Responsibility and Depression

Responsibility and depression

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to talk about responsibility and depression.

First a quick update:

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Now let’s talk about the link between responsibility and depression.

The dictionary defines “responsible” as 1. Chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something e.g. Termites were responsible for the damage. 2. Having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore accountable; capable of rational thought or action. 3. Reliable or dependable.

I like to summarize the above three definitions this way: Being responsible means that you are the author of your life, you write the script by the way that you respond to the things that happen in your life, you have the power to choose in every moment, and only you are accountable for your happiness.

For most of us, the modus operandi, the way we do things, is to believe that we are being controlled, we have no power, we are not responsible, we are helpless and we are victims.

The less we feel in control of our lives, the more we will out of control, lost, confused, frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, unhappy and depressed.

I define depression as anger turned inwards that usually is felt as not justified to be expressed. For example, a client of mine experienced depression after moving her children to another state, buying a home and waiting six months for her husband to move there when he finally received his job transfer. She felt depressed because she became overwhelmed by the challenges of raising two young children on her own, in a new state, without the help and support that she needed. She felt that she couldn’t express her anger at her husband because it wasn’t his fault since he was simply waiting for his job transfer.

Another client of mine fell into depression following the death of her husband a few years prior. She felt angry that her husband died, that she was alone and that her three adult children were not doing enough for her, not spending enough time with her and not doing enough to make her happy! In fact, those were her words to me, “My children are responsible to make me happy. That’s their job.” Although, this might sound like an extreme case, many of us are living our lives, expecting other people to make us happy: our husband, wife, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, children, mother, father, boss or friends.

In the above case, the lady came out of depression when I helped her to see and truly realize that not only are her children not responsible for her happiness, but they cannot make her happy; only she can make herself happy. This awakening set her free because no longer was she a victim to the whims, choices and actions of her children. In other words, she had put previously herself in a state of helplessness whereby she had no power over how she felt because she let her children determine that for her. Now, each day and in each moment, she could consciously control how she would feel, how she would act, respond and the choices she would make. Yes, as per the dictionary definition of responsible (reliable or dependable) she could now rely and depend on herself for her happiness, for the way she feels everyday!

The lesson is the same for all of us. We are responsible for our happiness. We are responsible for our choices. We are responsible for our actions, reactions and responses. We are responsible for the negative emotions and judgments we carry around with us. No one has power over us except that which we choose to give them. Thus, if you are harboring resentment, bitterness or anger towards someone else, you will feel bad – be it depressed, sad, frustrated or physically sick. The other person is not doing anything to you. When you finally take responsibility for everything that happens in your life (not blame) you will be set free.

Always choose forgiveness. You will feel better for it!

Remember to check out my Blog on my website to read my past Success Newsletters, post your comments and take a few exciting quizzes. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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