Depression – I Can’t Make a Decision, Everything Feels Wrong
When I’m depressed I can’t make decisions because everything feels “wrong.” I know that’s really vague but that’s how it feels. If feels like doing thing A is wrong but so is doing thing B. Doing something feels wrong and so does doing nothing. When I’m actually doing something, it feels like I should be doing something else, something more. When I’m depressed it feels like every decision is the wrong decision, every move is the wrong move. Depression makes me not able to make a decision.
Decisions and Depression
As you may know, indecisiveness is a symptom of depression. That’s right, not being able to make a decision when depressed is so common it’s recognized by doctors. I don’t think it’s something they particularly focus on, but it one of the diagnostic criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
I’ve written before about how to make big decisions with depression and how to make little decisions with depression, too, but no matter what, I find make decisions extremely stressful and decisions feel wrong no matter how I slice it.
Depression – I Can’t Make a Decision
It’s 7:30 a.m.. I’ve been up for almost two hours now. I’m facing an entire day ahead of me and I just don’t know how to handle that. I have no major deadlines pending, I have no social engagements scheduled and I have nothing that I absolutely have to do. So thanks to my depression, I have no idea what to do. Considering the hour, there aren’t a whole lot of choices. I think about watching TV. Seems reasonable. But that choice feels so wrong. Watching TV is wasting time and I don’t want to do that. Then I think about cleaning the apartment up after the huge Amazon deliver I got a couple of days ago but I feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning and so that decision feels entirely wrong, too. I want to go back to sleep because I didn’t get much last night but that would be giving into the depression and isn’t good for my circadian rhythm so that’s clearly wrong as well. It seems that no matter what I consider, everything just feels wrong.
Without Depression, Do Decisions Feel Right?
I’m depressed and I’ve been some shade of depression for seemingly ever so I wonder: do decisions feel right when you’re not depressed? I think they must. I think people must make decisions because they feel right. And I think people must make these decisions without thinking about them. To me, whether to take a shower or not or open my mail or not weighs heavily on my mind while other people do it without thinking about it. I think other people don’t take decisions so seriously. Everything feels right to them so it’s okay. (Because I do fundamentally understand that these daily, tiny decisions don’t matter. They just seem to really matter to my bipolar depressed brain.)
Everything Feeling Wrong is Stressful
And when every decision feels wrong it is inherently stressful. Like, seriously. I sit here for ages planning what to do and am seriously stressed out about making the wrong choice. Part of it is that I don’t want to do anything that will make me feel worse. That’s a legitimate concern that I face every day and it does cause serious stress. But is sitting here and stressing out about not being able to make a decisions better than just making one and having it be the wrong one? I really don’t know the answer to that question. All I know is that I can’t make a decision and I feel completely overwhelmed with even the prospect of doing it.
Depression and Decision-Making
I fundamentally don’t understand how depression – a brain disorder – could impact one’s ability to make little decisions. I honestly don’t. That fact, somewhere, doesn’t compute. But I face this problem every day so clearly is a legitimate symptom. But the thing about it not computing makes me feel even worse about not being able to do it. Like, what the heck is so wrong with me that I can’t function on a very basic level like everyone else? Why does depression touch every aspect of my life?
What I can say about depression and not being able to make a decision is this: sometimes you just have to pick a side and damn the fallout.
Like, I have errands on my list of things to do today and even though leaving the apartment feels wrong, I’m going to do them. I don’t want to do them. But I will. And after I’m done I will probably feel a sense of accomplishment and celebrate (tacitly) the little win of achieving something in spite of illness. But even though I know that, it doesn’t make the decision easier to make and nor does it feel any less wrong while sitting on my couch thinking about it.
I wish I could just relax like a normal person. Take a breath like a normal person. Calmly go about my day like a normal person. But I can’t. And I hate it.
Tracy, N. (2015, July 8). Depression – I Can’t Make a Decision, Everything Feels Wrong, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2015/07/depression-i-cant-make-a-decision-everything-feels-wrong
Author: Natasha Tracy
Life can be hard. You can hear and read all the answers that people post and tell you, and it doesn't help. I've lived it. There will be highs and lows. But I think the best way to move through life is to accept that there will be highs and lows, and realize that everybody, and I mean everybody has the same struggles. I also think that we need to be our own best friend. Tell yourself every day; "I'm smart, I'm funny, I care about others, and I'm a good person."
12 years old is such a difficult age. I have an 18 daughter myself, and I know that it was hard for her at 12. Her parents (her mother and I), just got a divorce, and it was really hard for her to understand. But you need to realize; your thoughts, feelings, are choices. We can choose to be happy, sad, angry, smile, or whatever; they are all choices for each of us. With that choice and understanding, we can understand our daily emotions, and where we are going with our lives.
I cannot guess as to why your dad mocks you; being a dad myself, I would guess that he was raised in a similar fashion with his parents, and that may be the only way he knows how to deal with you and your struggles. I'm sorry; realize again that we all come with our own problems, and ways to deal with them. I'm not making excuses for him; just always realize that things are not always about you.
I would say, talk to your mother. Open your feelings and tell her how you are struggling. I would guess that peer pressure, school, and social media can be very cruel to young people today. Try and help people where you can; you will feel better. And remember, it WILL get better.
I am so glad I'm not the only person who suffers with this problem. Can't sort out my personal life and everything seems to escalate with other parts of my life. Feel wasting time but not sure what to do. Spoke with priest excellent person suggested going to see doctor.
This is the most accurate description of how depression affects decision.
I have depression and I can totally relate all of this with me and that's why I found this post very comforting.
