Scumbag Brain

It’s easy to get annoyed at people who say things like, “Just think positive”, and such with respect to depression. If it were that easy, no one would be depressed. The implication of saying that it’s that simple is that anyone who is depressed has a choice, and is choosing to be depressed, which is both insensitive and insulting to those who struggle with it. Not that learning to think more positively can’t help–it can–but it often takes a lot of work, and it’s often either not enough by itself or not possible without eliminating other contributing factors. Depression is a complicated game.

I’ve been thinking today, though. I think that, for me at least, there is a certain truth to the idea that I want to be depressed. I don’t actually consciously want to be, but I’ve been noticing in my attempts to challenge certain mental habits that there’s a part of my brain that seems absolutely determined to see things negatively–that seems to *want* to see things negatively.

I’ve been trying SuperBetter, and it’s been very interesting so far. One of the opening quests is to recruit “allies”, that is to say, to add people to your account who are willing to help out. Specifically, the quest goal is to add your first ally to the game. When I spotted this quest, I had already added a few allies ,so I went ahead to click “I did this!” and the following rough conversation went through my brain:

Scumbag Brain*: “But you didn’t know this was a quest when you recruited them, so it really shouldn’t count.”

Good Guy Brain: “It literally says ‘Add your first ally’. I have clearly already done that.”

SB: “Well, I don’t think it should count. You should add one more.”

GGB: “I’ve already added the people I want to try this to start out with. Fuck you.”


I find myself wondering why the hell part of me is so determined to be a dick about things, and find any way to look at them negatively. It’s bewildering and frustrating.

*Yes, I am a Redditor. What of it?