Both as part of the support I’m receiving and as the result of other people’s attempts to find ways of understanding me, I’ve come across a number of self-help books. When the idea of using a book to help myself was first suggested, I was sceptical to say the least. The phrase ‘self-help book’ conjures up images of smug, self-satisfied people who think that because they have a degree they also have the right to make up rules which are supposed to magically make people’s lives wonderful. In my experience, things do not work like that. Sometimes nothing can make me feel any better, being patronised by some grinning woman least of all; if getting better was that easy, I would have done it by now.
The volume I’m currently perusing suggests facing your troubles head-on and just accepting them, which is frankly terrifying. The logic is there, because the main problem of depression is not that you feel worried/sad/suicidal for no reason, but that the irrationality of the feelings mean you get worried about being worried, sad about being sad… And, apparently, the original random feeling is long gone after not very long at all, but you get so caught up in the feelings it’s caused that its absence doesn’t really have any effect at all. So far, so non-patronising – but when the feelings in question are ones of self-hatred and utter desolation, my instinct remains to just try and mentally run away. Reading the aforementioned tome actually made me cry yesterday, so whether it will ever be of use remains to be seen.