What Causes Depression?
One of the most common questions people have about their depression is, “What caused it?” While that is a difficult question to answer due to the many factors potentially involved, there is one answer worth exploring.
In my work with clients who have been depressed, this is one answer we make sure to explore. This one answer is, “something’s up and something needs to change.” What I mean by this is that our minds and bodies react to situations in our lives, sometimes irrespective of how our conscious mind makes sense of things. An example of how this might work is if you push and push yourself at work, telling yourself you need to get some things done. At the same time, your mind gets tired, your body gets tired, and they react (with stress symptoms) or shut down in response. Your conscious mind says, “keep going,” while your inner mind and body say, “we’ve had enough!”
So, for many of you who are depressed, there is a part of you saying, “something’s up and something needs to change.” It’s a powerful signal to your conscious mind to take some action. This action might include changing something about your work environment, your home life, your partnership, your relationships, your goals, your health, your lifestyle, how you think about yourself, and so forth. Certainly, some of the needed changes won’t be easy. In fact, they may seem impossible. However, making difficult changes in the short run, and dealing with the aftermath, may be well worth the benefit to your mental health in the long run.
Exploring the question of “what’s up and what needs to change?” can be done with a therapist. It can also be done by yourself if you are willing to take a good hard look at things and be honest with yourself. You might also elicit the input of trusted family members or friends. Or, perhaps you have already been getting this kind of feedback from those around you.
At the bottom of the AllAboutDepression.com home page, I have some links for workshops and other information that might help you with this process. They include the CBT Workshop, the Stress Management Workshop, Online Relaxation Exercises, and Managing Symptoms of Depression.
Good luck with your own self-exploration! You can do it!