Fake It Till You Make It

Depression. We have hit this topic from several angles before. We are going to come at it again. Lin said there are a number of new people coming on and they are suffering.

These people are suffering with helplessness and hopelessness. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are closely aligned with depression. In fact, back in the 1960s Martin Seligman proposed the theory that depression is actually the result of helplessness. Beck has published a scale that measures hopelessness. The Beck Hopelessness Scale is a good measure of depression and also suicidality.

Hopelessness is the feeling that all hope has been destroyed. You are facing a dilemma that cannot be solved. Hopeless people see nothing positive in their future. They believe they are bereft of skills and options for getting themselves out of the mess they are in.

Ain’t they happy thoughts?

Anyway, some people feel that way when they get a life-altering diagnosis like age-related macular degeneration. They see nothing at all good in their future.

Beck Depression Inventory-click photo for larger image.

The Beck Hopelessness Scale is available online sans scoring. Take a look at it and if you agree with a fair number of the negative statements on it run, do not walk, to your doctor and ask him/her to help you get medication and counseling. You do NOT need to feel this way.

A good therapist should be able to help you deal better with what is ahead. Your therapist should help you to build positives and successes in life. Remember the old chestnut: nothing succeeds like success! What have you accomplished this far? What else can you expect to accomplish now? Go for it! Remember you are a survivor with many battles behind you. This is just one more.

If you don’t feel very accomplished or brave? Fake it! There are people watching. Be the person they will emulate during tough times in their lives. Show them what grace under fire really looks like.

It may be that your greatest accomplishment in life will be being a positive model for others. Show them how it is done.

It doesn’t matter if you feel like a fraud. It is the brave front they will remember. Besides, fake it until you make it works, so you will get benefits from your award-winning performance!

I am going to refer you back to all of the pages on DBT distress tolerance for more therapy ideas. DBT ‘borrows’ from some of the finest therapies there are and puts them all in a neat package, so I suspect you will find something useful.

Beyond that, find a way to build hope in your life. Speak with your religious adviser. Pray. Plan a party or a trip. Encourage others along their roads. Save an animal from the shelter. Plant a tree. Invest somehow in a positive future.

Other ways of investing in a positive future? Volunteer for a clinical study. Write your story for this webpage. Help others in the same fix we are in! Believe.

Progress is being made every day. The Audacious Goals Initiative project is alive and well, as are similar projects in other countries around the world, and funding research. Individual drug companies battle each other to bring new treatments to the market. It will happen eventually. The breakthroughs are coming. Believe. There is hope. Instill it in yourself. Instill it in others.

Next: When You Say That, I Feel…

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