Depression-Related Stress Burns Energy We Need

October 9, 2014 Erin Schulthies

Depression-related stress burns the energy we need to succeed. Beating ourselves up when we feel horrible causes more stress and a longer recovery time.

Lately I've been caught in a trap of worrying about everything I need to do, instead of simply doing the things I need to do. This causes a big increase in my depression symptoms.

I look around my apartment and the whole place is a giant mess. Dirty dishes lie everywhere, pretty much every piece of clothing I own needs to be washed, and instead of dust bunnies lying on my floor I have what my mom calls "dust wolves."

Instead of just gathering up my dirty dishes, I lie down on my couch. I start thinking in negative spirals, about how I mess up everything in my life. I think about all the times I've failed at things, and my self-doubt starts building. I can't even keep a one bedroom apartment clean! How am I ever going to have a house one day?

I procrastinate for hours instead of doing the things I need to do. Then, when the day is over, I hate myself even more for getting nothing done that I'd planned to do. This happens day after day, after day.

Yes, my clinical depression symptoms keeps my mood down. Hopelessness is always around the corner. I feel smothered by it. It's easier just to give in and give up, but giving up isn't that easy. I can lie on the couch but my mind spins and spins and I expel all this energy against myself in self-hatred, which just makes me feel worse.

Beating Yourself Up Causes Depression-Related Stress

In reality, cleaning my apartment would've taken way less time, overall, than all the time I used beating myself up over not cleaning my apartment. Even if I only did some dishes or threw out some garbage. Those things would have made me feel slightly better. Sure, the whole problem wouldn't suddenly be gone, but I wouldn't feel worse for having tried.

When we beat ourselves up for procrastinating, we use energy we could use to feel better. This depression-related stress burns the energy we need to succeed.

If you're reading this, you know how debilitating depression can be. Some days we just can't get out of bed, so cleaning a whole apartment is too much to even think about. But when we're lying in bed, we need to go easy on ourselves with our thinking processes.

Beating ourselves up doesn't fix anything. It takes a lot of energy out of us, energy that we need to function. It's fine to lie down to rest, but we need to be mindful to actually let ourselves rest and recharge. Sometimes taking a break physically just makes our mind work even harder, so if you find yourself still stressed out though you're taking a physical break, maybe doing the physical task would help your stress levels out more in the long run.

You can also find Erin Schulthies on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and her blog, Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living with Depression.

APA Reference
Schulthies, E. (2014, October 9). Depression-Related Stress Burns Energy We Need, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 15 from

Author: Erin Schulthies

October, 19 2014 at 5:04 am

I too find this describes my feelings to a T. I have made many unwise dissensions while severally depressed. Which only makes me feel worst. I have got so close to being able to provide for myself. Fear and anxiety always stops my progress. Only to go backwards and not forwards. The medication I take keeps me for crying and sometimes I feel that would help. It might relieve some stress. Overall it has been my saving grace. All I have to do is run out and I fall to pieces. Being active and good nutrition is very Important to staying healthy.

October, 15 2014 at 2:41 pm

It is easy to beat ourselves up for what we haven't done, especially if we think about EVERYTHING that needs to be done. BUT.. and this can be a huge help... if I make a list and go to one thing , then.check that one thing off the list, it is a bit easier.

Aline Pinard
October, 15 2014 at 9:59 am

Getting started is a problem for me also. I try to walk 3 miles a day. Walking helps my depression and anxiety. I'll actually pace the house trying to get moving. I force myself out.
Cleaning the house takes me sometimes weeks to do.
I just don't care.
I look forward to reading your blogs.

sandra jones
October, 15 2014 at 7:08 am

this is exactly how i feel !!!Cant take it anymore.

October, 13 2014 at 5:39 pm

Wow. It's almost like I'm reading my own words in this blog! I struggle the exact same way sometimes and it's a constant struggle to fight it. I "zoned out" on the couch Sat morning rehashing (alone in my mind) all the painful reasons I'm depressed in the first place. Once almost 2hrs passed I beat myself up for wasting so much time when u could've been cleaning or any number of productive things. I wrestle within myself so much...fighting and procrastinating functional things like cleaning or going to get my haircut. Meanwhile as you mentioned it would take far less time and finery to just DO IT! Plus get the added bonus of getting our if my head and focusing on a tangible task in the here and now. I guess this type of behavior is the very symptoms and manifestation of depression but like you said, even making the smallest attempts at activity can make me feel do much better. Beating ourselves up takes up too much energy. I'd love to transmute that into energy to live and be productive. Anyway, thanks for sharing your honesty.

Greg Weber
October, 11 2014 at 7:48 am

It's the getting started part that's so hard for me. IF I can get started, I usually feel better. But some days...
Hang in there, Erin. It changes.

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