Anxiety and Depression Support
19,462 members16,564 posts

Do I want to get better?

Hello! First, thank you for taking your time to read this post. I'll try to keep it to concise.

I've been struggling with anxiety and depression for an unfortunately long time now, and for a significant part of that time I've been trying to figure out how to categorize thoughts along the lines of "is it so bad ... ?" -- not in the sense of "is mental health so bad", because that is inarguable, but in the sense of "why don't I just stay here?"

For example, several times I've found myself staring at my scars and wondering, "Why is cutting so bad? Why is it labelled an unhealthy coping mechanism? If it's cathartic for me, why not do it whenever I feel like it?" Similarly, I can't seem to answer questions like, "Why should I work on overcoming my anxiety around [Person A]?" or "Why shouldn't I just avoid all situations and circumstances that induce panic for me?" I've avoided treatment professedly for financial reasons (I live with a mostly open market health care system), although others assure me that it wouldn't be as costly I imagine.

Tonight I realized that perhaps these thoughts stem from an underlying -- I dunno if this is the right word -- apathy for the idea of overcoming my mental illness. I've accepted them as part of my self and life, and to fight them seems both counterproductive and counterintuitive. I'm not sure if this is simply laziness at not wanting to endure the mental and physical strain of uncomfortable but somehow ultimately beneficial choices, or just a "not really" to the question, "Do I want to get better?" I don't know if it's bad to not really want to get better, or why it might be, or if "getting better" is even possible and something I should spend my resources trying to achieve. I'm genuinely so confused.

If you have any answers to the questions here or similar experiences you'd like to relate, please comment! I'm looking for any guidance I can get my hands on. Stay strong, friend! ^^

15 Replies
oldestnewest

I understand what you mean. I am not sure if not seeking treatment is a good idea or not for however I have convinced myself that my anxiety and depression is not a bad thing and I don’t want to spend my money and time trying to cure it. My goal is to learn how to handle my symptoms when they appear.

2 likes
Reply

That's true! And I guess if that's what works for you and gets you through it, that's what's healthy for you. Thank you!

1 like
Reply

I guess it starts with "Why do I want to feel better?" Most people would answer "So I can function in life and do all the things that I have to do and enjoy doing." If that last sentence describes your life, then you're in pretty good shape.

If it doesn't, then each person has to decide how badly he or she wants to get better. No one else can make that decision for you - it's your life, after all.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you for your words. ^^ In a way, I do want to be able to be my most productive self, and episodes of anxiety and depression are not especially conducive to that. But in another sense, experiencing these struggles myself currently allows me to relate more to (and hopefully better help) those around me who feel alone or helpless with the same problems. In a sense, I don't care for working to get better because it would mean a certain disconnect between myself and others I love who deal with mental illness. Thank you though for helping me explore that! It's nice to put it into words.

1 like
Reply

This is an extremely interesting and thought provoking post and I hesitated coz I am not sure I can answer it or offer anything of any value. Anyway will have a go.

My first thoughts are you can live your life any way you want as long as you obey society's rules and keep out of trouble.

My second thought is living the way you are isn't sustainable ie one day you will cut too far and could permanently damage your wrist or your arm. You might end up not being able to use it properly and how would you feel about that? Would you then start on the other arm? Or a leg next?

I also think being human we want and need others around us as we are basically social animals. No one is an island even though we wish we were sometimes. I think they only way you can continue the way you are is to become a hermit alone in a field somewhere. Do you want that sort of life?

Do you think you will fulfil your full potential to be you, a unique talented individual, if you keep living your life the way you are? x

2 likes
Reply

In humour I would say that the life of a hermit in a field somewhere sounds pretty nice. ^^ But you make valid points!

Although I acknowledge mentally that I might be able to be a better, more productive, brighter person if I invested time and effort into self-care or healthier coping mechanisms, it's much harder to believe that -- or, more accurately, to care about it. One part of my brain reminds me of the risks of cutting, how potentially disastrous bleeding out would be -- and the other half shrugs and says "eh". It would almost be amusing if it wasn't actually happening -- I'm too apathetic to wholeheartedly better myself and too apathetic to wholeheartedly hurt myself. Hiding or escaping or cutting demand much less effort than fighting to heal and neither path seems to really matter ultimately.

