Boss Lady

5 reasons you feel depressed and what to do about it


Speed bumps, potholes and roadblocks. The journey of life and business is often beset with hurdles and when we stumble we can start to feel a sense of loss, fear of the unknown — and a raft of emotions that at times can have no rational explanation. This is depression, and it can have a massive undermining impact on your life and work. It can also have a circular effect: when you are depressed, everything becomes harder… and that can increase your depression.

Depression is real and it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, rich or poor, street smart or book smart, or what your background or gender is. If you are not living with depression, you probably know or live with someone who is.

It can strike you at any time, for a long time, and we all need to find a way out… but more on that later.

The latest research shows there are five main reasons people feel depressed.

1. Little to no self-belief

Most people don’t wake up questioning whether they can get out of bed, go to work, look after their family and manage daily routines. But this is common when you are suffering depression. When you are depressed, often you have lost your self-belief. You don’t believe you can cope with things — despite what others may tell you. Start celebrating your achievements, no matter how small. If you make it out of bed, even if it’s for five minutes, it’s a good day.

2. Lack of purpose

Technology is an enabler for our lives, a luxury we can’t live without. The downfall of this same technology is that it is taking away our sense of purpose. Will my job be here in five years? What if by the time I finish university, the subjects I have spent countless hours and money studying are no longer relevant?

We too often believe in the social media world where no one needs help, where we have perfect families, a five star chef in the kitchen and so on. That disconnects us from the real world and purpose. Without a purpose, people lose their will to exist and this leads to numerous physical and well as psychological effects. If you are using technology a lot — and by a lot I mean more than one hour a day — start making some changes. A good rule of thumb is that for every hour you spend on social media (except for work purposes) you need to spend the same amount of time participating in physical activity. Ask yourself, if you could do anything in the world what would be — and then start doing it.

3. A sense of loss

Loss of a job, a loved one, a place to call home or — anything that you consider an extension of who you are — can trigger depression. It is important to acknowledge your loss. I knew a person whose depression was triggered by grieving for a grandparent they never knew. The sense of loss came from not having a grandparent to attend a grandparent event at school or be around to help them navigate life. Chances are, if you are feeling a particular loss, someone else is too. Find these people and use what you have learnt to help them.

4. Lack of identify

Your identity dictates every action, reaction and decision you will make. Often our identity is defined by a world outside our control. It is largely then defined by the circles or groups we feel we belong to. It is no secret that millions of advertising dollars are spent each year to help you decide what your identity is… and to sway you in that decision. Failure to live up to expectations triggers questions about your self-worth and value to society. Never base your identity on the opinions or standards of others. There is a reason there are no two people on this whole wide world exactly the same. We each have our own gifts and talents, so focus on these and the fact that they make you who you are.

5. It’s in your DNA

Some of us are more predisposed to depression than others. In just the same way you can be more likely to have heart disease or be more athletically gifted than others, your DNA can determine whether you are more likely to experience depression. The first step is to acknowledge and recognise this. Your DNA is part of you but how we respond to our DNA is our choice. I might have the DNA to be an elite runner but if I don’t have train I will never win a goal medal in sports

About Melanie Holdsworth

Melanie Holdsworth is passionate about people, processes and projects across both the commercial environments and within community and not for profits. A visionary in the area of youth, cultural groups, and disadvantaged people, Melanie encourages people whilst also helping them find a way out of depression, suicidal thoughts and poverty. As a qualified and experienced health professional and change practitioner, she's a believer in using pragmatic solutions for a positive outcomes.

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