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Why do I feel depressed even when my life is going great?

285 Answers
Last Updated: 12/29/2021 at 5:19pm
Why do I feel depressed even when my life is going great?
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
LouisaCT
November 8th, 2018 5:49am
There are many reasons you might be feeling depressed, but in my opinion the most common two would be: 1. lack of self-care: even if your life is going great we all need to make sure we take time for ourselves, right? If you don't stop and care for yourself then depression can still creep it's ugly head. 2. chemistry: when life goes great but we still feel depressed it might be a flaw in how our brain works. This isn't bad, it just means you might need a little extra help, like a medication or other tools. These medications will help fix the chemistry that's messing up and you will be able to take care of yourself better and manage to enjoy your life! While it's hard to know what the correct answer is, I would suggest going to the doctor. Any good doctor will want you to have the best quality of life possible. They will know if you require medications (if you're open to them), and what other alternatives might be best for you! Best of luck, cheers.
Anonymous
November 30th, 2018 3:57pm
Depression doesn't always have to do with your circumstances. There can be many reasons for this. First and foremost, if you are depressed, there are some chemicals in your brain that don't work the way they should. That's why you feel depressed (and also why there is medication). This malfunction can be caused by many different things, which don't always have to be your circumstances or major life events. It can also be caused by an imbalance in your hormones. Maybe you can see an endocrinologist to check on your hormone levels - that might be the first clue. If this doesn't get you anywhere, some therapy sessions might help you get to the bottom of things.
departedspirits1
December 6th, 2018 10:22am
one essential thing in my opinion is, that its missing inner love. real love and real happiness come from within you, how well you can control your body and emotions. unfortunately, real happiness and love doesn't come from the outside, that is a dangerous game and very risky which will always lead to sadness. One must really focus on oneself and understand themselves. So please, when you are feeling pain and sadness in the mornings or in the nights, try to create love from within yourself it is very important to learn how to create love from within yourself, once that is done, the other things in life become much easier to deal with. But it is one thing to know it in theory and its another whole thing to experience it really.
Dana998
December 6th, 2018 3:15pm
There are many reasons for such a thing: 1- you faced sth in your past u didn't get over it yet 2- you made sth and you didn’t forgive urself for doing it 3-you dont know yet what your goal in life, which will make you feel that there is no reason for living, because you think that you life is meaningless, WHICH IS TOTALLY WRONG, you were born for a reason you came here for a reason you register here for a reason And the moment you know what is your goal your life will be full of productivity and happiness And you should be honest with your self why you are depressed, when you know why you can overcome the depression
Here2help10
December 14th, 2018 10:15pm
Depression can be do to many contributors. Unresolved issues can be like a nagging voice in our head. Even thyroid issues can cause depression. Just because our overall life is good doesn’t mean that depression won’t still effect us. When things are going good depression will keep you from being able to truly enjoy life. Which can bring us down even more. Even worse it came change how we persevere things that can help us. Or perhaps as it can also be caused by a chemical imbalance which can explain why when life is good we still suffer from depression.
LucieMarie12
January 3rd, 2019 6:35pm
The way your life is going has nothing to do with the way your mental health works. Your brain doesn’t switch off just because things are going well, it is more than normal to still feel down during good periods of your life. It doesn’t make you “ungrateful”. It doesn’t make your depression any less valid than someone who might “have it worse”. Depression is not defined by your surroundings, it’s a health problem and it is always valid. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you shouldn’t feel how you do just because your life might be great.
Anonymous
January 6th, 2019 6:46am
Probably because you're lonely. Something is missing inside you. And you don't know what it is. Or you may know, but you have no idea how to fulfill that missing part. You may hold negativity inside yours. It might cause by you, or by someone else. I am in 7 cups because I have depression. Sometimes I need to tell to someone about how I feel. Sometimes I just want to help people. Talk to someone is a good treatment for your mental health. And I'm glad I am in this community. I met some nice friends. Some bitch or pervert. But well, I blocked them who irritate me.
adjtor
January 26th, 2019 4:14am
Sometimes it does not matter what we have or how happy we are, depression can still be in the back of our minds. No matter how hard we try to ignore it or make it go away, sometimes it is right there around the corner waiting for us. It is not a matter of greatness, but a matter of our mind. It is not a choice for us, and we do not have control over it. It is just simply there. Maybe we feel good in the day, when we are surrounded by people, but our minds start to wander at night. Maybe we get depressed during the day, when we are around friends and family. Either way, no matter how great we are doing, depression can still show up,and it shows up uninvited. It is something many of us have to live with. No matter how great we seem to be on the outside, all of us have a something we are dealing with that we do not show. That is why it is so important to a great support system. People that will be there when we feel amazing, but will also stay when we don’t.
