I struggle sometimes with thinking "Why am I depressed??" thinking that I have no right to be and that other people have things harder than I do...
Last Updated: 04/03/2018 at 6:54pm
Amelia Winsby, PsyD
I often work with clients who experience a wide range of emotions and difficulties. I am non-judgmental and enjoy working with individuals from all walks of life.
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For me, saying to myself 'I don't have a right to feel depressed' is a very easy trap to fall into. For one thing, I don't just feel depressed, I AM depressed. For another, I can’t control this. You, I'm sure, didn't choose this. You didn't just wish one day to be depressed. Yes, in some aspects, others have harder lives. But having to fight battles in your own head doesn't make your life easy or perfect. For those of us that have depression, we struggle with things other people don't see. I once had a woman I highly respect explain it to me this way. Every one of us has Hurdles, anything that gets in the way of us living our lives. Some people's Hurdles are outside of them, like a difficult relationship with a loved one, or a physical limitation. Other Hurdles aren’t outside of us; these hurdles are the ones that others, no matter how close, can rarely notice. These are the cases of depression, the bi-polar, the PTSD, these are the ones that are beyond our control, but reside inside of us. Everyone’s Hurdles vary in height, one experience that two people have will result in different Hurdles. Some people have more on the outside, other vice versa. You shouldn’t hate yourself for what you have no control over. Hatred of one’s self isn’t healthy. We can look back and wince at our actions, dislike words that have left our mouths, wish to rid ourselves of aspects that we consider harmful. But we shouldn’t hate ourselves. You are not your depression, you are the sum of everything you have done and witnessed. You, my friend, have a unique set of experiences that no one else has. Others have seen, heard and done some of what you have. But not one person in this world has your life. Please, I beg of you not to hold yourself up to someone else’s bar. “You can't compare an apple to an orange. It will cause a lot of self-esteem issues.” -Craig Sheffer
If you are depressed than you are a human with emotions everyone has the right to be sad just as they have the right to be happy.
First of all, the fact that you're acknowledging that you are depressed is nothing to feel guilty about; depression can affect anyone, regardless of where you stand in life. In fact, depression can be 30-50% genetic. Studies have shown that there is a specific genetic code that causes bipolar disorder, which gives rise to anxiety and depression. But even so, there's still hope! Depression is something that can be very mentally and physically exhausting, especially if you've spent a really long time being alone with negative and hurtful thoughts. The key is to divert your thoughts to more positive ones (something VERY difficult to do, but also POSSIBLE). Think about this : You've spent all this time being hard on yourself, feeding yourself with self-hate. Its time now to embrace your true self, and to give yourself a break. You're SO much stronger, so much more beautiful than you believe you are :-) By empowering your mind with positive thoughts, you will gradually notice the difference in your body language, your facial expressions, your general behaviour, and in turn, positively affect the way people respond to you. "Its easy to recognize the beauty in others...and even easier to be completely oblivious to that of our own."
There isn't a requirement list to being depressed. There will always be someone who has it worse off than you, but your problems are real too. Individuals don't choose depression, so they shouldn't beat themselves up for lack of motivation or struggling to accomplish things because depression is a mental illness, not a side effect of a hard life.
The funny thing about depression is that no matter how long you've had it, this same thought seems to come up quite a bit. Even if your situation is terrible, people (and even your own mind) will still say "How dare you! There will always be someone who has it worse!". Ironically, if we flip the situation it just sounds silly. Think of it this way: if a young child is happy over something, we never hear "how DARE you be happy! There are other people who deserve to be happy, so you shouldn't be! Shame on you!" Obviously, that sounds odd, right? People can be happy over a multitude of things, and that happiness doesn't negatively affect or infringe upon the right of others to feel happy too. Depression is like that as well. Just because someone may 'have it worse' doesn't mean that you don't have a right to feel depressed. There will always be someone who 'has it worse'. That doesn't change the fact that you feel depressed here and now. Life and experiences are different for everyone; what's easy to one person may be a challenge for someone else.
Your feelings truly matter. It doesn't matter what other people are going through; just because some people suffer differently from you doesn't mean that your feelings aren't real, or that you're not suffering.
