“Depression drove me to do terrible things…”

We’ve all heard statements like this from time to time from people suffering from various types of depression.

It’s a true fact that, while in the throes of such a debilitating condition, people have done things they normally would never consider doing – ending a career or relationship… even ending their life.

As someone who struggles with depression daily, I can completely understand why someone would feel as if they’re being “compelled” to do things by what Winston Churchill called the “big, black dog.”

However, I don’t think depression “makes” us do anything. What happens is that we end up existing in such a twisted and dark headspace, the dark thoughts that often exist beneath the surface come to the forefront and seem, for a time, viable.
I’m not speaking from the ivory tower of judgement here you understand. I’ve done and said incredibly stupid and harmful things while under the throes of severe depression. However I realize that the responsibility is still mine alone.

This might seem like a negative, but in fact it’s quite empowering. The fact that depression doesn’t necessarily “make” us do anything means that we retain some degree of control over our actions and words. It may require help from friends and family, even medical intervention, but in the end, we’re left with a feeling that often gets buried under the cloud of depression – hope.

Depression didn’t make me do anything. I made a poor decision under clouded judgement. Contained in that realization are the seeds of responsibility and the determination to push through the darkness of depression.

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