fantasticCandy62
February 14th, 2019 4:09pm
Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed even if you don’t notice it. Or you can get mad at someone and then just push it aside. Being depressed can happen at any time; it can happen when you are happy or sad. When I feel depressed it’s usually because I feel like my life isn’t perfect or I don’t have great friends even though I do. And I wallow in those thoughts until I just become plain out depressed. And if you feel like you don’t have great friends, go and talk to them about it to figure out what is setting you off. Or if you feel like your family is letting you down, go and talk to them about it. But don’t sit by yourself and contemplate things all alone. That is not what helps. Go surround yourself with people who care about you.
kevinmontiel90
March 3rd, 2019 12:42am
There's no one reason why anyone feels depressed when life is going great. Depression can be caused by a multitude of factors, what many call "biopsychosocial" factors. Biologically, some people are predisposed to experiencing depression due to a family history of depression, genetics, and brain functioning. Psychologically, some people may have a pessimistic style of thinking, are more emotionally reactive, or have issues with self-esteem and identity. Socially, people may be under the stress of finances, relationships, the workplace, education, and experiences of prejudice and discrimination. All of these various levels interact to influence the likelihood for feeling depressed. In summary, there is no one real cause for why you are feeing depressed even when your life is going great. What I would recommend is to talk to someone you are close to (or even one of our listeners or therapists!) to help you get to the root of what is making you feel depressed. Don't be afraid to talk to someone, reaching out is the first step!
OceanRest
April 12th, 2019 2:45pm
Hi there and thank you for your question. Depression is not always caused by a life that isn't going great, as you put it. When depression is caused by something specific going on in our lives it is called situational or reactive depression and will often clear up when the situation has been dealt with. But depression can also be caused by trauma that we've experienced earlier in our lives or a chemical imbalance. In these cases, where there is a root problem or chemical imbalance, you can feel depressed even though your life is going great. Most often when there is a problem with serotonin or norepinephrine/noradrenaline (the feel good chemicals) in the brain a person can feel depressed. If that is the case antidepressants could help and it might be a good idea to discuss it with your doctor or a psychiatrist. But there are also other options like therapy. Often a combination of therapy and medication works well. Good luck on your journey and I hope you will remember to take good care of yourself during this difficult time.
Anonymous
April 19th, 2019 6:19am
Sometimes we just have that overwhelming feeling of being useless and unwanted. It is okay to feel like that, we can't just be happy the whole time. But you have to remember: There always is an exit, just keep searching for someone who can help you. You are not alone. And even when your life is okay, you sometimes just have to feel sad and scared. It is completely okay, too. But you have to remember: There always is someone who needs you, who will help you. So don't give up, keep searching and you will find the solution.
Anonymous
April 22nd, 2019 12:12am
Depression isn't always a rational thing, and this can be really frustrating. I kind of get where you're coming from. In many ways I have a very successful life. I grew up in a good family, friends to stand by me, I have a job that I love and a home to come back to after my shifts. And yet I have struggled with depression all my life. There are many theories about what causes depression. Sometimes it's circumstantial, caused by something that happened in your life. However sometimes it just happens. Sometimes a person's brain just doesn't produce the right chemicals. There isn't any shame in it, just like you wouldn't blame a diabetic for having a pancreas that doesn't produce enough insulin.
ConallBranagin
July 19th, 2019 3:14pm
Depression isn't always related to what is really going on. Often for many, it is a biological chemical imbalance. This, in general, is corrected through proper medically advised medicine to help the improper balance in your brain. If you feel this way, consider talking to a therapist or psychiatrist if you are interested in meds. Your PCP can also help you with meds if you can not get to the psychiatrist. In the meantime do what you can to distract yourself from these feelings and try to just take it one day, moment at a time. Remind yourself that life is going well and that this feeling doesn't match. If it doesn't match, think of it as a lie from your brain and again do what you can to distract from it and try to move on, but do take it seriously enough to seek help.
ryanjsmith
August 21st, 2019 11:46pm
Human beings are complex, annoying and it's hard work to be one. There may be something affecting you that you don't realise, for example, stress can take your life over without you realising, and this can cause you to feel depressed even if you are doing well in your career, school etc. You need to ensure you are exploring your feelings and dealing with them head on, as hiding them inside your head will not do you any good and isn't healthy. Always seek help if you think you need it and never let anyone tell you otherwise! Good luck :)
Anonymous
September 5th, 2019 8:15pm
Because even when everything may seem great it could be the vision everyone want us to see. You can be successful but feel like your work is not the one for you. You can have so many friends but they may not be able to give you what you actually need. Sometimes we feel just because we are who we are and world is affecting us more than one way. No matter how small is the matter or the situation we are allowed to feel. Not everything has to fall down for us to deserve some kindness and warmth from others.