Of course, I know all of this is in my head and probably untrue. Unfortunately, however, it is what is in my head that dictates my actions. Thank you though for your thoughts! Just writing these posts are in a way a kind of step toward healing, so thank you for giving me this opportunity. ^^

1 like
Reply

I'm glad your hear sharing and testing the waters so to speak about your life. If I may share some thoughts with you. We can often find comfort by not having to face change. we stay in unhealthy situations because of the fear of the un-known or fears of failure. Cutting is not so much bad as it is risky, just one cut too deep and you know the drill.

I think this statement says a lot as well:

'I've accepted them as part of my self and life, and to fight them seems both counter productive and counter intuitive.'

Your obviously very intelligent and bright, Again, it's part of who we are, and the fact that your accepting that is a very good thing, and how you choose to live your life is of course your choice. However, if there is a better way to handle stress than cutting, such as music, art , etc. Or if your anxiety is interfering with you wanting to do some things in life you really want to do, what's wrong with doing what you need to do to make that happen, yes there is affordable therapy, and yes medications do help many of us who choose to use them. I have depression and it's much more manageable with meds. I did lots of affordable therapy, cost me 10.00 a visit at a clinic. Keep sharing, it helps take the power out of some of the stuff we have to work through.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you so much! ^^ These lovely responses have given me a bit of incentive to try to tackle my illness, and like you mentioned, there are definitely better coping mechanisms; for me it's writing -- usually fiction or poetry, but these sorts of things are just as good. ^^ Unfortunately, therapy and medication genuinely aren't options for me right now, but they might be in a couple of years and I'm looking forward to that. I'm afraid that if I do begin to heal, I'll lose a certain ability to relate to others' struggles if I'm not experiencing analogous situations right then. Certainly, there is potential to help others both ways -- with or without invasive mental illness -- so perhaps I can make the best use of the time I have until treatment becomes an option.

Again, thank you for your help! It's been so encouraging reading your comments.

1 like
Reply

I didn't want to take meds because of some of the side effects I had heard about, I worried about dulling my senses. It didn't happen. Only thing different is my coping mechanism has improved somewhat, I still have bad days, just not as many and not as dark. I was worried my writing or creativity would be dulled and the imagination and creative thoughts would just be gone and I couldn't work any more. That also didn't happen, actually the opposite happened. My anxious figgityness ,( yes I made that word up-creative license),of not being able to concentrate calmed down. I was able to read without getting side tracked so easy. My second major in college was ceramic art, I haven't sat at a wheel for a good few years, but am looking forward to see what that is like now as well.

1 like
Reply

Thank you! That's really encouraging to read. ^^ I know sometimes meds go really badly for some people, with ruinous side effects, but it's nice to remember that for others they work like a blessing.

Reply

Love your name. Faux artist has really good responses, and I think she said it all, and put it very well. xx

2 likes
Reply

it is a play on words...faux is French for 'fake or made to look like', I was a painter for my career and did a lot of marbling and similar finishes on wood and plaster to make a plain surface look like stone or wood, etc. it's called faux painting.

1 like
Reply

Also, hyper cat has equally good response, and between the two of them you have it all in a nutshell.

3 likes
Reply

Hiya, sorry to hear that you have been struggling with anxiety and depression. When you ask, 'Do I want to get better?' maybe that's a difficult question to answer. 'Better' in what sense? Is it specifically about feeling less anxious/depressed? Mentally and physically better? Or is it wider than that? Is it about happiness, loving oneself, a more fulfilled life, better relationships? Something else? All of these? Sorry, I don't want to complicate things but it's easy to go round in circles, as I frequently do, and then get dizzy ! Sometimes, we do not know what it's about, life can be confusing and maybe counselling/therapy might help you to ask the rights questions, clarify what exactly you do want and point you in the right direction. Take care and be kind to yourself,

1 like
Reply

Thank you for replying! That's a really good question, actually. Initially, I meant "better" in the sense of in better control of my mental illness, but I think you're right and it expands past that. It's more a matter of getting a handle on anxiety/depression in order to become a brighter, more productive person, able to hear others over my own mental cacophony. Thank you for pointing that out; I hadn't really hashed it out for myself.

1 like
Reply

You may also like...