In 1994, when ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by the boyfriend of a rival skater, my mother and I watched the drama unfold on television. Immediately after being attacked, Nancy screamed as she wept. "Why?!" She screamed over and over. "Why me?" My mother and I watched her outburst in dismay. Finally, my mother said somberly, "Why her? Well, why anyone?"
During the worst moments of my depression, I often asked myself the same question, sometimes even in the same hysterical tone. Indeed, anyone who has suffered the agony of living with a chronic illness has likely wondered why they were the ones dealing with the pain - physical or mental.
There are many reasons people suffer from depression. There are entirely too many factors to consider in just one article. So here is a brief overview of three of the most common causes of chronic depression:
Genetics- Researchers have proven time and again that if you have a family history of depression, you're more likely to experience it at some point yourself.
Environment/Circumstances- Whether it's a difficult upbringing or a failing marriage, life's events can send a person headlong into depression. Even one who has never had prior depressive episodes can become overwhelmed with despair. Imagine an unexpected trauma, such as the death of a loved one, a terrible injury, or a financial reversal. Even under the best of circumstances, a tragedy can challenge anyone's emotional stability.
Side Effects- Various frequently prescribed medications say it right on the label: depression is a potential side effect of their use. Ironically, depression often gets worse after taking certain antidepressants - before it gets better.
The difficult truth is, you just can't be sure. The reason for your depression could be anything, depending on a variety of factors. Another honest truth - does it really matter? Rather than dwelling on the whys, which can be agonizing, decide that you will not allow your illness to control you. Do research. Be your own advocate. Focus on what you can do, instead of why it happened.