Shame. Let’s haul out the dictionary and look it up to make sure it’s the word we’re looking for. Dad taught me that that’s always a good place to start. Shame: noun meaning “distress or humiliation caused by consciousness of one’s guilt or folly”. Interesting. And apt. It’s part of the definition that the one who is ashamed is actually at fault. That belief is definitely at the heart of the problem, at least for me. Being depressed, feels a bit like having two people in my head. One Cait feels crushingly sad and lethargic, and the other one is watching that Cait and saying, “what the heck is your problem?” I think I then take this self criticism and project it onto others. After all, if I can blame me, of course anybody not actually living in my head must also. . .
I also feel frustrated by my lack of control. Nobody likes to feel they aren’t in charge of themselves. My pride is offended by the idea that I can’t just pull myself out of a funk on my own. And most of the things I struggle with look an awful lot like character flaws, vices rather than medical symptoms. The Cait watching sad Cait is quite suspicious that the whole depression theory may just be an elaborate excuse for plain old laziness, or ill temper. Even my distinterest in activities I once enjoyed could be put down to intellectual sloth. Incidentally, this was the area where I felt the most relief after medication. The fact that I suddenly had more energy and could write again, or think about interesting things, showed me quite clearly that there was a chemical element to the problem. It also left behind the things that were actual character flaws, making them easier to identify and work on. . .
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