127. Doing What You Don’t Want to Do

When I was in major depression, I didn’t want to go anyplace, meet anyone, be part of a social gathering, eat out, exercise … you get the picture.

My ability to concentrate was gone. I felt so bad emotionally and physically that I just wanted to sit in a lounge chair like the invalid I was. There was no purpose in my going on, no meaning to anything I did, no appetite for much needed nourishment, and I was walking around in a daze because of lack of sleep.

A wise counselor insisted

that I force myself to do such things at least once a day. Sometimes it was just going to the library and looking at books. Other times it was going to the gym to exercise (I even felt better when I burned off energy). I met for coffee once a week with a friend who was also depressed. And I allowed my wife to drag me off to social gatherings, shopping, and eating out – even though I would rather have had my fingernails pulled out.

I pushed through the depressive resistance to do these things because someone I trusted told me I needed to. My psychotherapist brother reinforced that this was part of the therapy for getting better.

Depression is a formula for feeling overwhelmed with doing even simple things, inaction, lethargy, passivity, and feeling stuck in a pit. Doing things in spite of depression was a start for me. Every time I did my activity for the day, I felt better for it.

If you or someone you know is depressed, do something, do anything – even if you don’t want to, especially if you don’t want to.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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