It's not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental illnesses, it appears a variety of factors may be involved. These include:
- Biological differences. People with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
- Neurotransmitters. These naturally occurring brain chemicals linked to mood are thought to play a direct role in depression.
- Hormones. Changes in the body's balance of hormones may be involved in causing or triggering depression. Hormone changes can result from thyroid problems, menopause and a number of other conditions.
- Inherited traits. Depression is more common in people whose biological family members also have the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing depression.
- Life events. Events such as the death or loss of a loved one, financial problems and high stress can trigger depression in some people.
- Early childhood trauma. Traumatic events during childhood, such as abuse or loss of a parent, may cause permanent changes in the brain that make you more susceptible to depression.
I had to really talk myself out of feeling enormous guilt for having spent some money on myself today. I bought a pair of boots and a ski jacket. The boots were more of a necessity than the ski jacket but I promised myself that I'd buy a piece of the gear I'll need to take up skiing a little at a time and I bought myself the pants way earlier this year. I'm not sure I'll be able to actually take up skiing this winter season but it's more of a possibility with the new jacket. Plus it matches my pants and it's super warm. We're talking layers and layers, and for someone who hates snow and cold, it's quite perfect.
My family (not including my older sister but including my younger one) have spent a lot of time in the past 24 hours just sitting and watching Phoenix interact with my sister's cat, Othello. The cat seems to have a deep-seated hatred of Phoenix, although it might be dogs in general and not Phoenix himself. He's constantly running up to Phoenix, while Phoenix is just lying there minding his own business or chewing a bone, and smacking him in the face, and then running off. I want nothing more than to get it on video because it's not exactly easy to imagine and it's much funnier to watch.
I didn't sleep well last night because Phoenix decided it was his turn to take up the entire bed. I woke up at 3am (when my older sister had just gotten home) and had to get him up off the bed in order to stake my claim of the majority of bed-space. After that it was a little easier to get comfy, but by the time I fell asleep it was 5am.
I got a letter from the ambulance company today, saying thank you for applying and testing with the company, but that they would not be employing me. I will call on Monday to see what information I can get about what the deciding factor was. I'm assuming it was the driving record. Which is really too bad, but having prepared myself for this possibility, I'm not taking it too hard. I'm definitely disappointed, but not to the point of getting upset about it. I also received my new driver's license today, and DAMN, the picture is pretty good! Since I have to keep this one for the next 5 years, it helps that the picture came out awesome.
I was thinking today about how much I like being able to get out of bed and being able to function normally on my days off. Even though I was still mega-sleepy, I got up and got ready for the day. My little sister accompanied me shopping for the boots, and it was nice to get out and about instead of spending the whole day in the house. As the weather gets colder, staying in is going to be the norm I think, but I really like feeling "normal," by going out and doing things, even if it's just for a little while. I wish that I never had days when I am incapable of functioning like a normal human being. It's become almost a habit for me not to have anything to do during the day on my days off, and I find myself not even changing out of my jammies. I can't express enough how much I liked putting on jeans and a t-shirt today and accomplishing things. I also like being distracted enough to stop thinking and thinking and thinking about things.
I do find myself thinking about 75% more about the ex-boyfriend that recently contacted me. I know that I've changed enough to be able to handle all the different thoughts I'm having without acting on any of them, but it's still sort of confusing for me. He knows me so well and he knows exactly what to say to me to make me smile or giggle or to get any reaction out of me whatsoever. But he also has the ability to make me feel as though I do not matter one iota to him. I can deal with that part of it just fine now, but I think that I needed to have no contact with him for 9 months to be able to come to the conclusion that what he does and what he thinks with regards to me does not matter to me - or shouldn't matter - and doesn't affect my mood or how I feel about myself. Either way, it's nice to know that I've made progress, and it's helpful to have the skills of self-preservation to understand that just because he got in touch with me doesn't mean it's changing the track I'm on towards building myself back up. I will be okay.
*"Depression (major Depression): Causes - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living - MayoClinic.com. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/depression/DS00175/DSECTION=causes>.