Who gets depressed? How do we get depressed?

For the first answer, anyone.

It makes no difference one’s level of education, socioeconomic status, or intelligence, although depression has been reported to be somewhat more common among those with higher intelligence.

It does make a difference if you are female as women are twice as likely to become depressed. Also, strangely enough, people from third world countries are less likely to become depressed; they are too busy trying to survive.

So anyone can get depressed.

But how?

There are a number of ways:

  • Loss of: a loved one, a limb, employment, a dream, a relationship, etc
  • Divorce
  • Crisis
  • Medications (Some, not all.)
  • Physical illness
  • Long-term illness
  • PTSD
  • Stress
  • Cancer treatment
  • Other

No one chooses to be depressed. I certainly didn’t. But sometimes we allow things to build up; we let our thinking get all muddled, we are under stress for a long period of time, we don’t eat right, we don’t exercise.

Other reasons?

Spiritual issues, like refusing to forgive, indulging in sinful behaviors, anger, etc.

Then there are relationship issues. These are some of the hardest. It’s hard when a friendship dies. It’s hard when we are at odds with relatives. It’s hard when our relationship with God seems stymied.

And finally, genetics.

That’s where I come in. My history as well as my husband’s was fraught with dysfunction and violence. We both had a lot to deal with as children and then young adults. We are both predisposed to depression. Yet, we managed our lives for years with few issues.

My husband’s depression was triggered by continuous travel. It all came crashing down for him when he was out of the country. He said he felt like he’d been hit with a rock. The bottom completely dropped out.

I remember how frightened I was when I heard this voice and knew that it would be a couple of days before he could get back. I worried every.single.minute. till he got home. Then when I saw him, I panicked. This was not the man I taken to the airport. We got him in with our doctor immediately. He was prescribed medication and counseling. Within weeks, he was back on track. Whew!!!!!

Mine was triggered ears earlier through long-standing PTSD due to trauma in childhood. My recovery took years and my husband was there for the entire journey.

Neither one of us asked for depression. Both of us had done our best to get past our childhood and for the most part we did. But eventually, we both reached our breaking point.

It was hard for my husband to walk through the darkness with me and it was hard for me to walk through that darkness with him.

To repeat, none of us knowingly chooses depression. None of us jump into the pit on purpose.

But we DO decide when we’ve had enough.

This last week was a week I watched myself carefully as Saturday marked the two year anniversary of her death. Her last year was very hard as I frantically tried to find another diagnosis other than Alzheimer’s. It got very bad and every day I grieved even though she was still living.

I have always feared loss. Hers was almost unthinkable for me.

So last week, I found myself thinking about loss. Loss of another loved one. If I hadn’t been monitoring myself I could have easily jumped back into that pit.

But I chose not to. This was a case where I really did have a choice because I knew my vulnerabilities. I used the tools I had developed for myself years earlier.

I shared this personal information with you because I want you to understand that I know what it feels like to worry about falling into depression again.

At the same time, I stand by everything I write. I survived depression. My husband survived depression. We were determined to learn better ways to cope with life. We chose better thinking, better lifestyles, etc.

And, of course, our faith made the biggest difference.

When I say I have a heart for people who suffer depression (real depression, not just a few bad days as many people have come to define the illness), I mean it. My heart breaks when a family member or friend is depressed.

I hope this helped you today. Remember, It doesn’t matter what caused your depression. It only matters that you get better.

God bless and have a great day.

The post, “Who gets depressed? How do we get depressed?” appeared first on thegiftofdepression.com

PS. Just before I started writing this post, I learned that a woman in my small group from church suffers severe anxiety and started medication a year ago. It sounded like she had dealt with it her entire life. She could’ve been helped so much sooner. I encouraged her that it only matters that she is better now.

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