Separating myself from my depression

Undoing DepressionI have been reading Richard O’Connor’s Undoing Depression. No doubt, it’s not an easy read. I’d started it before but stopped for some unknown reason. Now, I’m reading it much more closely with more insight and some skepticism.

It’s possible that my mind simply can’t wrap itself around the fact that “depression is a disease,” as O’Connor so plainly states many times in the book. My mind cannot wrap itself around the fact that I am not to blame or I am not guilty for depression and my actions as a depressed person. Murderers are held accountable for their actions in their “psycho” state (anyone who kills anyone must be psycho), so why aren’t depressed people held to the same standard with their actions? Murderers don’t get off easy when proven insane, so why should people have compassion and sympathy for those who are depressed?

Bits of cynicism bite at me as I read and hear “it’s not you – it’s the depression.” O’Connor says that because the depression has been a part of the person for such a long time, that the person cannot separate him or herself from the depression and consider both one.

I’ve been told that my depression isn’t me and I am not my depression. This is very difficult for me to differentiate. My anger and rage and crying fits are not me? But they emerge from me, they are my voice and they are my actions but I am not accountable? I often feel lifeless, dull, worthless, hopeless… sometimes empty. Isn’t that what depression feels like?

Depression is me and I am my depression and we are both accountable for what we do together.

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