There is what I call the ‘logic of depression’ which completely skews your thinking when you are depressed. If you suffer with depression you’ll know how utterly it can take you over and leave you feeling powerless to do anything about it.
Depression is a persuasive and pervasive condition that completely dominates when it descends on you. One of the reasons that it is self-perpetuating is that it colours our thinking and tells us things – always bad things never good ones – that are completely believable.
This is one of the main reasons that people who suffer with depression don’t seek help. The Logic of Depression, as I call it, says that nothing will help and there is no way out. Why would any reasonable person go against that?
We all get depressed occasionally. The ability to fall into a dark place, to withdraw from the world and to isolate ourselves in a private realm of despondency and gloom is a natural human characteristic, and at times a necessary one. But some people get stuck with it, while others don’t.
The distinguishing factor between people who stay depressed and those who don’t is what is known as attributional style; how we view the world and explain things to ourselves is a key factor in whether we accept or reject the logic of depression.
To try to persuade someone who is depressed that their negative and self-perpetuating view of things could change is usually a waste of time. It is offensive to have strongly held beliefs challenged, and denying someone’s reality in this way can seem unsupportive and isolate them further. We tend to be more loyal to our own beliefs than we are to the suggestions of others, however well-intended.
Depression is powerful and it always has the last word. That’s the logic of depression. But it doesn’t have to be that way.