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Author Topic: Depression (and other) scripts  (Read 6319 times)

veggiewolf

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Depression (and other) scripts
« on: July 06, 2015, 02:33:50 pm »
Hi, I'm Veggie and I have Major Depressive Disorder.
(Hi, Veggie!)

I've been thinking (and talking), recently, about the scripts that roll through my mind when Depression Brain kicks in, and thought it might be of some benefit to be more public about them...if only so anyone going through this realizes there's at least one other person out there going through it.

My own scripts tend toward what I like to call "useless-worthless", as in "I am useless, because I can't/don't/won't..." and "I am worthless because I am/am not..."  My brain tells me, when I'm in the throes of an episode, that I don't do anything right, that I am not worthy of love or friendship or .  I try to remember to warn people when it happens ("I am having a useless-worthless day"), but I don't always manage it and, as a result, it sometimes spills all over the people around me and sometimes sets them off in the same vein; funnily enough, a lot of my friends have the same triggers I do.

Go figure.

Does anyone else have scripts like these?  If so, is there something you do to manage it or give other people a heads-up?  Any tips for the rest of us?
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

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Redfaery

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 02:50:53 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;176836
Hi, I'm Veggie and I have Major Depressive Disorder.
(Hi, Veggie!)

I've been thinking (and talking), recently, about the scripts that roll through my mind when Depression Brain kicks in, and thought it might be of some benefit to be more public about them...if only so anyone going through this realizes there's at least one other person out there going through it.

My own scripts tend toward what I like to call "useless-worthless", as in "I am useless, because I can't/don't/won't..." and "I am worthless because I am/am not..."  My brain tells me, when I'm in the throes of an episode, that I don't do anything right, that I am not worthy of love or friendship or .  I try to remember to warn people when it happens ("I am having a useless-worthless day"), but I don't always manage it and, as a result, it sometimes spills all over the people around me and sometimes sets them off in the same vein; funnily enough, a lot of my friends have the same triggers I do.

Go figure.

Does anyone else have scripts like these?  If so, is there something you do to manage it or give other people a heads-up?  Any tips for the rest of us?


Oh gods, I thought I was the only one who ever felt that way about myself. :(

With me, it's not depression but major self-esteem issues. I have chronic anxiety as well as OCD and autism. The major script I get into are:

"I just want to do something *I* want to do, therefore I'm selfish."
"I don't care if everything is neat and tidy, therefore I'm lazy and a slob."
"I've disappointed my parents again, therefore I'm worthless."
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2015, 03:58:06 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;176836
Hi, I'm Veggie and I have Major Depressive Disorder.
(Hi, Veggie!)

I've been thinking (and talking), recently, about the scripts that roll through my mind when Depression Brain kicks in, and thought it might be of some benefit to be more public about them...if only so anyone going through this realizes there's at least one other person out there going through it.

My own scripts tend toward what I like to call "useless-worthless", as in "I am useless, because I can't/don't/won't..." and "I am worthless because I am/am not..."  My brain tells me, when I'm in the throes of an episode, that I don't do anything right, that I am not worthy of love or friendship or .  I try to remember to warn people when it happens ("I am having a useless-worthless day"), but I don't always manage it and, as a result, it sometimes spills all over the people around me and sometimes sets them off in the same vein; funnily enough, a lot of my friends have the same triggers I do.

Go figure.

Does anyone else have scripts like these?  If so, is there something you do to manage it or give other people a heads-up?  Any tips for the rest of us?

 
Oh dear, yes. Though I lean away from the biomedical model in some of these situations, for myself. I tend to think I'm hearing things others have told me, rather than things my brain is torturing me with. (Of course, I respect everyone's models of these things. This is just one that I'm trying to make work for me.) I have a very bad 'I'm worthless' tape that starts running when I get things wrong (according to society's guidelines of what is right and wrong, which doesn't usually have any room for neurodiversity). I'm working on challenging that one, and other tapes, when they run, by reframing it socially. Like: why am I running this tape? What is this really about? Am I really not deserving of a full life in this society simply because I'm different? I figure, I've devoted my life to the social model of disability - I should practice what I preach! It's tough though, especially when the only thing I can work on is myself. Some days I really don't want to do the work. But seeing it as a form of shadow work is helpful. And I like the idea of warning people when I'm having a day like that, as you suggest, veggie.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 03:59:06 pm by Naomi J »
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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 09:23:00 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;176840
Oh dear, yes. Though I lean away from the biomedical model in some of these situations, for myself. I tend to think I'm hearing things others have told me, rather than things my brain is torturing me with. (Of course, I respect everyone's models of these things. This is just one that I'm trying to make work for me.) I have a very bad 'I'm worthless' tape that starts running when I get things wrong (according to society's guidelines of what is right and wrong, which doesn't usually have any room for neurodiversity). I'm working on challenging that one, and other tapes, when they run, by reframing it socially. Like: why am I running this tape? What is this really about? Am I really not deserving of a full life in this society simply because I'm different? I figure, I've devoted my life to the social model of disability - I should practice what I preach! It's tough though, especially when the only thing I can work on is myself. Some days I really don't want to do the work. But seeing it as a form of shadow work is helpful. And I like the idea of warning people when I'm having a day like that, as you suggest, veggie.

