Those of us who live with depression and anxiety have developed limiting beliefs about our mental health that can make them harder to cope with and recover from. As we struggle to keep our heads above water, these limiting beliefs are chipping away at our sense of self and our ability to cope. We can develop these beliefs from the people around us, from the cultures we live in, and from the woundedness within us.
One belief many of us adopt is that our depression, anxiety and other difficult mental and emotional health challenges are permanent and that we will never recover. We believe we will never possess the coping mechanisms to heal. We think we aren’t strong enough to get better. We believe that we are defined by our past mistakes and regrets, and by our shame. We feel we don’t deserve forgiveness. We believe that the illnesses we’ve developed are the true nature of who we are and that we can’t rise above them. We think our traumatic experiences dictate who we are and what we can hope to accomplish in life. We believe that we are weak, that other people are stronger than we are, that we are pathetic for being unable to function normally the way other people can.
Our depression and anxiety tell us to stay in bed, or stay in the house, or skip seeing loved ones. They tell us that we can’t cope with work, school, or other obligations and responsibilities. They make us want to distance, separate and isolate ourselves from the people who care about us. They convince us not to do the things we know will help us, such as meditate, exercise, go to therapy or keep up with our spiritual practice.
When we are in crisis, we believe there’s no way out. We not only don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, we believe there isn’t one. We believe that the hopelessness, despair and confusion are all we’ll ever feel. We believe we have nothing positive or hopeful to look forward to. We believe that what we’ve seen and experienced thus far are all we can hope to attain. We believe that the pain of the past is the only predictor for what we will experience in the future.
Recognizing the limiting beliefs we’ve developed about our mental illnesses is the first step in healing them.
Reach out to us for support. Our treatment programs include individual and group therapy, as well as grief and loss therapy. Call (575) 586-5078 for more information.