Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Problem of Decisiveness in Depression


Negative self-talk was always incessant whenever I suffered depression. It seemed I couldn’t get out of my own head and my heart fed my head with feelings my mind couldn’t reconcile.
A cycle of worthlessness, fatigue and overload seems to recur to the point that, overall, hope for breaking out is vanquished much too much of the time.
When our heads are a chattering away about unnecessary stuff our conscious capacity is compromised so severely the simplest task(s) become arduous. And when that chatter is constantly “you can’t do this” or “you’re no good” or “it won’t be good enough” or “they won’t appreciate you” or “they don’t like you” – usually at an unconscious level – then we quickly become our own worst enemy. We suddenly don’t have the faculty for being our best asset and investment. That’s a very scary thought.
Empowerment is found in self-efficacy – wherever we get it from.
Self-belief can be a bane. It takes us into narcissistic pride at one end of the continuum, but it also ensures we give ourselves no chance of living a capable life at the other end. Many people are also given to functional depression; their lives are lived in a double-reality – who they are that is incredibly successful and ‘the other person’. Some are affected by “can I do this?” whilst others are constantly saying “what’s the point?”
One of the sternest problems in depression is a lack of decisiveness, whether it manifests by doubting decisions made, regretting them, or in struggling to decide in the first place.
Mindfulness can help if we keep the tasks simple. As the task of decisiveness encroaches, we make suitable space to be able to decide with the information we have at hand. We give ourselves freedom to change tack (without fear of feeling like a failure) as we also give ourselves freedom to continue when we doubt the decision.
It’s important to understand how indecisiveness robs us of our self-worth when we are feeling vulnerable. We need to back the pressure off ourselves. Space is incredibly liberating.
***
Decisiveness is a challenge in depression. As the threads of confidence wear thin and threaten to snap, it’s important to give ourselves space and the freedom to choose the way and to change our minds without berating ourselves.
Depression can be a vulnerability that forces us to doubt every good thought we have. It is good to give ourselves freedom to fail and freedom to change our minds. Being gentle with ourselves is experiencing God’s grace.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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