The lethargy and inertia of depression can destroy self-esteem; here’s how to deal with the toxic shame:
#1 Realize it’s not you, it’s the depression
As much as possible, stop believing that depression is your fault or that you should feel shame for anything. Try and stand back and view your condition as an observer, and think objectively, logically and scientifically that all the symptoms you are experiencing are caused, not by YOU, but by the medical condition itself and therefore, it’s not a sign of weakness. If you remember that depression is bound to cloud your vision of who you are, then you are less apt to believe the thoughts you have that are negative.
#2 Take baby steps
Even without depression, most would find many tasks, when taken as a whole, to be overwhelming. The best thing to do is to break the larger task into small steps, make a list and give yourself permission to just complete each single task by itself, thereby reducing your expectations and pressure on yourself. By looking at this on paper, you’ll be able to see it really doesn’t take as much energy to complete one at a time and you’ll receive that reward every time you physically cross something off your list.
#3 Ask for help
Given the nature of depression, it’s a very difficult thing to fully motivate yourself to escape the inertia of believing you’re not worthwhile if you are not able to complete the goals you’ve set. With this medical condition, it can be challenging to just get off the sofa for the day. Therefore, it can be an important step to ask for the encouragement from family and friends; tell them of your specific goals (e.g., looking for a job, going back to school, renovating the basement etc…) and they can cheer you on and celebrate each goal realized and won’t let you slip into the shame of judging yourself.
Sources: “Depression Management Techniques,” psychologytoday.com
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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