Keeping It Real

Sometimes you can do all the right things (e.g., practice gratitude, mindfulness, reframe distortions, use positive self-talk and affirmations, exercise, eat right) and depression can still rear its ugly old head in and leave you in a world of suck. I’ve really been struggling the past few weeks and my biggest fear is: what if I don’t get better? I know, rationally, that I will get better at some point and I just need to ride out yet another episode, but I still worry that no matter what I do I’ll never get better and I can’t live this way for the rest of my life. I need to remind myself that, as my therapist tells me, “that’s my anxiety and depression talking.” I need to challenge these distortions and tell my depression to “shut up!”

So let me reframe this distortion: “No matter what I do I’ll never get better.” This is not true nor is it helpful. I haven’t tried all possible medications and treatments so I can’t know that nothing will help (generalization). I also can’t know that I will never get better either (mind reading or predicting the future). However, if I tell myself that I won’t get better I will, no doubt, impede my progress.

A more rational thought would be: “There are many medications and treatments I haven’t tried. It may take time, but I will get better as I have many times before.”

Just by reframing my thought, I feel a little better. Each positive step I take is a step closer to wellness. Depression may have me in its grip right now, but I will get better. It’s only a matter of time.

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