You are as significant as any other living thing on this planet. You have every right to feel, and no feeling of yours is less important than anyone else's. Everyone has their own struggles and everyone handles them differently, but that doesn't mean you have no right to feel the way you do.
Your feelings are very important because they are yours. Whatever you are going through is affecting your feelings and that is something that is important too. Especially if what you are going through is chemically based and beyond your control. However, one of the things that can help with depression is to think outside yourself and help others. Most people gain a sense of betterment and accomplishment when helping others. This can begin to pull you out of depression and perhaps give you better perspective. But be sure not to devalue your feelings by comparing them to others'. You matter.
There need not be any particular reason for being depressed. Its true that some people do feel depressed because of hard things in their life. For Example, SAD or seasonal affective disorder is due to seasonal changes. This is what depression is all about.
Depression is a medical illness. Just like diabetes or gout. Anyone can become depressed and environmental factors do not determine what your chemical imbalance will be.
There will always be people who have it harder than you, easier than you and are in a similar position to you. You are entitled to feel and your emotions are just as worthy and justified as the next person. Acceptance is key, don't question it, just go with it.
Depression has no one group that it goes after. Anyone from the poorest, most abused people to the most privileged, rich people can have just as bad depression, and the circumstances of ones life doesn't diminish their feelings.
But you re the one facing depression. You re the one having a harder time.
Just because other people have it harder doesn't mean your struggles, and your pain, aren't real or aren't worth anything. You do not need permission to be upset. It is okay to have emotions and feelings and to express them, but seeking help for depression is no small task and should never cause anyone shame or guilt.
Being depressed is a situation that you are having, feeling bad about it doesn't make it any better. You need to find a way to deal with it 1st before you can help others through what they are going through. People do not need to feeling bad/pity they need the help. So once you have helped yourself you can help them.
Being depressed is not a right, it's a horrible ordeal that nobody should have to go through but unfortunately so many of us do. If you are struggling with depression you should try your hardest to make yourself feel better on the inside without worrying about other people. It's like being selfish but in a really good way.
You can't help it and yes you ain't the only one going through this. It's the human tendency to think stupid and then think over how stupid it is that you are thinking so stupid :') Thoughts are like floods you can't avoid them but the brain still keeps on thinking about how you needn't need to be depressed; basically it keeps on analyzing each and every thought and action. Can't help it. Yes, but the next time you go through this remember this is totally natural and it will eventually pass away
Depression level varies a lot between people, I also feel depressed and think I have no right to be that as people had worse times, but that does not mean it's true. Every person has a level where they can break, and it varies. So don't worry about thinking you have no right to be depressed, because you have, but that doesn't mean you should, if you want, I can try to help you if you contact me :) If you don't contact me, I wish you the best of luck further on in life.
That is not the correct way of thinking, by this logic It'd be the same if you were to think "Why am I happy, I have no right to be happy and there are people who have it better than I do". Just because someone else has it worse doesn't mean that your problems are irrelevant.
Everything is relative how you feel is not a matter of how anyone else feels please know your feelings are OKAY!
We don't pick depression, it picks us. I don't pretend to understand why others are depressed, I do my best to try and understand what depresses me and how I can change those circumstances to improve my quality of life. It's not a contest, never compare your life to others.
Depression is no such thing to be compared. People become depressed for a reason. Don't blame yourself.
I often think this as well. The way I cope or, really, resist against these thoughts is by reminding myself that just because someone has it harder doesn't mean my problem is any easier. If a child falls and scrapes their knee, they'll probably bawl for quite some time and need consoling. Meanwhile maybe you just got an F on a course you needed to graduate high-school. Two very different problems, right? But while scraping your knee and getting an F have different lasting consequences with different levels of severity, they are both real problems to both you and the child. No one has to gain the right to be depressed because depression can affect anyone.
Maybe they have harder things to deal with but maybe your depression is specifically caused by low levels of serotonin whereas for them, they still have adequate serotonin levels so they feel fine and you don't
Everyone has the right to feel the way they feel. Your feelings of depression are real, and are common in others you may not realize. I am not a therapist and cannot provide advice or insight to depression, but I would be glad to refer you to one through this site.
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