Are you seeking a really good Why Am I Feeling Depressed quiz?
Are you struggling with feelings of sadness, anger, worthlessness, fear, hopelessness and/or anxiety?
Do you want to figure out what is going on and try to FIX IT?
Let me help!
Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are trying to figure out why you are depressed.
#1 – Are you unhappy with your work situation?
Work is a central part of our life, a place where we spend most of our time and it is often the source of our feelings of self worth. If you are unhappy at work, at the prospect of getting up in the morning to go to a job you don’t like and then spending the day miserable, it can certainly lead to depression.
If you are unhappy at work it could be a cause of your depression. And if it is, then it’s time to make the choice to try to improve the situation at work or to find yourself a new job. Changing your work situation could help you with your depression.
#2 – Do you have a personal relationship that is unhealthy?
Is your romantic life making you unhappy? Do you have a friendship that is in trouble? Do you struggle with your mother-in-law around family activities? Do you have some kind of personal relationship that isn’t working right now?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it is possible that you are depressed because these relationships are in trouble. Interpersonal relationships are an essential part of our happiness and when there are difficulties it can definitely bring us down.
If you have an unhealthy personal relationship in your life then it could be why you are depressed. Take action to fix that relationship as soon as you can. See a marriage counselor, make nice with your mother-in-law, take a walk with your friend to work things out. Talk to a life coach. Fixing your relationships could help fix your depression.
#3 – Do you have a ton of stress in your life?
Are your days long and full of craziness? Are you under pressure to get a project completed by a certain deadline? Do you just not have enough hours in the day to get everything done?
If the answer to any of the questions above is yes then your depression could be caused by stress.
Stress is very hard on our bodies and our minds. It taxes the adrenal glands which can make us physically and mentally weaker. And when we are weaker we can get overwhelmed and depressed.
If you are depressed because you have lots of stress in your life take steps to manage it. Go for a walk, do some yoga, delegate at work, get a housekeeper, go out with friends. Whatever it takes for you to alleviate some of that stress.
#4 – Have you been taking care of yourself?
We all have such great intentions but we often struggle with taking care of ourselves.
We overeat, or what we eat is unhealthy. Or we don’t eat enough and our blood sugar gets low. Or we stay up too late binging on TV or we lounge around in bed in the morning longer than we should. We try to exercise but we don’t and we beat ourselves up about it.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself this could be the cause of your depression. It has been proven that irregular sleep patterns can cause depression and so can a poor diet. And exercise produces endorphins which make you feel good. No exercise means no endorphins which can lead to feelings of sadness.
So, if you aren’t taking care of yourself it could be why you are feeling depressed. Take steps right now to fix your diet, get some exercise and develop healthy sleep habits.
#5 – Are you struggling with your finances?
Do you have enough money to live the way you want to live? Are you in debt, debt that you don’t see how you could possibly pay off? Do you have a partner who spends to excess and you don’t know what to do?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes then it is possible that your financial struggles are causing your depression. Take steps immediately to figure out how to deal with your finances. Take on a second job if you have to. Talk to a bank that can help you make a plan to take care of your debt. Explain to your spouse that the money is running out. Whatever you need to do to eliminate the financial stress from your life.
#6 – Do you drink to excess or do drugs?
Many people drink to excess or do drugs because of their feelings of sadness and anxiety. Unfortunately, doing drugs and drinking to excess will only exacerbate feelings of depression.
Drinking can make you feel good in the moment but the morning after, with the hangover and the regrets, any depression that might have been lurking nearby will settle right in to stay. The same thing with drugs. Drugs will alter your chemistry enough that they can do a real number on your feelings.
So, if you are drinking to excess or doing drugs, make an effort to stop, or curtail, your behavior immediately. Both of those things will only make your depression worse.
#7 – Have you recently suffered from some sort of traumatic event?
Has some kind of traumatic event taken place in your life recently? Have you lost your job? Did your dog die? Are you going through a divorce?
I know that when I was nursing my mother as she died of pancreatic cancer I got desperately depressed. The day in day out demands of dealing with a sick woman and the reality that my mother was going to die made my life a truly miserable place.
So if you have recently been through a traumatic event it is possible that it is causing your depression. Seek help from a therapist immediately, one who can help you process your feelings and get you back on track.
#8 – Is there a history of depression in your family?
Is there a history of depression in your family? Was your grandmother an angry woman who could never be pleased? Did your mother spend lots of time in her bed crying when you were a child? Does your sister take medication for anxiety?
If there is any history of mood disorders in your family then it is very possible that it is the cause of your depression.
There are two kinds of depression: situational depression, caused by situations, as described in the questions above. And then there is chemical depression, depression that is caused by body chemistry being off balance.
Chemical depression is highly genetic so if you have seen signs of depression in your family it is possible that this is the cause of your depression. Call your primary care doctor right away to get an appointment to discuss your treatment options.
#9 – Is there nothing wrong with your life but you are still feeling depressed?
Is there nothing wrong in your life? Are you happy with your job, your relationships, your finances? Do you not overindulge and take care of yourself? Have you not recently suffered a traumatic event?
If there is nothing wrong in your life but you are still depressed then it’s possible that you are suffering from chemical depression. Call your PCP right away to discuss treatment options.
#10 – Do you feel depressed and then feel better and then feel depressed again?
Do you find that you wake up in the morning depressed and then as your day gets going you start to feel better? And then, sometime later, do you start to feel depressed again?
Or perhaps you are depressed for a day and then you feel fine for a week and then you get depressed again for no reason?
If you depression comes and goes for no reason then it’s possible that you are suffering from chemical depression. Call your PCP right away to discuss treatment options.
Depression can present itself in many forms and understanding from where your depression stems is a key part of managing it.
If your depression is caused by something happening in your life, like your relationships or your finances or your health, then taking steps to make changes could help you get rid of it.
If, however, your depression seems to be the result of something other than circumstance in your life then it’s important to get the help of a professional.
Depression is serious and the longer it goes ignored or untreated the worse it will get.
So think about your answers to these questions and take steps immediately to make change.
Talk to a friend, a mentor, a parent, a therapist or a life coach to help you make the positive change that needs to happen so that you are no longer depressed.
You can do it! Wouldn’t it feel great to not feel the way you are feeling today.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.