Why Am I Always Depressed? How To Be Happy Again
Updated September 27, 2018
Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Depression can be a tricky beast. It usually creeps in slowly, so by the time you've realized it's upon you, it feels like it's about to consume you. The cause of depression is varied, as is the cure. If you're wondering "Why am I always depressed?" we've got some possible reasons along with suggestions on how to be happy again.
Why Am I Always Depressed?
Depression is much more than simply feeling down. True depression lasts for an extended period and includes feelings like hopelessness, despondency, worthlessness; and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in appetite, withdrawal from social interactions, low energy, or changes in sleeping patterns. Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe.
There are two main types of depression: situational and clinical. Situational depression occurs as a direct result of a difficult or stressful event such as the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, financial struggles, or life stage transitions. Clinical depression is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.
It's also important to note that there are other medical conditions that mimic the symptoms of depression like thyroid problems.
How to Be Happy Again
If you are struggling with depression, it's a good idea to first speak with your doctor to make sure that your symptoms aren't due to another medical condition. They will also screen you for depression to see if you meet the diagnostic criteria for the disorder. If you do, they can talk with you about medications to help re-balance your brain chemistry and start to lift the fog of depression.
Talk therapy or counseling is also an effective tool to fight depression. A counselor or therapist can help you learn more about how your brain works, identify behavioral patterns in your depression and support you in developing coping mechanisms to combat future episodes. If your depression stems from issues related to your family of origin, or if it's due to a difficult situation you're struggling with, they can help you process that, too. Betterhelp.com makes this easy and even offers counseling online so you can access it from the comfort of your own home or office.
Nutritional supplements may also help to combat depression. There has been some clinical evidence that St. John's Wort, lavender oil, and fish oil may have an effect on depression. However, these are powerful supplements that can cause drug interactions, so they should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor, especially if your doctor has prescribed traditional pharmaceuticals.
Diet and exercise may also have an ability to lift your mood. Caffeine and sugar can have significant negative effects on the brain, so avoid them if you can. Choose healthy foods like fruits and veggies, as well as those with omega-3 fatty acids which promote brain health. Other foods such as turkey, walnuts, and leafy greens can help to stabilize moods. Regular exercise also releases endorphins, a natural mood lifter.
Finally, sleep is key when battling depression. Getting enough hours of sleep is important to keep your brain working as well as possible.