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The Consequences Associated With Playing the Victim of Depression
I had been fighting a daily battle with clinical depression for years. There was a time when I thought I would never be rid of the daily battle. But thanks to the good Lord, years of therapy, learned coping skills, and just the right medicine, I became virtually symptom free in 2007.
If you're currently battling depression, especially clinical depression, you have enough on your plate right now. But something else happened to me during my time battling depression that I would not want to happen to you. So this article is really a heads up.
During the winter of 1991 my clinical depression became so bad, I voluntarily committed myself into a mental health facility. In a nutshell, the program was excellent and the staff really cared about me. I came out of that facility feeling really good about myself. The following year my wife and I agreed that I would go back to graduate school full time for a second masters degree. This time I would major in a field that I was interested in. The idea was to keep my mind busy with something I'd enjoy doing in order to keep my depressive episodes to a minimum. It worked. When I went to school from 1993 to 1998, the frequency and intensity of my depression subsided considerably
At this point allow me to qualify. There was one cognitive distortion that I carried around in my head for 50 years and it came from being physically and emotionally abused as a child. The circumstances that had created the distortion were so psychologically damaging and it was so impervious to therapy that it took until 2009 to rid myself of it completely. It's called all or nothing thinking and in my mind worked like this," If you pay attention to me and treat me kindly in word or deed then I'm a likeable/ loveable person, if you don't then I'm not," I literally became dependent on others to feel good about myself. No pressure there, right? Further, although my wife was a wonderful, loving person, she also became my enabler. She would do for me, what I should have done for myself. Not a good situation, especially since I really needed to be more independent so I could fight my depression.
This backward self perception together with being enabled created a psychologically damaging personality within me that lasted for six years (1992-1998). I learned to play the role of being a victim to my clinical depression and here are the 7 associated consequences:
1. Self centeredness- I became the center of my own little universe by constantly talking about my depression with just about anyone whether it be family member, relative or stranger. You see that way people, especially my family and friends, would feel sorry for me and then I would know just how loveable I was. This became very old very fast. I lost some dear friends and really became a bore.
2. Dependent on spouse - I already mentioned that my wife was an enabler. She did a lot of things for me that I should have done for myself whether I was depressed or not. Not only did I learn to "live with it" when I was depressed but learned to love it when I wasn't. My belief was that the more she did for me, the more she loved me.
3. Heightened sense of entitlement - I came to believe that I deserved to be treated kindly in every circumstance and situation. The problem here is that in the real world people have their own problems and issues and behave accordingly even if it means being rude.
4. Developed dysfunctional coping mechanisms - If I perceived that people were not friendly to me, then I wasn't friendly to them, with a vengeance, I might add. I would react by lying, with anger, or by using emotional guilt trips. Once while driving, a guy cut me off in traffic. How dare he, I deserve to be treated better than that, I thought. I wound up chasing him at a very high speed until he pulled into a gas station. I got out of my car and started to approach him. It was by the grace of God that I stopped and went back to my car. Fortunately for me no one was hurt and I didn't wind up in jail.
5. Blamed everyone else for my problems - I went after that guy who cut me off because it was his fault. After all, what right did he have to do that to me? I lied to my wife by promising I would attend a social event with her and then I didn't because she pressured me into attending. Capsule Subtitle: Don't display this capsule: Background: Only available when aligned right.
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6. Master manipulator - At times, I would manipulate people's emotions so they would feel sorry for me by pretending to be depressed. I used my depression as an excuse so I could feel like I was loved.
7. Totally undependable - Once I started school, my life consisted predominately of studying and attending class. For the most part my wife and relatives could not depend on me for much of anything. I was indeed in my own little world
When my wife died unexpectedly in 1998, that was the beginning of the end to my "Mr. Hyde" personality. Now I needed to do for myself. I couldn't finish school and I had to go back to work. It was very hard at first, but thanks to grief counseling, a grief support group, and my therapy sessions, I was finally able to rid myself of playing the victim to my clinical depression.
Please don't get the wrong idea here. I am not saying that if you have depression this will happen to you. Just be aware. So please, check the consequences above again. Are you experiencing any of them ? If so, talk to your therapist. Make sure you discuss any pervasive thoughts and feelings you have with your therapist as well. Finally, remember that enabling is not supporting. To get better you really need to be productive and do things for yourself.
Dave Kanofsky is a proud affiliate with Wealth Creations Network, your zero out of pocket way to creating wealth. Dave Kanofsky is passionate about helping people who have depression to overcome their symptoms and to create wealth for themselves. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and start to make money online.
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