Cooperation: Why?

Q: I’ve been bewildered all my life as to why I find myself acting as if I am two people in the same body. When I believe that the people around me are not understanding enough or more importantly not worth trusting for support, I shut myself away in my own “world”. I’ve been depressed possibly the majority of my life. I can’t seem to get out of this self-mutiny I keep subjecting myself to.

A: I don’t quite understand why you call it “self-mutiny,” but otherwise your letter is clear. You are depressed, and, worse, you are used to being depressed.

You didn’t say whether you are seeing a therapist or are on medication, but I certainly would suggest one or both of these for anyone who has a long history of depression and mistrust. The mistrust might make both the medication and therapy difficult (because you have to trust the people who suggest it for you), but remember that you can consider both things as an “experiment.” You can change therapists or medications if you find you aren’t happy with the result. (With therapists – unless they are obviously awful – I’d suggest that you stay with them for at least four meetings before you decide to move on. With medication, each medication takes a different amount of time to kick in, so you’d want to be sure you don’t quit before each has had a chance to work.)

Hope this letter from me helps. … But my bet is that you already knew about therapy and medication and you were just hoping that I’d have some magic answer…. I bet you are hoping to avoid having to have a relationship in order to get better – due to the trust problem. If so, realize that we all get better through Safe human contact, and worse by avoiding it.

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