View Full Version : Does Depression=Selfishness?


InvitroCanibal
03-19-15, 04:04 AM
Hello all, I read this artcle/blog
http://tomahaiku.com/youre-not-depressed-youre-selfish/

And though it is offensive in how he frames the idea but I also find it to be interesting.

I think the author is harsh because he has never lived with depression for a long time. Most people don't want to know about depression, as if it were contagious or had a simple explanation as the author of that article came up with.

I once read in an old gnostic book that the more you know life the more you suffer. That stuck with me and I never knew what it meant but when I first looked at it, it had made me depressed, as if it were affirming ignorance were bliss because I wanted to know everything. However, I actually think when you say it backwards its' meaning becomes apparent.

"The more you suffer, the more you know."

I think the author is right about some things though.



I had an interesting encounter client that came in that was depressed and distressed. She was my first client so I was nervous and listened. As I listened I noticed that she told me a lot about what was going on with her but not the people in her life. How did they react to her depression, particularly the children she was raising.

I actually didn't ask those questions though, I asked her if there was anyone in her life that she had a positive impact on or could have a positive impact on. It led to talk about her family, her kids in particular and that she enjoyed spending time with them, reading them stories etc.

The point of that sentiment was that as she spoke about them she became happier. Almost instantly. So I asked her to tell me more about them. I feel like the worst thing you can do to a depressed person is tell them to be more positive so I just instead had her focusing on the positives in her life but mainly the positive effect she was having on people in her life.


I think personally from my experience with being depressed that we don't always acknowledge all the good we are already doing. We instead think about all the mistakes we made and it gets us into this idea that we must fix what is bad in our lives to be and do good.

This leads us to feeling a kind of powerlessness or lack of energy because how can we do good when we do so much bad or are incapable of doing anything. That powerlessness translates to depression. A feeling of defeatedness in the face of opposition or in the face of just day to day life.

Perhaps it was unorthodox to not so much as try to fix her but help her recognize she wasn't broken.

I let her talk some more and pointed out that she was having a wonderful impact on her children. She was very patient with them, I could tell by not what she said but by how she said it. She was smiling as she talked about how annoying one of her adhd children could be. That translated to me that inspite of them being "annoying" she loved them and could smile about the annoying things they did. I told her that they were probably adhd and they just wanted to be challenged because they were smart and bored.

We talked a bit more and she said she has a brother that is Adhd and at a very young age it was shown that his iq was off the charts. He learned multiple languages and excelled at everything yet he ended up in prison.
I had said that I had known a person like that in my life who had a 176 iq and he ended up in prison as well. I didn't tell her that the person I knew was my best friend for 10 years actually as we grew up.
Then I said that I thought that because things were easy for them that it made it hard for them to appreciate life, they started to take it all for granted and in the proccess they lost everything.

I said her scars, though they remind her of what she has lost, they can also show her how precious every little thing is. That the more scars she had, the more love, acceptance and empathy she was capable of having. She could love life so much more than anyone who did not have scars because she knew what it meant to have loss and pain and how important the small things in our life are.

Do I think she was selfish and that was why she was depressed? No but I think the author is right in that we can become depressed we try to fix ourselves or "move on/get out of depression."

The author wrote in that "tough-love" way because he doesn't understand depression, he probably has been depressed at times but to understand real debillitating depression takes more than courage, it requires living it. Something I don't think he had done yet.

The truth is there is no moving on, no such thing as change, we can't undo our lives or our experiences with other people in our life.

Because we try to change we fail to change, to move on and make ourselves the best we can be. Why? Because to want to change means focusing on yourself, focusing on yourself only asks the question "How can I get rid of this pain?" In the proccess of asking that question, we feel tremendous pain, so in trying to change we mask the pain or hide from it by becoming addicts, phobics, and users.

We can instead find strength and meaning in our scars by recognizing that our challenges and failures are reflections of our courage. We can use that courage to inspire others.We can show people what strength is when life knocks us down and we get back up or what love is, when we show empathy, and hope when we accept ourselves as we are.

I am not just saying that though, I've seen it first hand. It is actually my job to use my experience with pain, my disorders and recovery to help others as I am not a therapist, im just a peer specialist.

