Things we forget while waiting for antidepressants to kick in

Depression causes everyone it touches to forget that there was ever a time when depression was not in their lives.

When we, people living with bipolar disorder or depression, finally decide that it’s time for antidepressants and/or mood stabilizers, it takes at least two incredibly long weeks for them to start to work.

We really feel those 336 hours go by as though it was 336 years. We have no reason to believe that the medication is ever going to work.

Some of us already feel dead; meanwhile others of us are trying really hard not to commit suicide.  Anyone who tells us to think positive thoughts needs to be yelled at.  To the person experiencing depression, it feels permanent, any other possibility is hard to believe.

Depression causes us to forget who we are.  If we are able to remember, it causes us to think of ourselves in terms of “who we were”.  Depression gives us a new identity.

The identity depression gives us is:

  • “I hate my life.”
  • “I can’t remember ever being happy.”
  • “I don’t like doing anything.”
  • “Nothing feels good.”
  • “There is nothing good about me.”
  • “I’d rather be dead.”

If depression lets us focus, it doesn’t allow for there to be pleasure in anything. And when depression partners with anxiety (which it loves to do) all we can think about is the worst possible thing that could happen and believe that it is the only possible  thing that can happen.

Things depression wants us to forget about ourselves:

  • “There was a time when depression wasn’t even in my life.”
  • “I still am the person I was before the depression was here.”
  • “I like my life much of the time.”
  • “I appreciate my life and have a lot to be grateful for.”
  • “I like people.”
  • “I am loveable. I love someone and they love me.”
  • “People care about me and want me in their lives.”
  • “I have everything I need and a lot of what I want.”
  • “I laugh a lot. I see humor in life.”
  • “By being here I make other people’s lives a little better.”
  • “I’m a good person.”
  • “People like me.”

Things we forget about depression:

  • Often depression comes into our lives when nothing has changed OR when we feel powerless about changes taking place. It comes into our lives when we fear change or anticipate overwhelm, instability, insecurity, loss or uncertainty.  It comes into our lives during times of perceived threat.
  • Depression affects how and what we think and how and what we feel. How and what we think and feel often has nothing to do with what is actually taking place in our lives.
  • Depression, and its partner called Anxiety, get their power by focusing on what could happen and what might happen. However, their power rarely comes from what is actually happening.
  • Most of what we worry about never happens.

  • Depression limits our thinking. Our spectrum of thinking goes: LOUSY…BAD…WORSE…EVEN WORSE…HORRIBLE…HATE LIFE…RATHER BE DEAD. There is no space for other ways of thinking.
  • Depression needs fuel. When we believe that the feelings and thoughts of depression are permanent, when we believe that depression is who we are…we fuel depression. When we isolate ourselves or hide the depression from those we love by smiling and pretending to be fine, we fuel depression.