 
I've come to a similar conclusion that a lot of these thoughts come from things I've heard over the years and eventually internalized.  Of course, it's taken nearly a year of therapy and working through trauma I didn't even know I had to figure that out, and I'm nowhere near at the learning ways to deal with it in a healthy manner stage yet...  Growing up with ADHD and various learning disabilities (and possibly ASD, though that hasn't been diagnosed) in this NT world makes it incredibly hard to not become an adult full of all that internalized crap IMO.  

I like the idea of being able to warn people when I'm having an especially hard day of it, but even being aware that I've slipped into those scripts can be really hard for me?  Often it becomes such a normal part of my day that I don't notice how it's affecting me, let alone how it might end up affecting those around me.  Obviously this is a thing to work at, but again, hard :\

Can you talk more about shadow work and how it could play into this?  Or at least point me to some good resources.  It sounds vaguely familiar, but I'm not sure where I've heard it talked about.  This is the kind of stuff where I'd love to use magic to help me deal with things, but usually people just talk about crystals and herbs and that's... not really all that helpful.

(I also feel like these scripts are one of those things where self help websites and books written by NT people are just like 'change the way you think! Give yourself positive scripts!' as if that's helpful advice against a lifetime and society full of people reinforcing those negative scripts constantly)

veggiewolf

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2015, 10:31:51 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;176839
Oh gods, I thought I was the only one who ever felt that way about myself. :(

With me, it's not depression but major self-esteem issues. I have chronic anxiety as well as OCD and autism. The major script I get into are:

"I just want to do something *I* want to do, therefore I'm selfish."
"I don't care if everything is neat and tidy, therefore I'm lazy and a slob."
"I've disappointed my parents again, therefore I'm worthless."

 
These sound like the overwhelming emotional responses I tend toward, despite having completed a five-year course of therapy with a really good psychologist.  I'm so sorry it happens to you too.

Would you be willing to share what you do to get yourself "unstuck" (for lack of a better phrase)?
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Hieronymus

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 10:47:21 am »
Quote from: Casswise;176847
I've come to a similar conclusion that a lot of these thoughts come from things I've heard over the years and eventually internalized.  Of course, it's taken nearly a year of therapy and working through trauma I didn't even know I had to figure that out, and I'm nowhere near at the learning ways to deal with it in a healthy manner stage yet...  Growing up with ADHD and various learning disabilities (and possibly ASD, though that hasn't been diagnosed) in this NT world makes it incredibly hard to not become an adult full of all that internalized crap IMO.  

I like the idea of being able to warn people when I'm having an especially hard day of it, but even being aware that I've slipped into those scripts can be really hard for me?  Often it becomes such a normal part of my day that I don't notice how it's affecting me, let alone how it might end up affecting those around me.  Obviously this is a thing to work at, but again, hard :\

Can you talk more about shadow work and how it could play into this?  Or at least point me to some good resources.  It sounds vaguely familiar, but I'm not sure where I've heard it talked about.  This is the kind of stuff where I'd love to use magic to help me deal with things, but usually people just talk about crystals and herbs and that's... not really all that helpful.

(I also feel like these scripts are one of those things where self help websites and books written by NT people are just like 'change the way you think! Give yourself positive scripts!' as if that's helpful advice against a lifetime and society full of people reinforcing those negative scripts constantly)

 
I've struggled with depression all my life. It's odd, I never quite grasped how bad it was until a year ago, it was just how things "were" for me. After going through one of the most tumultuous couple years, I had a time in my life where everything I had been so upset and brooding about, finally came together. I got a great job, a great fiancée, a house to finally call my own again. But despite all of that, I went through one of the darkest times I can remember. Medication helped me out greatly (i know that's not the most popular method treatment for some on here, but it worked for me). But I know not to rely on that solely. I never knew how dark the past was until I the fog lifted. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I finally have a foothold to start.

