Actual Depression vs. Self Pity

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by boo, Nov 8, 2010.

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  1. boo

    boo Well-Known Member

    I know that there are people who probably do just wallow in self pitty, but how do you know which is which?

    When does depression stop and self pitting begin? Or vice versa?
    When is it no longer depression and it is just self pitty and maybe even attention seeking? Or vice versa? Maybe even a combination?

    A hard question to ponder and i think the answer might depend on how you are feeling at the time. The lower you're feeling the less likely you are to see yourself as anything but a pathetic loser who just can't deal with anything. While when you're feeling better you might see yourself as really having a mental disorder that is very hard to deal with.

    Lots of people tell me to just just get over it. Stop being so pitiful. So what you lost your girlfriend, just find another one. Well, what they fail to understand is that it is beyond me. There's a dash of self pity here on my part, but how do i know it is also genuine depression? That's because no matter what i do, the depression sucks me right back in. Being positive doesn't work. It's like a maggot eating me alive.

    "Haul your lazy ass up"????? Unbelievable. i have been criticized all my life for being "lazy" when it was actual depression, not laziness. It sucks the fun out of everything and anything. Depression saps your energy and can go as far as immobilizing you.

    I have a habit of going to bed when i am depressed. Sleep is nice and numb and i get to lose a few hours where I don't have to deal with stuff. The problem with this is that i avoid doing stuff that I need to do, and going to bed never, ever makes me feel better later on. So I know deep down inside me that when I find myself back in bed, I'm wallowing.

    Trying the best i can to overcome my sadness. Slapping my ass to get better and yet still fail, now that's depression.

    How about you guys?
  2. CatherineC

    CatherineC Staff Alumni

    I think this is a really interesting subject and one that I've thought a lot about. Recognising negative behaviour patterns is a major breakthrough in the fight against depression.
    My own way of dealing with this is to have people I trust who tell me when I'm over reacting or being a drama queen. First there's my husband. We've known each other for 30 years and have been married for 21 years. He has never used my illness as a way to manipulate me and has always supported me fully through the bad times. If he says I'm over reacting, then I know that I am. (I can't tell on my own). If he says it's time to go back to the doctor, then I go back.
    My children are also very good at telling me the difference and again, have never manipulated me by using my illness.
    Finally, my work place has a scheme called 'mental health buddying'. We meet once a month (on work time with tea/coffee and biscuits provided) and we pair up. This can be more difficult because you don't know these people as well but as you go along, you learn to trust people and know that, as fellow sufferers themselves, they only have your best interests at heart. Once you have that trust, you can depend on them to be honest with you. So, one of my 'buddies' has an issue with authority and becomes very paranoid when ill. We've now been friends for five years and he knows that he can trust me when I tell him that it's the illness kicking in again and he needs to go back to the doctor. I trust him when he tells me that I'm not a useless burden on society and that I need to go back to the doctor. I have lots of examples of this sort of thing from this group and we're all agreed that having the system has helped to keep us all in work. It makes a huge difference.
    I'm blessed with my support and I'm very aware of that. The depression still kicks in but I have people who help me recognise it so I can get medical help quicker.
    I'd advise anyone to try and get this sort of support in their lives, it makes a huge difference.
  3. Pow

    Pow Well-Known Member

    I've never thought of it that way, I just always thought well if your sad, your simply sad.
    But since you put it that way, I think to seperate self pity from depression is quite hard as it could be both. Because now that I think of it depression can lead to someone pitying themselves but then when someone pitys themselves all the time it could get them into the mind set of being pessimistic which, could be mistaken as depression?
    I really don't know but good question.
  4. down-and-maybeout

    down-and-maybeout Well-Known Member

    I don't think you can play depression off against self pity, to be honest - self pity can be one of the symptoms of depression. I don't think it's black and white.
  5. Obnoxiously_Pretentious

    Obnoxiously_Pretentious Active Member

    GAH! I think about this ALL THE TIME (see user name). I don't know. Maybe I'm not as pretentious as I think because I really don't make that much of a show of it. At least unanonymously, I've never admitted to my suicidal idealation. Accept for one friend I can really relate to, a former anorexic, I don't really even share my feelings of anxiety and depression. When I do, it's rare and I present it in a very lighthearted manner. Once concern is shown or that I'm told that my feelings are really abnormal, I get scared and immediately shut up about it. I don't physically abuse myself although I really do LOVE putting myself down. But what really makes me think that I'm just meledramatic is that I have no true reason to be depressed or pity myself. I've got things going for me. I have great educational opportunites, a loving/supportive family that will do anything for me, perfect health, financially stable household... So why do I think I'm the filth of the world?