I am starting to understand though what my job means, that my job is to help others use their pain to do good for others. As I encounter clients and people, and I have an impact on them that is positive, I find myself no longer trying to be what I am not because I am satisfied with what I am.

So in that sense selflessness may be the road out of hell

Tell me what your thoughts are though on what the author wrote or what I wrote. Thanks.

sarahsweets
03-19-15, 04:36 AM
I think maybe selfishness is not the right word for it. Maybe self centered? What I mean is when you are depressed, you are very into yourself and spend alot of time wondering why/who/what/makes you depressed. I dont believe this is on a subconsious level not deliberate or anything like that. You cant help it really because when you feel so bad you spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out what will make you better. I cant seem to find the right word that woud describe the kind of internal self thought that makes me focus on myself when I am depressed. I know it can make me shut out my loved ones as I ruminate.

stef
03-19-15, 04:48 AM
Without reading the article, no certainly not.
It's not "selfishness", to be so trapped and anxious that all of your energy goes into "getting dressed and leaving the house".
My mom had severe episodes of depression (later, completely healed through antidepressants!)

When you are far away and hear that lifeless tone of voice on the phone...never for a second did I think of her as being selfish!

javamonster
03-19-15, 08:36 PM
It's self-centeredness.

It's thinking you're so much the center of the world, you make everything bad happen, like an evil Mary Tyler Moore. It's self absorption, particularly the self-hatred kind.

I don't think I am talking about genuine, deep brain chemistry depression.

Pilgrim
03-20-15, 07:25 AM
I don't think it's selfish at all. No amount selflessness will necessarily pull one out of depression. I would say the happiest people are selfless.
I think depression is a personal experience that you walk alone. The best you can get is the kind words of others and the motivation to think another way.

Lunacie
03-20-15, 10:31 AM
The definition of depression has become so broad that it's silly to say
that any one particular thing (like self-pity) is responsible.

The author of that article may be right that many cases of depression
can be improved by changing one's thinking.

However, he did not say how one is to accomplish that goal.

Simply telling us to stop feeling sorry for ourselves isn't at all helpful.
Something like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can be helpful.

But in some cases the depression is so deeply felt and long lasting
that treatment with anti-depressive meds needs to accompany therapy.

InvitroCanibal
03-21-15, 12:17 AM
Something I was thinking about was that maybe depression is used as a coping strategy for something else. Intense emotions perhaps? Or possibly even intense positive emotions. I have noticed many depressed individuals will feel guilty if they feel any kind of happiness or hope.

Maybe people like us that are depressed are afraid of disappointment or maybe it is a neurotic need for control and regulation?

Well anyways just something I thought about. The self centered looking aspect may just be the fear of losing control of your emotions. When you feel depressed you don't feel anything at all often enough.

Flory
03-21-15, 02:01 AM
I don't know that it is a coping mechanism I think it's more of a patter of symptoms and negative consequences that occur when all coping mechanisms and safety nets fail.

I had my first bout of clinical depression aged 12, though was symptomatic before that, For me depression hasn't been emotional in anyway it's been an utter lack of all emotion , like , "I might die in my sleep tonight but I doct really care" in between that I had an utter sense of despair and emptiness it was like being in a Deep dark well with no escape ladder. I wasn't actively suicidal but I didn't care whether I lived or died.

Occasionally the feeling of being in the dark well comes back, sometimes I'm entirely unable to realise im back there until I fall right to the bottom.

My many many falls to the bottom have made the well seem a lot less inescapable though with experience and age. I'm better at nipping it in the bud.
I hope to never have to go all the way to the bottom ever again

Depression is a many faceted disorder with many root causes to label it as selfishness is too simplistic, my complete lack of self was as much a part of my depression. My brain just shut down, the worst it ever was was when my dad made me homeless and I was in an abusive relationship recovering from an ED. I was a shell of a person and it took an incredibly long time for me to come back from that

javamonster
03-21-15, 03:11 AM
I'm sorry, but "ED"? I keep thinking Erectile Dysfunction but I know that's not what you mean!

