Does depression interfere with your ability to make decisions? I have a terrible time settling on any one answer when making a decision. Yes, I will do it. No, I can't. But I have to. I am an adult and can make up my own mind. I wish someone would just make the decision for me. I refuse to even think about it until the deadline is passed and thereby avoid a decision. I ought to do it. What will happen if I don't do it? Will I be forgiven if I back out at the last minute?
I rarely blindly jump into anything, in other words. And often, the decision is not something life-altering and does not have major consequences. It really doesn’t matter.
One contributing factor is: depression and antidepressants leave me so fatigued I don't know if I'll have the energy to go anywhere at a certain time or place. Especially if it's scheduled for the evening. So I hate to say yes or no. There’s nothing worse than trying to sit through a symphony or a conversation when you can’t keep your eyes open.
Another factor: fortune telling. If I go, I’ll hate it. I’ll end up the wall-flower. They won’t have anything I want to eat. So-and-so will be there and ruin the evening. Rarely do I predict that Prince Charming will sweep me off my feet or even that I’ll feel comfortable being there.
Factor number three: Depression is very painful. It infuses every part of my being, including my outlook, the way I dress, the speed at which I think, and even my personal hygiene at times. The pain can certainly influence decisions in a dramatic way. In my case, stability is a priority. Avoiding pain is a part of maintaining that stability. Only do what is “safe”. Willingness to go just so far and no further for fear of disturbing that hornet’s nest of pain. Pain of the past, pain of perceived failures, the phantom pain of losses caused by depression. The fear that a decision will bring depression swarming out of that nest and it will overwhelm me again. More painful stings. I think depression heightens my perception of pain. Strange, because it actually seems to numb me at the same time.
With depression, I become less and less able to see things clearly -- as they were and as they are. I think a big part of recovery an being able to make decisions is regaining a distance between the fatigue, the importune clairvoyance, the interpretation-via-pain. Being able to separate myself from the result of a decision and accept whatever happens and move on. To say yes, I may make a fool of myself. Yes, I may make a bad decision. Yes, I or someone I love could get hurt. But also I may find out that this man I’ve been putting off really cares. No, Mother doesn’t always need to get her way. I am a unique individual and am only human, but I can succeed with planning and courage.
Lastly, depression keeps me from seeing that I’m worthwhile as a person. If I’m not worthwhile, then my decisions don’t count. They don’t matter. Who cares if the answer is yes or no. Who cares if I show up or not. Do I even care myself?