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ireland381

Does accomplishing things make you feel better?

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My depression is severe and debilitating... Most days I spend all my mornings staring at the wall sitting on my couch, despite having two young kids (4 and 1) to watch. I have horrible guilt for not doing more with them but just getting them fed and diapers changed is about all I can manage... My husband does ALL the housework. I just sit and cry and look around at all the things I should be doing.

i used to think if I could just get off my ass and do some housework again I'd feel better, less guilt. My therapist wanted me to try to do one small chore a day. I suppose doing the whole small goal setting thing so I could feel some sense of accomplishment. She also said I probably won't feel better while I do it, but just accept I'll be depressed while I do it but that's better than being depressed on the couch.

does getting more done (or anything at all, if you're as bad as me) actually help you feel better? Because I don't. I guess there's just still too much around me left undone... But even if the house is clean, I manAged to play with the kids, I might even be happy for half an hour... In the end I still end up back on the couch in tears. I might logically say "well at least that's done" and KNOW that it's better doing something than not, but I don't FEEL any better... Sometimes worse because I'm even more tired and frustrated for feeling bad again.

sigh I think I'm just too far gone :(

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I would say it's more about learning to forgive yourself for past 'failings' and trying not to make the same mistakes more than actually accomplishing things, because you'll still feel guilt over the things you haven't forgiven yourself for. I used to beat myself up a lot too, but I forgave myself, accepted that the disorder caused me to make such mistakes and it's helped me greatly. Sometimes we only see value as people in our accomplishments, instead of learning to love who we are. I'm sure you're a great parent to your children and that they love you very much, you shouldn't feel guilty about letting them down, because I'll bet they would forgive you in a heartbeat, just as you should forgive yourself.

Don't give up on yourself, look to that brighter tomorrow, and know that people love you, and that you're always welcome here for support when you need it.

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9 minutes ago, ireland381 said:
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 I might even be happy for half an hour... In the end I still end up back on the couch in tears.

Lets say you only felt happy for a 1/2 hour. That is huge! And what if your momentum built up and you get lost in the moment being happy and it extends to an hour, 2 hours, a day, a week...dare I dream? Feeling good has tremendous benefits so don't talk yourself out of something. Some would say if you can feel sadness you can feel happiness and you can't have one without the other. So the fact that you're crying I feel shows hope.

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I've never experienced the momentum building... When I get too tired I just cry harder.

maybe you're right about forgiving myself, I just don't know how. Nobody can seem to tell me how to do anything, they tell me what to do but I don't know how to do anything.

i can't even bring myself to get up to take meds or eat. Amazingly, I can still work, I think because it's a distraction from my home life, which is just guilt, pain, boredom, disorder, clutter, chaos, and frustration. I just can't find the motivation to do anything but sleep. It's probably debatable whether I'm really functional; if I couldn't work anymore I'm sure I'd end up in the hospital... I'm pretty much useless.

and while my kids are very forgiving, I don't want them to remember this. I've known too many people who grew up with depressed parents and the things they say **** me... One of them said they basically didn't have a mom. They may forgive me but right now they're being raised by the TV and iPhones... I can't stand that :(

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Perhaps you can experience your depression/cave in a different light.

It's always there but you don't have to be in it constantly.

It is possible to just take temporary shelter now and then if you absolutely need to.

The way in is always the way out.

Your depression/cave is unique just like everyone else's. The safety precautions for a depression/cave are standard operating procedures.

Maybe this perspective can help.

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I believe that having a goal in itself is grounds for feeling a little good because you feel excited knowing that you have something to work towards. As far as making accomplishments, there is some level of pride. I would recommend that you take it one day at a time and set a small goal for each day. Also, depression seems to get worse when we isolate ourselves. Try to get out of the house and go outside and let the sun shine on you. There is no cure, all we can do is take baby steps in a better direction.

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5 hours ago, UnnoticedShadows said:

I believe that having a goal in itself is grounds for feeling a little good because you feel excited knowing that you have something to work towards. As far as making accomplishments, there is some level of pride. I would recommend that you take it one day at a time and set a small goal for each day. Also, depression seems to get worse when we isolate ourselves. Try to get out of the house and go outside and let the sun shine on you. There is no cure, all we can do is take baby steps in a better direction.