    Sometimes I wonder what constitutes depression. Just how bad to you really have to feel before you can consider yourself clinically ill? How many hours a day to you have to contempate suicide? How do you measure your despair? Depression screening tests? Nope. I could just be overexaggerating. Maybe everybody feels like this and I'm just particularly awful at handling life. It's impossible to use social comparison.

    Down-and-maybeout has a really good point, but whether or not someone is genuinely clinically depressed is so subjective. You can be self-pitying with clinical depression or you can be self-pitying without clinical depression. Like most everything else in my life, I don't have any trust in my own judgement. I like hearing people's opinions on boards like this. Ideally I'd like a Dr's opinion, but I'm just not really to unanonymously admit that I might be sick.

    Oh, how I wish there was a medical test to be sure. A blood test or an MRI or something where you can test negative/positive as you would for HIV or cancer. Black and white. Those shades of grey drive me crazy.
  6. doityourself

    doityourself Well-Known Member

    Wow, Great Post..

    I feel alot like you, but then I think even when Im at my highest I still suck. I do think we (depressed) bring on alot of our own problems and problems arise from the depression. Like missing work because you dont feel good, well maybe you could have just went in and sat there in your own little world. Or things like drinking and self medicating, it makes me feel good for the minute, but then it brings me down because I did it.

    Im probably not making any sense, but I just wanted to say Ive thought this same thoughts many of many times.
  7. foreverforgotten

    foreverforgotten Well-Known Member

    depression has different roots for everyone.
    its a thing that developes over a long period of
    time for some, or current circumstances,
    or for others maybe its the progressed version of self pity.
    maybe for some people it starts from self pity.
    i think self pity and depression go hand in hand together.
    you experience one, when you experience the other.
    even if it didnt start with self pity most depressed people feel it eventually i think.
    i think we all self pity at some point in life. everyone. and its okay. we humans
    need comfort and to be cared about. even if its just us caring for us.
    sometimes its necessary when no one really does care about us.
    for us to care about ourselves. but you have to acknowledge it and
    move on from it. and realise you have to change things. because
    no one else should be expected to for you. but i do think we all experience it.
    from early childhood even.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2010
  8. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    Lack of motivation is a big part of depression.,. I don't think you procrastinate, you just are so down you can't bring yourself to do anything..I know that is my case.. I need to dust my bedroom but keep putting it off until tomorrow and then it just snowballs and it takes me like two weeks to finally do it.,.
  9. Theseus

    Theseus Well-Known Member

    Agreed. I have a few projects that have been lying half-finished for more than a couple of years. It's not like I was all sunshine and roses when I started them, I've forced myself (and continue to) through a lot of things, but now the depression has got so bad, I can't even bring myself to make any minor updates to them. And it's not like they're big projects. If I just devoted some time to them seriously, they'd be done in a week or two.
  10. Obnoxiously_Pretentious

    Obnoxiously_Pretentious Active Member

    Yuck, knowing that I'm a self-pitier (either as a result of or leading up to my depression) makes me disgusted with myself...and then I pity myself because I find my character so unattractive and pathetic. What a vicious cycle!
  11. clairedelune

    clairedelune Well-Known Member

    The reason that I cry almost every night is probably because I feel that no one cares for me and no one always understands. Probably, self-pity has a great contribution to this grief I'm going through. I cry because I feel that no one loves me at all and it makes me really pathetic and a kind of loser. Which is why I'm always having problems with recognizing the actual depression. If I should be really needing therapy or not. But this goes on almost everyday and I actually don't know what to do about it.
  12. Theseus

    Theseus Well-Known Member

    A post I made a few months earlier:
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