• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Spoon Theory For Depression And Anxiety

What Is Spoon Theory?

Spoon theory was proposed by Christine Miserandino. She suffered from an autoimmune disease called lupus and found it difficult to describe how this illness affects her physically and mentally. In a restaurant, when she was dining with her friend, her friend questioned how it to live with lupus is. Christine could not find words to describe her pain, so she grabbed all the spoons nearby and described each spoon is a unit of energy.

She described that when people suffer from chronic illness, they have a limited number of spoons each day and they have to use them wisely. The concept of “Spoon theory” is not limited to lupus, but is used to describe mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. There is also another theory called “Fork theory”. Forks are stress that we handle every day. The more the folks, we have, the more harmful our lives are.

How Difficult Is To Live With Depression And Anxiety?

Spoon theory, illness

A depressed man, Credits: pixabay


While it is difficult to live with chronic physical illnesses like arthritis and lupus, living with mental disorders is even more pathetic. It is unimaginable to understand people’s emotions and mood swings. People with depression have low energy levels, find difficult to concentrate and make decisions. People with anxiety face sleeping difficulties, have worry, fear, and become panic.

Spoon theory is a creative way to communicate the energy levels of people suffering from chronic illness. Lots of people identify themselves as “spoonie” and describe their illness and story on social media.

Spoon Theory for Depression and Anxiety

Spoon theory, mental illness

Different spoons, Credits: pixabay


The energy levels are majorly impacted by people who suffer from mental health problems.

People with chronic illnesses like depression have a limited number of spoons to complete their tasks. The following is an example of how a mother with depression manages to use a limited number of spoons to complete her daily chores.One spoonGet out of bed, get dressed, take pills, and unload the dishwasherTwo spoonsTake bath, prepare meals, make kids ready for school, and load the dishwasherThree spoonsPlaying with kids, doing mild housework, and go to a nearby placeFour spoonsGoing to the office, doctor consultation, and exercise

Most of the tasks are essential tasks of the day, and cannot be avoided. Imagine how people manage these tasks with a limited number of spoons they have. If they wish to do extra tasks, they are out of spoons, meaning deprived of energy. People with chronic illness have to plan very efficiently to manage their spoons when they come out of the bed.

Manage Your Spoons

People suffering from depression and anxiety need to manage their spoons wisely as they are very precious to them. So sleep well, eat healthily, and practice mindfulness.

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