peacefulLight8704
October 17th, 2019 1:32am
Sometimes, people feel that because they have what others would consider to be a "priveleged life", then they have no reason or even a right to be depressed. Mental illness does not discriminate based on race, gender, or socioeconomic status. It can hit anyone, regardless of who they are or where they are from. And even if your depressed feelings don't come from a clinical depressive disorder, those feelings are still valid. You are completely normal. Please do not ever doubt yourself, or invalidate your feelings and lived experiences, and also, please reach out to either a family member or counselor if this keeps going on.
Alissa01
October 17th, 2019 6:42pm
Even though things may be fine presently for you doesn't mean that you've solved the underlying problem. We can have unfilled voids from past experiences. It's like having a cut and putting a band aid over it. You think it's fine only because you can't see it. The only way to know for sure is to take the band aid off. Sometimes the present doesn't affect us as much as we think it does. In order to find genuine happiness we need to take a closer look at what could be causing us pain. Only then will we be able to move forward.
Anonymous
October 27th, 2019 2:53pm
Sometimes, feelings of depression can seem a complete mystery. Everything in life seems to be ‘in place.’ A person might have supportive friends, a good job, financial security and a loving family yet still feels unhappy or as if life is not worth living. Regardless of a person's external circumstances, it's their internal ones that are important when it comes to depression. It is not simply enough to have pleasant experiences in life, you must be able to extract the appropriate emotional satisfaction for them to have the required effect! If every time you achieve something, you think 'Oh well, anyone could do that', or 'I was just lucky', you are missing an opportunity. Although this may seem like a small thing, on an ongoing basis, and in conjunction with other depressive thinking styles, it can lead to a lack of meaning and self confidence.
sweetForest71
December 15th, 2019 1:10pm
Does it matter why? The fact of the matter is you feel depressed even though you feel you have no real reason to. Your life is going great. Asking why you feel depressed can be a rabbit hole. You may invent situations or scenarios or associate your depression with something happening in your life. Then you may decide to do something about it, by changing whatever it is that needs to be. Now your life is all set, and should go great. But you may still feel that nothing's changed. You may feel great for a while, but then good old depression may come knocking again. Then what. Again the same business, Why do you run away from depression? Asking why or how to overcome it? Why make it this powerful scary monster that you should run away from? What happens if you allow it to manifest. Don't resist it. Don't try to explain it away. Just sit there with it. Watch it closely, observe it with care and attention. Depression isn't an alien conundrum from another planet. It's something arising within your brain. See what happens when you don't try to do anything about it. Not making it better or worse. Just feeling that raw depression for what it actually is.
JennMarie2
February 9th, 2020 5:27am
Depression is not always a product of things going on in your life. Sometimes even people that are doing generally well in life can encounter bouts of depression. This is due to the fact that depression is physiological and directly related to the amount of serotonin (hormone that causes happiness) that is produced by the brain at any given time. In the same way that a type one diabetic person cannot control their bodies production of insulin, some people cannot control the amount of serotonin that is produced in the brain. A common solution to this is a class of medications called SSRI's. That stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Basically, that means that the medication blocks certain pathways in the brain that absorb and diminish the amount of serotonin in the persons brain. So just like a person can have trouble with their insulin levels, cholesterol, and various other things, serotonin levels can also lead a person to feel depressed when there might not be any external factors that would lead to depression.
Anonymous
February 15th, 2020 5:23am
Don't stress yourself over other people. We can't possibly all have the same rhytm and interests. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself, your thoughts, or your actions, get rid of them from your life. Get to know yourself. Whatever it is for you: meditation, religion, science, music, etc. Have a conversation with someone smarter than you. This can keep you motivated academically and can often result in wonderful ideas and inspiration. Accept your fears and your depressive thoughts. If you fear something continuously and quietly, it will eat you from the inside. When you accept it as your current state, you are one step closer to leaving it in the past. If none of this helps, please consider seeing a doctor. Depression is an illness and can be treated successfully with therapy and medication when necessary.
admirableLight4992
February 27th, 2020 6:05am
Depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain and it is absolutely normal to feel sad even when there is not an external reason to. Learning to cope with depression may seem like a daunting task but more people have it then you would realize and that you are not alone. If you are feeling depressed even though your life is going great you can talk to one of the listeners or therapists on here. Life has its ups and downs even when everything is going great you can still feel depressed and that is OK
Anonymous
March 27th, 2020 4:30pm
Because depression isn't caused by your life situation. Depression is an illness/imbalance of chemicals in your brain, which has little to nothing to do with your position. You never say to a person with asthma, "What do you mean you need an inhaler? There's plenty of air in here!" And the same goes for depression, you can't reason your way out of it. Depression is an imbalance of chemicals, nothing could have prevented it. All that to say, your happiness, comfort, ease, or lack thereof did not cause your depression, nor can they make it go away. It's okay if you're down, regardless of what you have.
