Depression: Why Do I Feel This Way

By MedStudio Staff

Sir Winston Churchill described depression as a “big black dog” that followed him around. People who have turned to MEDSTUDIO seeking relief have shared that before therapy…

  • “I feel hopeless.”
  • “I felt sad all the time and just don’t feel like myself.”
  • “I don’t enjoy doing any of the things I usually love to do.”
  • “I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately.”
  • “Sometimes I feel like my life is not worth living anymore.”
  • “I feel so indecisive that I can’t make any decisions.”
  • “I have a great life, but the joy is missing.”
  • “I just feel so worthless.”

Such comments sometimes may point toward clinical depression, but there may be a number of reasons, prompting the “depression.” Understanding the origin may give better clarity to appropriate treatments.

Of course, any time you have feelings of extreme sadness or anger that makes you feel as though you want to harm yourself or others, immediately seek professional help.

One reason for depression may be a lack of serotonin, a chemical in the brain. For this chemical imbalance, classically trained providers might prescribe an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) such as Paxil or Prozac. SSRI’s provide treatment for a lack of serotonin in the synapses of the brain, but doesn’t provide the reason why one has this deficiency. While it might be possible the person may have inherited this condition and they may benefit from this kind of treatment, it might be just as possible that symptoms of depression may not be the result of a serotonin deficiency but something else.

Depression And Your Unique Situation

Another reason for depression may be a major emotional trauma such as a loss of a loved one or a big change in one’s health. Loneliness and other difficult life situations are usually explainable and justifiable. But these depressive periods tend to exist for a relatively short time. Many people over time will learn to adjust to their losses. This person suffering from this type of depression may benefit from a short course of medication. The danger comes when the body becomes dependent on the medication and has withdrawals when trying to discontinue it.

Another real possibility is the person may be suffering from a loss or deficiency of hormones. 
Some experts believe this reason is far more common than classic clinical depression.
If your depression began during puberty or after age 30 when it is usual for hormones to start to decline, the root cause may be hormone-related. Unfortunately, a hormonal imbalance is not often recognized medical professionals as the cause and in many of these cases, the person is told he/she has depression and the only treatment is an anti-depressant for which the rationale may not be found.

Frequently our patients will relate to us that they told their doctor they were not depressed, but rather they felt in despair or loss of joy which is not the same.  Over time they realized “things were just not right.” Reluctantly, they take the anti-depressant prescribed because they just want to get out of the funk or get unstuck. Problems come when the side effects from their medication begin. The most common side effects of anti-depressants are weight gain, loss of sex drive, an inability to achieve an orgasm, and the loss of feelings of elation as well as those of sadness. We hear people say, “I feel nothing – like I’m in neutral.”  Often these negative consequences of SSRIs are the actual reasons they sought help from the doctor in the first place. It is not uncommon for patients to stop reporting these negative consequences to their doctors because they “become accustomed” to life without interest in sex or to the feeling of sadness they have.

Female testosterone deficiency may cause loss of energy and muscle, decreased sex drive, depression, and weight gain. Lack of progesterone may cause mood changes and poor sleep. When estrogen is low or missing, the brain may be affected causing depression, poor memory and other symptoms.

Interested in learning more? 

Of course, information is great when evaluating and learning about your health choices. Ultimately, only a licensed trained medical professional can make a qualified diagnosis and recommendation. While this information is not to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any type of illness or health condition, we hope it will make you interested enough to seek more information and getting your life back. Most importantly – it’s Your Health. Your Choice. Your Journey. We are here to guide you.