Someone once said that depression is your system being pressed down. That is so true! Depression can make you feel exhausted and everything you try to do can feel hopeless. There are many types of depression but almost all have one root cause and that is stress. Any continuation of high stress that wears you down because it hasn’t been dealt with properly can turn into depression. There are many factors that lead to depression and here are several of them.
The physical symptoms of depression are chronic pain, digestive problems, low energy, reduced appetite, hopelessness, can’t concentrate, loss of interest in pleasurable activities, and not sleeping or sleeping too much. Although symptoms of depression may be similar between men and women, men tend to express the symptoms differently. Women tend to be sad and emotional while men are more agitated and angry.
Symptoms of depression can be caused by a medical condition, such as a vitamin D deficiency, blood sugar or thyroid problems, so it is always advisable to see a doctor and have a full workup to rule out these causes. Additional physical contributors to feeling depressed can include physical inactivity and reduced exposure to sunlight. Many of these physiological factors are just at the tip of what causes depression. There are situational and developmental factors where counseling can help greatly.
A large part of stress can come from unprocessed losses in life. When we go through a loss and we haven’t dealt with the grief by taking time to feel and process it; it can get buried alive. This can stay buried for a long time until another current event triggers the original feelings of sadness, hurt, and/or anger.
Other situational losses can be moving, job transitions, health, or loss of a close relationship. One of the most important things we have in life is to be connected to other people. When someone is depressed, it is important to look at what their level is of feeling connected vs isolated. We get our zest for life from relationships and God has wired us with a need to connect with people.
An additional type of loss is when someone loses their choice or sense of power. This can be called learned helplessness and the brain actually changes its thinking to personalize everything to saying I’m bad, to my whole life is bad, to the future will not be any different.
We can get stuck developmentally at a certain time period in our life in which we have never moved forward because we haven’t processed the trauma. One great question to consider is when you are with your parents, or an authority figure, how old do you feel on the inside? The answer may help bring to light where you are stuck. You can break the cycle by bringing the secrecy and shame out of the dark and into the light within a safe relationship where healing can begin.
If you are struggling with depression, please give me a call at 940-222-8703, ext. 702. I believe there is a lot of hope for true healing.