CelloandMellow
April 2nd, 2020 7:58am
Often, depression strikes at bad times in our lives. Still, that doesn't mean that depressing feelings and/or depression can't hit during the best! Depression is an unpredictable force that can easily enter and exit, and finding time to address that conflict with a professional is a useful step in minimizing that ache during the good periods of life. Similarly, professional therapists can help to identify where these feelings may be coming from and assist in treating them accordingly. Even if life really is going well, little stressors occurring behind the scenes may be influencing your mood. Look within yourself and to outside forces for the answers! Everyone will have a different explanation for their seemingly contradictory depressive episodes, but these feelings are completely normal, no matter how great life is going.
Anonymous
April 25th, 2020 7:06am
It may seem hard to believe that having a good job, a loving family, and successful children wouldn’t make us completely happy. It’s the American dream. But guess what? It doesn’t. Many apparently accomplished people have problems with chronic, low-grade and often hidden depression. They are not who they appear to be. They look fine on the outside and are often fairly good, likable and responsible people. They just don’t like themselves. Their depression doesn’t usually knock them out; it just causes them to drag through life, withdraw at times, and not be all they are capable of being. Their gloominess takes it toll on loved ones and work peers. Worst of all, they often don’t know why they are like this. You can imagine what it’s like to be in this man’s shoes. He’s does everything reasonably well and is fairly successful. He has people who love him. Yet he is not happy. In fact he has never been completely happy. Even when others tell him how great he is. Most of his life has been a drag ever since his earliest years. The persistence of this experience sometimes causes him to give up hope and occasionally entertain thoughts of suicide. Afterall, there seems to be no point to his life anyway. He can’t even be happy with having it all. And what causes him the most hopelessness is that he can’t figure out what is bugging him.
summanulla2020
April 29th, 2020 11:59pm
That is why they call it depression instead of being sad. Sadness is an emotion that is linked to a causal event. In other words, we are sad because there is a reason for sadness. Being depressed feels the same as sadness but it can lack any cause for being sad. This can even set up a vicious cycle - a storm of emotion where we beat ourselves up because we are sad and we have no reason to be sad. I have beat myself up just because things are going great and I should be happy about it. Somehow it makes it seem worse thinking I am such a loser that I can't even be happy win things are going great. That is why they call it depression.
Hrupkost
May 15th, 2020 8:50pm
Sometimes, depression occurs without having a direct cause in our day-to-day lives. It can a physiological problem, an imbalance of neurotransmitters of the brain, a sign of underlying endocrine or autoimmune illness or a reaction to some deeper trauma that you haven't processed. This is why it's important to seek help from a professional, they can ask the right questions and determine the cause of your depression. The treatment will be according to your particular needs. Remember, it is good to ask help and there is no shame in being unwell. We can't will ourselves out of depression, as it might be caused by a problem in the body (no amount of positive thinking or sunlight cures something like hypothyroidism which usually does come with depression as one of the main symptoms!) So, see a professional. They can and will help you. Good luck and stay strong!
EmilyAnnMarie
May 15th, 2020 8:52pm
Depression is very different for everyone, but you don't have to live a terrible life to feel it. Depression is all about you, sometimes other factors play a role into it, like trauma, but not always. I personally felt the same way a few years back when I was depressed, and if anything, that thought made me feel worse than before. Some people think that because they're trying to convince themselves they shouldn't be sad, but others genuinely feel confused. I can't explain to you why you feel this way, especially since i do not know your story, but please know that things could be perfect in your life, but that doesnt mean it has to feel that way. Your feelings are valid no matter what.
8Leo
May 24th, 2020 10:05pm
Sometimes even when you’re doing great achievements they can mean nothing to you or just fade away as they never happened. You could also feel lonely even when you have lots of friends because no one seems to really care about you. Maybe you need someone to make that great moments really mean something to fill you up, or just find something you really love and motivates you so you don’t feel empty. There are lots of reasons you could feel that way, so don’t worry and keep trying different skills or activities to achieve things that you really feel proud of.