17 Nov. 2022

What makes receiving support difficult?

When we experience prolonged low mood, our relationships with people can weaken. Some of our beliefs may make it difficult for us to nurture relationships and seek support – they push us towards withdrawal or reinforce the feeling of being misunderstood. Here are some examples:

“My friends must always understand me.”

“Only someone who experiences the same thing can truly understand me.”

“The more I talk about my difficulties, the better someone will understand how much I’m suffering.”

“Loved ones should know every thought, emotion, and problem of mine so they can show they care about me.”

“If I ask for help, I’ll appear weak.”

“If someone doesn’t accept my worst behaviors, they don’t deserve to have contact with me.”

“Everyone is in a better situation than me.”

Some of our behaviors won’t make it easier for us to receive support. Loved ones may think that we don’t really need their help. For example:

Constantly talking about how bad we feel and then rejecting any help and support.

“Yes, but…”

Catastrophizing, exaggeration, extreme negativity.

“Crossing off” people if, in our belief, they make a mistake.

Not listening to what loved ones have to say about our problem.

Expecting constant presence, support, and that they will take responsibility for us from loved ones.

Pretending sometimes that everything is okay.

These phenomena often have an automatic character, and we may not be attentive to our behavior and its consequences. Negative beliefs and behaviors are symptoms of depression and are not easy to stop. Do our strategies fuel the vicious circle of depression? Changing them can be an important element in treating mood disorders.

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