Self-induced depression (+How it happens)

This article will discuss how people are capable of causing themselves to be depressed. For that, the article will explain what attitudes and behaviors you can have that make it easier for you to get depressed, and what are ways to change those patterns to preserve your mental health.

What is self-induced depression?

Self-induced depression is what happens when a person, through their behavior and attitudes, can make their risk of developing depression higher.

What is known nowadays is that depression is a multifactor event. There is a genetic predisposition, as well as a higher chance of happening due to external events, such as traumatic events, as the loss of a loved one. But to other people, depression can come from a change in their emotional state. 

Self-induced depression can be related to how people approach their lives. It is usually related to the presence or absence of spirituality, their coping strategies, and their cognitive functions. Let’s discuss what are some behaviors that can lead to self-induced depression.

What behaviors create self-induced depression?

There are some behaviors and attitudes that people can have in their lives that can make it easier for them to develop depression. Those behaviors are:

Being too hard on themselves

When you are too hard on yourself it can be overwhelming. You may have a constant thought in your mind that you are not enough. And this can prevent you from even trying to do things. 

This can cause you to be so obsessed with being great, that at some point it can burn you. People that are too hard on themselves can also turn to compulsive behaviors, such as drugs or alcohol as a way to feel better about themselves.

Being too judgmental

People that are too critical of themselves, are usually too judgmental with others as well. They can feel anger more intensely, and if they don’t externalize it, keeping it bottled up is something that can cause someone to be depressed.

Not only that, people that don’t externalize their anger can have a higher chance of developing ulcers, migraines, and hypertension.

Have high expectations 

When you have higher expectations it can be hard for you to enjoy the victories. You might pass a test, but you can feel a letdown because you didn’t get the highest grade. This is very similar to being too critical, and it may be hard to think of reasonable goals. 

With time, this can take the joy of your actions and achievements. Which can cause you to get depressed.

Not showing gratitude 

Going hand in hand with extremely high expectations, not being grateful for what you achieve is something that can make you depressed. If you don’t take a look around ever so often, you can lose track of all the positive things going around you. 

It can be the smallest one, or the biggest one, but these are things that can make your life happier.

Not looking for solutions 

Everyone goes through difficult experiences in their lives. But people that find it hard to look for solutions to their problems, or hold grudges, tend to have a higher chance of getting depressed. Those people usually internalize their feelings, which makes it easier for them to get depressed. 

Be unforgiving

Being unforgiving is a way to not let your negative feelings go. When you have trouble forgiving, you can have the sort of attitude in which you are always questioning why things are happening to you.

This line of thought can make you feel as if the world is ganging up on you, and that can harm your mental health.


There has been much research that shows there is an influence in daydreaming in symptoms of depression. That happens especially when daydreaming is characterized by negative cognitions, which can lead to rumination, something often present in people with depression.

This can happen because daydreaming can leave a person in the same way as depression, in an inactive state. After which people can experience higher levels of depression symptoms and lower levels of pleasure.

How can I change my attitude?

As shown, although it is not definite, people’s attitude, behavior, and outlook towards life can increase their chances of developing depression. To prevent such occurrences, some changes can be made in your life. Let’s discuss ways to take better care of your mental health.

Take care of your health 

Having good physical health is one important way to prevent depression. Eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising will allow you to feel good about yourself. It also has a positive effect on your mood, and through exercising you can even put your competitive side at work in a more positive way. 


Meditation, especially mindfulness, can be beneficial when you feel overwhelmed. It can help you reach your center, focus on what are your feelings at the moment, what is around you, and move past the negative thoughts in your mind.

It can also be a moment to reconnect with all the positive things you have in your life, and maybe find some gratitude about it.

Learn to deal with your emotions 

Internalizing your emotions is one of the most common causes as to why people get depressed. If you don’t deal with them, you can ruminate on them, which can have many negative effects. Finding ways to deal with them is extremely important. There are many ways to do it.

You can start to journal, and by writing your emotions, you will be able to feel them leaving you. Not only that, you have a chance to read it over and find ways to solve your problems and move on. Talking with your loved ones, friends, or family members, is also a way for you to put your emotions out.

The same is possible through therapy. If you realize writing or sharing your feelings with your loved ones, you can look for professional help. Having this supportive space, in which you won’t be judged, can make it easier for you to express how you feel, and discover ways to deal with it.

Be mindful of what you desire

Instead of comparing yourself to the success of others, be in touch with what you want and need. Realistically set your goals. You don’t need to be the best in everything, but find things you want to be good at, not necessarily the best or the greatest. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is self-induced depression?

Is it possible for a place to make you depressed? 

Yes, a place can make you depressed. It all depends on how this place makes you feel. If you feel lost, disconnected, and even alone, it can be hard for you to cope with such feelings, to a point that makes you depressed.

That is why if you are in a place that is causing you to feel depressed you should think about what are changes you can do to maybe adjust better to this place, or if that is not possible, how you can change away from this place that is causing you to feel like that.

What is situational depression? 

Situational depression is when a person is feeling depressed after a traumatic experience. It is usually a short-term process. It is a form of adjustment disorder, which can make it hard for people to handle a new situation. 

Situational depression is also called reactive depression. It can be caused by problems at school or work, because you are going through illness, grief, moving to a new place, or relationship problems.

The main symptoms of situational depression are similar to the ones of regular depression, and if a person already has a mental health issue, it might be easier than to go through it. The same is said about having gone through many difficult problems in life, or stress during childhood. 

Some people may require medication to treat it, but lifestyle changes such as exercising, healthy eating and sleeping habits, and social support can improve your well-being. 

What are the warning signs of depression? 

Some signs can start to show that people are depressed. The first thing is feeling unexplained pain. When a person is depressed, they have a worse perception of their well-being, which can cause them to feel more pain. They can also have difficulty concentrating, and their sleeping pattern changes all of the sudden.

They can start to sleep too much or too little, but either way, they always feel tired. Their appetite changes as well. Some people may turn to binge eating as a way to try and feel better, while others can stop eating due to the lack of energy. Their mood also changes, which can have intense mood swings or become more irritable.

Is it hard to diagnose depression? 

Depending on the form of depression, it is. Mild depression, in which the symptoms don’t last a long time, and are usually not that intense, can be harder to diagnose since it can be confused by regular and commentary sadness. 

As for the other forms of depression, it can be easier to diagnose, but it is only by a medical follow-up that your doctor will be able to identify your patterns, what symptoms are the most common, and how long they go on to determine what form of depression you have. 

That is why it is important to look for professional help. The better diagnosed you are, the more adequate your treatment is, and the faster you might get better. 

What is hypomania?

Hypomania is a condition in which the person shows a lot more energy, with an improved mood, and is more active. When you are in hypomania, people around you will notice that your energy level is higher than the one you normally have. but hypomania is a degree less than what mania is. 

It can be caused by lack of sleep, life changes, the use of substances, or because you are in an environment that is highly stimulating. To treat hypomania, medication might be needed, as well as therapy to create coping strategies and learn how to deal with it, some lifestyle changes might also be important such as meditating.


This article discussed if people can self-induce depression. Along with that, the article showed what behaviors people have that can increase their chance of getting depressed. Along with that, the article highlighted ways people can alter their attitude to prevent them from getting depressed.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.


Klinger, E., Henning, V. R., and Janssen, J. M. (2009). Fantasy-proneness dimensionalized: dissociative component is related to psychopathology, daydreaming as such is not. J. Res. Pers. 43, 506–510. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2008.12.017

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