Depression: Causes or Effects?

Sometimes I get depressed; I imagine almost all of us do from time to time.  The past few weeks were one of those times (hence the lack of blog posts) and, now that I’m feeling a little better, I think I might explore some of the reasons why depression happens.

The thing is, though, that a lot of the causes of depression could also be the result of it, and vice versa.  I don’t know if these things are a feedback loop, and everything is a cause and an effect, or if some of them caused my recent malaise and others were a result of it.

  • Diet – I have not been eating very well, and I’m not young enough anymore that I can blow it off like it doesn’t matter.  I just eat a lot of frozen waffles, bagels, and potato chips.  However, when I get depressed, I am even less likely to eat well – I end up not wanting to cook anything at all so I just eat junk food and cheap fast food.  So did my poor diet make me depressed or did my depression make me eat poorly?
  • World of Warcraft – I started playing again.  I don’t play as often as I used to, only a few hours about four days a week, but it is very easy to lose yourself in the game and forget about all your troubles.  I started playing around the time that things got bleak.  Coincidence?  I can’t tell.
  • Loneliness – I kind of wanted to call this category “anti-social tendencies” but the two kind of go hand-in-hand.  When I’m depressed, I get whiny, and whininess tends to push people away (especially the ladies).  Loneliness seems like it must be a factor in my depression, if only since most of the people I was close to once are now gone, and that fact may just now be catching up to me.
  • Poor Health – About two to four weeks ago I came down with a pretty annoying cold or flu or something, and that’s when I started feeling bad.  In the fall I tend to get stick and stay sick for a few weeks until I finally break down and get some antibiotics, that happened this time.  The antibiotics play some havoc with my system, especially with digestion, and I don’t feel better for a long time afterward.
  • Work Stress – It’s rare that big projects and important deadlines come up at work, but when they do things can get pretty stressful – the last time I was this stressed out was when they moved my work location for about 9 months.  That time I at least had someone to come home to after the long day.  The days right now aren’t long and the work isn’t even particularly hard but I find it difficult to get through the day.  Again, depression causes this, but it’s also triggered by stress.

It’s hard when all of these things are going on to tell what I should try to fix, and hard to get motivated to fix it when things are going poorly.  Luckily, I’m feeling a little better thanks to a few things:

  • My parents came by to help me fix up the house a little bit, make it more livable and nicer to look.  My mom especially took it upon herself to do some interior decorating.
  • My parents and brother in general.
  • I might be getting a housemate; coming home to an empty house is among the most depressing things you can do.
  • I have a bunch of social things coming up in the next week; the past two weeks have been pretty parched socially.
  • The changing seasons are helpful; Christmas is coming and the fall is very beautiful.  Snow will help as well, I’m sure.

I hope the good things continue and I hope I can figure out which of the bad things to try to minimize so I can feel better.  Hopefully there will be more blogging than there has been.

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2 Responses

  1. Sorry you’re feeling down. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Thanks Esther, but actually I’m already feeling better, like I said in the post.

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