Denial Day: Update 3 and Summary

This is the last update and summary on my experiment of pretending, just for a day, to “be in denial” about this time of deep depression.

Basically, things worked well. By late afternoon, weariness was setting in, and it was becoming harder and harder to shake off the black dog – or at least pretend to! Sadly, this came out in periods of snapping at the dearly beloved between bouts of lethargy on the sofa. Still, no-one was hurt, no-one died, and I reckon I would count today as a success.

Now for the big question: what was it about today that worked? Well, it was choosing not to give in to those urges which come with being in a depressed state. OK, so I dressed it up in a cutesy phrase: “today I am going to pretend to be in denial about being depressed”. Unpacked, what that actually meant was “today I am going to choose to behave as though I am not depressed, even though I may experience symptoms of deep depression.”

Unpacking it further, what I actually did was practice one aspect of the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) model really hard for a whole day, that part of the model where you consciously select your behaviours. As a side note, my personal opinion is that CBT is a necessary but not sufficient therapy for the long-term ‘cure’ of mood disorders. CBT is an incredibly strong skillset which I think everyone can benefit from, but I believe the model under-emphasizes the fact that emotions can trigger thoughts (I’m pretty tired as I write this, perhaps someone else can express what I’m trying to say more clearly?! Or maybe I will try again another day).

Anyway, I gave it a red hot shot, and it worked well. I know I couldn’t do this on a I-literally-can’t-get-out-of-bed day,  but it’s good to know I can still push through if need be. Over the last four months, I’d lost the confidence that I could do that.

That in itself is a win. Yay!

 

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Denial Day: Update 3 and Summary

  1. Pingback: Depression-Lifting Lightbulb Moment (Again) | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Guide to Mental Illness and Psychiatric Wards

  2. During my studies in Psychology I wasn’t very fond of the idea of CBT. I almost feel as though it’s just a form of putting on a mask and saying everything is alright when it’s not, at least it’s how it felt to me. I’m intrigued to see how it worked for you on your “denial day” and I think this form of therapy can be useful to certain people.

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