So I write these from time to time, partly because I’ve been told they help people, but mainly because its better than letting it bounce around my head like a .22 round. Its interesting since i started writing these how many people have said ‘Yeah I know, i thought it was just me.’ In many ways that makes me sad, i’d kinda be happier if it was just me, no one should really have to deal with it (well other than us folk with it, who half the time think we deserve it for some made up sin our brains have decided to beat us with).
Hmm that analogy was darker than it should of been. Perhaps running round your brain like an excitable puppy?
The thing with depression is you perveserate. Its a real word. You keep coming back to things over and over. Its stuck there, you can’t let go of it.
The rational part of your head knows all those little things are not true, don’t matter or can be sorted. Thing is the other bit eats at that rationality. That bit of your brain where depression lives grins and dicks with you.
Catastrophising is a term they use in CBT.
You predict a negative outcome
The negative outcome is going to be a catastrophic.
Well its not that simple, or it can be. Good examples are things like i will fail at x, everything hangs of x, everything will be awful. I mean that’s the simplified version, the here is how it works version.
Thing is if it was that easy CBT and Mindfulness or the profound words of sky pixies would fix it. Its more insidious than that.
In short those thoughts that keep sticking in your head are the worst possible outcome and they wont go away. Everything ends up muddied by them, they force their way into everything.
And it goes round your head like a hamster in a wheel (see that’s cuter than the .22 isn’t it?). You see the patterns, you fight the assumptions, but in any given situation you are often struggling to enforce rationality on a brain that is running on past experience and a fear of hoping for a positive outcome. Its exhausting. Its easier to assume that everything will fall to shit than actually think things will be okay. You aren’t dissapointed if stuff goes wrong. Trust me looking forward to stuff is hard when your general outlook is you will be let down, fail or it will fall apart.
Problem is living like that fuels the depression and anxiety, you don’t have anything to look forward to so why bother. It feeds on itself, like a really gloomy serpent with a tail fetish. probably best not to google that….
And if you do bother you are fighting that bit of you that is telling you its going to go wrong, you are going to fail, you are going to be hit by falling satellites if you go out to the shops. All the time that bit of your brain is saying its going to go wrong and you are wrestling it down. And that bit of your brain will tell say ‘yeah you might be positive, but how about this, the past evidence says its going to explode’ and it runs round your head. You having to reconcile what your bad guy is saying, the facts and an attempt at the positive.
You perveserate on it, like touching a sore tooth with your tongue.
So what does this mean day to day? Well other than being incredibly hard work to concentrate on anything at all, it means i’m working twice as hard to focus, function or human.
It means that i will over analyses evidence and over think, constantly. Every little thing is data that can fuel this anxiety and perveseration and worse when things do go wrong it just reinforces it.
There are tricks to deal with it, writing lists and actually writing down what the worst thing that could happen and then actually checking the likelihood helps. Certainly with the more irrational moments of ‘i’m likely to be kidnapped by Scooby Doo.’ But for the ones with history? actual confirmed disasters? Yeah those ones are a bitch. You write your list, use your CBT and come up with ‘Um, yeah its actually likely cause its happened.’
All you do then is act on faith and hope.
Us depressive types don’t work on hope, its impossible to play that game.
So is there an answer to this that is helpful? Not really. Its a work hard at it and make leaps of faith. Forcing yourself to actually trust things will be okay. Its hard, but its worth it. As for the things running round our heads? Well yeah they are still there, you just fight back against them.