Social Anxiety Support Forum banner

1 - 20 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading from a book and there was this quote in it that kind of stood out to me. Unfortunately I returned the book to the library so I can't remember the quote itself 100% but it pretty much stated that: depression is a choice, even though one may deny it.. and lately I've been thinking about this quite a lot and thought I'd see what others opinions were on it.... Personally I think it is but isnt, like everyone wants to be happy and everyone in life has ups and downs so why would anyone choose to be sad, but im thinking depression is more like a vicous cycle that's hard to break, and it's definatly more of a mindset so you either remain to be in that state or not thats the choice, but I wonder sometimes if certain people are more likely to stay in that depression even though they want to be happy but just can't, like what if you know your life is perfect and your getting out and doing things yet for some reason you feel somethings wrong?.. idk I'm just ranting now, I always change my mind what I think about depression
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
I kind of feel like its a bit of a choice sometimes. By that I mean you can do things to make the depression lessen but it's a lot of work. For me if I get out of the house, do the things I enjoy, work out, try meeting new people, read books on overcoming depression, and just not sit around staying in my head I feel better. But it's hard for me to keep up the motivation, I eventually need a break from reading depression material, going out etc and that's when I start getting depressed again.

In a way it's like dieting. I can eat clean for a while then I'll crave that cheeseburger and then all self control is gone. Like dieting I need to find a way where I can allow myself to cheat every once in a while and not fall off the wagon.

After writing all that I guess I'm confused myself whether it's a choice or not. I'm not sure if I choose not to stay motivated and do the things needed to overcome depression or that I just physically/mentally can't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
No.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
I disagree. I don't think depression is a choice. I think how you deal with your depression is up to you but when it hits you its very overwhelming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
I agree to some extent. A lot of things in your life you have no control over, and they can make you depressed. You can't just chose to be happy if your life sucks ***, or like if your parent dies or something happens. You can't control when your sad, being optimistic isn't enough. Emotions aren't controllable. And some do have chronic mental problems. But I do agree that a lot of people could benefit with trying to work out the problems in their life as oppose to taking antidepressants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,888 Posts
I'm depressed. I don't care that I'm depressed. I don't care to talk to anyone about my depression. I don't care if I get better. I don't care if I get worse. I don't care if I die tomorrow or 80 years from now.

Is this all a choice? I don't know -- I don't care about that, either.

- "You're depressed. Why don't you choose to do something about it?"
- "Whatever, I don't care."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
I wish it was a choice but I don't think it is. I find it really annoying when people dismiss mental illnesses that way.
 

·
ENTJ!
Joined
·
183 Posts
I was reading from a book and there was this quote in it that kind of stood out to me. Unfortunately I returned the book to the library so I can't remember the quote itself 100% but it pretty much stated that: depression is a choice, even though one may deny it.. and lately I've been thinking about this quite a lot and thought I'd see what others opinions were on it....
If you had asked me this 10 years ago? I would have said that it wasn't a choice.

After a lot of events in my life, and a lot of hypnotherapy, self reflection, and lifestyle improvements, however, I DO see that it is a choice, and here's why:

While things may make you depressed and upset, you can only control certain factors in life.

You can't change the weather, you can't change the wind, but you are the only person that is in charge of your emotions and reactions to the world around you.

Ever hear the phrase 'The world is 99% the way that you percieve it?'

Never have more true words been spoken.

You choose to react to things that bother you, or to not react and simply brush those things off.

There are things in life that we can't control, and worrying about those is a waste of time, as we can't change them.

As for reacting to other people?

No one has power over me. No one controls me and no one has priority over my happiness but me.

If I gave someone power over me, they could upset me, but no one deserves that, as that is meant for moi and moi alone :boogie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
150 Posts
Wise words MrMongrel. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,220 Posts
I think some people can make the choice to try to improve or eliminate their depression with simple lifestyle choices, but there is also such a thing as chemical depression. The brain is very complex and there's no reason to think that it can't seriously malfunction like any other organ. I've gone through depressive episodes even when things were going great. It really felt like a switch was flipped in my brain because I would be feeling fine or even happy one day and then the next I'd feel completely lifeless, unable to find joy in anything and full of despair for no reason.
Do people with all other mental illnesses (like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia) choose to be the way that they are? And if they make every effort to get better and seek treatment and still don't improve(like it or not the reality is not everyone does) should they be blamed for their illnesses?
 

·
Greenmail
Joined
·
4,205 Posts
Whether or not you try to get over depression is a choice. Being depressed is not a choice, given that getting out of depression is very difficult. It is not like flipping a light switch. If it were as easy as the notion "depression is a choice" implies, it would not be a mental illness.

Would you say getting an A+ average in university is a choice? How about getting your dream job? Is being a professional actor a choice? They are all like recovering from depression, the effect of hard work, hope and perseverance. They also may require a bit of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Depression is not a choice. I just came out of a hospital clinic after spending 2 weeks getting treatment for major depression. I have been trying hard for about 12 months to get out of depression through psychologist counselling, psychiatrist, medications, exercise, etc. Many people try very hard to get out of depression but fail. In hospital i rediscovered mindfullness through my occupational therapist, and i learned quickly I was not staying in the present but my mind wandering every where. This has helped me but I am still very depressed. At this stage i am trying to manage my depression and accept that to change my thoughts will be a difficult task. So no, I dont think people keep them selves depressed but I do think if I did not try very hard I would probably stay in depression a lot longer. I have been a loner for a long time and now I am trying to establish a network of friends and support. We4 need to help each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
My original post was a little harsh, but there are a couple reasons I said it, just to clarify:

- To say "depression is a choice" is often used as an attack against people who are suffering. Some people may not intend it this way but many people do and even when it's not intended this way, the depressed person will take it as an attack (so why bother saying it?)

- People have control over their actions, but nobody (okay except masochists maybe) chooses to be depressed.

- "Depression is a choice" is a phrase used to attract attention and controversy - it has a propaganda-like feel to it - and I have no respect for an author who uses those kind of emotionally-charged words

- "Depression is a choice" can lead to unjust victim-blaming... to say that no one should be affected by what anyone says and that you have a choice to ignore what anyone says is just a well-concealed form of victim-blaming, even if it is not intentional. It is a false statement since people are very profoundly affected by what other people think and say. It is simply human nature and to deny it is overly idealistic.

Edit: One last thing I forgot to mention - even though I cannot prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I do believe that biological depression is real.

Okay, I've said my piece.
 

·
this too shall pass
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
I don't ever remember choosing to be depressed, only choosing to acknowledge that what I have may be depression. As for choosing to "stop" being depressed, that is not possible for me, and believe me, I've tried. You can say to have a "positive outlook", but at the end of the day I'll still look around and see that I'm stuck in my house on the ****ing internet while everyone I know is out having fun with each other, and they're all happy, and there's an invisible wall that blocks me from talking to anyone, even my own friends eventually. When I see this it is practically impossible to maintain a positive outlook.
 
1 - 20 of 85 Posts
Top