You can be feeling depressed without even knowing why. There’re different types of depressions and not all of them have an obvious cause that you can easily identify.
Our hectic life makes things go so fast that we don’t even realize we’re doing things that leave us feeling depressed. Or maybe we’ve gotten so used to our everyday life that we can’t notice what we’re doing doesn’t make us happy.
If you wonder why you’re feeling so depressed but can’t quite put your finger on why, then take a look at the list we’ve made over things that are secretly baffling you.
Research shows that a lack of social connection can lead to a depression. There are different types of isolation. If you’re not spending much time around people, but never had any problem with being alone before, this can still lead to a depression.
Even if you used to be happy with spending time on your own, this might change over time and could lead to you being depressed without knowing why.
Some people spend a lot of time around people at work or during social gatherings, but they can still feel alone and depressed. It’s possible to be around people, but still lack a social connection with them.
If you’re feeling depressed, then take a look at your social connections and consider how many people you really have around you. If you picked up the phone now and would call to ask for some help or just a normal honest conversation – how many could you call?
It’s never too late to change things. If you’ve isolated yourself from good friends or family, try to reach out and see if things can be rebuilt. You can also try to engage yourself in a new activity where you’ll be able to meet some new people.
2. You can’t find meaning or purpose
It’s not only philosophers that spend time thinking about life and the meaning of it. When you were younger, you probably spent some time trying to figure out what you wanted out of life and what would give your life meaning. But as you’ve grown older, you’re just too busy with life that you forget all about it.
It can be hard to pin point your depression to a lack of meaning in your life. You can have a good family and a good job, but still walk around feeling depressed every day because deep down you have lost that connection with your original purpose and what you wanted in life.
Everyone finds meaning in different things. Some find it through work, relationships, helping others, learning or through creativity.
Take a step back and look at your life. What makes you happy? Do you remember what you originally felt was your purpose in life and are you living according to that still?
Maybe ten years ago, you thought you would find meaning in having a specific job, but now you realize that it’s not really what you want. Or maybe you went in another direction than you intended to, but you don’t feel fulfilled now.
It’s never too late to change things. Here’s the proof. Take some times to really look at your life and see if you can figure out some things that might look great on the surface, but is secretly suffocation you every day and ultimately making you unhappy and depressed.
Ask a close friend or your family if they can help you see something you can’t, or just discuss it with a life coach.
3. Suppressed emotions
Everyone has primary and secondary feelings. The primary ones are feelings like sadness, anger or anxiety. The secondary feelings are the self-reflecting feelings we have about the primary feelings.
We may get sad about something, and then our secondary feeling will react to that sadness with a response. Maybe it will tell you that you shouldn’t feel sad, because it’s not a big deal. Or maybe you should feel something else because that emotion isn’t appropriate for that situation.
If we feel like our emotions aren’t right, then we’ll suppress them and that can lead to depression. Humans are the only ones that are able to get upset about being upset. We have another dimension to our brain that allows self-reflection.
Depending on how you grow up, we might be taught different values and were told that you shouldn’t be feeling certain emotions. It could be a teacher who told you only girls cry. It could come from some family values that you shouldn’t show others your anxiety or inner struggles.
These values have a way of sticking to us. If you get some primary feelings that don’t align with what you believe in, your secondary feelings will start to tear you apart from the inside and tell you that you shouldn’t allow yourself those emotions.
It can be hard to deal with suppressed emotions because you’re fighting against yourself; but it can be done.
Start by figuring out why you’re upset about different stuff. Are you beating yourself up over stuff that aren’t even bad? Are you depressed but then tell yourself that you’re weak and you should just stop feeling so?
These suppressed emotions need to be dealt with out in the open. Try to take a look at yourself and see what you’re feeling and give yourself permission to feel these things. This might be enough for some and you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. But if you need help with this, seek out a therapist.
4. A critical inner voice
If you’ve ever been bullied or seen anyone be bullied on a daily basis, then you know how much this can take a toll on you and destroy your mood.
Now imagine this voice isn’t coming from the outside but is actually coming from yourself every day…
No one intentionally tries to pick on themselves, but a lot of us do it unconsciously. Maybe it started after a few mistakes or failures, or maybe you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
It probably feels nothing at the very beginning, but if you slowly develop a critical inner voice and verbally attack yourself from the inside every single day, you’ll certainly end up feeling depressed.
It can be hard to recognize and diagnose this kind of depression because you can’t see how hard you are on yourself, and in this particular case – neither can the people around you.
Start noticing your thoughts and how you view yourself closely. Are you putting a lot of pressure on yourself and feel really bad if you don’t live up to the expectations? Are you being over-critical all the time but have gotten so used to it that you don’t see it?
A critical inner voice can easily lead to depression. If you’re feeling depressed but can’t figure out why – then this might be the reason.
If you’re struggling with this, you can start out by writing down everything that runs in your head for one day, and then take a look at what you’ve written. Would you speak like that to someone else?
But sometimes, you do need another pair of eyes to help you. If your depression goes on and you can’t get rid of yourself, you should consider finding a therapist.
The bottom line
Depression is a mental sickness, so it’s important to take it serious and handle it. If you were really sick with the flu or had some back pain, you wouldn’t just ignore it and hope it went away. The same applies to depression. It won’t just go away unless you decide to deal with it.
Featured photo credit: Zohre Nemati via unsplash.com