How can I feel depressed when I have a good job and a loving family?

With a good job and a loving family, can we still feel depressed?

Depression is not a condition that depends solely on a person’s life circumstances. Certainly, stressful situations such as loss of job, family problems, or relationship difficulties can trigger the onset of a depressive episode. However, a lack of obvious stressful circumstances does not make a person invulnerable to becoming depressed. This can make it difficult sometimes for others to understand, as they may think, “What do you have to be depressed about?” The depression may be viewed as a lack of personal willpower. You may feel guilty about being unhappy, and again, the idea of needing to “pull myself together” becomes part of your thinking. These thought patterns may impede initiation of treatment. With that said, sometimes when there are no obvious external stressors present, there may be “internal” ones. Perhaps you feel like a failure for not having reached certain goals. Perhaps an unrelated event has triggered fears and anxieties that now fuel a depressive episode. These are potential avenues to be explored in a therapy, to help with recovery, and to maintain remission.

So it would make sense to examine your daily routines to see if indeed problems do exist. It is also important to be evaluated for a medical condition as a cause of the depression. Psychiatrists routinely consider the possibility of medical conditions as a cause, and may recommend a medical workup. It is always a surprise when we learn about a famous person for example, who admits to having taken anti-depressants, who seems to us to “have it all.” We may even wonder, “what’s your problem?” when in fact what this shows is that what appears on the surface to be an admirable life, often has many other unknown aspects to it.