I hate to be negative, as I appreciate the suggestions, but I just don't feel good having goals and accomplishments don't give me any feeling of pride. I think the key word is feel... Can't control feelings, so I don't think it's anything I'm doing. I wish it did, it kind of does in my head but doesn't affect my mood. If I take any baby steps, I must just take baby steps back to where I was.

as far as getting out... It might be good for me but I'm an introvert so social interaction exhausts me, plus going anywhere with two kids is just such s hassle I try to avoid it, even though I know it's good, it's just too hard :(

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See for example... I've had a "good" morning, cleaned my sons room, managed to play dolls with my daughter for a bit and took them outside... I hated it but I did it. Now im on the couch, staring at the wall watching the minutes tick by in tears. No matter what I always go back to the same place. There's no net gain, no momentum builds, it might be baby steps but they're sideways, not forward :(

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1 hour ago, Teddy545 said:

Taking care of kids and going to work sounds like a lot to me, I hope you give yourself credit for that.  My therapist said I'm supposed to feel pride for cleaning but I don't either.  I like that my environment is better, that's it.  

Why do you hate cleaning and stuff?

It's boring I guess, and I can't seem to force myself to do anything. Plus the overwhelming fatigue, I get up for a few minutes and I'm winded and have to sit back down :( the boredom is worse though, nothing will light up my brain the slightest bit, I can't even focus enough to read, which I always could before.

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For me, it definitely does. It makes me feel useful and competent (which is the opposite of how I feel majority of the time).

My "homework" for therapy right now is to do one thing daily that moves me towards my goals (both big and small). So brushing my teeth daily moves me toward my goal of loving myself. E-mailing the university moves me toward my goal of going back to school.

The last few months I've been productive - going out for walks, cooking, de-cluttering - but these are things that feel like busywork to me. My goal-oriented tasks have been things I've been avoiding. Biggest things lately have been socializing with friends and finally (after 3 years) booked myself for a dental visit. These have been two massive hurdles for me and my confidence has been up lately.

It has also moved me away from feeling like everyday tasks are exhausting. Something unexpected and depressing popped up this week, and while I've been beating myself up about it, I've also not completely halted my life and even managed to go watch a movie alone yesterday instead of lying in bed, stewing.

So maybe you need to find certain goals to work towards that do make you feel better. Maybe after helping out at home, you could spend 30 minutes a night learning a new skill you've always been interested in. Or maybe every week you could take a class. One of my side goals is to catch all the Pokemon in Pokemon Go and this excites me way more than anything else right now lol...

It sounds like things are a bit monotonous for you right now. Maybe you could make a goal of going to one new place with your family each week (or something like that). Monotony breeds depression.

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I know exactly what you mean Ireland.  It is anhedonia.  It is like that nothing means anything.  It is a horrible and painful feeling.

I haven't been able to go out and have been depressed for a very long time now.  I finally forced myself out the other day to get stuff at the store and get my haircut.  It was so hard but it just feels like nothing.  It is not like I am building toward anything.

I sit on the couch crying and have such a hard time making it through the day.  It is either depression or anxiety.  I wish someone had an answer for us.

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 2:16 PM, ireland381 said:

See for example... I've had a "good" morning, cleaned my sons room, managed to play dolls with my daughter for a bit and took them outside... I hated it but I did it. Now im on the couch, staring at the wall watching the minutes tick by in tears. No matter what I always go back to the same place. There's no net gain, no momentum builds, it might be baby steps but they're sideways, not forward :(

Well, it was beneficial for your kids that you did those things.  :icon12:  My mother never played dolls with me or took me outside; she was always too involved in her own struggles.  But you did it...and that is something.

I get the sense that you spend a lot of time feeling guilt about what you're not doing, and you don't allow yourself to feel good about what you are doing.

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This is a small thing, but listening to podcasts while doing chores around the house helps me when I'm having a hard time getting things done. Also, chocolate afterwards as a reward is helpful too... 

There's tons of great podcasts and apps to manage them all. 

I hope you find strategies that are helpful for you. 

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Yes it does, but it's harder to keep the ball rolling than they make it sound like. It's not even two steps forward one step back ... for me right now it's 50/50 good days and bad days where I do literally nothing. But it's much easier to negatively snowball, so any little thing that puts a break in the vicious cycle is important, even if it doesn't feel like it's building up.

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Yes it does, if I can get to the end of each day and look back and see that instead of just laying there I got up and made good use of the day then I feel happier with myself. I have noticed that I don't get the same sense of satisfaction from doing tasks around the house as I do being outside doing things out there. I have this overwhelming urge to escape from here everyday, but I have no idea why I feel that way. 

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I think accomplishing things overall makes people feel better. We gain a certain rush when completing tasks, which is why we're more energized when doing something we like. If you want to help out more, you need to reach out more. Explain to your husband and therapist about how you feel. In fact, bring your husband so the three of you can tackle this situation altogether.

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