I thought reader Becky made an excellent point with regard to self-indulgence and depression in her comment on the “Unrealistic Expectations: Perfection’s Trophy Wife” post:
I’m having a very hard time seeing what in this post would prompt criticisms of “selfish” or “self-indulgence.” So, I talked to my husband, who does not suffer from his own mental illness, about it. He said that to “outsiders” a lot of what goes on for depressives may seem self-absorbed. Here’s the difference–someone who is truly selfish, self-indulgent, or self-absorbed, wouldn’t be willing to give up their behavior. I know for myself, I’d love it if I didn’t HAVE to spend many hours a week working on my own physical/mental health. I would much rather be reaching out to others, volunteering, or otherwise participating in communities. But here’s the thing–if I didn’t spend the time on my own health, I wouldn’t be able to give any of myself to others because I would be incapacitated by depression and anxiety.