By Published On: August 26, 2015Categories: Depression

Depression has different roots for everyone. It’s often comes from a collection of sources, rather than just one thing that’s contributing to depression. Sometimes one thing will start it, but then that leads to more things joining in to collectively weigh someone down.

Why Depression is So Difficult | Nathan Feiles, MSW, LCSW-R | NYCThat being said, there is an overarching theme that I see with how people who are in depressive states tend to experience depression, versus how people who are not in depressive states feel or think about depression.


Depression is emotional, not logical

People often try to explain and rationalize to others why they shouldn’t be depressed, or tell them to look on the bright side and start pointing out all of the positives they should be seeing, etc. But the truth is, depression is an emotional state that a person cannot just be rationalized out of.

Think about a time in your life where you stayed awake for over 24 hours, to the point that you could no longer hold your eyes open no matter how hard you tried. If a person came to you and started telling you all the reasons you should be able to become wide awake again, it’s highly doubtful that it would help you suddenly feel awake and revitalized when you’re in that state.

Depression has an impact on a person’s overall experience: thought process, physiology, and depression can also at times have a biological component feeding all of this. It makes the concept of getting out of bed, working, socializing, eating, cleaning, and more all feel daunting — like trying to climb a mountain after 24 hours without sleep.

You cannot out-logic emotion, even if sometimes you can fool yourself in short spurts

When logic is used to counter emotions, whether it’s for anxiety, depression, phobias, stress, and others, it’s almost useless to anyone who is entrenched in a certain emotional half woman face eye closedstate. (When someone has just gone through a breakup, has anyone really ever suddenly felt better when they’re told, “You deserve someone so much better?”).

Logic, behavioral strategies, and self-talk, can maybe help motivate someone forward for small moments when they’re in a mild to moderate state of depression, but much beyond that, logic becomes a source of frustration and invalidation. It makes the struggling person feel defective and that they are in some way to blame for the emotional state they are stuck in. And it makes the people who are trying to help become increasingly frustrated that they can’t just talk someone out of their “stubbornness”.


So, Why is Depression So Difficult?

To reflect on this question, one significant reason is because the tendency when people try to “fix” things is to throw logic and concrete solutions at it. But depression isn’t something you fix, it’s something you work through. People want the quick fixes, and generally, those don’t exist for depression, and in general for mental health.

Emotional processes need to be worked through, to help people work through the present and underlying areas that contributes to this state.

The world of instant gratification makes people impatient with mental health

Support and encouragement are certainly helpful, but trying to give the “right” answer to a person’s depression won’t resolve the issue. It’s difficult to be patient while people work through an emotional process. People today are used to being instantly gratified, and when a process takes time, it can be difficult for the one struggling, and for everyone around them to be patient, too.

woman by window in the darkThe key during a state of depression is to make sure there is some form of professional mental health care that can help move the emotional process from the stuck place, and into a more reflective, forward-moving process. It’s necessary to be able to understand and process what is underlying the depression, and what is strengthening it. And be able to work to release this underlying force. This can be a collection of things over years, maybe even since childhood, or can be more recent issues that have stirred up. But without taking the time to work through, the weight of the issues tends to grow and strengthen even more.


It is possible to move forward from depression

Seeking outside help is a wise choice if you find yourself stuck in any emotional state — whether it be depression, anxiety, chronic headaches or any other way you feel in a stuck cycle that is in the way of the life you want to live.

To learn more about depression and how I can help you, contact me today. 

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