Where Do I Go From Here
In addition to talking to your family doctor, check out the resources below for more information on mood disorders:
Mood Disorders Association of BCVisit www.mdabc.net or call 604-873-0103 or 1-855-282-7979 for resources and information on mood disorders. Youll also find more information on support groups around the province.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use InformationVisit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for info sheets and personal stories about . Youll also find more information, tips and self-tests to help you understand many different mental health problems.
Canadian Mental Health Associations BC DivisionVisit www.cmha.bc.ca or call 1-800-555-8222 or 604-688-3234 for information and community resources on mental health or any mental illness.
1-800-SUICIDEIf you are in distress or are worried about someone in distress who may hurt themselves, call 1-800-SUICIDE 24 hours a day to connect to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. Thats 1-800-784-2433.
Resources available in many languages:*For the service below, if English is not your first language, say the name of your preferred language in English to be connected to an interpreter. More than 100 languages are available.
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
Why Am I Feeling Lonely And Depressed
People experience loneliness, leading to depression, for a number of different reasons.
The causes of loneliness can be numerous, and often a collection of combining factors are at play. Some of these include: physical isolation from other people, significant change in your life such as divorce or moving to a new location, or a stressful period in your life such as working long hours or an upcoming exam period.
The main causes of loneliness include:
- Losing someone close to you
- Getting a divorce or ending a relationship
- Retiring, becoming unemployed or changing jobs
- Entering higher education or changing your school, college or university
- Relocating to an area away from family, friends and colleagues
- Going through seasonal events such as Christmas, birthdays or anniversaries
- Experiencing a traumatic life event, particularly if it remains unaddressed
- Experiencing a mental health condition or addiction, particularly if it remains unaddressed
There are also many reasons as to why people experience depression, many of which overlap with what can cause loneliness. These can include the following:
Examples Of Causes Of Depression
Below are some examples of situations that might lead you to experience a prolonged period of depression.
The loss of a loved one, especially when sudden and traumatic, can bring about intense feelings of loss and sadness, which can lead to clinical depression. This includes the death of pets.
Medical Issue or Diagnosis
Being diagnosed with a medical issue, especially if chronic and progressive, is much like any other loss you might experience. It represents the loss of a life you had. Very often, there will need to be changes made in ones life that will not allow for a lifestyle previously enjoyed.
A Feeling of Failure or Perceived Shortcomings
As I mentioned, people who experience depression tend to be sensitive and self-critical. You might be struggling with not getting a job promotion or failing to progress in the way you imagined for yourself, but this doesnt mean that you are not progressing in some other way.
Sudden Life Change
Changeseven good changes and welcomed changesare hard. Sometimes, these changes can have an impact on your role and status in society like marriage or parenthood, which are both wonderful changes yet fraught with many challenges and new social roles.
Feeling Trapped or With Limited Options
Read Also: Depressed Person Sleeping All Day
What Depression Does To The Brain
Depression causes the hippocampus to raise its cortisol levels, impeding the development of neurons in your brain. The shrinkage of brain circuits is closely connected to the reduction of the affected part’s function. While other cerebral areas shrink due to high levels of cortisol, the amygdala enlarges.
Hopelessness Is A Symptom Of Depression
Depression affects a person in many different ways, from emotional to physical. The feeling of hopelessness is a common symptom that many people struggling with depression face.
Hopelessness is an amplification of negative feelings, of just knowing that there is no possible way that you can ever be better, happy, or feel good. Those feelings and a lack of energy from the depression can make it so difficult to try to be better.
But heres the problem: depression is a liar. Its not an accurate reflection of who you are, the world around you, or what youre capable of.
Granted, its easy to look around at all the pain, suffering, and turmoil in the world and be utterly depressed about it all. Climate change, the rights of people being attacked, racism, sexism, homophobia the list goes on and on.
Sadness and depression seem like natural ways to feel. Still, at the same time, hopelessness perpetuates those things because it keeps people from taking action. Its far easier to be sad, depressed, and throw our hands up with how hopeless it all is.
You May Like: How To Find Someone To Talk To About Depression
Examine And Enhance Your Current Relationships
Which people in your life make you feel great? Make regular plans with them and try really hard to maintain these relationships. These are the people who will be able to support you and motivate you when feeling depressed. Even a regular phone or video chat can be a good way to connect.
We understand that being proactive and making plans to see and be around people can be hard when youre feeling lonely and depressed, but pushing yourself to spend more time with the people who you care about can really help you to feel less alone.
Supporting Someone Else Who Is Feeling Sad
Maybe you know someone else who is feeling sad. Being supportive isn’t always easy, because its sometimes hard to know why someone is sad and how they are coping.
Here are four basic tips:
For more ideas about how to support someone who is sad, read the tips from beyondblue.
Read Also: Best Exercise To Fight Depression
You Cant Find Meaning Or Purpose
Its 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 youve grown older, youre 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 its not really what you want. Or maybe you went in another direction than you intended to, but you dont feel fulfilled now.
Its never too late to change things. Heres 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.
When Someone You Love Has Depression
Depression builds walls around people and between people. When someone you love has been dragged inside those walls, there can be a distance between you both that feels relentless. You miss them, but theyre right there beside you, except that theyre kind of not. Not in the way you both want to be anyway.
The symptoms of depression exist on a spectrum. All of them are normal human experiences, but in depression theyre intensified. Not everyone who has depression will have a formal diagnosis, so knowing what to watch out for can help to make sense of the changes you might notice.
