How PDA can cause depression

There are many reasons for depression, sometimes there’s no reason for it at all, it just happens. One reason can be PDA.

A lack of understanding of what PDA is and why a PDAer acts the way they do can mean the person is handled badly. Many people unwittingly cause PDAers depression because they are trying to manage the PDAer one way when another way is better, but they don’t know or understand this. It’s unfortunate that trying one’s hardest can sometimes have a negative affect. This doesn’t mean anyone is at fault or should be blamed, we can’t know everything. We do better when we know better.

Some people deliberately cause PDAers harm despite knowing better ways of dealing with them. Maybe they don’t care or have some need to cause harm. Whatever reason, deliberately handling a PDAer in a way that is bad for them can lead to depression.

Depression in these circumstances come about from low-self esteem when the PDAer is trying their hardest yet finds their hardest lacking. Especially so if they have been mocked or told they are ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ for not trying harder.

Depression can also come about from the PDAer causing harm to themselves or others through demand avoidance, self-harm, inability to control their emotions and their actions or any number of other ways. They feel stuck, guilty for the pain they have caused but unable to do anything to rectify the situation or prevent more harm.

PDAers generally feel like they don’t fit in, especially if their differences are pointed out or are more obvious. They will feel alone and lonely no matter how many friends they have or how much their family tells them they love them. Humans naturally wish to fit in and find their place in society, not being able to find a place where they belong can cause negative feelings which can lead to depression.

Constantly feeling anxious will cause anyone to feel bad, even depressed. For PDAers, there is no break from this, they will always feel this way. Even without knowing this, feeling anxious all the time can make them depressed, so knowing it will never end can cause a person to sink further into depression.

Knowing you have a disability that no one else can see, and having people disbelieve you about your problems and ability to cope might cause feelings of depression. If people keep reinforcing that ‘there’s nothing wrong with you’ and that ‘you just need to try harder’ it can cause severe feelings of doubt and loneliness.

Demands which are frequent and never ending can cause depression as the PDAer feels trapped, like there’s no way out. They struggle to manage those demands and even after they’ve gotten over one another one is lurking just waiting to attack. Eating and sleeping are common examples, as we can’t really avoid them and we have to face them every day, sometimes several times a day. It should never be underestimated just how crippling these kinds of demands can be.

PDAers can also become depressed when they really want to do things but can’t because of demand avoidance. This leaves them feeling hopeless as they feel no matter how hard they try they can’t do they things they really wish to do. This can be compounded by seeing others managing to do things easily and leaves them feeling left out.

When depression does sink in it can make it even harder to manage demands. Depression seeps all your energy so there’s little left for fighting demand avoidance. You loose all motivation which for some is one of the few things that keeps them fighting against avoidance. One of the recommendations for depression is to do stuff anyway even if you don’t feel like it, which is almost an impossibility for depressed PDAers.

For some, waiting it out can help with depression as for some it comes and goes. Others might need help to feel better, either through therapy or meds. Reinforcing positivity can help some and finding something to look forward to everyday might help, no matter how small. Getting plenty of rest, sleep and nutrients can help but may not be easy to manage. Remembering that it’s not your/the person’s fault, that depression can happen to anyone and that it’s okay to feel down, can help. It might be easier to take things one day at a time and not worry if you/they have ‘bad’ days, it happens sometimes and it nothing to feel ashamed about. There are lots of people who can help, helplines, forums, internet resources, doctors.

One thought on “How PDA can cause depression”

  1. Thank you for reminding me. xx Its easy to get cross as a parent when we cant see the disabilities and judge from our own sounds minds and think everyone is the same. Today I will keep what you have said in the front of my mind, esp the bit about motivation and planning something nice each day. x Bless your heart. x

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