Imprisoned by Guilt
Nir Nussbaum / Flickr
What she's been doing to reduce her level of guilt is to acknowledge it and then look at it objectively. If she were looking at a stranger, would she blame that person?
My own guilt is, I think, a little different. I don't feel that I've ever blamed myself for having bipolar depression. But I'm often wracked with guilt for not doing a better job of coping with it.
This is a common symptom of depression, and maybe you're more like me. I tell myself I should be able to get up and do more housework. I should be able to get more work done. I should be able to run my errands when I need to. And I can't figure out what to do about this kind of guilt, either. On the one hand, it makes my life miserable; but on the other hand, it can spur me on, so if I quit feeling guilty, I might not get anything done.
I suspect the answer lies in a different direction. Lately when I find myself playing too much computer solitaire, I sometimes ask myself if this is what I want out of these minutes of my life. Generally the answer is "no" and leads me toward some more profitable activity. On the other hand, I've been carrying around a lot of self-blame for feeling so fatigued. It has taken me months to make peace with the fact that after having had 3 serious illnesses this year and new problems with severe pain as a result, my fatigue is not something to feel guilty about. I now need naps for physical reasons, not because I'm depressed and don't know what else to do. What about you? Do you feel guilty about having bipolar disorder? Do you feel guilty about how you cope with it?