Depression Comorbidity

Postby Username9876 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:10 pm

Long story short- suffered alot of childhood trauma. Ended up with Borderline and Depression. Fought and clawed my way through PTSD etc, and ended up fairly stable. I got into school, had a friend or two, kept a steady job going and so on.
Wish I could say all this happened less recently than it did, because that may give some excuse for my ongoing depression. But nearly two years ago, my grandfather died. I am not close to my family, but I was close to him. I lost my job for getting into a physical fight at work (I'd say that's the borderline showing its a**), moved in with an off and on again. My dog, which I was close to as I had taken him in as an abuse case, mysteriously came up missing. He died after I found him. I lost all my posessions and my "home". Ended up staying with family for a while and am finally back on my feet in school and independent.
Issue being I'm still depressed. I get up and function throughout the week. I hold a steady job. I even pulled off my 4.0 again.Over the weekend, I'm lucky if I get out of bed. I can't stand the area I live in, can't stand the people of this "state", and have cut off the majority of my family. Anytime I try to form a friendship with anyone, I find a reason I don't like them and cut them off. I have no patience for manipulation, havn't for most of my life. And this is typically the reason I have for cutting people off. Now, wether that's paranoia or the suppression of religion and morals I've found in this area I can't be sure.
I've been practicing DBT, CT, and grief recovery and to be very honest I still feel like complete crap. When I pulled myself together before, I found meaning for all the abuse etc. I had gone through. I seem to be unable to make meaning out of all these past occurrences. Anyone have a suggestion on where to start?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:47 pm

Username9876 wrote: I seem to be unable to make meaning out of all these past occurrences. Anyone have a suggestion on where to start?


Sure, start by stopping the cycle of looking to past occurrences to explain your behavior today.

It is perfectly normal and can be helpful to look at the past for explanation, to try to tie a behavior to some cause. We do this all the time in life. We try to explain what caused the plane to crash, the crime to be committed, the volcano to erupt. We search for explanation, because we hope it will help us avoid repeating the behavior or avoid the threat. We hope by understanding the past that the future will improve.

The problem is that we have a tendency to overuse and over simplify this perspective. We like to come up with reasons, explanations, and justifications, because that temporarily helps us reduce our feelings of discomfort. Once we have explained to ourselves the accident happened because of X or Y or Z, we can relax for awhile. It doesn’t matter how inaccurate or ludicrous the explanation, as long as we believe.

In some cases, you have people claiming that the behavior of today (proximal) is somehow related to causes when they were a toddler (distal). While certainly something that took place 5+ years ago might have some influence, it is not accurate to say it is “the cause” or even a primary cause, secondary cause, or tertiary cause. In most causes, proximal stimuli have a much, much stronger causal influence than something that happened decades ago.

But, psychologically we are more comfortable with distal explanations, as it helps us to simplify our beliefs about why we do something. It reduces mental conflict to have a few go to explanations we can draw upon rather than admit to ourselves what really influenced our behavior is much closer than we would like to admit. It is much more dynamic, much more ill structured to say the cause of being obese is a myriad of stimuli that bombard us on a daily basis. That is a tough puzzle to crack. It is easier to explain that your parents allowed junk food or that it is in the family genes, etc.

The path forward is to stop ruminating and searching for answers in the past. Research has shown it is a good idea to journal or write about the past, but with the purpose that it then allows you to mentally forget or archive those memories (The Zeigarnik Effect). This frees up cognitive resources as to be focused on today, to focus on stimuli in your immediate environment that might influence potential options.
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#2

Postby Username9876 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:58 pm

I appreciate your answer and I can see where you are coming from with the information.
However, I feel being able to avoid future repeats (learning) of things that have caused issues in the past is necessary, if not key to survival. overanalyzation isn't helpful, but understanding that 9/10 of my loss came from the individual I CHOSE to be around should factor into my behavior today. If not for this learning behavior, there would be no evolution. What I'm experiencing is an exagerated tendency to avoid stressful stimuli, hence the borderline. And to me, its entirley well founded.
This behavior is proximal. Even if you look at conditioning. Yes, something that is conditioned can be reversed. But a strong stimuli will just evoke that all over again, as proven. Although primacy is important, if the conditioning is strong enough, the childhood experience would be the root of the issue.
Disorders are a triad. Biological, general and then specific psychological vulnerability. Even cognitive therapy, which is based in mental behavior takes this into consideration as it looks at the core negative belief. The difference is it doesnt waste time on a bunch of psychoanalytic Freud crap.
I am living in the present with what I've learned in my life. And the majority of it is people are manipulative and out for themselves.
Making meaning was finding a reason for how my upbringing can contribute instead of drag down my behaviors in the present day, wether I could explain why they happened or not. its the same function religion serves most of the time.
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:23 am

I’m not saying ignore the past. I agree we learn from the past and this learning stays with us. This is why we can and often do repeat certain low level behaviors, e.g. we don’t need to relearn to ride a bicycle, or the rules of chess, or that an electrical outlet is dangerous.

In the original post it sounded like you are much more past than present focused. Avoidance of stressful stimuli is past focused, i.e. goal avoidance vs. goal approach. Anyway, it is something to consider. Good luck.

Anyway, hap
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