I know this might sound surprising and bordering on impossible, but over the past couple of weeks I think I have discovered a huge trigger for my occasional depressive periods.
Generally speaking I am, what my wife would call “annoyingly positive”, but much of my time is inter-spliced with darker periods. I don’t suffer like some people do, but for more than 10 years I have felt like I am riding a roller coaster. Periods of ups and downs that seem to happen with no real pattern. Resent changes in my life have required me to readdress and look at many areas of my life, and now I realise that this is very much tied to my feeling of self worth and being appreciated.
I would like to think that I work hard at everything I do, it doesn’t matter if it’s podcasting, in the gym, looking after my family or indeed my professional life. I don’t do it for money, fame, titles, cars, house or anything else material, yet a simple well done and a bit of appreciation is all I crave. I don’t need to be held up and rewarded, but I think I’m not alone when I say - just feeling part of a team goes a long way.
It certainly would appear that it isn’t just me, after doing some reach on the subject, Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections points to similar links to depression. Feelings of isolation, lost community and self worth are, in his opinion, the leading cause of a ‘depression epidemic’. I cant speak to this applying to everyone, but it is proving a massive factor for me. I am already aware I spend too much time alone, which does help me to some degree - but feelings of self worth and isolation may be pulling me down more than I think.