Friday, January 14, 2011

You Don’t Need to Disappear to be Safe

In my many years of helping others I have heard the statement “I just want to disappear” over and over from depressed people when they feel that their life is out of control. Many think that “disappearing” is a way to stay safe. Just disappearing is not the answer. Many who experience crisis in their life or failed relationships want to hide. He or she reverts to cutting ties with family, friends or support system, sinking into addiction, isolating or withdrawing. Distorted thinking that breeds out of being alone, such as “if I am alone and do not interact with others then I will not be hurt” are not the answer and in fact end up making them more unsafe.
The more we are alone, the more doubt enters the mind. This leads to self judgment and thoughts of weakness or a feeling of being “less than”. If others perceive that him or her is weak then there is a good chance they will be hurt again.
What is the answer? To be honest it is the opposite behavior that keeps him or her safe. By being social and increasing our social contacts, being more with family and friends, the support system will begin to generate different thoughts patterns.  Then the perception that he or she gives off will be one of strength. Really it is what we give off to others that keep us safe.

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