Do you ever hear others or yourself say, “Just get over it” or “How long are you going to feel that way?” Or hearing others giving you those “guilt trip” comments or questions like, “You shouldn’t feel that way”, “Why do you feel so sad?” or “Oh you shouldn’t feel so bad, should you?” or “There are so many other people in the world that have it much worse than you do”.
Do you wonder if feeling depressed is supposed to last this long or have you wondered how you ever got to feeling depressed to begin with. There is hope in getting through this time in your life. You are not alone in feeling sad or depressed as we have counseled many people through their struggles with depression and with similar feelings. And yes, you matter and how you feel, what you are going through is different than others because you are you and you are worth being understood. Your feelings, your thoughts are yours.
Through our years of counseling people with depression, the inward signs or outward expressions may be rather similar – such as low mood, slowed daily activity, change in appetite, change in sleep patterns, feelings of hopelessness, not doing satisfying activities as much if not at all as you use to do, feelings of not wanting to be around anymore (including suicidal thoughts), low self-esteem, and lack of motivation. We have found that depression may be a way to cope with life, a reaction to relationship problems, as well as reactions to hurtful, painful or overwhelming life situations. We also understand that there are medical reasons to depression and sharing this with your healthcare provider may be helpful as well.
Your story, your situation, your life is unique to you. Here are five areas that may trigger your depression. Can you relate to any of these listed below?
- Grief and loss – This is significant in many different ways from the loss of a loved one or close friend, loss of an abuser, loss of a relationship (such as in divorce, when you or another move away, change of co-workers, empty nest, etc.), loss or change in health, loss of a pet, loss or significant change in job, change in financial status, change in living situation or life transitions and several other instances.
- History of unresolved hurt – This can be due to past abuse, trauma, parents’ divorce, mistrust in relationships, or other significant life events, abandonment, minimal or lack of a healthy bond or attachment with key adult figures while as an infant, toddler, young child (such as mother, father, caregiver). Also hurt with current relationship/s including conflict, unmet expectations, poor communication, etc. Anger may often be present with this hurt as depression may be referred to at times as anger turned inward. Other feelings may include guilt (whether true or false) over what you had done or not done what was expected or needed of you. Also, shame is a significant feeling attributed to depression.
- Lack of forgiveness (or holding a grudge) – This is seen with those who may have caused you a lot of trouble, antagonism, or caused you and/or a loved one much harm (such as in abuse, rape, domestic violence, workplace bullying, car accident, theft, etc.) By holding a grudge it may feel like you have power over the person/s who harmed you but we have found that the grudge has more of a way of harming you emotionally, mentally, and physically.
- Medical condition/s – Given that depression has a medical component to it, there could be a chemical imbalance that may trigger the depression. It can also be coupled with other medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, fibro myalgia, and other conditions (which we recommend you discuss with your healthcare provider). Thus, the depression may be specifically medical or it may be a combination of both medical and situational/relational.
- Emotional exhaustion – This can come from being over stressed, being in a high demanding job, working two or more jobs or juggling between work and school, high demanding relationship, care-giving (whether of a family member or as part of your job) or from giving away too much of yourself to a point of just not caring anymore. Feeling just plain emotionally or mentally drained.
If you see yourself in or can relate to one or more of these areas that may be causing your depression, there is help available for you. We have found that by working through these areas and making sense or clearing up these causes can greatly reduce or bring complete freedom from your depression. You may want to see one of our counselors who is objective, a good listener, helpful in problem-solving, and who may be able to help you through these difficult areas. Feel free to read other articles we have on this site or some of the other blog entries.
Give us a call at 520-292-9750 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.