The Sucker Punch (Traumatic Life Events): How we react to unexpected events in life certainly affects our mood and emotions. A stressful life event can plunge a person into depression, especially if a person is at risk for depression due to other factors. Stressful life events may include: prolonged medical illness; illness or death of a loved one; divorce; ending a close relationship; loss of a job; relocating; and financial or legal problems.
The Clone-Effect (Environmental Factors): The environment in which you were raised can be a major factor underlying your susceptibility to depression. If you were raised to think you were never good enough or that you were a “bad” kid or other negative ideas, these ideas are incorporated into your self-image over time. If you have a negative self-image, the twists and turns of life can make you much more susceptible to becoming depressed.
Comfortitis (Comfort vs. Achievement): This was my KEY underlying factor! I was a goal achiever from Day One – I always wanted to be doing it better, faster, smarter than anyone thought possible. Once I got to a point in my life where I had achieved the major goals I had set for myself, I became “comfortable” and in that “comfort”, found myself utterly miserable. There are many people who need to constantly be striving for the next goal – without it, they feel rudderless, without purpose, and depression can easily take hold.
Regardless of the underlying factor (or factors) that caused it, and whether or not you have been actually diagnosed with Dysthymia, the first step in getting through the depression is to admit that there is a problem. How many conversations have you had with yourself saying that you have to find a way to be okay with your lives, to accept it – this was just the way it was! Well, that’s just not true! The life you are living right now is not the way it has to be! You are not a slave to your circumstances!