Why Am I Depressed?

By Leo Gura - February 26, 2014 | 21 Comments

The truth behind depression and how to can turn it all around through personal development.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I’m going to talk about depression. I’m going to answer the question of why am I depressed.

A Modern Epidemic

Why are you depressed? What is the cause of your depression? What is the root cause? What are some ways you can start to get a handle on it? Depression is an epidemic. It’s out there. So many of us, especially in first world countries nowadays, are starting to get more and more signs of depression.

Why is this going on? What’s happening here? What is the rock-bottom truth about depression? Here is the deal. I’m going to blunt with you here, because the bottom line is that the reason you’re depressed is because your psychology sucks. You’ve got shit psychology.

I’m not blaming you, I’m telling you a fact. There’s really two cases here that I’m going to distinguish. There are people who are watching this, that are going to be clinically depressed, that are actually going ot have perhaps legitimate, physiological conditions that are contributing to their depression.

I want to be very careful about saying that, because most of you, especially when you’re in a depressive type of state, are going to be quick to look for a way to be a victim, and to not take responsibility for how you’re feeling and for the fact that you are causing your own depression.

Even though are clinical cases, which I’m going to suggest that if you are, go and see a medical doctor, go and see a psychiatrist. Put yourself on medication, perhaps, if that’s the right course for you. There’s that.

Then, there’s the other half of you. I would say it’s not the half, it’s the majority, by and large the majority, that are really in a bad psychological state. Your depression is not really genetic, and it’s not really clinical. This is just bad psychology and the fact that you haven’t taken responsibility for your own personal development.

That’s really what we’re going to tackle here. Let’s break into this. I want to be very clear here, that no matter who you think you are, you are going to listen to this talk, and you’re going to assume that you’re in this group of people that have a shitty psychology.

Your Psychology Sucks

I can guarantee you, even if you do have biological, clinical factor to your depression, your psychology still sucks. You’re going to want to look at the psychology. The fact is that this psychology, getting this in place, is way more important than getting the clinical stuff in place. You can totally negate the clinical stuff, when you get your psychology really into shape, when you really understand yourself, when you understand what’s going on here.

I’m going to get into this, and I’m going to give you some techniques. Here’s the bottom line: your happiness level, it’s been scientifically shown, is about fifty percent genetic. They’ve done studies on fraternal twins, identical twins, comparing and they’ve shown that people have a certain happiness set point, and that about half of it, which is quite a lot, is determined by genetics.

You can read more about this in various research and positive psychology literature that’s out there. A lot of new studies are being published all the time, right now, in the twenty first century. The book The How Of Happiness has some good evidence and discussion about the genetic side of depression.

You can find books and other resources out there that will talk about the genetic causes and maybe some of the clinical causes, some of the chemical imbalances going on in your brain that might be causing it.

I really want to encourage you to stop being a victim and take ownership of it. Take ownership of your own psychology. The software, the mindsets that you’ve got, the software that’s running up in your head, is more important, in a sense, than the hardware.

That’s not strictly true — the hardware is really important, but I think that people are just so quick to point to external sources of problems that they really ignore the most important source of the problem, which is themselves and their mindsets.

Turned Towards Yourself

That’s what we’re getting into. The biggest reason that you are depressed is because you are too identified with yourself. You’re too self-absorbed. You’re too self-identified. You’re too egotistical.

This might sound a little bit harsh, and your immediate reaction might be to say “I’m not egotistical. I’m a really kind, and sweet, and nice person. I go to church and I do community service. I do good things for my family. I take care of my spouse. I’m not egotistical. I’m humble.”

You’re egotistical in the sense that you have a strong sense of who you are. Your depression is contributing to your sense of who you are. This is a deep idea. This is actually an enlightenment level idea. This is an idea you work on when you’re going through and working towards enlightenment, through zen or meditation.

This is something that goes deep. Unless you’re a real student of this, you’re not going to really understand it when you first start. I want you to start to get an idea of what’s going on here. You, the person you think is you, your ego — when I say your name, who you think you are, your past history, all your beliefs, all your assumptions about how the world works — all of that is a concept.

All of that is conceptual. It doesn’t actually exist anywhere. That “I” you call you, that “I” that is depressed, it doesn’t actually exist. It’s one thing to understand this conceptually and intellectually. It’s another thing to actually be aware of it on an experiential being elvel.

To do that, you need to do a lot of deep meditation, deep contemplation and work towards enlightenment. The more you do that, the more you start to get aware of that. That can take months, years of serious work.

The fact still remains that you are extremely identified with who you are, all your problems, all the circumstances that are hurting you, all the ways in which you are a victim. In a big sense, your depression is about you. You are extremely self-absorbed.

When you’re focused on yourself so much, and you’re focused on all your problems, and you’ve got these negative thinking patterns that are deep rooted and are deeply ingrained in your subconscious.

You’re always running through. You’re always worrying. You’re always panicky. You’re always anxious. You’re catastrophizing situations. You’re thinking about yourself. That’s making you depressed. That is the bottom line of it.

A Negative Self-Image

You also probably have a negative self-image. At the bottom line, the reason you’re probably going into these spirals of negative thinking, and these deep, dark emotions is because you have a negative self-image.

You think something is inherently wrong with you on some level. I don’t know what it is. Maybe you think you’re unlovable. Maybe you think you need approval from other people. Maybe you think happiness can be found out there somewhere, and that someone owes you something. Maybe you think you’re not good enough. Maybe you think life is just hard, it’s inherently painful, it has to be painful. There’s always suffering around, and you deserve that suffering.

