“The problem is the problem, the person is not the problem.”

Michael White and David Epston

This blog post from psychotherapist Daniel Farb begins:

“One important step to take in recovering from depression (or any mental illness, for that matter) is to be able to separate yourself from the illness in some way (you can read more about this idea here). When we create some distance between ourselves and our problems, we are able to see them more clearly, which allows us to relate to them differently or otherwise manage them more effectively. If you happen to be suffering from depression yourself, I hope that reading this list of ’10 Lies Depression Tells You’ will help you in your recovery.


Depression likes to speak in highly personalized, absolute statements – usually directed in a damning, negative way towards you. It may try to convince you in one way or another that there is something horribly and permanently wrong with you. It may show up in the form of self-critical thoughts like ‘I’m so screwed up,’ ‘I’m a failure,’ ‘I’m a loser,’ or it may sound like an inner critic who says things like ‘you are broken’ or ‘you’re so useless.’ To make matters worse, these thoughts tend to feel more true than alternative thoughts or thoughts to the contrary (e.g. ‘I’m doing alright’ or ‘I’m generally a good person’). This is because depression uses a sneaky tool called emotional reasoning to convince you that what it tells you is the truth (see Lie #4 for more about this). These kinds of statements, feelings, and thinking patterns all serve to reinforce one central, false belief: that you, in your entirety as a person and a human being, are the problem.

The truth is that while you may be suffering from depression, you, yourself, are not only the depression that you’re experiencing. There is more to you than your feelings (or lack of feelings), low energy levels, negative thinking, irritability, suicidal thoughts, or lack of motivation. These experiences are all part of what you may be struggling with, but they are not all of who you are. There may be parts of you that aren’t working so well in this moment or that cause you trouble at times in your life, but there are also other parts of you that work quite well. You have strengths, talents, and inner resources that are quite distinct from the depression – even if it may be hard to see them or to access them right now …”

You can read more from here.

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