Recently I read a post that captured one of the most difficult symptoms of mental illness, which the writer referred to as “the impossible task.” The “impossible task” is a simple process or activity that suddenly becomes overwhelming and difficult. For some it might be household chores like washing dishes or sorting laundry. Others may struggle with getting dressed or showering. I find the impossible task one of the most frustrating parts of depression, because I feel so much guilt about not being able to do things that most people wouldn’t think twice about. Most people can list sadness, isolation, sluggishness, as common symptoms, but, for me, the “impossible task” hits on a defining characteristic of depression and is one I struggle with the most. I need to remember to treat myself with the kindness and patience I would extend to others. Only in loving and caring for myself can I love and care for others.