There are two main areas that I would like to focus on in my response to your question. The first is that you have described symptoms that potentially indicate depression. You have had episodes of “severe depression” but there is no indication of treatment. The people trying to help you may be inadvertently making things worse. No wonder you feel like a “ship at storm.”
Sometimes our loved ones inadvertently do more harm than good. Family and friends can offer support and love, but they are not trained mental health professionals. We should not expect them to know how to solve complex life problems.
Depression should be treated by mental health professionals. A therapist will offer evidence-based ideas and solutions. They will not yell at you or berate you. They are knowledgeable, non-judgmental, kind, and supportive.
The second area of focus involves your thinking. You seem to be comparing yourself to the ever-abstract and ill-defined “other people” in society. It is simply inaccurate to compare yourself against people whose life circumstances you do not know.
Further complicating these matters is that many people have expectations about how they believe life is supposed to be. They compare themselves against a set of abstract standards and deem themselves as not being good enough. They incorrectly assume that other people are doing better than they are which naturally leads to feelings of inferiority, and so forth. This type of thinking is particularly prevalent among people with depression.
Social media adds to the struggle. People on social media often appear to be living perfect, trouble-free lives but that is far from the truth. It’s an illusion. Avoid overgeneralized thinking traps.
Treatment can help you to address these problems. Choose a therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s the best type of treatment to address both depression and the thinking errors that accompany depression. Once your symptoms are treated and your thinking becomes more realistic, you will feel better and less stressed. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle