Causes Of Depression
Depression can strike any of us at any time. No one is immune. Depression affects people from all walks of life and has little regard for social status, intelligence, or success in the world. Although some depressions come "out of the blue," most depressions represent reactions to life changes. Not all life changes result in depression, but there are a number of common stressors that may kindle its onset.
Existential Losses: One of the main existential concerns that people commonly encounter is disillusionment or loss of a dream. We have hopes and dreams, some well known to us, some mostly unconscious. Such dreams include "I hope to have a family or a marriage that will fulfill me," or "I hope to find success and happiness in my job."
Often the reality of a job or a relationship does not match what one longs for inwardly. It is not unusual for a person to wake up one day and be struck with the painful awareness that "I'm not happy" in a relationship or a job.
Events that Lower Self-Esteem: Many life events may deal a blow to one's sense of esteem or self-worth. Personal failures, personal rejections and criticisms, and making mistakes are but a few of the many events that can lead to low self-esteem. Every human being has a need to feel a basic sense of self-worth.
Physical Disease and Chronic Pain: Illnesses can create serious emotional distress. In some instances, a physical disease results in intense, daily pain, diminishing the quality of life and making it hard to experience moments of joy.
Prolonged Stress: Stress, in general, does not cause depression. In fact, people often are able to take on a number of stressful tasks and feel "okay." The key appears to be how you perceive yourself in the face of stressful situations. If you start to become overwhelmed or unable to cope with mounting pressures, your self-perception that you can handle stress can change, resulting in depression.
At times the reasons for depression are clear, but often they are obscure or hidden. It is clear that many human experiences can set the stage for or actually initiate depression. No wonder depression is such a common condition.
You can take an important step in combating your depression by gaining some awareness of the causes. One of the most powerful ways to become more aware of the causes of your depression is to talk about yourself, your feelings, your past and recent events with another person. By exploring your own life and sharing this with another person, you may be better able to put the pieces together, to discover and to understand your depression.