3 Reasons Being Depressed Can Feel Comfortable


Of course, if you ask anyone, no one would tell you they want to be depressed or that they like to be depressed. And, even though you might not “like” being depressed, there’s a covert coziness to it. This is why when people say: “get out and do something, talk to your friends, exercise, etc., etc., etc.” to someone who is depressed, it can be irritating AF and push them deeper into the hole (which can be strangely comfortable).

The thing about depression is that there is a stop energy to it, it’s like a heavy blanket on top of you. With this, what we find is that trying to push someone or pull someone out from under that heaviness can have the effect of sending them deeper into the quicksand of depression.

The best way to start to work with depressive feelings is to allow it. This seems crazy, but if you think about moving with it to loosen the grip of it, instead of against it, it makes more sense.


Let’s talk about 3 reasons being depressed can be comfortable.

Reason #1: It’s easier on your mind

It seems like being depressed might include intense emotions, but it’s actually a numbing mechanism. There’s probably a lot of negative thoughts, but you’re likely not contacting or completing emotions. When you stay in your head with all the spiraling thoughts, there isn’t a lot of feeling, so there’s the “relief” of not feeling. Your system is in shut down mode, and you are conserving energy.

The thought of having to start your system back up and use the energy it takes to feel your real emotions can be overwhelming, so you stay in that depressed place that has become a space that is familiar.  Familiar = comfortable.

(Urie, Lauren [laurenurie.therapy]. “Why can depression Become so Comfortable?.” *Instagram, May 17, 2024. www.instagram.com/p/C7Ev5MdOyLm/?igsh=MWQ1ZGUxMzBkMA==)


Reason #2: Depression can reinforce negative beliefs you have about yourself and the world. 

Maybe these negative beliefs are old, which means there has been a lot of reinforcement for them. The neural pathways for those beliefs are well worn, so it’s less effort for the brain to fire those pathways. This also conserves energy.  

You may realize that the negative beliefs are not true, but coming to terms with what is really true may require you to change other things in your life, and that feels like too much to take on.  

For example: if an old belief is that you don’t deserve love, but you know that’s not true, you might have to dismantle some defense mechanisms that keep people away.  This will make you feel vulnerable.  All of this requires energy. 

Creating positive change would be building ‘new pathways’, it would require effort and energy and when you’re depressed, it feels like exerting effort or finding energy is impossible.  So it feels easier (more comfortable) to continue reinforcing negative beliefs.


Reason # 3: Depression leads to isolation, which can feel safer, even though you feel more lonely.

People who are depressed sometimes feel like they have nothing to contribute, are a burden, and don’t want to subject themselves to feeling worse. Just being around others who aren’t depressed, feeling the distance between where “normal people” are and where you are, can feel bad. Add to that, most people will try to give you advice that is largely unhelpful (Like: you just need to get out and do something).

Social interactions can be hard for everyone, whether they struggle with depression or not.  When you put yourself in social situations you could be judged by others or feel like you have to live up to certain social expectations.  By avoiding other people and isolating, you are minimizing the risk of being judged or letting yourself or other people down.


Becoming comfortable in your depression can keep you stuck there for a long period of time.  Ultimately, depression isn’t something you can force yourself out of, it requires compassion. It requires meeting you where you’re at and that is exactly what we can do. We will meet you where you are and then we can find our way toward more lightness and wellness together, one step at a time. Contact us. 




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