Depression is an insidious mental illness that exacerbates every worry and insecurity. When those side effects are coupled with the deeply ingrained social stigmas that surround serious mental illness, many patients who are dealing with depression withdraw into themselves. They may be afraid of censure or simply ashamed of what is happening to them, but this withdrawal is incredibly harmful to their recovery. It becomes vital to stop feeling ashamed of depression.
In order to begin the process of overcoming depression, patients first have to deal with the external factors that are making their symptoms worse.
The Origin of Shame in Depressed People
Every person experiences depression in a different way. They may exhibit different symptom sets based on their own responses to the condition and based on the severity of the condition. However, shame and self-loathing are quite common despite the range of experiences, and practically all people dealing with depression will experience them to some degree. Now, the reason behind this is two-fold.
- Self-loathing is a by-product of depression itself. There are many factors that can contribute to depression, but extreme fatigue and loss of self-worth tend to come as a result.
- In many modern societies, especially our own, mental illness is broadly associated with people who are weak in some way. To add an additional layer, many religious groups within the United States emphasize mental illness as a sign of moral laxity. The insinuation is that a person dealing with mental illness is lazy, unintelligent, or immoral. THIS IS FALSE.
Depression can be caused by traumatic life events, complex brain chemistry imbalances, medications, etc. No mental illness can be accurately tied back to a personal flaw. Therefore, the easiest way to start challenging your shame is to reject the assumptions of ignorant people. There are so many people out there who understand what you’re going through, so don’t sell yourself short.
Taking Baby Steps toward Self-Acceptance
It isn’t easy to learn self-love when you’re struggling with everyday life, so it’s best to start small. For anyone with a mental illness, the most important initial step is asking for help. It can be really challenging to discuss your state of mind with friends and family, so professional therapy is a great way to step towards recovery.
Of the many types of therapy available to patients with depression, one viable option is cognitive behavior therapy. If you were to have CBT for depression in LA, you would find it is designed to help us deal with those ultra-negative thoughts. Those ideas that crop up in the backs of our minds without warning. During sessions, your licensed therapist will talk you through some of your most harmful thoughts. At the same time, they teach you a framework for logically challenging them.
How to Stop Feeling Ashamed of Depression
Gaining the ability to challenge your own negativity and learning to recognize your own triggers is just one step on a long path, but it’s a start. The process of CBT is built with that in mind. Everyone at Cognitive Behavior Associates understands that your recovery will not be easy and it will not be linear. You are going to have days where you feel like you’re falling right back down to where you started. The important thing is that you will have a team waiting to help pick you back up.
Once you’ve taken that first big step by asking for professional help, your specialist will help you to re-learn self-acceptance. Over time, your shame becomes more controlled. Then we can help you to expand your support network while introducing you to healthier coping mechanisms. By having a professional in your corner, you’re giving yourself the best chance of recovery.