Many people who come to therapy don’t know what the problem is. They just know that despite their best efforts, they feel a lingering sadness or anxiety.
And a majority of these cases of ongoing mild depression are linked to one or several of the following.
1. You are ignoring your own values.
We each have a personal set of things that truly matter to us, our ‘personal values’.
If we go against these inner drives, because we want to be like our colleagues and friends, or because we feel we have to live up to the values of our parents instead? If we chase a life of stability when we believe in adventure, or of life in the public eye when we value privacy? It’s like going against a current.
Having friends and even a big family does not protect you from feeling lonely, if nobody actually sees and accepts the real you.
3. You have past trauma that is surfacing.
Do you have a funny feeling that a childhood experience might have been worse than you have let yourself consider? Or is there a part of your childhood that has always been a bit hazy?
When repressed memories and repressed emotions are triggered, we can suddenly feel bad all the time. Your emotions will be unreasonable, you may start behaving oddly. You can even have strange dreams or waking visuals.
Many of us are not only not taught how to be content, we are carefully and methodically taught how to be miserable!
This can take the form of parents with very negative beliefs about others and the world. In their efforts to teach you to ‘stay safe’, they actually teach you to expect the worse.
Or perhaps you grew up in a community or culture that was sadly victimised. This can mean that as an adult, you still always feel a victim. And who can feel happy if they feel the world is against them?
For some of us there was a sibling, parent, family member or even teacher that constantly criticised us. Their voice becomes your own inner voice, so that even surrounded by good things you tell yourself you don’t deserve it.
What if I was just born this way?
Is it possible there is just ‘something wrong with you’? That you are destined, so to speak, to never feel happy, no matter how good life gets?
We’d recommend you take a look at the above points above first. Find some support to work through them, such as a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.
Yes, some of us might be born more likely to be sensitive than others, or more inclined to have mental health issues. But research shows that support and good talk therapy help, even if you end up being diagnosed with a personality disorder.