But yes, I too have a litany of negative thoughts that I throw at myself. I don't have a script so much as constant doubt of my accomplishments, abilities, you name it. I too try to warn those close to me if I'm having a bad day, but it doesn't ease their concern toward me. Which, cyclically, only makes me feel worse. I've developed a good facade.

I've been toying with a shadow ritual I have been researching, but it's a tad intimidating for me (which is why i'm procrastinating with endless research :P). I'd be happy to send info that I've found on it so far.
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Redfaery

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2015, 10:53:14 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;176857
These sound like the overwhelming emotional responses I tend toward, despite having completed a five-year course of therapy with a really good psychologist.  I'm so sorry it happens to you too.

Would you be willing to share what you do to get yourself "unstuck" (for lack of a better phrase)?


Well, the thing that helps me most is to talk to someone who understands my situation, and have them give me a pep talk.

If that's not feasible, I find something to do that's easy and that makes me feel like I've accomplished something. Like...I put waste paper in a trashbag or take the books on the floor and put them in stacks. If that's not an option, I just look around me and...make plans for what I'm going to do.

But to be honest, the easiest thing I've found to do if I start feeling like this is to just...move to a different spot.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

veggiewolf

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2015, 10:58:37 am »
Quote from: Naomi J;176840
...I have a very bad 'I'm worthless' tape that starts running when I get things wrong (according to society's guidelines of what is right and wrong, which doesn't usually have any room for neurodiversity). I'm working on challenging that one, and other tapes, when they run, by reframing it socially. Like: why am I running this tape? What is this really about? Am I really not deserving of a full life in this society simply because I'm different? I figure, I've devoted my life to the social model of disability - I should practice what I preach!

It's tough though, especially when the only thing I can work on is myself. Some days I really don't want to do the work. But seeing it as a form of shadow work is helpful. And I like the idea of warning people when I'm having a day like that, as you suggest, veggie.

 
Looking at it as shadow work is interesting, Nay; I do monster work that is similar and includes evaluating my monsters and figuring out what they need and how to feed them.  Sometimes, this helps stop the script from running but not always.

I've put the warnings in place because I *hate* that I might make someone feel badly for triggering me when they had no way of knowing that I would be triggered.  If I warn about the useless/worthless bit, though, then people know I'm touchy.  I did this last night in MUX - logged in because I wanted to be around people, but I was in a state where I was likely to flip out, so I warned them.

Ugh.  The mental gymnastics I go through are exhausting.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

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"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

veggiewolf

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2015, 01:10:34 pm »
Quote from: Hieronymus;176858
... Medication helped me out greatly (i know that's not the most popular method treatment for some on here, but it worked for me). But I know not to rely on that solely. I never knew how dark the past was until I the fog lifted. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I finally have a foothold to start.


Medication, definitely.  You will pry my Paxil from my cold, dead hands.  And actually, more people here seem to be pro-med than anti-.

Quote
But yes, I too have a litany of negative thoughts that I throw at myself. I don't have a script so much as constant doubt of my accomplishments, abilities, you name it. I too try to warn those close to me if I'm having a bad day, but it doesn't ease their concern toward me. Which, cyclically, only makes me feel worse. I've developed a good facade.


Does the doubt take a particular pattern or use a particular set of mental phrases?  How do you differentiate between routine doubt and the negative litany, if you do?  

I ask because it took me a long time to be able to realize that the scripts I experience were actually scripts...they sounded so reasonable for so long.

Quote
I've been toying with a shadow ritual I have been researching, but it's a tad intimidating for me (which is why i'm procrastinating with endless research :P). I'd be happy to send info that I've found on it so far.

 
Resources are good! :)
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
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"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Naomi J

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2015, 04:22:31 pm »
Quote from: Hieronymus;176858
Medication helped me out greatly (i know that's not the most popular method treatment for some on here, but it worked for me). But I know not to rely on that solely. I never knew how dark the past was until I the fog lifted. I know I have a lot of work to do, but I feel like I finally have a foothold to start.


I'm pretty sure that medication is the only thing that makes it possible for me to live as good a life as I do these days.

