Why is depression hard to overcome?
Depression is a complex mental health diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is no fix-all treatment that works for every person. If you are suffering from depression, it can be challenging to achieve remission. Read what mental health professionals and those who have dealt with depression have to say about why you find it so hard to overcome.
Dr. Kristin Calverley is a licensed psychologist in Houston, TX, and is the owner of Inner BalancePsychological Services PLLC.
Symptoms Oppose Steps to Feel Better
Major depressive disorder is challenging to overcome as some of the main symptoms are counter to behavioral change. For instance, lack of motivation is a hallmark of depression, and yet to overcome depression, it’s important to take action and start changing things.
Likewise, fatigue is another common symptom. Even if, deep down, you want to change, a lack of energy interferes with your ability to implement strategies.
Apathy, formally called anhedonia, occurs when you no longer experience pleasure from things you used to enjoy or typically would enjoy. When you no longer care about meaningful things or others in your life, changing may not seem worth the effort – then add in those previously mentioned factors, and it’s more difficult.
Lastly, when someone is depressed, they may feel worthless, and this may lead to feeling undeserving of good things or of feeling better.
Depression Treatments Have to be Individualized
Depression can be difficult to overcome because various factors influence depression symptoms. One person may experience depression because of their environment and history, while another person is biologically predisposed.
A depression treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It can take some trial and error to figure out what depression treatment is right for you. One person might see their symptoms improve with cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise. For another, depression symptoms are alleviated by scheduling social activities and taking medication.
Treating depression typically involves getting quality sleep, incorporating physical activity, participating in therapy, increasing social connections, reducing stress, and considering medication.
Feelings of Shame and Guilt
Personally, what made my depression so hard to overcome were all the feelings of shame and guilt. Specifically, because giving birth was the trigger of my depression, I felt as though everyone was judging me for being a bad mother. I believed that I was an unfit mother because I shouldn’t be feeling that way and that motherhood should have come easily.
The more guilt I felt, the worse my depression got, and it ended up being a bit of a cycle that I fed without even realizing it. It took a lot of gentle reassurance from my partner and loved ones, as well as hearing the experiences of fellow mothers that had suffered from the same postpartum depression, for me to slowly come to terms with the fact that having depression did not reflect upon me as a person, or as a mother.
I’d say that in all types of depression, the guilt and shame of wanting to feel better but not being able [is] something that many struggle to overcome, which is why it is so important to destigmatize depression and open up healthy conversations about it.
Many Factors Make Overcoming Depression Difficult
The problem is when you are depressed, you feel a total depletion of energy. So, it feels like you are being asked to run a marathon just to walk around the block. This suggestion feels like the opposite of what you feel capable [of doing]. Getting your body moving is important to improving health. Perhaps breaking it down into smaller, more manageable (less overwhelming) steps would be a more helpful way to communicate the suggestion. Small, achievable goals will lead to better success in actually taking those steps to improve your mental condition.
Depression brings about a shroud of darkness and lies that can be hard to identify, articulate, or overcome. The person who is depressed feels a blunted mental capacity. That doesn’t mean the brain is less active. In fact, the mind might actually be racing through thoughts, fears, uncertainties, and self-doubts while nothing is outwardly showing.
Battling this internal dialogue can be overwhelming and exhausting. This can be where counseling or even talking with a friend can be useful. It can help get the barrage of what’s going on inside and out. Sometimes in getting it out, the pressure lessens, the internal lies are exposed, and others can help battle the darkness that can’t be fought alone.
Society’s understanding, or more accurately their misunderstanding, of depression contributes to its difficulty to overcome. Because there is such stigma and lack of true understanding, people are afraid even to mention if they are struggling or seeking treatment.
They fear it could impact their job, status, and others’ opinions of them or even make them appear weak or incapable. As a result, they continue to struggle alone, feeling isolated. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding occurs even if/when someone finally attempts to be bold enough to share that they are struggling.
People then give unhelpful advice, [which] only alienates the one suffering even more. They feel less and less understood, which adds to their isolation. And when no one follows up after someone takes the huge risk of communicating their private struggle, it compounds the internal lie that “others don’t care” or “I don’t matter.”
Taylor Draughn, Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor at Drug Helpline.
Depression is a Complex Mental Illness
Depression is difficult to overcome because it’s a complex mental illness. It can cause negative thinking patterns, low self-esteem, and distorted perceptions of reality. These factors can make it difficult to get out of a depressive state.
Additionally, this mental disorder can be very isolating. When you’re feeling down, it’s tough to summon the energy to do anything – let alone get out and socialize. The sad reality is that people with depression often withdraw from friends and family, which can make them feel even more alone.
However, with time, patience, and the right treatment, most people with depression can overcome it. There are a variety of treatments available for depression, including medication, therapy, and self-care. If you’re struggling with depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Difficulty Identifying the Signs of Depression
There are many reasons that depression can be difficult to treat. A person may not recognize the symptoms of depression and therefore may not get help. That’s why it’s so important to learn as much as you can about the disorder if you have any signs of depression.
Also, there is a high comorbidity rate between depression and other disorders, such as substance abuse. This makes it more difficult to treat depression.
Lacking Support And Optimism
There are many factors that contribute to the difficulty of overcoming depression. One major factor is the lack of understanding and support from family and friends. Depression can be very isolating, and it can be hard to reach out for help when you’re feeling so down.
Additionally, depression can be a chronic, relapsing condition, which means that even if you do manage to overcome it once, there’s a risk of it coming back. This can make it difficult to stay motivated and optimistic about recovery.
Finally, depression can have a physical as well as a mental component, which can make the symptoms harder to ignore or dismiss. All of these factors together can make depression a very tough condition to [overcome].
The Relapses and Feeling Hopeless
Depression is hard to overcome because it can be difficult to find the motivation to move forward in life. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel when you’re feeling so low. Depression is not a simple thing to overcome.
It can be a particularly difficult case for people who have experienced it before. This is why it is important for us to understand what makes depression hard to overcome. Depression is not just about feeling sad or blue. It is also about how you think and behave during this time. It can make you feel hopeless and helpless, which makes it hard to get better.
Isolation, Negativity, and Physical Symptoms
There are many factors that can make depression hard to overcome. Depression can be very isolating, and it can be difficult to reach out for help.
Depression can also be difficult to overcome and overwhelming because it can be hard to change negative thinking patterns. These negative thinking patterns can make it difficult to see the positive in life, which can make it hard to find the motivation to keep going.
Furthermore, depression can be difficult to overcome because it can cause physical symptoms that make everyday activities more difficult. For example, fatigue and pain can make it hard to exercise, which is often one of the first things to do when someone is feeling depressed.
All of these factors can make depression seem insurmountable, but there are ways to overcome these difficulties.
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