Fortune
03-21-15, 04:22 AM
The thing about the selfishness question is that I've noticed that a lot of people tend to make other people's mental illnesses about them. So depression becomes selfishness and any symptoms are enumerated primarily in terms of how they inconvenience someone else.

Basically, there's a lot of toxic attitudes about mental illness in modern western cultures, and just about anything like the the blog linked in the OP is going to "go with the flow" as it were.

Flory
03-21-15, 06:27 AM
ED=eating disorder, just easier than typing anorexia

Unmanagable
03-21-15, 12:44 PM
Depression, from my point of view = a strong need for 'selfish' and basic nurturing that we don't have the capacity to meet, especially while in the middle of experiencing a depressive episode.....nor are we generally able to take on the energies of those wishing to help us through.

It's easy to see how it can be perceived as being selfish and self-centered by someone who's not familiar with, nor ever experienced it on such a deep level, especially first hand. Then you have peeps who simply aren't capable of understanding, for their own reasons, which may or may not be disability related.

Without the energy and ability to make it all make sense to everyone we encounter, in a way that satisfies their individual curiosities (as if that's possible), our behaviors and choices will forever be left up to interpretation.

Lunacie
03-21-15, 03:15 PM
Depression, from my point of view = a strong need for 'selfish' and basic nurturing that we don't have the capacity to meet, especially while in the middle of experiencing a depressive episode.....nor are we generally able to take on the energies of those wishing to help us through.

It's easy to see how it can be perceived as being selfish and self-centered by someone who's not familiar with, nor ever experienced it on such a deep level, especially first hand. Then you have peeps who simply aren't capable of understanding, for their own reasons, which may or may not be disability related.

Without the energy and ability to make it all make sense to everyone we encounter, in a way that satisfies their individual curiosities (as if that's possible), our behaviors and choices will forever be left up to interpretation.

That makes sense to me. It's not about self-pity,
it's about being down in that dark well all alone.

You can hear the voices from outside,
but what they're doing doesn't involve you or affect you.

BellaVita
03-21-15, 04:48 PM
Occasionally the feeling of being in the dark well comes back, sometimes I'm entirely unable to realise im back there until I fall right to the bottom.


I think you make a great point, Flory.

Both times I was diagnosed with depression I didn't even suspect I was depressed, because depression itself eats away at you so much it kind of just turns into "wow life is miserable, I guess this is just the way things are."

midnightstar
03-21-15, 06:02 PM
Depression is not selfish, I've not read the article but anyone who has suffered from it knows that it's an illness.

What he said in the title is just like saying to someone with cancer (for example) "you're not ill you're selfish"

Little Missy
03-21-15, 06:15 PM
I think you make a great point, Flory.

Both times I was diagnosed with depression I didn't even suspect I was depressed, because depression itself eats away at you so much it kind of just turns into "wow life is miserable, I guess this is just the way things are."

Yes. It is as if you have become conditioned into living that way. Status Quo.

Maurice
03-21-15, 07:32 PM
ED=eating disorder, just easier than typing anorexia

Thanks for clearing that one up! SO many people anymore just come up with these asinine acronyms for their own convenience. Not referring to you. I have seen some that looked to me like a cross between hieroglyphics and a foreign language.

When I first saw yyour ED, I didn't think you meant erectile dysfunction lol. Thought some more on about it and thought you might mean emotional disorder lol.

Maurice
03-21-15, 08:24 PM
I read the article. I think the author is a selfish self centered Ahole that's obviously never ever experienced depression. Having experienced depression myself in varying degrees most of my life and also having ten surgeries for giant cell carcinoma, I could explain one thing that author for sure. Physical pain sucks very very badly. But physical pain does not hold a candle to mental pain! Not even close.

His very first line p*ssed me off. And reminded me of these idiot "authors" that have never experienced what they're writing about, but assume they are experts on the subject that start off with, and you've all seen it........." ADD doesn't exist. " Yeah, oxygen doesn't exist either! You can't see it. Lol

Ananas
03-22-15, 10:19 AM
I can see how it could appear selfish but most depressed people aren't selfish.

Unless your depression was caused by narcissism, self absorption.

