Do you contribute to your own depression?

Posted on June 13, 2017


Studies have shown that there certainly is a biological component of depression for some people. However, Dr. Gerry Heisler of Psychology Today has found that the majority of people diagnosed with some form of depression unintentionally rob themselves of their own joy.

Heisler delineates the six main factors that contribute to depression, saying that we rob ourselves of joy and set ourselves up for depression when...

1. We are too critical.
In order to have satisfying pastimes, we need to acquire constructive hobbies, Heisler notes. "Without good ways to pass their time constructively, many set themselves up to be bored or turn to a form of self-medication, abusing drugs or alcohol or becoming shopaholics. Some become so obsessed when they experience success that the quality of their life suffers."

2. We are too judgmental.
According to Heisler, we all have what is called an "anger reservoir." When you are near threshold, it doesn't take much to 'go off'; some externalise their anger and act out aggressively, others can internalise it and become depressed. If there is too much in the reservoir, the dam can 'burst'. A person who is highly judgmental can thus slowly add to the reservoir.

3. We have expectations that are too high.
Similarly to being too critical, a person who doesn't have realistic standards doesn't ever feel successful. Often, many don't appreciate the effort it takes to do things but expect outstanding results - and ultimately end up disappointed.

4. We don't have an attitude of gratitude, and are not appreciative of what's around us.
An old army saying is, "A good day is when they are not shooting at you." Indeed, a person who can't be at peace and appreciate the solace is setting himself up to be at constant war. How much do you take for granted? Do you appreciate the journey along the trail, or only look forward to the end result? Ask yourself these questions and remember that the end justifies the means.

5. We don't look for solutions to problems.
We all have issues, but what matters is not what they are, but rather how we are able to resolve them. People hold grudges, filling the anger reservoir, because there hasn't been resolution, closure. We all have to differentiate what we do and do not have control over.

6. We are unforgiving.
Understanding a situation can lead to acceptance, facilitating forgiveness - which is strongly correlated to our ability to be humble. How often has your pride contributed to your reservoir?

Category(s):Depression, Self-Care / Self Compassion

Source material from Psychology Today

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