Don't get me wrong. For all my talk of challenging tapes/scripts, it's maybe successful one-third of the time. At other times it's meltdowns and self-injury. But because of the medication, and a few other things, I think I'm getting more successful. One-third of the time is a big improvement on a few years ago, when I was successful with this exactly none of the time. Sometimes I forget that there was a significant amount of time that most people in my life now didn't know me for, when I was in and out of hospital and mostly failing to cope with life at all.

Part of the problem for me, still, is that I'm not good at either identifying or talking about these things. Like, really not good. I'll hear people say things that resonate with me, but instead of sharing how I feel, I assume that I'm not significant enough to talk about my stuff, or that mine is not as real or important. Then I get resentful. That's a script that's running... But I think a lot of mine are not in words (as most of my thoughts aren't), making them hard to identify.

(That was always great fun in CBT. "You must challenge your negative internal monologue." "I don't really have an inner monologue." "Nonsense." Ah, NT counsellors!)

I also have difficulty calling what I experience "depression". I'm not sure it is, and I don't want to minimise the experiences of others who do experience that. So... Lots of feeling like I don't deserve to acknowledge these things. Um, this may be a vicious cycle. *wry grin*
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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2015, 04:40:43 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;176836
Hi, I'm Veggie and I have Major Depressive Disorder.
(Hi, Veggie!)

 
I call mine the Depression Monkey.  As though there's an evil bastard named Depression sitting on my shoulder whispering to me.  And all those scripts, about being worthless and incapable and everything else - that's not ME, that's the bastard whispering to me.

It's an ongoing task to recognize his voice instead of mine, but I do my best to see him as separate.  Different.  Society and my bad thoughts and everything else, a separate being whispering on my shoulder.  Some days he's so light I can barely feel him, some days he's so heavy I can barely stagger along from the weight.

As far as what I do - I try to focus on things I do well.  Usually knitting, because it's both something I can do well and /even if I screw it up I can fix it/.  being able to fix things, all by myself, is somehow especially helpful.  (which is one of the reasons why my knitting going totally sideways breaks me so badly).  If need be, I find a simple chore that needs doing.  There's ALWAYS stuff that needs doing around here, and any accomplishment proves the monkey false.

Some days work better than others, of course.  But even on the bad days, keeping the view as an external voice helps.

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 08:36:05 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;176872
I'm pretty sure that medication is the only thing that makes it possible for me to live as good a life as I do these days.

Don't get me wrong. For all my talk of challenging tapes/scripts, it's maybe successful one-third of the time. At other times it's meltdowns and self-injury. But because of the medication, and a few other things, I think I'm getting more successful. One-third of the time is a big improvement on a few years ago, when I was successful with this exactly none of the time. Sometimes I forget that there was a significant amount of time that most people in my life now didn't know me for, when I was in and out of hospital and mostly failing to cope with life at all.

One third of the time is HUGE.  That's amazing, Nay.

Quote
Part of the problem for me, still, is that I'm not good at either identifying or talking about these things. Like, really not good. I'll hear people say things that resonate with me, but instead of sharing how I feel, I assume that I'm not significant enough to talk about my stuff, or that mine is not as real or important. Then I get resentful...

You too?  I hate it when I do this.

Quote
I also have difficulty calling what I experience "depression". I'm not sure it is, and I don't want to minimise the experiences of others who do experience that. So... Lots of feeling like I don't deserve to acknowledge these things. Um, this may be a vicious cycle. *wry grin*

I get this.  My MDD has some components that look like Borderline Personality Disorder (hello, emotional disregulation!) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (hello invisible bear!) and I feel like I should not chime in on those even when I have similar experiences.
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"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Tom

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 09:31:17 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;176872
Part of the problem for me, still, is that I'm not good at either identifying or talking about these things. Like, really not good. I'll hear people say things that resonate with me, but instead of sharing how I feel, I assume that I'm not significant enough to talk about my stuff, or that mine is not as real or important. Then I get resentful. That's a script that's running... But I think a lot of mine are not in words (as most of my thoughts aren't), making them hard to identify.

(That was always great fun in CBT. "You must challenge your negative internal monologue." "I don't really have an inner monologue." "Nonsense." Ah, NT counsellors!)


I get what you mean. Sometimes I have internal monologue (though it's more like my external monologing is now inside my head rather than out loud and I have lots of arguments with myself), but there's a lot of times where there's just no words and it's just an overwhelming feeling of not words that I can't figure out because. Just lots of tension and wanting to hide under desks. It's perhaps a sign that I've gotten more overloaded on the topic because my 'internal' monologue has disappeared.

