There can be many reasons why someone starts to feel depressed. Sometimes for no apparent reason a black cloud may descend and nothing can help it to go away. A person may descend into a terrible mood and feel unable to do anything, become almost immobile from those feelings. Then it may lift just as quickly.
Depression is a word that we are also familiar with on a more regular day-to-day basis. We may use the word to simply describe a lowering of our mood, but real depression can change people's lives and make them unable to do anything or see a way forward out of the dark place. Let us look at some of the factors that can cause depression.
- Circumstantial factors can result in depression. If someone has had many negative and life changing experiences they can result in feeling overloaded and depressed as a consequence. Divorce, bereavement, redundancy can cause people to feel overwhelmed. There is often a feeling of helplessness attached to these events, as nothing can be done to prevent them happening, they have to be endured, tolerated and coped with.
Even several good things happening can cause depression. I have had clients who have planned their fabulous wedding, got happily married, moved into a great new home and then berate themselves for feeling unable to shift the dreadful low mood that has descended and become all-encompassing. Sometimes this happens because of all the excitement that was previously being generated, there can be a sense of nothing exciting to look forward to now that it has all finally happened, sometimes it can be because of all the changes and adaptation required to start a new way of life.
- Learned behavior can be a factor in depression that comes about from long-term bad treatment. If a person is regularly told that they are no good, that they will not amount to anything, that other people are better or more important than them, then it can be easy to understand why that person eventually feels depressed. Even when those words have not actually been said if a person is especially sensitive, they may feel that they have been implied. If they see others being favored, getting better results, being treated with greater kindness, they may feel that this is because they are unintelligent, inconsequential and insignificant. They will have low or even no expectations from themselves and from life.
- Chemical imbalance occurs when someone has a pre-disposition to depression from a genetic cause or where a person's brain functioning has changed through ill-health or situational events. Medication can often be prescribed by a medical practitioner to help support a return to normal functioning. It can help improve a person's mood and outlook and help them cope better on a daily basis.
Counseling and coaching can be very beneficial with depression. Often an improvement in confidence, self-esteem and self-belief makes an important difference to a person's outlook. Helping to heal and move on from past negative experiences, take control and start to remind themselves of what they can achieve, their uniqueness and worth are valuable results achieved from the therapy.
These therapies help with stress management, quality of life, treating oneself better. Depressed people often lose motivation to do things, sometimes even simple things like taking care of oneself can seem like too much effort. Being brave enough to book the first session is often the most important step that a person can take on their road to recovery.