my last psychologist, jacob mathew, introduced me to the three i’s of depression and anxiety. this is based on the works of kirk strosahl. the three i’s of depression are inescapable, interminable and intolerable. people dealing with depression and anxiety face at least one of the three i’s.
feeling as if the situation is inescapable means there is a feeling that one can not get away from the situation. feeling as if the situation is intolerable means that one feels they can not stand the situation any longer. the third nemesis, interminable, makes one feel like they are on a hamster wheel and can not get off, that the situation will never end.
myself, while i am in a depressive cycle, i usually face inescapable and interminable. i hate when i add intolerable and fall into the depressive trifecta. when that happens, i start to feel truly overwhelmed and thoughts of suicide start to creep into my head.
all of these i’s are forms of despair, or put another way, lack of hope. the challenge for depressive people is to somehow fight through the muck and find hope in their situation.
to fight through, it people struggling with depression and anxiety can:
start tunneling–make plans for an escape or have a glimpse of freedom from the situation.
tolerate this!–take steps to make your situation more tolerable. weaken the thoughts that make the situation so intolerable.
get off the hamster wheel–take steps to make your life less interminable, find a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.