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Why is it so hard to stop feeling depressed?

Written by on March 28, 2019

Once you start feeling depressed, it can be tough to prevent yourself from becoming more depressed. Being able to recognise your own trigger to why you are depressed can help you understand, and fight the negative feelings that are affecting you.


Depression can easily change the way you behave. It could make you withdraw from family and friends. Maybe you stop taking calls or replying to messages. Maybe you visit friends or family as often as you once did. This has a detrimental affect on your well-being as it can make you feel isolated and lonely, which can heighten your depression. You may miss the company of people but feel like other people have no interest in you or should not be bothered with being around you. Negative thoughts which sometimes can not be helped.

Depression can prevent you from doing things that you used to enjoy. You may feel unmotivated or tired when contemplating whether or not to do them. This may make you stop enjoying these activities as you do them less and less. This can be discouraging.

It can also be common to neglect your appearance when you’re depressed. This can start by stopping dressing smartly or buying new clothes. By stopping shaving or wearing make-up. You may even stop washing clothes, wearing the same ones day in, day out. Perhaps you stop washing as often as you used to or stop leaving your home. Poor self-care and less exercise can worsen depression by making you feel discouraged and result in even lower self-esteem.

Even the small, yet necessary day to day tasks like opening mail, paying bills, cleaning your home or even shopping can slide, When suffering from depression these small jobs may be put off, or ignored completely. As the list of what you need to do mounts, it leads to feeling overwhelmed, inadequate or unable to cope.

Time to change

When all these changes in behaviour make it feel as if life has nothing good to offer you and is just a series of hurdles it can really affect your depression. It is so important to be able to recognise when you may be starting to fall into the feelings of hopelessness and loss of control. The triggers that affect you can be recognised and can be helped to be fought off with even just a slight change of perception.

If you do recognise a trigger that has the potential to make you spiral into depression, then one positive thing can help fight it off. When I was feeling low recently, my partner suggested to put a favourite album on to help lift my mood. This was the catalyst to help me feel more positive, to increase my internal locus of control.

Locusses of control

Julian Rotter (1), described how those who had a higher internal locus of control had a higher degree of being in control of themselves and could influence the world around them more. Conversely, those with a higher external locus of control believed that they had no influence on what they did and that outside events controlled their actions. Those with a higher external locus of control are less likely to be able to lift themselves out of having depressive thoughts and believe that their own behaviour doesn’t matter and that they don’t deserve any rewards during life.

Rotter (1), developed a 13 item Locus of Control questionnaire that measures generalised expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Scores range from 0 to 13.  A low score indicates an internal control while a high score indicates external control. If you take the test and find that you have a high external locus of control then it is worthwhile trying to find a way in which you can increase your internal locus over time.

Follow the link to take the test and see if you can change the way you think if you do not like your result.


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