Why Am I So Depressed? - 10 More Possible Reasons

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Depression-treatment-for-busy people.jpgThere are so many possible reasons that might have led you to feel depressed. Following on from an earlier article "Why Am I Depressed? - 10 possible reasons", you can read about 10 more things that you can start to change to help overcome your depression.

If you find things on the following list that apply to you, make a note of them and do what you can to work on them to help speed up your recovery.

1. Unrealistic expectations. 

Many people expect their life to be easy, and become depressed and disappointed when it isn't. Life is difficult for many of us, much of the time.  Difficulties and problems come as part of living. On top of the fact that life is difficult, it's also full of surprises, as it's always constantly changing. People move away, get sick and die. The way we have to earn a living changes. Things get more expensive and 'you can't rely on anything to be as it was' forever.

What can you do about this? -  Stop expecting things to be other than exactly how they are. It's a mental and emotional drain to keep yourself feeling victimised whenever something doesn't go your way. Learn to accept things as they are. Plan to change the things you don't like and learn to let the things that you can't control 'be'.

2. Boredom. Understand that there is a link between boredom and depression. Keeping yourself in a rut and doing nothing new for too long can make you feel depressed and lonely. 

What can you do about this? - It's always useful to find new, constructive things you can do to keep yourself mentally, physically and emotionally engaged. It's so easy to tell yourself you'll do new things 'some day' and put it off because you're too busy being stuck in your bored rut. There's no such thing as an effortless 'interesting life'. Life is 'out there' and you have to learn how to go out and find it.

3. Working too hard. It's important to understand that putting yourself under a constant 'stress overload' can make you feel tired and depressed. Long working hours and a lack of sleep can increase your risk of suffering from both physical and mental health problems. All work with little or no rest and play is harmful. 

What can you do about this? - Sort out your work life balance by putting new habits in place. It's important to make sure that you're maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Constructive rest is essential for you to be able to work more effectively, so make sure you put them in your weekly schedule.

4. Reliance on alcohol, cigarettes or other addictive substances. Many depressed people turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and drug abuse, thinking that these can help them feel better and 'escape' the bad feelings. However, it's important to understand that alcohol, cigarettes and other addictive substances are harmful for your mental health. 

What can you do about this? - Learn to do new things instead of distracting yourself with addictive substances. Plan activities that you can enjoy with a clear mind and find ways to reduce, or avoid the places, people and circumstances where you're tempted to go into those harmful habits. If your habits are ingrained and you don't know how to change,  then you may need to find a support group or addiction counsellor to guide you through 'letting go' of your addictions.

5. Waiting for someone else to come along and sort out your problems. It's easy to get into the trap of wanting someone to come and miraculously rescue you from your depression. Keep in mind that even though there's help out there, ultimately it's only you who can help yourself overcome depression. 

What can you do about this? - Make the decision to help yourself and do something about finding ways for you to feel better. You don't need to take big leaps. It only takes small, yet very helpful steps each day to get you towards your recovery. Make sure you put in at least as much effort as the people around you who are supporting you in your recovery process.

6. Procrastination. Realize that putting off important things can leave you feeling stressed and depressed. It helps to educate yourself about constructive life planning and time management, as this can help reduce your stress, feel more in control and be happier.

What can you do about this? - Start a list of all the things that you've been putting off, then start to plan when you will do them. By tackling a few outstanding tasks each week you'll start to feel more 'on top' of your problems and in control of your life.

7. Not enough fun. Marking your calendar with some fun activities that you can look forward to is just as important as your work and other commitments. Everyone needs to de-stress, unwind and loosen up once in a while. 'Play' time is essential for your mental well being. 

What can you do about this? - Make time for fun and you'll realize how much it can help in making you feel less depressed. Invite others to join you when you plan a fun activity. This will help build your friendships and help those around you become happier too.

8. Being overly self-obsessed. Focusing purely on your unmet wants and needs can make you lead to depression. Being aware of others feelings and wants can help you gain the perspective you need to enjoy your life more. Spending some energy helping others can help you realize that making others feel good can also be a great way to help you feel good about yourself.

What can you do about this? - It's vital that you become aware that you are part of a larger community of people and you have a valuable part to play. Start to behave in a kind and friendly way towards others, and you'll be surprised how much more kindness and friendliness you'll enjoy coming your way as a result.

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9. Putting your own needs after those around you. It's good to take care of other people, especially your loved ones. However, it's most important that you don't put other peoples' needs before your own well being.  Neglecting your own basic emotional health needs over time can lead to depression. This is especially true for busy parents, or regular carers of sick, disabled or elderly people.

What can you do about this? - Start caring for yourself as well as you care for others that you love. Let go of any guilt you might have around 'self-care' being selfish. Understand that if you're burned out, down and depressed, you're no good for anybody.

Prioritize your own well being. If you're not sure how to help yourself, ask for help. It's easier to see the changes you need to make, with the help of someone who is outside your situation.

10. Poor living and/or working environment. An unhealthy living and/or working environment can be a contributing factor to depression. It's impossible to feel good if you spend too much time in a stale, noisy, cluttered or dirty place. 

What can you do about this? - If you think that your environment is making you depressed, start to make changes. Your primary needs are enough light, space and fresh air. One simple thing you can do is to open your curtains and windows and let the daylight and fresh air in. If you're surrounded by unfinished jobs, and unused items, prioritise a plan to tidy up and clear out everything that is making you feel down.

You might have  become depressed because you have never really learned how to be happy and live a happy life. Understand that happiness doesn't just get 'handed out' to some and not others. You need to put the conditions in place in your life to be happy. This takes planning and work on your part. 

I've found an interesting video for you with an unusual and controversial angle on why so many people are depressed. Is it true? Who knows? It certainly gives us something to think about...

Whatever the reasons why you're feeling depressed, the most important thing is for you to start doing things daily to overcome your depression and get back to living a happier life.

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