Trying can be a double edged sword.

When I work with patients and they respond to something I've recommended with "I'll try," I almost always know they won't do it. It's a way for them to get me off their back from holding them accountable.

But it may mean that we need to break the goal down into a smaller one that they can really commit to.

I want to hear from them, "Yes, I will do it."

If we settle on trying, at the next visit they'll often say, "Well, I tried." Then, they feel like a failure. I want them to build on success.

With a depressed person, even the smallest goal can seem impossible. Sometimes our goals need to be very, very small in order to have a success to build on.

Written by

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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