There can be many causes of depression – each of which will vary depending on the individual – but if you’ve been feeling inexplicably low and can’t quite put your finger on why, it might be that you’re feeling guilty about something.
Guilt is when you feel embarrassed or regretful about being the reason behind a negative action or event – recent or even way back in the past – and while much of our guilt is genuine and appropriate, in some cases, such feelings can stem from something entirely different.
For example, if we’ve chosen to do something that we know we shouldn’t have, then feeling guilty and acknowledging our “wrongdoing” can be healthy; the guilt is both genuine andappropriate.
But sometimes, our guilt is created from what we perceive to be a personal failure and is an irrational and inappropriate response to an event or action past or present; you’ve judged your actions and come up with a guilty verdict when the truth is either completely different, or not as big a deal as you perceive it to be.
When we feel guilty for something that we needn’t, the feelings of guilt may encourage us to punish ourselves for what we think we have done to someone (or something) else, and these feelings can persist and cause us to feel miserable and depressed.
Recent studies have shown that the brains of individuals suffering from depression, are more prone to guilt than those whom have never suffered from depression. But how exactly does guilt go on to cause depression? And what can you do if your feelings of guilt, are making you depressed?
Negative thinking and a low mood:
Cognitive behavioral therapy that is evidence based, shows us that our emotions can be created by thoughts, and those emotions then go on to influence and cause the actions that we choose to carry out. When our thoughts are negative, they can go on to make our emotions and our actions negative, too, and when this becomes a cycle, our mood can take a nosedive and we can even become depressed.
Seeking help for your feelings of guilt and depression:
Some feelings of intense guilt can be deep rooted in our past and in our psyche and identifying and interpreting them can be next to impossible without professional help. Trying to break the control that these negative thoughts and feelings are having over your life may not be something you’re currently able to do it alone, and a qualified counselor may be your best option.
If you suspect that feelings of guilt are causing you to feel low and/or depressed, then please don’t wait until you’re at your lowest before you seek help. Talking through your issues will show you that the negative relationship you currently have with yourself need not control your life. Please call 1-800-662-4357