physician- specialists, and mental health professionals. There is no substitute for this professional care. I am not a mental health professional, only a fellow sufferer.
*All research is subject to limitations. The findings of medical research in the field of depression are subject to validation, invalidation or reinterpretation based on many factors including: reliability, objectivity, new discoveries, adherence to research ethics , as well as other research studies, including more detailed studies, larger studies and longer term studies.
"A man is really ethical when he obeys the constraint laid on him to help all life which he is able to help, and when he goes out of his way to avoid injuring anything living. He does not ask how far this or that life deserves compassion as valuable in itself, how far it is capable of feeling. To him, life itself is sacred. He shatters no ice crystal that sparkles in the sun, tears no leaf from its tree, breaks off no flower, and is careful not to crush any insect as he walks. If he works by lamplight on a summer evening, he prefers to keep the window shut and breathe stifling air rather than see insect after insect fall on his table with singed and sinking wings. If he goes out into the street after a rain storm and sees a worm which has strayed there, he reflects that it will surely dry up in the sunlight, if it does not quickly regain the damp soil into which it can creep, and so he helps it back to the lush grass. Should he pass an insect which has fallen into a pool, he spares the time to reach it a leaf or a stalk on which it may clamor and save itself. Animals suffer as much as we do. We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. " Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
"Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind." Dr. Albert Scheiweiter.