Thanks a lot and keep writing!
BTW, how are you now?
I used to love going out with friends now I have shut myself away and they have all moved on. I still have my parents living which i hardly go see because of the first reason "EVERYTHING" is boring and it feels like you dont care.. Even doing the things you really love.. for example I used to love gaming on my pc or having a drink with friends or going on trips away and having a laugh etc.. but as you grow up and fend for yourself get a house and calm down, the feeling you used to have changed into a kind of grey veil.. its extremely hard to convey this feeling because its like a mild boredom but its much more serious than that.. Sometimes you might sit and feel useless because your not doing nothing (relating to first poster), but that feeling can stay with you day after day and tottaly mess with your head.. Not a day goes by with you knowing eventually it will all end when your gone.. but dont take that sentence wrong I dont mean suicidally I mean its like part of knowing your probably eventually going to die alone because the boring life your boxing yourself into does not attract many friends. You miss the old days cant be bothered with the new ones and when people ask you whats wrong you just say your fine but deep inside you know that you wish you were never born. Yes some people see suicide and things as an option but that is not what im getting at here im getting at the true feeling of depression and how hard it is for somone who really is truly depressed to express how that feels.
I see people around me outside close family or unknown people going about their daily lives and i sit and think "why bother" its such a debilitating illness depression and its usually so subtle that when you eventually figure out that you have clinical depression its to far down the line for you to really understand that its what you have. Some people always kind of tut and say things like snap out of it your just bored etc because they cannot actually understand how bad it is. Some days you could sit and feel unhappy or tearful thinking why do I feel this way, yet no answer comes.
Try to imagine before you had depression how the things that you found boring were so boring you did not want to even do them.. yet now the things you really loved doing make you feel this way. Trust me peeps when somone tells you they are depressed never ever shrug it away as just a phase or because they are just bored because somone who truly loved to do things who now sits every day wondering whats the point in life, could be relying on you to give them some kind of hope or comfort.. dont smash a depressed persons feelings because you think they can snap out of it.
Im sitting here knowing that just around the corner a genuine cure brought by nano technology is almost upon us so thats my hope to help make me feel happy something to cure the grey from the brain that fogs my life over every day. Yes i see a shrink and no i dont take anti depressants only adhd meds, Although in the past i have tried the meds route for depression but sadly nothing has worked. I just hope science and technology gets a move on because life the way it is these days really is not the best ive seen it everyone's face buried on their phones not communicating with anyone feels like such a lonely planet aswell.
Take care peeps I hope this post gave some insight into the terrible illness of clinical depression.. just remember nothing in life is causing depression for people like me its just the way we feel be it chemical imbalance or whatever but its horrible.
Thanks for reading
I'd be up for chatting with any of the commenters or the original poster. Would love to talk to ppl with many of the same issues. I think we may be able to offer each other some type of food(s) for thought.
Thanks, and keep battlin'!!!
My email is email@example.com. Feel free to contact me.
Love & Peace
Here's the scenario... we both grew up in the Midwest, we both want to get out. We have a toddler and want to make a permanent move. Where ever we go, it's going to be the new home. We don't want to move around and just "wing it". So what's the problem? I have this criteria, in which every aspect is top priority.
-area needs to have good schools
-needs to have a particular need for my husbands profession
-low or no contamination sites (have you ever looked at superfund sites and what major contamination does to people, especially children and the elderly? Go look, I'll wait)
see how I capitalized that last one? It's because I had figured it out, I was done with the search. However, when I looked up the housing market there, it was over THREE TIMES what it is here. No way could we ever afford it. The area met all requirements but we can't afford it...
Ok, so I'm getting lost as to where to go. We have our pick of the entire country, and I feel helpless. I have to make the right decision based on what we're looking for, and I have to do it soon, but I'm just... lost. I keep going back to square one and I can't get with it.
It's really fascinating. Thanks, Natasha, for your perspective and bringing this to light. Happy holidays to you.
Happy to help :)
- Natasha Tracy
By the time Christmas is actually here I'm exhausted, extremely irritable and of course depressed because I am trying to figure out how I'm going to pay my regular bills... I don't feel very merry!!!!
There are days when I'm so indecisive that I can't even decide when to go to the bathroom until I'm almost ready to burst. I keep thinking that it really shouldn't be so complicated, but the word "should" doesn't anything much to do with real life.
For me sometimes it's just a matter of making a list of the things that need to be done so I don't forget and then doing them one by one in no particular order unless of course something urgently needs to be done, then I try my best to push through the depression and do that thing first whether I feel like it or not. I try not to let my feelings dictate my life but I'm not always so successful. Sometimes tears are shed in the process of following though because I often get quite upset and bristle against being pushed into doing anything I don't really want to do even if when it's only me doing the pushing
I try to make rest / relaxation / recreation / entertainment a reward for my work efforts and focus on what I did do as opposed to what didn't get done that way I don't feel so guilty and beat myself up for being so useless
I believe anything is healthier than staring into space or sleeping your life away all the time even though I still do that on occasion.
If I waited until I felt like doing the housework it would never get done I'm afraid. I'm such a procrastinator. When I wait too long everything becomes urgent so I pick one thing at a time, it really doesn't matter what and chip away at it a little while, then rest a bit then pick something else easier or more interesting to do if I get too tired or too bored. Of course I'm tired alot and also lose interest in most things when I'm depressed. It's just the nature of the beast, but I still try to make some sort of effort and I don't compare myself to other people who can easilier do more
Any progress is better than nothing. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and sometimes motivates me to do more. The TV or computer is always my biggest distraction...