Lunacie
03-22-15, 06:05 PM
Most people, including the author of that tripe, don't realize there are two
different kinds of depression.

There is the kind that is caused by bad or stressful situations,
and generally resolves when the situation passes or improves.

But there are also some who have depression with no obvious reason.
Risk for this kind of depression seems to be largely inherited.

more info ... http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/748.html

daveddd
03-22-15, 07:46 PM
I'm going to ignore the article

but shame is an often overlooked aspect of depression, and the biology of shame can force inward " self centered " focus

spunkysmum
03-22-15, 09:33 PM
There are plenty of people with depression that don't get help because they won't put themselves and their own well-being first. Or they beat themselves up for being depressed when there are so many people whose situations must be so much worse than their own so they don't acknowledge their own need and the legitimacy of their own pain. Cases like these are probably more likely to end up as suicides (whereupon some judgmental ignoramuses will go on about how "selfish" they were to take their own life.)

I haven't read the article yet either but I sure wish people who write articles like this would refrain from trying to grab the reader's attention by titling them with an extreme statements that are just as much if not more likely to make people decide it's not worth their time to read on.

I do think there are people out there who whine too much about everything in their life that isn't perfect, who don't have true depression and are just really self-absorbed. But I wouldn't ever make a generalization that depressed people are just selfish.

spunkysmum
03-22-15, 10:17 PM
I haven't read the article yet

Update: OK, now I've read it, and having done so here is my now-more-informed take.

This guy is an idiot. I mean a real azz. I'd tell him so in the comments but honestly this is one of those times when I'm concerned that to do so would be giving him attention he perversely craves. I can't believe anybody would write something as extremely asinine for any other reason than to go a-wh*ring for attention.

I'm going to say something right now that I think we should all keep in mind when something like this comes to our attention.

We are not obligated to give fair consideration to every idiotic opinion some self-appointed expert decides to spew on the internet (or in print or other media.) All ideas are not equally worthy of the benefit of the doubt. It is not being closeminded or unfair to dismiss at a glance an idea that is inane or insane. It is perfectly just to refuse to waste valuable thought energy on ideas and statements that have no value.

Did this blog "author" take some bits of truth and mix it in with his ignorant opinion? Yes, but that's fairly common with writings like this. The bits of truth do not validate the garbage. Rather, the garbage taints the bits of truth and makes us question their value. InvitroCanibal (http://www.addforums.com/forums/member.php?u=68350), your strong desire to be as fair as possible is admirable, but I think you gave this guy too much credit. When an article starts out by saying that depression isn't real and when the caption under the blogger's picture states that mental illnesses don't exist, it is a pretty safe bet that you're not going to find much worthwhile buried in his writings. Might I find scraps of edible food in a gas station dumpster? There's a slight possibility, but even if I do, how do I really know for sure I can trust it? I'm not obligated to do a thorough dumpster diving with analysis just so that I can feel fair in assuming it doesn't have anything to offer me.

Of course it's true as the article suggests that people who find themselves wallowing in self-pity can become happier and more fulfilled when they get more involved with other people and things and get their minds off their own troubles. Nobody would question that, I don't think. But this does not negate the existence of depression as a legitimate medical condition, nor does it mean that this will cure depression. There is a difference between a habitual self-pitying wallower and a person with a legitimate case of depressive illness.

sarahsweets
03-23-15, 06:05 AM
Ok all I did was skim the article because it didnt deserve my full attention. What a total douchebag dick. he doesnt know jack about mental illness and obivously bought into the Big Pharma conspiracy, as if Big Pharma is making such money off of us, as compared to say, cancer drugs or viagra. I cant stand people like this and Id like to think I have alot of tolerance for idicocy.

InvitroCanibal
03-23-15, 08:37 AM
Update: OK, now I've read it, and having done so here is my now-more-informed take.

This guy is an idiot. I mean a real azz. I'd tell him so in the comments but honestly this is one of those times when I'm concerned that to do so would be giving him attention he perversely craves. I can't believe anybody would write something as extremely asinine for any other reason than to go a-wh*ring for attention.

I'm going to say something right now that I think we should all keep in mind when something like this comes to our attention.

