People often think that depression looks the same in everyone. They couldn’t be more wrong. Spotting depression is a real challenge, and the most devastating thing about that difficulty, is that people end up missing it.
I notice people in and around Beverly Hills who come into therapy because they feel as though something is missing; they aren’t getting the same satisfaction out of things they once enjoyed. They come in, plop down on my couch, and wonder about why they’re unhappy at their job, why they’re fighting with their spouses, and why they would rather stay at home watching Netflix than spend time with their friends.
“I can tell you why I don’t go out with my friends,” someone in therapy said to me the other day. “All they do is talk about how great their lives are, all the wonderful things that are happening to them, and I am just like… Well, that’s great for you.”
I understand how difficult it can be for someone to engage with friends when they themselves are not feeling their best. I know what it’s like to constantly compare yourself to the people around you – especially those closest to you. And I can tell you that spotting depression within yourself is almost always impossible.
I’m not talking about deep unbearable depression – the ‘I can’t get out of my robe, stop crying, eating ice cream out of the tub’ kind of depression, but that nagging, ‘I’m lethargic and can’t help comparing myself to my friends’ kind.
Spotting depression is about knowing when your mood shifts. It’s about noticing that you’d rather watch a backlog of The Real Housewives of Anywhere but Here than grab a slice of pie to catch up with an old colleague. Spotting depression is about realizing that you connect better with your Facebook friends than with the ones in your real-life.
You’re not alone. Many people turn to television and social media when they’re feeling less than their normal selves.
There is a type of psychology called Media Psychology. This branch of therapy helps people consider the digital things that have captured their attention. It’s important you realize that watching TV and scrolling through Facebook is not the problem; rather, it could be the answer to spotting depression.
If you find yourself watching more and more TV, or scrolling through feeds on various social media platforms, you might want to ask yourself what you’re looking for? Most people chalk it up to boredom, or fascination with others. But perhaps the lack of interest is internal, and the boredom is merely a discomfort in sitting with yourself.
Using television as a companion may make time pass by quicker. Reconnecting with an old friend on Instagram might make the moment feel less lonely. But understanding what your draw to media is about, and what it’s saying about your inner world might be the answer to reconnecting with your true, happy self.
If you’re interested in understanding the underlying reasons of why you’re watching something or what it means that you can’t stop scrolling through social media feeds, reach out for a free 20-minute phone consultation. I can help you understand the subtleties of depression, and the escape through media.