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Depression Is a Mental Issues, Not Emotional

Updated on February 6, 2018
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

My passion is to inspire and coach people to achieve what they want to get out of life.

Depression is fed by negative mind code


Depression can be a Performance Issue

Everyone has gone through an episode of depression at one time or another in their life. Millions of Americans experience depression every year. Many don't know that there are different types of depression. The one type of depression I would like to address in this article is situational depression or as I would like to call it "life depression". This life depression is the result of events in life that are not going the way we would like them to go. Because they are not going well we pick at them or over judging them in great detail. When judged we are not doing them well enough, we become despondent, stop doing activities and focus on worrying through over thinking.

I have heard helping professionals for over 30 years define this type of depression as "anger turned inward". Okay, they are right. When I was in my throes of my depression, I was angry at me more than others due to situations that went wrong. What was I angry specifically about? That I was not performing up to my standards or expectations I had set for myself, not achieving someone else’s standards or meeting expectations someone had for me.

I am sorry but I always thought the definition "anger turned inward" was an incomplete sentence and not an answer that anyone who is suffering from depression. My question is what is the anger about or where did it come from?

Depression is Anger Turned Inward

After 40 years of suffering from bouts of depression and helping other with it, I have finally figured out the whole answer to the question. Ready? Life depression is anger turned inward due to his or her judgment of how they are performing or did not perform in life. What was I angry specifically about? That I was not performing up to my standards or expectations I had set for myself, not achieving someone else’s standards or meeting expectations someone had for me. Now that is a whole idea or definition I can understand and I can sink my mind into it. For example, when our country or any other country, performs poorly economically the country goes into a period of depression by national and global economic standards. Humans respond in the same manner. If we lose a job, a relationship or a sports contest we experience feelings of depression.

Our society has become so performance based. Some of the highest paid, most revered and judged individuals in our society are sports figures. Being #1 is a value and values are very important in this society. Our performance is rated constantly by others and by ourselves and how we perform in different aspects of our lives; education, job, marriage, parenting, sports, social situations, and relationships to just name a few. We deeply feel that our performance rating defines us as a person, our status, and our values. No wonder we get depressed or down on ourselves when we do not perform to an “expected level”. Unfortunately most of the time it is not our expectation we are measuring ourselves against. So we withdraw from others and speak angrily to ourselves. Pondering statement like "I am not good enough", “you could have done better”, or "I am not worth anything, I do everything wrong". Or we consider why we cannot do anything right or are perfect.

Depression is a Mind Code Virus


Poll on Self-Judgement

Do you often judge yourself too much?

See results

Judgment Can Be Harmful

What happens when we judge our performance so critically? Well, we get depressed. We review life events from outside ourselves like a gymnastic judge rating a gymnast over the smallest details of a routine from behind a judging table. "Why didn't you do this?" or "Why didn't you said that" for a given life event. Looking for why we did not perform perfectly. Meanwhile, we are not experiencing life.

I will share piece knowledge I learned along the way about self-judgment. "If you are in a state of judgment then you're not in a state of health". Meaning, a human has to symbolically step outside of themselves to be able to view their performance. One has to view self in order to make a comment of any form; critical, negative or positive". That accounts for the feeling of not being self when in a state of depression.

Enough, no matter what I do or not, someone is always judging me. How do I correct this? A saying that I have adopted is in my life is as follows: "life is self-defeating enough without your help." I have worked hard on this saying to enhance my ability to experience the here and now I have worked so hard to achieve. So next time you have depressed feelings as the result of a life event, look at what you are judging your performance against and at what or whose standards. Do not be resistant. Recognize those feelings, identify what you have learned from the experience and then make an action plan to improve your situation and life. Get back in the game.

Self-judgment causes Situational Depression


Poll on Depression

How many times do you experience depression in a year ?

See results

© 2010 Bill Tollefson


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    Post Comment
    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      4 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thanks for your comment Lonitra.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I really co'dunlt ask for more from this article.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      "If you are in a state of judgment then you're not in a state of health." How true! Thanks for your words of wisdom and this informative hub.

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for the info on situational depression. I have heard some people refer to it as "just situational depression" - as if it doesn't hurt as much as a biological depression and doesn't require an empathic response.

    • sanely54 profile image


      9 years ago

      i love the part about the depression at the end asking "what or who's standards" so very true.. a lot of the time it is not mine but my abusers voices or just blaming myself when I need to stop and move on. thanks

      it seems since i have read this several times I get more from this writing. Linda

    • edguider profile image


      9 years ago

      "when our country or any other country, performs poorly economically it goes into a period of depression"

      That is a great example and an easy way of putting it. I agree 100% and this is what I do as well. If I do no perform the way I thought I would, I sink into a mild depression.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you so much for answering. This thing called depression is like a black cat who likes to sit on my lap. But by now I know how to pat him. Your hubs are appreciated!

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      9 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Yes it has been called "reactive depression", so you are correct. I refer to it more as "situational depression" due to overwhelming life events where one judges self negatively for not performing up to others standards or their own.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for this, sir. Isn't this what they once called 'reactive depression'?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have that saying "life is self-defeating without your help" on a posted note on my mirror as a daily reminder. Thank you for your continued words of wisdom.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you Dr.Bill that makes so much sence.Iv'e been going threw my moments everyday is a different thing.Now when ever I'm feeling off I can look back and work on it.


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