We are not obligated to give fair consideration to every idiotic opinion some self-appointed expert decides to spew on the internet (or in print or other media.) All ideas are not equally worthy of the benefit of the doubt. It is not being closeminded or unfair to dismiss at a glance an idea that is inane or insane. It is perfectly just to refuse to waste valuable thought energy on ideas and statements that have no value.

Did this blog "author" take some bits of truth and mix it in with his ignorant opinion? Yes, but that's fairly common with writings like this. The bits of truth do not validate the garbage. Rather, the garbage taints the bits of truth and makes us question their value. InvitroCanibal (http://www.addforums.com/forums/member.php?u=68350), your strong desire to be as fair as possible is admirable, but I think you gave this guy too much credit. When an article starts out by saying that depression isn't real and when the caption under the blogger's picture states that mental illnesses don't exist, it is a pretty safe bet that you're not going to find much worthwhile buried in his writings. Might I find scraps of edible food in a gas station dumpster? There's a slight possibility, but even if I do, how do I really know for sure I can trust it? I'm not obligated to do a thorough dumpster diving with analysis just so that I can feel fair in assuming it doesn't have anything to offer me.

Of course it's true as the article suggests that people who find themselves wallowing in self-pity can become happier and more fulfilled when they get more involved with other people and things and get their minds off their own troubles. Nobody would question that, I don't think. But this does not negate the existence of depression as a legitimate medical condition, nor does it mean that this will cure depression. There is a difference between a habitual self-pitying wallower and a person with a legitimate case of depressive illness.

Ya true. I guess I did dumpster dive there.


In short my conclusion as to why people believe crazy things like this; can basically be summed up as "Shallow mind, shallow arguments" If they never look deeper than themselves, they'll never see any other reason for why people do what they do, than what they see in themselves.

I just wanted to know why so many people believe this, including people like my own family. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. In that regard, it was selfish of me to post the article because it probably offended or triggered some people. I apologize for that.

I believe that for me, sometimes, maybe more often than I realize, I am selfish but selfishness is more of a symptom of depression rather than a cause of it.

Thanks

Flory
03-23-15, 08:45 AM
I think you make a great point, Flory.

Both times I was diagnosed with depression I didn't even suspect I was depressed, because depression itself eats away at you so much it kind of just turns into "wow life is miserable, I guess this is just the way things are."

Definitely it's horrible.

When your that depressed it gets to feel like the norm rather than something being wrong with you.

Even now though I'm not depressed I wonder what it must feel like to have not had our youth tarnished by mental illness, I sometimes find myself envying people my age that are doing really well and have to stop myself feeding the negative cycle

spunkysmum
03-23-15, 11:40 AM
Ya true. I guess I did dumpster dive there.

In short my conclusion as to why people believe crazy things like this; can basically be summed up as "Shallow mind, shallow arguments" If they never look deeper than themselves, they'll never see any other reason for why people do what they do, than what they see in themselves.

I just wanted to know why so many people believe this, including people like my own family.

I think we'd all like to know that. It's difficult to understand how people can a) be so ignorant and b) be so lacking in compunction about publicly broadcasting their ignorance.


I've spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. In that regard, it was selfish of me to post the article because it probably offended or triggered some people. I apologize for that. No need to apologize. You did nothing wrong. It wasn't you who said the offensive things, it was the jerk blogger who did. I hope I didn't give the impression that I was taking any issue with you. I only wished to encourage you to give yourself permission to be judgmental when the situation requires it. Judging, like shaming, is not a bad thing when it is applied to a bad thing. When people write dangerously stupid things like this guy did, it is OK to judge it at a glance as being too flawed to be worth your time and move on. You aren't required to stop and soul-search yourself to see if there's truth in what he said. If there is any truth to his theories, you will likely come across that truth in some other setting at some other time, whether spoken or written by somebody whose writings are characteristically wise and well-expressed.

It's not a bad thing to be made aware that these things are being said. It gets us thinking about why they are wrong and maybe prepares us a little bit for what we'd say if these things came up in conversation with somebody in real life.


