When Depression and Veganism Collide: Navigating the Inner Critic
As a vegan and animal rights activist, I’ve found that negative self-talk and depression can be especially challenging. When I’m constantly bombarded with stories of animal abuse and exploitation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. And when depression hits, it can amplify those feelings a hundredfold.
The negative self-talk can also take on a unique form for vegans and animal rights activists. It’s not just about personal failures and flaws, but also about the state of the world and the suffering of animals. I’ll find myself thinking, “I’m not doing enough” or “I should have done more to help that animal.” It’s a constant battle to remind myself that I’m doing the best I can and that any effort to reduce animal suffering is a step in the right direction.
For a long time, I tried to cope with these feelings by focusing on the positives in my life and my activism, but it never seemed to help. In fact, it often made me feel worse. It felt selfish to complain about my own problems when animals were suffering so much. But the truth is, these negative feelings are real and they can’t be ignored.
Instead, I’ve learned to accept and acknowledge them. Whether it’s writing in a journal or talking to a friend or therapist, getting these feelings out in the open can be incredibly therapeutic. It reminds me that I’m not alone in my struggles and that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes. And when I’m able to address these negative thoughts and feelings head-on, I’m better able to move forward and continue my work for animal rights.
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