Impatience in Depression

Marcia Purse Health Guide
  • Considering how much I procrastinate when I'm in the grip of depression, it seems like impatience would be a contradiction, doesn't it? Yet that, I realize, is a big component of my depression.


    Example: A few days ago I finally got up enough energy to put together all my personal tax material for 2011. This process includes generating a detailed report from my checkbook software, which took a couple of hours, and then scanning about 40 pages of documents to PDF. As I finished scanning each page or group of pages, I put them onto a pile on the floor.


    More than once I thought, "I should really put those in a folder." But I didn't. It was faster to put them on the floor. I was too impatient to bother making up a file folder.

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    Over the next two days I kept walking on the pile - yes, I'd actually put it in my traffic pattern. Each time I'd think oh, I need to put these in a folder before they get too marked up and scattered.


    Finally this morning I pulled out a blank file folder, made a label for it ("2011 Personal Taxes"), attached the label, and put all the paperwork in it. Elapsed time: maybe 4 minutes, only that long because I put 2012 on the label and had to correct it and print another.


    Now THAT is impatience. And I do the same sort of thing all the time. I empty the recycling bin, and then cans, paper and glass can pile up for DAYS because I haven't put a fresh liner in the bin yet - a 30-second job.


    I'm the same way with eating. What, take 10 minutes or so to scramble eggs? When I can just grab a Frappucino? Don't be silly - just pull the bottle out of the fridge.


    Why does this happen? I mean, I can see why I let larger jobs like dishes pile up, because I so often eat at my desk and by the time the plates, bowls or glasses get back to the kitchen sink, the remnants of food are stuck on hard and have to be soaked. (It never occurs to me to take dishes down to the kitchen as soon as I'm done with them.)


    It just seems so odd to me that I'm unwilling to do fast little tasks that would make a lot of difference. What am I in a hurry to get done, after all? During a depression, the answer is usually - absolutely nothing.


    Does this sound familiar to you? Is it, perhaps, a marker of bipolar disorder, this marriage of depression and impatience?

Published On: August 10, 2012