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Identify Reasons for Your Depression

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. (Proverbs 24:3-4)



Depression sometimes seems like an unexplainable emotion, but by careful analysis you usually can identify causes or focuses of your depression. Doing this can be the first step in identifying how to deal with it since the mystery or confusion about why you are depressed has been removed. In fact, you may find that the symptoms of depression begin to improve as soon as you realize what the real problems are. Once you identify what the real issues are, it often is better to stop saying, "I'm depressed," and to focus on the under­ lying problems instead. For example, if the underlying cause of your depression is feeling guilty when you have not done anything wrong, you could say, "I'm battling inappropriate guilt," instead of, "I'm depressed."


Make a personal inventory.

Here are some reasons people give for being depressed.

Rate yourself on a scale of 0-10 on each one.


• "0" means, "I never get depressed over this."

• "10" means, "I really get depressed over this."


My score (0-10)


Rejection by others

Feeling controlled or suppressed by parents

Being ignored by spouse or someone else

Experiencing divorce

Losing a friendship

Being disliked or disapproved of by others




Loneliness

Not being married

Having few friends

Being cooped up at home

Feeling painfully shy


Unmet expectations

Marriage problems

Parenting difficulties

Job, career, or ministry frustrations

Unfulfilled career


Mistreatment

Physical abuse

Verbal or emotional abuse

Sexual abuse or rape


Thinking that life is unfair

Thinking that you are unappreciated

Thinking that you are trapped

Thinking that you are a victim

Seeing sinners or non-Christians prosper

Envying others' good circumstances

Thinking people got away with something wrong


Physical condition

Pain

Illness, disease, or injury

Physical handicap

Growing older

Your physical appearance


Personal shortcomings

Regrets over past sins

Regrets over past decisions

Failing in marriage

Failing with children

Failing with other family members

Failing in your career

Thinking you are a bad person

Thinking you are unlovable

Thinking you are not a good Christian

Thinking you are not a Christian

Thinking God is mad at you


Criticism or verbal attacks

By parents, spouse, or children

By pastor, boss, teacher, or others


Concern for others

Feeling sorry for other people's problems

Loved ones who are not Christians

Loved ones who died without knowing Christ


Your physical surroundings

Winter

Rain or fog

Not liking the city in which you live

Not liking your house


More reasons

Death of someone close to you

Tragedy

Divorced parents

Thinking about evil in the world

Inappropriate guilt or self-condemnation

Feeling angry

Feeling purposeless

Feeling inadequate

Other (specify) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Other (specify) _

Other (specify) _


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