Many things influence and shape our identity throughout life. Depression is one of those things. When diagnosed with depression, our sense of self and how we enter the world can feel unsettled and the way others relate to us may change.
What is identity?
identification is our feeling who are we. Our likes and dislikes, our experiences, our opinions, our values, and our beliefs all contribute to this. It often affects how we present ourselves to the world and interact with the people and environment around us.
Why is identity so important?
Our identity helps us establish ourselves in the world around us. helps us feel “settled”; As if we belong somewhere. Our identity can affect us ConfidenceAnd the Decision makingAnd the setting limitslife priorities.
How does identity conflict feel?
The conflict with our identity is deeply troubling. Sometimes we feel “disconnected”, unable to limit ourselves to anything. We may not know who we are, what we like and what we don’t like, where we fit, Or where are we going.
Thinking of goals or dreams becomes impossible. It can send us into a “I don’t know” spiral. “I don’t know” spirals It often becomes a suicidal spiral as our thoughts quickly swing to “there’s nothing I want to do,” “I’m bullshit at all anyway,” and “Life is meaningless”.
Getting dressed takes a long time because we can’t tell if we really like any of our clothes or if they represent ‘who we are’. we may push others away Because we no longer feel connected to them. out of the house Difficult because we are not sure where we want to go or what we want to do. Decision making feels like we’re floundering in the dark, second guessing our every move.
It can feel intimidating – as if we are floating in space, without any idea of who we are or where we are. We are directionless and anchored. We may feel weak, vulnerable, confused, conflicted, Worryupset, and Hopeless.
becoming a “depressed person”
The only thing that can happen when we are diagnosed with depression, especially if we’ve been struggling for a while, is that people identify us as the “depressed person” (even though we much more than that).
Reducing us to such a simple and complete description, it quickly trumps other aspects of our personality. One problem is that when we then start to recover, then we are conflicted. We don’t want to feel depressed, but recovery means losing that identity and if it’s the only identity we have, even if it’s not an identity we want, the thought of giving it up is terrifying.
Struggling to enjoy anything
Depression can prevent us from enjoying the things we previously enjoyed. Even if something has been a big part of our life and identity for many years, depression can absorb any satiation, joy, or excitement we might gain from it. At the same time, the amount of effort required to engage increases exponentially as our mood deteriorates. There is a thin membrane of fuzzy gray paint Everything we do.
We may disengage because we have no energy Or the mental ability to continue dealing with things we no longer enjoy. Our friendship group might revolve around these things. May they fill our spare time. They may be an important part of our self-esteem. If we then stop enjoying it, all of these things will start to feel jittery.
to be left behind
When we feel depressed for a long time, especially during key developmental stages, it affects the development of our identity.
When we are well, our friends might move away, graduate, have children, receive awards, move up the career ladder, buy a house, or get married. Maybe they try relationships, try different hobbies, learn new skills, go to different places and explore.
In the meantime, we’re still trying hard to support ourselves even though depression steals everything we have StimulateEnjoy and hope. We may not be able to study because dense brain fog Our thinking is muddy. Medicines make mornings impossible, our focus is so erratic that we rely on flexibility, which limits the jobs we can apply for. If we can work, then outside of that, we are fortunate if we have the energy to feed and clean ourselves, let alone explore or try new hobbies. We reserve weekends to recover from the week.
We feel left behind. Those around us move on, discovering likes, dislikes, values, beliefs, and next steps. They work towards their goals and gain a sense of what they want.
In contrast, it is somewhat difficult for us to gain experiences that inform our belief system, to try new things, to learn what we like and dislike, or to meet other people, when Struggling to leave the house.
Depression can affect the decisions we make. Decision making is becoming increasingly impossible, but we may also find that more and more options are disappearing. Instead, our circumstances make it ours.
The need to stay within the confines of a mental health team we know and trust can affect the transition home. Food choices are dictated by The amount of energy used in preparation and consumption. We don’t choose whether or not we attend social events – our energy levels and moods choose for us.
With every choice that ceases to be a choice, we lose another piece of identity. When we don’t choose what to wear, for example, because some clothes take more energy to clean or match than others, we stop noticing what we like or don’t like. As the world turns gray and flat, so does our sense of who we are.
you lose everything
When depressed, we can lose all kinds of things that previously contributed to forming our identity.
We can lose the ability to focus, concentrate, or retain information. This can affect our performance at work or prevent us from studying. Some of us can’t work, which greatly affects our work Finance. Things that normally help us escape, like reading books or watching movies, cease to be an option. Sometimes we lose our sense of love or affection, which can cause Relationships break down.
As the various building blocks that contribute to our identity are lost, our identity collapses.
Real or fake identity?
Not many of us want others to know when we’re struggling. We plaster on a smile. Sometimes we pretend to enjoy things we don’t really like, and force ourselves to do things we don’t want to do. We may change our image to fit in with those around us, in an effort to regain a sense of belonging; We don’t “like” much when the world is flat, so we might as well try to “fit in”.
After a while, we the ‘real’ are so involved with this other version that trying to tease them apart becomes difficult.
When depression swallows us all, it’s hard to rebuild our lives. But difficulty does not mean impossible. We may need support And you might need to try a few different things, but Very slowly, we can begin to recover identity
As we slowly begin to re-find ourselves, we may discover new things that we have not tried before, that we really enjoy. We might find new groups of people we like to hang out with.
It can be intimidating and feel like we are throwing ourselves into nothingness. We don’t have to reconstruct lives similar to our previous depressed lives (if we can remember that away!), or go back to the spitting image of the person we left behind.
Please help us to Help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.