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Why do you feel depressed?

One of the most painful experiences in life is to have everything but feel as though you have nothing, to have people who love you but you cannot accept it, to have so much to look forward to but yet feel hopeless, or to have much to give but think that you have no value That is the life of having depression. Depression is a mental illness, and anyone can have it. The old, young, rich, poor, etc. Currently, we are living in an age of depression but why is that the case? If you are reading this blog and you are depressed or know someone who is, this blog article will give some insight about depression.

Are you depressed?

Sometimes people may confuse sadness with depression. In the article Sadness is not depression (https://zealousmind.com/sadness-is-not-depression/) it went through the differences between sadness and depression. I would highly encourage you to read it but in short, depression is an illness of the mind while sadness is a natural reaction to a negative or painful experience such as the death of a loved one, breakup, retrenchment, etc. Sadness cannot kill you but depression can. Depression is like feeling that you wish that you never existed. Depression is like feeling like you are just worthless and that nothing you do is right/good. Depression is like feeling that you are a hopeless individual with a doomed future. Depression is sometimes feeling like you are better off dead. If you feel like that you should seek professional help however, I am just providing insight and awareness. So why these feelings?

There is no such thing as a worthless person, there is no such thing as a future with no hope, there is absolutely no reason to think that you are better off dead than alive and there is no one in this world that only does bad and can not do good. However, people with depression believe these ideas. The reason can be found in the principles of Cognitive Therapy (CT).

Principle’s of CT

A group of psychologists and psychiatrists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported an extraordinary breakthrough in the retreatment of mood disorders (Burns, D. 1980). Through many studies and research, they have found that there is a certain technique that has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression at a much faster rate than conventional psychology and even drug therapy. That treatment/technique is called Cognitive Therapy.

The first principle of Cognitive Therapy is this: All your moods are created by your thoughts. Cognitive refers to your perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs. In short by changing the way you think you change the way you feel. Interestingly enough CT is one of the most used and effective therapy techniques that psychologists and psychiatrists use. Dr Burns David author of the book Feeling Good adds: The moment you feel a certain thought and believe it you create an immediate emotional response. Your thought creates the emotion (Burns, D. 1980).

The second principle is that when you feel depressed your thoughts are dominated by negativity. You not only see yourself as negative, bad, or hopeless but that is also how you view people and the entire world. You even come to believe that things are as bad as you think. Notice the keyword “think”. What we think or believe does not mean that they are true or a reflection of reality. The reason why you are properly depressed is that you properly that you think you are worthless, you believe that your future has no hope, and you believe that your existence has no value but is that true? Are your negative thoughts a reflection of reality? No, they are not. They are just thoughts. We all at times have negative thoughts from time to time but our thoughts are not a reflection of ourselves. Just because I think am I bad does not mean I am bad. I may feel/think like I am worthless but that does not mean I am.

Conclusion

Change the thoughts and you change the mood, change the mood you change the behavior, change the behavior and you change the person. As stated before I will be wise to seek professional advice if you have severe depression. There is no shame in that and it does not make you weak. You can also look at my book which can help you overcome your negative beliefs. My book explains where negative beliefs come from but also how to change them. I hope that you have learned something about depression from this article and I hope you have a wonderful day and life ahead.