I believe that for me, sometimes, maybe more often than I realize, I am selfish but selfishness is more of a symptom of depression rather than a cause of it.I think you're probably right about that. Like I said, there are plenty of people who get depression who are not self-centered by nature. People get depression who are not even the kind of people who spend a lot of time thinking about themselves. Often that's why it takes a long time to realize there is depression. Everybody is selfish in some way. I have found it very interesting, whenever I have read different theories about basic personality types, that when the traits of each type are listed, "selfishness" shows up on the list of each type. There are different kinds of human selfishness. And so very, very often, it's the things that people start out doing for their own self-interest that end up changing other people's lives for the better. I don't even know if there is a clear definition of the concept of selfishness. Maybe somebody should ask that guy if he even knows what it means.

Little Missy
03-23-15, 11:53 AM
It seems like I remember seeing that ding-dong blogger before but I just can't remember when. I do know I disliked his flapping then as much as I do now though.

InvitroCanibal
03-23-15, 11:35 PM
It seems like I remember seeing that ding-dong blogger before but I just can't remember when. I do know I disliked his flapping then as much as I do now though.

Honestly, I don't mind people like him, the ones that are open about how they feel about someone or a group of people to such a bias extreme. It saves me time in getting to know them and wondering if they are rational or not.

And if anyone agreed with him, they probably were just looking for confirmation to what they already believed.

I don't believe he is a bad person because in his mind, he is doing the right thing. In that regard I think there is nothing scarier than a person that believes they are doing the right thing.

I think the most fundamental problem with people as a whole, is their need to do what is right because of their need to be right. Perhaps that makes me a cynic of morality, justice, and truth but because I am a cynic, I usually don't see myself or others as right or wrong, bad or good, black and white. So when someone has an opposing view point, I want to know what the validity is, where they are coming from, and what made them form that view.

In short, I live in the dumpster....like oscar the grouch.

But when you look at the world, you can find some truth in every lie and some lies in every truth. We can't know what is right until we know what is wrong when we see the product of our actions.

This is where the writer fails. He wrote what he thought was right but he failed to see the result of his actions. He also didn't write his article as a question but as an absolute.

My grandfather taught me that we can't tell people what truth is because truth must be defined by the individual and not defined for the masses.

As soon as an individual lets others define truth for him, he loses his right to reason and rationality and will spend his life robbing others of their right to reason and sanity.

The point of that philosophical rant is that, not letting others define truth for you is so very hard. I make that mistake often, and I find it to be the cause of my depression.

Thinking about it now, I think It isn't that I am selfish, it's that there are times when I am depressed that I have to shut out the world and what others believe is right or wrong, and ultimately what they need because I can only take so much of other peoples beliefs and needs when I am trying to sort out my own internal conflicts. Having outside conflict piled on top overwhelms me.

Because I don't have a lot of fundamental beliefs or a strong belief that I am right, I make myself more suceptible to others judgements and influences and therefore must sometimes hide to protect my sanity. I think this may be what causes introversion. A lack of black or white thinking, but maybe that's a stretch.

Either way, thanks for the responses, it helped me sort out some questions i've had for a long time.

Apologies for the long posts, I think and write at the same time and have a hard time with censorship and editing. I have diarrhea fingers I guess....:doh:

spunkysmum
03-24-15, 05:09 AM
I don't believe he is a bad person because in his mind, he is doing the right thing.

I'm not ready to be quite that generous. I think Hitler probably had himself convinced he was doing the right thing in trying to exterminate the Jews, but I believe he was a pretty bad guy. ;)


So when someone has an opposing view point, I want to know what the validity is, where they are coming from, and what made them form that view. I also find it an interesting exercise to deduce what makes the person think and say what they do - because knowing these things helps you figure out how to either get through to them or vanquish them in debate.


This is where the writer fails. He wrote what he thought was right but he failed to see the result of his actions. He also didn't write his article as a question but as an absolute.
Excellent observation. One does not get the impression that this is a guy who fact-checks as he writes to guard against damage to his integrity if he should write things that are provably false.



