A couple of weeks ago, I went to a talk about depression in medical students, and I was introduced to the nice concept of the (not so) vicious spiral.
For many of us, patterns of good/bad mental health can repeat in a seemingly vicious circle. We can feel as though we are somewhat happy one week, then the next, a bad day or even a single moment can send us right back to a low. This isn’t exclusive to mental health - we can experience these cycles of highs and lows with our motivation, productivity, social life and more.
Unfortunately, these cycles can feel demoralising and hopeless. We feel as though we are trapped in a vicious circle of highs and lows, at the whim of a bad event in our environment that can send us spiralling downwards. Sadly, we can also feel unworthy or incompetent for not improving each time.
The vicious spiral is a way of reframing these feelings to a more positive outlook. Even though it may feel as though we are constantly circling through the same feelings, it’s changing our outlook that these cycles are part of a greater spiral upwards.