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Denial Leads to Depression

Denial and depression are no joke. These are both powerful emotions that we often underestimate in terms of the effects they have on our lives.   When left unchecked they have a profound effect on us and those around us.

When we're in denial we are avoiding having to deal with something, whether it's a particular situation, person, or responsibility. We imagine what dealing with those things would look like, often blowing it out of proportion in our minds. We put words in other people's mouths and tell ourselves stories about why things are the way they are, and end up deciding not to deal with it at all.

Over time, not dealing with those things can lead to anxiety or even guilt as situations get worse. That can lead either to anger or depression. Anger relates directly to denial since it can cause us to blame everyone else, to feel like a victim.

Feeling like a victim, like life is just happening to you, robs you of a sense of power and control. That sense of powerlessness is especially crushing when relationships or finances fall apart. When you feel helpless, you're even less likely to deal with difficult situations than before. You become consumed by a sense that nothing you do matters — maybe even that taking action would make it worse.

It's amazing how limiting that mind set can be for our perspective on things.

One Friday many years back, I got a phone call about an unplanned bill. It was so unpleasant that I spent the entire weekend agonizing over it, running scenarios through my head trying to come up with an answer. I didn't want to tell my wife because I figured it'd disappoint her or maybe even cause a fight.

By Monday when I hadn't come up with anything, I knew I had to tell her. You know what? Within 10 minutes she had a solution. I'd spent an entire weekend worrying for nothing. But the answer that came so easily to her was completely out of my reach prior to that conversation.

Life Lesson: My anxiety led to depressed feelings, which ultimately created a helpless mind set.  My problem-solving skills were rendered useless.  Like tearing off a Band-Aid, doing it promptly and properly is SO much better than slowing removing it.  When you are consumed with pain it’s hard to think of anything else.  Take this lesson and apply it to your life.  When there is an “issue” face it, confront it and deal with it.   

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