How Your Depression Can Give You Hope.
Worthless, no good, incompetent, unlovable, meaningless, so on and so forth. Just a few of the words uttered by the depressed mind. Effortlessly these thoughts occur and, despite extreme effort to deny them, they assiduously continue, unwelcome though they may be. The force with which these assailants strike the depressed individual is observable in the very frame of their body. Their head and shoulders seem heavy, their steps slowed, their eyes seem weighted down; it is as if they are actually being pressed down upon by a physical burden. In many ways that would actually be easier.
A person struggling with depression will often arrive at the point thinking, “it’s not worth it” or “I don’t matter”. This is a dangerous time, for the possibility of self-harm begins to seem like a viable option. Self-harm and self-destruction, they erupt from the suffering soul’s core as a final solution to end the torturous pain of the moment. The eruption is catalyzed by the belief in the person’s worth being less or non-existent, that their life is a matter of meaninglessness and hopelessness. The individual must save themselves from the awfulness.
This is an interesting point for the individual suffering this difficulty. There is a desire to end their pain and misery, a sort of means to care for themselves. A desire to care for themselves despite a belief that they are not worth being cared for by anyone. Yet, they care enough to want to act and believe that they can act. How can this be? If something has no value and is worthless we choose NOT to act upon that particular thing. We don’t do anything with it because that would be a waste of resources.
Usually the value of something will determine the types of actions taken upon it. If something has little value, then a less effortful action will follow and vice versa. The act of deciding to end one’s life is a herculean action. It is ultimate and destroys a creature that by all measure is the most valuable of all nature due to its innate and unique capabilities if nothing else. That’s quite a statement to make about something that is, for one reason or another, being deemed worthless. Sounds like the opposite in fact. Sounds as though there is a great deal of value being asserted and acted upon here. However, this value is being misunderstood and, therefore, mistreated.
If one did not have any value and one did not believe themselves to have any value, then no action would be taken. Valueless things require no action. On the other hand, such an action as extreme as this exemplifies that this person recognizes, on some level, that they matter. It also asserts that they recognize they ought not to feel this way and that it’s possible to stop it. This is actually very positive. It is absolute proof that this person must see some value in themselves and can change their state or else they would not feel depressed. In fact, depression could be described as a chronic condition where one knows they ought to feel better than they do currently because they are worth it. Therefore, in some way, there is a kind of innate bodily knowledge that we matter and that we can change our current state. We must always rely upon reason to enact these changes, we must not succumb to the negativity of the moment because there are many more moments to be had. Let’s work through this and rediscover our inborn value and our indelible hope. Continue with or begin therapy and rest assured that the difficult experience itself is the sign that the answers exist as a stomach can only be hungry if food exists to eat. Pursue these answers through a patient reasoning process that incorporates the support in your life. If you don’t have that support, we will support you. There is always someone here to help.
Author: Cory M.J. Groman has been a practicing psychotherapist for the past 8 years. Cory received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and his Masters in counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville, located in Steubenville, Ohio. Throughout his career, Cory has served in several leadership positions, including as the lead to the crisis response team while working with Talbert House in Cincinnati, Ohio. Most recently, he has served as Lead Therapist at Valley Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. He has also conducted research having been published in the journal of ADHD. He has served as faculty and written lectures for the American Physicians Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, a web-based learning center for the continuing education of medical professionals.