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Decision Making

Life is all about making decisions. As we come up on the 2 year anniversary of being in a pandemic, the decision making that is a part of regular life seems, in our opinion, to have multiplied. There is the choice to act as if nothing is happening, we can ignore all the medical advice as hubris and much like the story of Chicken Little, go about our lives while the sky is indeed falling. We can also decide to listen to medical advice and get our vaccines and wear our masks. Additionally there are decisions on how to keep your family as safe and healthy as possible while going about life, work, school, grocery shopping, etc.. There are so many decisions to make and for many out there, it seems more than a little daunting.

Everything in us presses toward decision, even toward the wrong decision, just to be free of the anxiety that precedes any big step in life. -May Sarton

Everything in life really boils down to making a decision.
Some are rather small:
• Should I eat a salad today or a double cheeseburger?
• Should I sleep in or wake up early and workout?
• Should I watch one more episode or should I go to sleep?

Others may set our entire life on a different trajectory, either good or bad:
• Should I do drugs at the party to fit in?
• Should I move for this job?
• Should I start therapy?
• Should I marry this person even though I feel there are red flags?

Of course these are just a few examples, but these types of decisions are discussed over and over on our site. Because at the root of support, what people are really asking for is, what do you think I should do based on your life experience?

In the space between yes and no, there is a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; it’s the legroom for the lies you will tell yourself in the future.
-Jodi Picoult

So how do we go about making the best decisions, the type of decisions we can look back on with pride, not remorse?

Consider for example you have been feeling depressed lately and it is starting to feel like life is exceptionally dark, work is getting harder to do, parenting feels impossible and you worry that this is it, how you feel now is terminal.

The decision making process of how to proceed can look a little like this:

1. Try to look at what you are dealing with without the filter of panic distorting everything.

Look back and evaluate whether or not you have dealt with depression or extreme sadness in the past. Did something specific trigger it? What did you do to treat it, did you speak to a doctor, or try therapy?

2. Set a date for making a decision, in this case calling a doctor, therapist or accessing an online service such as the NDMDA Depression Hotline (1-800-826-3632).

Today may feel like the world is ending and there is zero shame in reaching out for help right away, or maybe you feel able to give it a few hours and reassess. What would the benefits of getting help for your depression be? There are pros and cons to every decision, but in our humble opinion, getting support in the form of our site, through a Depression Hotline and/or your doctor or therapist is always a benefit.

3. Look at all your options.

Scheduling a visit with your Primary Doctor is a perfectly fine way to begin. Be aware that they are able to prescribe antidepressants if they deem them necessary. They may also recommend seeing a psychologist or therapist. Both options are up to you, but asking for a recommendation is not considered bad form, some medical networks have specialists located at a different hospital or clinic. Additionally, speak up about how you would like to approach your care, you have a voice in this, don’t allow anyone to silence you.

Oftentimes, the most important decisions are the most difficult to make - for, your future, and the future of the generations that come after you, hinges on the outcome of those decisions. -J.E.B. Spredemann

4. Finally, be open to changing your mind.

Perhaps you decided to try a particular medication, but after a few months it just doesn't seem to be working as well as it did. Bring it up immediately, don’t concern yourself with worries that you might be doing this wrong, medicine can stop working. You can discuss changing your dosage or trying a new medication all together. Or you may decide you don't want to be on medication and would rather try therapy on its own. Be open to the possibility that your decisions may evolve and enhance your life for the better.

We often trick ourselves into thinking that we possess enough knowledge or control over any given situation to make correct choices. Maybe that is why we hold on to the decisions we make so dearly even when we know we are wrong. -Spencer Fraseur

Decision making can be hard, but so is staying stagnant. We commend you for making the decision to join our site. We hope you are enjoying your time here, but if you ever have any questions or concerns, please let us know at info@supportgroups.com.

Wishing you all the best,
Team SG

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