Because I don't have a lot of fundamental beliefs or a strong belief that I am right, I make myself more suceptible to others judgements and influences and therefore must sometimes hide to protect my sanity. I think this may be what causes introversion. A lack of black or white thinking, but maybe that's a stretch.
What helps me with this is a strong sense of logic that applies a filter when there are a multitude of ideas and influences vying for my attention. If something does not pass the logic test, I can discard it without much regret or worrying that I am being close-minded or dismissive. Like when that writer asserts that all depression is simply a matter of selfishness on the part of the depressed person, it didn't take me long to think of several things that logically contradict such an idea - the fact that many people with depression actually neglect their own needs and mental well-being while trying to throw themselves into helping others, for one.

It also helps to know that "Truth by definition is exclusive. Everything cannot be true. If everything is true, then nothing is false. And if nothing is false then it would also be true to say everything is false. We cannot have it both ways. One should not be surprised at the claims of exclusivity. The reality is that even those who deny truth’s exclusivity, in effect, exclude those who do not deny it. The truth quickly emerges. The law of non-contradiction does apply to reality: Two contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense. Thus, to deny the law of non-contradiction is to affirm it at the same time. You may as well talk about a one-ended stick as talk about truth being all-inclusive." - Ravi Zacharias


Apologies for the long posts, I think and write at the same time and have a hard time with censorship and editing. I have diarrhea fingers I guess....:doh:Again, no apology needed. I have lifelong issues with being concise in my writing as well. And you are very good about breaking up your text into small paragraphs that are easy to read and that makes all the difference.

Little Missy
03-24-15, 08:26 AM
It seems like I remember seeing that ding-dong blogger before but I just can't remember when. I do know I disliked his flapping then as much as I do now though.

And right there is one of my off the cuff opinion flaps.

Drewbacca
03-24-15, 08:39 PM
I had a hard time reading the OP. Reading the referenced write up is out of the question... it just infuriates me too much.

I think there is a semantics issue at play. Depression can be defined in various ways. For me, there are several treatable causes of depression besides just a chemical imbalance due to genetics, or seasons, or whatever. I think the commonly used treatment approaches address this (ACT and CBT) but I certainly wouldn't place "selfishness" anywhere in this category.

Is a pattern of negative thinking selfish? It's usually focused inward and quite the opposite of selfishness.

Is rumination selfish? I suppose that it could be in some cases... but that seems independent from the issue at hand.

My personal anecdote, depression for me (which has, more or less been debilitating for five years straight now) is if anything, selfless. My biggest problem is failing to love myself and worrying too much about what others think and how I treat others. I have handicapped myself due to selfless acts both on the street, in the classroom, and in relationships.

Drewbacca
03-24-15, 08:48 PM
I'm going to ignore the article

but shame is an often overlooked aspect of depression, and the biology of shame can force inward " self centered " focus

I like your take on it. I can see "self centered" which is clearly different than selfish. It then becomes a matter of why? Why is someone self-centered? It could be that selfishness leads to self-centeredness... but it could also be something else that leads to this sort of tunnel vision. I would assume that in most cases, that something else, would be irrational and/or distorted thoughts that a clinically depressed person would be completely unaware of.



I believe that for me, sometimes, maybe more often than I realize, I am selfish but selfishness is more of a symptom of depression rather than a cause of it.

That isn't selfishness unless you are choosing something that benefits you over what benefits another. In most cases, a depressed person won't think of themself... even as they isolate themselves and hide under the covers. If you don't understand, I'll try to word this differently.

KentUnknown
03-24-15, 08:53 PM
To be honest, I have been avoiding this thread, but it keeps popping up. I don't want to get into the debate or whatever, I have not read teh posts. All i can say is this thread title, really offends me, because it makes me feel worse about where I am in life, like I didn't already think it's all my fault anyways.

Drewbacca
03-24-15, 09:03 PM
To be honest, I have been avoiding this thread, but it keeps popping up. I don't want to get into the debate or whatever, I have not read teh posts. All i can say is this thread title, really offends me, because it makes me feel worse about where I am in life, like I didn't already think it's all my fault anyways.

It is offensive, the very idea is offensive. Not that I fault the OP for raising the question...