Depression looks like a withdrawal. It feels that way too. Its a withdrawal from everything that is enriching and life-giving. Depression sucks the life out of life. Thats how it feels. When depression bites, everything becomes hard. Life starts to hurt. Those who are bitten stop looking forward to things. They stop engaging and they stop enjoying things, even the things they used to love. They can feel hard to reach, and sometimes they can be angry or appear as though they dont care. That isnt because they want to withdraw from you or push you away, they dont, although it can feel that way.
Here are some ways to fight for them, beside them and for the times the fight has to be theirs, behind them:
What To Do If You Have Depression For No Reason
Depression can be treated. You may feel theres no reason for how you feel, but a trained mental health professional may be able to explore this with you and help you research possible causes.
If youve been experiencing symptoms for longer than 2 weeks, seeking professional support can be a highly advisable next step.
There are other things you can do in addition to talking with a mental health professional:
The Lived Experience Of Depression
A person who is in good physical health, is employed, has a safe home to live in, enough money to care for themselves and their family, supportive friends, and hobbies may struggle to comprehend why they feel persistently sad, angry, or irritable.
In the absence of a clear trigger such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job, they may feel that it doesnt make sense for them to feel depressed.
Also Check: How Do You Support Someone With Depression
Most Common Depression Diagnosis Scales
Some of the most popular scales used to help clinicians diagnose depression include:
- Clinically Useful Depression Outcome Scale
- Geriatric Depression Scale
- Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and adolescent PHQ-9
- Plutchik-Van Praag Self-Report Depression Scale
- Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology
- Rome Depression Inventory
- Zung Self-Rating Depression Scales
Some scales, such as the Beck Depression Inventory, are copyright protected and not available outside of a doctors office or mental health clinic . There are inventories, scales, and questionnaires that are in the public domain and, therefore, more accessible.
Assessing Negative Thought Patterns
Negative thinking may be a reason and a consequence of your mood.
Consider learning more about cognitive distortions. Once you do, you may want to identify those you may be using more often and that may be affecting your mood the most.
Taking this list to a therapist and discuss it with them can be helpful. They can provide actionable tips to improve these negative thinking patterns.
Recommended Reading: Is Depression Really A Disease
Treatment For Depression At Gia Miami
If you are suffering from depression, remember that you don’t have to feel like this. With the right support, you can overcome depression and live a rich and fulfilling life.
At GIA Miami, we understand that the reason for your depression is unique. We design bespoke programs based on your individual needs to offer you the best chance of reaching your mental wellness goals.
Our world-leading programs are based on the most up-to-date science and evidence-based therapies, delivered with compassion and respect. Our team comprises world leaders in TMS therapy, an innovative therapy for treatment-resistant depression that has turned many clients’ lives around.
At GIA Miami, we’re here to help you reach your best self. Contact us today for a consultation session.
Read more blog posts in this category:
Is It Postpartum Depression or Baby Blues?
PTSD Triggers: What They Are and How to Deal with Them
Can PTSD Be Cured?
I went home and took a nap and I woke up and I told my wife, I don’t ever want to do cocaine again and she looked at me and she said what do you mean? ~ J.Z.
It Affects Your Friendships Deeplyfor Better And Worse
Depression is a tough illness to face. Many people who suffer from it will lose friends along the way. However, sometimes its also a time when someone really special steps forward, and we develop a lifelong friendship with them:
Its hard to be friends with someone whos depressed. I get that. Most of my friends kind of drifted away.
Before I was depressed I had so many friends. Afterwards, I had just one true friend. But one true friend is worth more than a thousand friends who drop away when things get hard.
I hope this helps you understand or explain this difficult illness just a little better. Youre a good friend for caring enough to read this far. Good luck.
These quotes all come from people who are currently suffering from or have recovered from depression and who have shared their experiences with Dr Pooky Knightsmith. All people quoted have given their permission for their words to be shared anonymously.
Don’t Miss: Vitamin B For Depression Dosage
Ruling Out Other Possibilities
Its possible that some physiological changes may affect your mood. If this is the reason for your symptoms, addressing these changes may also help you in feeling better.
You may want to consult with a healthcare professional who may perform a comprehensive physical exam and perhaps recommend some laboratory tests.
Concern About Appearing Weak
People with smiling depression often fear that others will take advantage of them if they reveal they have depression. Not only do they worry that others will see them as weak and vulnerable, but they are concerned that others will use their depression as leverage against them. They would rather put on a tough exterior than admit that they need help.
You May Like: Moderate Depression Vs Severe Depression
How To Beat The Blues
Now that you have a better idea of why you feel depressed sometimes for no apparent reason, here are some measures you can take to lift your mood.
The first part is a list of quick tips to get you out of your funk. The second part is a list of preventive measures to help build your inner strength, and keep you from getting depressed in the first place.
You Can Feel Like An Observer In Your Own Life
Its common for people to talk about feeling absent from their own lives. Depression can make you feel like an outsider looking in rather than an active participant:
It was like watching a TV show of my life. I didnt necessarily like all of the episodes but I felt incapable of changing them like some producer had made the decisions, not me. It all just washed over me as I watched on.
How Do I Know If I Am Depressed Or Just Unhappy
Depression is about being sad, surebut it’s more than that. Clinical depression is a mental health condition that involves a lot of symptoms, like feeling exhausted all the time, losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, or thoughts of death and suicide. Episodes of depression last at least 2 weeks at a time.
A Critical Inner Voice
If youve 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 isnt 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 youre 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, youll certainly end up feeling depressed.
It can be hard to recognize and diagnose this kind of depression because you cant 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 dont live up to the expectations? Are you being over-critical all the time but have gotten so used to it that you dont see it?
A critical inner voice can easily lead to depression. If youre feeling depressed but cant figure out why then this might be the reason.
If youre 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 youve written. Would you speak like that to someone else?
You May Like: How Long Can Major Depressive Disorder Last