I once read that the mind is what the brain does. Think of the mind as the software, and the brain as the hardware. Sometimes the software can become corrupted, and this is what can happen when we’re anxious or depressed. Our mind can start telling us things, creating negative thoughts and narratives that keep us feeling depressed or anxious.
This article explores five lies that a depressed mind will have you believe. These may not be new to you, but often we need reminding so that we can be consciously aware of the things we do so quickly and implicitly. By doing this, we can change the narrative and inject the antidote toward well-being.
Lie #1 - "I'm Alone in This"
This one is sadly very familiar to us when we’re in the dank, cold world called depression. We walk the vast empty corridors of our minds as if we’re the only ones who have ever been here in this dark lonely place. But wait! Your ability to relate to these words should confirm the very opposite! Because as we go through life, likely, we’ll all have experienced depression at some point.
In fact, in the UK alone, the prevalence of mental disorders is relatively high, with approximately 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems each year, and 1 in 6 people in England reporting something like depression in any given week. This should highlight that you’re not alone. So remember, even though depression can make you feel isolated, millions of people worldwide have experienced something similar. We’re all in this together. Others will understand because they too have likely been there. Asking for help and connecting with others can make all the difference.
Lie #2 - "I'm Worthless"
Depression can make us feel useless as we struggle to cope and do the things that we normally would. Everything just seems harder and this change in functioning can create the belief that we’re worthless. So not only are you struggling with depression, your mind can trick you into thinking that you’re not good enough – as if depression alone wasn’t bad enough. But let’s debunk that right now. Imagine a canvas, and each of your experiences, both good and bad, are brushstrokes that create a masterpiece that is you. Your worth is undeniable. You are unique, valuable, and capable of amazing things! Remember, your thoughts and mental health don’t define your worth, even if they try to.
Lie #3 - "It's All My Fault"
Sometimes depression can be attributed to some event or situation, and the deeper you sink into the mire of lie number three the more likely you will start to blame what has happened on yourself. This creates the belief that you’re responsible for everything that’s gone wrong. Or, it may be that you blame yourself for even being depressed because for some reason you think you should be able to just get on with things and be okay. But hold on a minute! Depression can and does distort perception. Remember, there are countless factors at play, and not everything is within your control. So instead you must reframe this; imagine your mind as a puzzle. You’re just one piece, and life is the bigger picture. Sometimes pieces don’t fit perfectly, and that’s okay. It’s not all on you.
Lie #4 - "Things Will Never Get Better"
Lie number four, and this is a big one – the idea that things will never improve. Depression can conjure up a big dark cloud, you can feel as if you’re under this cloud all the time and it starts to cloud your judgment and vision. Because of this, you’re unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But that light is there, and it’s shining brighter than you realise. There might have been other times in your life when you felt that things would never improve but you likely recovered, right? And you can again. Think of life as a roller coaster. Just like the ups and downs, tough times will pass. You’ve got the strength to overcome this, and brighter days are ahead – if you allow yourself to believe.
Lie #5 - "I Don't Deserve Happiness"
Last but not least, lie number five – the belief that you don’t deserve happiness. Depression can lead you to think that you’re unworthy of joy. But let’s set the record straight: happiness is possible and we all deserve it. I always feel sad for my clients when they hold this extremely cruel narrative about themselves, they believe they don’t deserve happiness, but when I ask them if they would say the same of another person in the same situation, the answer is always NO. And why? Because they’re good people, who see the good in others, and can show care and compassion toward them, but not themselves. Why? Often because they have not felt much of it in their past, and perhaps even their present. But this self-punishment only keeps them in the lonely and bleak world of depression. So think of it as a garden; your self-care and self-love are the seeds that must be tended to, so they can grow and bloom into what you’ve always deserved – happiness.
There you have it, our journey through the 5 lies that depression might make you believe. Remember, you’re never alone even if this is how it feels. You’re also incredibly valuable, there is only one of you in this world, and in the lives of those who love you. Not everything is your fault, you just don’t have that kind of control in situations, and when we add context, things start to look quite different. This is because we’re being fair and rational. If you can reframe things this way, things will improve and you’ll see that happiness is within your reach.
If you found this article helpful, share it with someone who might need reminding of these things that seem obvious but often fly under the radar, out of awareness – also check out the associated video about this topic. Remember, if you’re struggling and need someone along the way, reach out. We’re here to remind you to recognise your worth, keep your head up, and guide you on your path to healing.
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