...Which I hadn't realized before. Because I thought that just because the wordy thoughts disappeared that I should be better when I'm not. That might be something I need to poke at.

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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2015, 02:32:39 am »
Quote from: Tom;176884
I get what you mean. Sometimes I have internal monologue (though it's more like my external monologing is now inside my head rather than out loud and I have lots of arguments with myself)

Yes, that, exactly. I have a very 'busy' head with lots of arguing with myself (and reliving memories and so on). But not really an internal monologue. To the extent that I often talk to myself out loud in order to create one, so I can think things through.

Quote
but there's a lot of times where there's just no words and it's just an overwhelming feeling of not words that I can't figure out because. Just lots of tension and wanting to hide under desks. It's perhaps a sign that I've gotten more overloaded on the topic because my 'internal' monologue has disappeared.

...Which I hadn't realized before. Because I thought that just because the wordy thoughts disappeared that I should be better when I'm not. That might be something I need to poke at.

 
This is a really good point that I hadn't really considered. The more overloaded I am, the less I think clearly and the more it's just raw emotions. Identifying when thinking stops, as a warning sign for being overloaded, is a very good idea. I'll give this some thought. Thanks, Tom.
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Re: Depression (and other) scripts
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2015, 10:05:14 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;176836
Does anyone else have scripts like these?  If so, is there something you do to manage it or give other people a heads-up?  Any tips for the rest of us?


My depression anxiety scripts tended to be more positive, as in, suggesting a presence instead of a negative absence of worth. The script tended to run: "You are worthy...of damage and hatred. You deserve so much worse than what you're getting now. You should hurt yourself to make sure that you've already gotten what you deserve and can put it behind you." Which didn't help, but I kept thinking that it would, until, well, I didn't. Also: "Whenever somebody's angry, it's more real than anything you can feel and it's completely your fault." And I guess I would also see anger in other people where it didn't exist.

Fortunately, I mostly outgrew that. My depression presents mostly in lethargy, forgetfulness, inability to focus...not so much the intense emotional self-flagellation. I still feel down, but there seems to be a subconscious counter-script that allows me to recognize and catch the downward spirals.

I guess I began to develop that counter-script around the time that, waiting on the stairs outside of the school campus for people who were late picking me up, I just sort of leaned my forehead on my knees and somebody else passed by and asked if I was okay.

The act itself didn't hack the depression script that was running, that script must have already gained "error data" by the time I could perceive that it was somebody with goodwill actually checking if I was okay, and not complaining about me being in the way, or threatening to kick me if I didn't get out of the way.

How I developed that counter-script is a mystery, unfortunately. But if I had to put that into words, it would be, "You're going to live. You're going to live. You are. We will never let you die. So might as well experience life as pleasant. You witness this pain so that you can understand how to improve it. But are you sure that's an improvement?" It puts doubt into self-injury or starvation as constructive or right in any way. It, perhaps perilously, values shoulds over ises: "Believe in things that aren't real so that they can become so." And "What other people think about you is none of your business." Of course, I've got to balance that last line with the sort of empathy-based relationships that I want to have, and sometimes I fear that the counter-script has distanced me too much because I don't actually take in what other people project as deeply or as constantly as I used to?

There's also a bit of, "Better to regret doing something than regret doing nothing, and regret itself isn't so intensely inescapable and haunting anymore is it?" Maybe my regret goes on for longer than neurotypical people, but I can feel it being much less static than it used to be. And, "Better to get forgiveness than permission, especially because forgiveness is actually possible." But I still err on the side of permission, but my attitude behind asking for permission has changed from learning rules to get addicted to or surrendering any sense of initiative, and is now more about sustaining goodwill or not wanting to unpleasantly surprise people. And forgiveness, too, the concept of being able to get past a thing (giving or receiving forgiveness) has been so valuable. I've had the process demonstrated, or played out in some wonderful relationships, but unfortunately in most of my formative relationships it's been rare (hence the anger-paranoia issue, and the silencing when I've gotten hurt and then angry about something.) (Actually, when I say rare I mean it's really never happened, but that's not really a script?)
The Codex of Poesy: wishcraft, faelatry, alchemy, and other slight misspellings.
the Otherfaith: Chromatic Genderbending Faery Monarchs of Technology. DeviantArt

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