Situational Depression: Truths and Lies
- “Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”—Unknown.
Everyone gets down sometimes, but the coronavirus has heightened situations that cause depression. The pandemic has isolated people and changed their lives. I haven’t seen my adult children in my home for months. I don’t go out to eat with my mother every week, as I did before.
Those with health risks may feel intense sadness as the holidays draw near. It will be my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my kids’ laughter filling my home. Believe me; there will be tears. Situational depression is real. It is harsh.
What is it?
Situational depression (S.D. in this article) is a temporary adjustment disorder. We struggle to adjust during taxing and painful times in our lives. The adjustment can be something as difficult as losing a loved one or as simple as moving across town. This disorder is real and often devastating. I would venture to guess that everyone will experience it.
The inability to cope with our changing circumstances triggers depression. Once depressed, we must make a choice. We can sink deeper into the depression, or we can pull ourselves out. We know which choice is healthier. But choosing to pull ourselves out is difficult when we’re depressed. For years, experts have reminded us we should get plenty of exercise and sleep and eat a healthy diet. This is especially true if we’re depressed. If we cannot do this on our own, we should ask our doctor for the name of a good therapist or a medication to help us. Remember, S.D. is temporary, and circumstances change.
Something to know:
One thing we must understand about depression: There is a part of us that wants to stay there.
During any traumatic situation, it’s tough to keep from sinking deep into the warm friend of sadness. Sadness can numb our pain, keeping us from dealing with more difficult issues. We can get comfortable in our sadness.
S.D is an enemy. It has an agenda. And if it wins, the reward is you.
S.D. will not give up. It will do anything it can to defeat you. That’s why I refer to it as an enemy. The symptoms can fight against your body, but not before it fights for your mind and wins. It only makes sense then that we need to stop it before it gets that far. One of the quickest ways we can lose the battle is by believing its lies.
Lie #1: I failed; therefore, I’m a failure.
Truth #1: Failing doesn’t make you a failure.
Perhaps we failed, or our actions contributed to the S.D. we are experiencing. When that happens, learn from it and move on. Trust me; it won’t be the last time. We could be in a relationship with the wrong person. Taking the wrong major in college. Working with the wrong company. Hanging with the wrong friends. When things aren’t working, do something different. Try something new. Fix the problem. We should learn from our mistakes instead of allowing them to defeat us.
Here are some encouraging quotes about failure:
- “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”—John Wooden.
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”—Thomas Edison.
- “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”—Denis Waitley
Lie #2: You’re worthless.
Truth #2: No one is worthless. No. One.
If you say this to yourself, stop. If you hear this lie from someone else, stay away from them. Feeling worthless doesn’t make us worthless; any more than growling makes us a bear. Make changes instead of feeling sorry for yourself. One way we can increase our sense of self-worth is to help someone else. Life isn’t all about us. When we get depressed, we forget this. Today, let’s make someone else more important. Don’t wrap yourself in a cocoon of defeatism.
Here are some uplifting quotes about your worth:
- “You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.”― Stewart O’Nan
- “Loss teaches us about the worth of things.”―Arthur Schopenhauer
- “Broken crayons still color.”–Unknown.
Lie #3: You’ll never be happy.
Truth #3: You’re not happy right now.
Today we’re miserable, and it could last for a while. We must take time to grieve and acknowledge our feelings. Reach out for help when you need it. Sadness and hopelessness can overwhelm us when hit with a major life change. But time heals. Tomorrow is a new day. A vaccine will come. Our circumstances will improve. Be patient. We will be happy again.
Here are some quotes to help when you feel unhappy:
- “Why do we think that when we’re sad, we’ll never be happy again? That’s like thinking that when the tide is low the sea will never return.”—Unknown
- “To be happy you must let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains, and look forward to what comes next.”—Unknown
- “Until you are happy with who you are, you will never be happy with what you have.”—Zig Ziglar.
Remember: Don’t let these lies have a foothold into the doorway of your mind. Take control of your life again, and never let it go.
- “Your lowest point is never your last point, you are destined for great things. Don’t give up.”—Terry Mark.