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I feel guilty about having a mental illness

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I feel guilty about having a mental illness

Postby Roseredpinball » Sun May 31, 2020 5:13 am

Does anyone else ever get this way, and if so what do you do to break free of this negative spiral? It's like Depression-ception, heh. :| I have depression and anxiety, and then I get more depressed because I feel guilty about having depression and anxiety. I feel guilty because of the way it affects/has affected my parents and the ones I care about. It's better now than it was before, but in the past I would have constant panic attacks and caused my parents a lot of grief because of that. Not only did I inconvenience them by forcing them to help me calm down, but I caused them pain because they care about me. And even now, though my anxiety has improved immensely thanks to a combination of medicine and therapy, I still struggle with low self-esteem and depression. And I'm sure that, even if they don't really say it, my parents are suffering because of that. Because they care about me and don't want to see me suffer. And if I apologize (once or twice I did apologize to them for not being a better daughter) it only makes them feel worse. They're suffering because of me and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't even apologize for it without making them feel worse. In some ways, I really do feel like they deserve a better daughter than I can be.

When I was a child, I guess you could say I was abused by my older brother. He often bullied and harassed me. He told me, directly and indirectly, to basically not be a burden to my parents. Maybe that's where my guilt complex comes from, haha. Once, when I was in high school and was having an especially hard time with my anxiety (it got so bad I couldn't even leave the house) he told me in the middle of a panic attack that I was killing our parents. That I was killing mom and dad, shortening their lives, because of my anxiety, because of how much I stressed them out. I admit, back when my anxiety was pretty bad but not bad enough to prevent me from leaving the house, I did call my mom to my high school several times because I was having a panic attack. I interrupted her grocery shopping (and other shopping trips), and forced her to come to the school to calm me down. I might've even interrupted her when she was at work a few times, with my panic attacks back in middle and high school. When my anxiety got so bad that I could no longer leave the house, that was when my parents took me to a psychiatrist to get medication (before that I was seeing a psychologist, but he couldn't prescribe me medication). Thankfully, that medication helped a lot and, with the help of my therapist and my devoted parents, I was able to eventually go out again and go back to school, and get my life back. I was able to return to normal, no, better than normal, thanks to medication and my family and my psychologist. I'm eternally in their debt for that. Still, I seem to have gotten way off topic and into a pity party. Sorry about that. Anyway, thanks a lot to anyone who's stuck around for this long lol.

TL;DR: I feel guilty for having depression and anxiety and causing the people who care about me pain and inconvenience. Then I get more depressed. Some days I feel like a failure and like I will never make anything of myself or go anywhere with my life. Like I'll become one of those 40-year-old virgins living in my parents' basement. I wish I were a better daughter. I wish my brain weren't so effed up. What can I do to fix this? How can I stop feeling so bad? And how can I make up for all the pain and suffering I've caused merely by existing and being me? Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this!
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Re: I feel guilty about having a mental illness

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Sun May 31, 2020 7:59 am

Roseredpinball wrote:TL;DR: I feel guilty for having depression and anxiety and causing the people who care about me pain and inconvenience. Then I get more depressed. Some days I feel like a failure and like I will never make anything of myself or go anywhere with my life. Like I'll become one of those 40-year-old virgins living in my parents' basement. I wish I were a better daughter. I wish my brain weren't so effed up. What can I do to fix this? How can I stop feeling so bad? And how can I make up for all the pain and suffering I've caused merely by existing and being me? Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this!


Feeling guilt for everything you do (or don't do) as well as feeling like you're a failure are both typical symptoms of depression.
Learning to stop (or decrease) the self-crucifixion will help.

If you haven't looked into Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with your therapist yet, it may be of interest - especially the Mindfulness component and Emotional Regulation.
There's also a lot of info and worksheets on Google, YouTube's DBT Peer Connections (among others) briefly cover the modules.

It was originally for chronically suicidal individuals and BPD, but has now expanding to many other areas like PTSD, cPTSD, bipolar disorder, addiction, chronic pain, and more

Parts of DBT's Emotional Regulation look at slowly "increasing positive experiences" as a way of improving mood - and slowly "building mastery" as a way of increasing your sense of competence/confidence/independence which also should have a positive effect on mood.

And, Parts of DBT's Mindfulness look at things like how one can decrease their suffering when decreasing the judgement in their perceptions and their distressing experiences.

Obviously, it's also important to stay hooked in with your doctor or therapist to monitor whether the depression is getting worse or not.
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use."  ~ unknown
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