The Four Causes Of All Depressions (Well, Nearly All)

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This post is your quick guide to how a depression takes hold. My contention is that it applies to the large majority of depression sufferers.

Am I right? What is your experience? And what causes depression?

I call this the Depression Vicious Cycle and there are 4 laws involved:

1. Some part of your life is not working.

There can be many reasons for this — from loss (of a job, of a relationship, of a cherished ambition, of good health) to disappointment or anger and all the way to a big change in external circumstances which were completely out of your control.

Whatever it is, you need to acknowledge that your life is not working properly. And in terms of my Human Givens therapy, this means that your emotional needs are not being well met.  The life you are leading is not providing you with what you need. 

Just look at my Needs Pagoda and note where the gap or gaps are around safely, control, relationships, work or meaning.

RELATED: 7 Ways Depressed People Love Differently

2. Worry takes over from doing.

And you are worried about that but the problems are not being sorted out. Of course, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with worrying, especially if it leads to action that deals with the cause of the worry.

But that is not happening this time. So you find that you are ruminating a little bit more and as you do, you find that the scope of your worrying is expanding. Now, it covers more and more and as it does, your thinking is becoming more and more black and white and frankly speaking, more unhelpful by the day.

So your worrying can balloon out to cover everything, including your character faults, your so-called self-sabotaging habits, your "well known" weaknesses, your terrible past, and all those mistakes and old hurts and failures.

3. Tiredness and a self-feeding vicious circle evolves, which feed fear, dread, shame, terror, and anger.

The tiredness can become overwhelming — exhaustion is a better description. And you will find that it can be particularly noticeable in the mornings. 

And the reason for this is because you are dreaming too much, which in turn means that your sleep is no longer refreshing you. And because you are tired you can find that your concentration is not what it was.

So, that is something else to worry about. Yes, it is all unraveling.

RELATED: There Are Two Different Types of Depression (And How They Each Sneak Up On You)

4. Emotions become out-of-control and you react against that by an urgent willingness to try anything.

So what can you do about it? You try anything and everything — reading books, following online forums, taking the advice of anybody who is willing to give, and back to your GP. But nothing works.

And so panic really sets in and then resignation and then, perhaps, suicidal despair. What is truly extinguished in this downward spiral is any sense of hope. There is just blackness and hopelessness fed by utter mental and emotional exhaustion.

One of my clients described it as being locked in a burning room from which you cannot escape — where the burning room is your mind out of control.

RELATED: 11 Things To Stop Doing Now If You’re Trying To Manage Depression

Andrew Richardson is a counselor, trained in the Human Givens approach, based in the UK who specializes in effective help for depression and anxieties and is the author of the Depression Optimist. Contact Andrew to learn more about his proven help, both online and face-to-face and to sign up for his newsletter.

This article was originally published at Fedling Better. Reprinted with permission from the author.