I'm only now pulling out my second rather deep depression (more of a dysthymia lasting 5+ years now with deep periods of darkness in between). I'm getting better and learning some new tools to keep it in check. Dare I say, I may even have a "choice" at this point to continue to grow out of my depression and learn how to keep it at a healthy distance. A lot of my depression issues are learned behaviors, and those can be unlearned with significant effort. I only mention this because I recently got into an emotional argument with a friend regarding her dad... she kept insisting that for her dad, depression was a choice. I kept telling her, "then you don't understand depression as well as you think you do." A mentally healthy person has a choice, a depressed individual isn't even aware that choices exist (that's the very nature of depression, imho).

KentUnknown
03-24-15, 09:26 PM
It is offensive, the very idea is offensive. Not that I fault the OP for raising the question...

I'm only now pulling out my second rather deep depression (more of a dysthymia lasting 5+ years now with deep periods of darkness in between). I'm getting better and learning some new tools to keep it in check. Dare I say, I may even have a "choice" at this point to continue to grow out of my depression and learn how to keep it at a healthy distance. A lot of my depression issues are learned behaviors, and those can be unlearned with significant effort. I only mention this because I recently got into an emotional argument with a friend regarding her dad... she kept insisting that for her dad, depression was a choice. I kept telling her, "then you don't understand depression as well as you think you do." A mentally healthy person has a choice, a depressed individual isn't even aware that choices exist (that's the very nature of depression, imho).


I am sure there is a better way he could have worded it, I jsut don't like seeing the title.
I don't see why things like this need to be broken down and disected anyways, i mean, we all know what depression does, and introducing selfishness (at least for me) makes me feel worse about it.

Luvmybully
03-24-15, 11:54 PM
I did not read the article beyond the first few sentences. Just reading the responses here to it were enough for me to know it's nonsense.

To me, selfish is placing your own wants and needs above the wants and needs of others. To do what is best for you, at the expense of another.

What does that have to do with depression? Makes no sense at all.

The first few things that person wrote assumes that depression always stems from outside sources. Job. Friends. Children.

While I am sure that for some, this is true and relevant. But I know for me, depression has nothing at all to do with anyone else. Life circumstances are not the problem. Other people are not the problem. A deep, profound LACK of caring about anything is more like it. A few here have expressed EXACTLY what it is like for me. Deep well. No emotions, except for maybe sorrow. Can't muster up the mental or physical energy to care enough about school, or job, or other people. They don't even register.

So to try and turn that into somehow placing myself above others? Putting my wants before anyone else? No. Just doesn't fit, doesn't work.

I have suffered from depression since I was 11 years old. Sometimes it's worse than others. I did have some rough years. That and anxiety have been a long, ongoing, lifelong battle for me.

I LOVE the message that people like this don't even deserve serious consideration. It's OK to blow them off as irrelevant.

He clearly has no understanding at all.

someothertime
03-25-15, 08:09 AM
i really object to this term.... selfishness...... it's a label in a presentation of an underlying need / feeling / behavioral style..... so many things.......

also, it is good...... something we lack......... we could argue that depression makes people less selfish..... ( practically ).... ( read the article i posted in science.... there are some very interesting studies re; depression and actual false confidence ).......

perhaps..... sutiationally that word ( or it's implication ) have merit.... but to label a label with a label? :giggle:

Gypsy Willow
03-25-15, 10:22 AM
No and don't let anyone tell you it is.

The people who say depression is selfish are self absobed narcissists who are "inconvenienced" by your illness.

Screw them.

fracturedstory
05-08-15, 02:59 AM
People with depression are selfish, it's how the illness makes us be. During the most severe suicidal times we are incapable of thinking of others but our own pain. I've been there many times before.

It's not the same as a person being selfish because they think they deserved something more than somebody. Those people love themselves too much. In depression the person hates themselves. Hate every little thing about them. That's all they think about. It's all consuming. It leads to people thinking they are self-absorbed but instead of being in love with themselves it's the complete opposite.

Apparent selfish behaviour appears during other forms of mental illness, such as mania in bipolar. People turn into impossible arrogant little beings, completely losing their empathy and thinks everyone should just agree with them and makes the mistake that they are.

And before you get insulted by what I say, I'm describing some of my own behaviour too.