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Why Feeling Like a "Victim" Encourages and Perpetuates Depressive Moods



Let's get something straight right up front before I am accused of "blaming the victim," because this is not the case at all. First of all, I feel comfortable speaking about Depression because I have been a sufferer all of my life. Although that alone does not qualify me as an expert, I have cured myself of this horrible affliction, which is to say I have turned off the switch that began it, healed myself of the Emotional Trauma that activated it and changed the negative thinking habit that perpetuated it. In addition, I have helped others to heal and cast off this insidious affliction. Therefore, I have only great compassion and understanding for those who suffer from this dark and relentless foe.

To begin with, those who suffer from Depression are truly victims in every sense of the word, and this is not just a platitude. True Depression comes from being rejected on or about the time of birth by one or both parents, which clearly qualifies these individuals as victims. But regardless of this fact, dwelling in ones victimhood is not at all beneficial to any individual who desires a positive and fruitful life. And in particular, for those suffering from Depression, perpetuating this negative behavior sentences them to a life of continual darkness, sadness and depressive episodes.

So how exactly does "feeling like a victim" especially work against Depressives? From the book, "Psycho-Cybernetics," June 1960 by Maxwell Maltz, MD, Dr. Maltz explains an important way that our brain functions. Paraphrasing the explanation, there are two distinct functions in our brain, which are the conscious and unconscious (or subconscious) minds. The conscious mind serves as the controller by making the value judgments and thus runs the show. The subconscious mind is indifferent and carries out instructions like that of a computer system or any other unconscious machine. Thus, we can think of the conscious mind as the operator of a computer and the subconscious mind as the computer itself, blindly carrying out its instructions.

Thus when any individual, especially a depressive, starts feeling "sorry for themselves," they necessarily think of the sad, gloomy and hurtful things that have happened to them in the past which directs the subconscious mind to go to that dark place in their psyche. As understandable as it is to do this and as soothing as this enticement absolutely seems to be, it is but a sirens call which lures the unsuspecting sufferer to an even darker, gloomier and more sorrowful mood than where it began.

Therefore, this syndrome of feeling like a victim by reliving all the experiences that serve as a justification for feeling that way and thus validating ones victimhood is simple a trap that locks the individual into a downward spiral which is nothing more than a vicious cycle of unhappiness.

The good news is that there can be a happy ending for all of us by resisting the temptation to be a victim by endeavoring to stay in the present moment and catching ourselves when we slip on the banana peel of victimhood.

Either you control your Depression or it will control you. There are ways to exert control using your cognitive mind. Even though you may not think it is possible, there are cognitive techniques than can help to keep you in a happier and more positive frame of mind.

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