A lot of these ideas, they sound silly when we just talk about them, when we voice them consciously. A lot of times, what’s happening is that those are operating on you, on a subconscious level. You don’t even realise what’s going on here.

You might feel that you’re depressed because, for example, you don’t have the relationship you want. You keep failing to get into a relationship you want. The reason you keep failing to get into that relationship you want — you keep trying and stuff breaks up, and you get into a bad, miserable relationships, nothing seems to work — the reason that’s happening perhaps, this is just an example, is that you’re very needy in that relationship.

You’re very insecure. Whenever you get that relationship, you get very attached, very loving. You might think “What’s wrong with that?” Actually, what’s happening is that you’re not fulfilled with yourself. The reason that you’re becoming so insecure and needy is because you’re not comfortable with who you are. You’re not fulfilled as yourself. You don’t realise you can’t be fulfilled by yourself.

The reason that might be is because you feel like you need approval from other people. You need to live up to other people’s expectations of you. The reason that might be is because you want to be loved. You feel like love is the most important thing, and you’re lacking it.

Then, on some level, you need that love. Deep down, the reason you might want that love, for example, is you feel that you are not good enough, just as you are right now, without having to be somebody else.

A Faulty Chain

That whole chain of beliefs, assumptions and logic, it might be completely logical. It might sound silly, but that whole chain might actually be running on you. I can bet that a lot of people watching this — thousands of people are watching this — that a good percentage of you had that exact chain of reasoning going through, which is causing you your miserable relationships.

That pattern will always keep running, because that is the subconscious. Those are the subconscious layers. That might be creating all the depression for you. You have to start to get more in touch with what’s really going on there.

Start to realise a lot of this stuff is just bullshit. A lot of it is past conditioning from past traumatic experiences, from childhood, from early adulthood. Maybe you’ve had some bad breakups, you had some trauma. Those things are holding you back.

That is your personal past history. That is not the case right now. In fact, I can guarantee you that if we put you into a meditation programme, where we force you to meditate for an hour every single day, for six months, if we forced you to do that, your depression would be either entirely lifted, or it would make a really big impact on your depression.

What meditation does, for example, is that it puts you in the present moment. This is a fact. This is not a concept. If you right now drop — you can do this exercise — if you right now drop your past history completely, forget about it at least for a second, forget your past history, forget your future history, forget that you have a future, forget the you have a past.

Become completely in the moment right now. Get rid of every single thought you have in your mind. Get rid of your idea of yourself. Pretend like you are dead. You have no more life. You have no more ego. You have no more conceptualisation. You have no more beliefs about how the world is, and how it works.

You just sit in quiet and peace. Close your eyes as you’re doing this. You just focus on that, and you do that for ten minutes, and you’re very disciplined about this. You’re going to feel, you’ll get a real feeling, this is not a concept, this is not an idea, not a theory, you’ll get a real feeling of what real happiness is.

You’re going to feel genuine happiness. This is not some sort of external stimulation. This is not some sort of titillation or excitement. You’re going to notice that whatever depression you had does not exist in that moment.

Back To The Natural State

That’s because each one of us, when we get rid of our ego, the natural state of human psychology is total bliss and happiness. This is an extremely powerful idea. If you thought your depression has been so crippling that you can’t break out of it, I really encourage you to try this and prove to yourself on an experiential level.

Really try it. You have to try it. It takes some work to actually do this, this is not going to come naturally. If you’ve never been meditating before, if you’ve never sat quietly alone in a room by yourself before for thirty minutes, then you’re going to find yourself really struggling and resisting.

First time you do it, you might actually become more anxious, because it feels very unnatural. Your mind is hooked on all sorts of external stimulation. You’ve got to unhook yourself and start very small. Start with just a minute. Try to do it for a minute. See if you can tap into even five seconds of just that pure happiness of being in the present moment.

You’ll see that, when you actually do that, you’ll see that it’s very possible, it’s actually not as hard as we make it out to be, and this proves to you that really, a lot of your depression is self-created. Your natural state is not a depressive state. Nobody is naturally in a depressive state.

Maybe with, I would say, an extremely few people that might have some sort of serious physiological condition. Do not put yourself into that category, unit that has been confirmed by someone with a PhD or an MD. Even then, I would say, do not put yourself into that category. Even if a doctor puts you in that category, still question that.

A lot of doctors out there do not understand the power of these psychological ideas I’m talking about here. These are so powerful.

Other Reasons

Other ideas that I’m going to throw out here really quickly: here’s what you need to know. Other reasons that you could be in depression: most definitely you are in depression because of this root cause, but there’s other things that are adding onto it.

Here are some of the things: one is that you’re not living in integrity with your values. Each of us has core values that are important to us. When you’re not living and honouring those on a practical level every single day, then you become lazy, undisciplined. You start to feel guilty. You start to procrastinate.

Maybe that’s just not splurging on that ice cream. Maybe it’s waking up on time. Maybe it’s going to the gym. Maybe it’s getting to work on time. Maybe it’s doing your work well. When you’re not doing these things you’re breaking your values, and that’s making you miserable.

It’s feeding into your depression. It’s not really causing it, I would say, but it’s feeding into it. Another thing I would say is feeding into your depression, and it’s actually a symptom and an outgrowth of this ego problem you have, is being inauthentic and fake around people and being fake with yourself.

It’s not being honest about the emotions you’re actually feeling. It’s being around people and trying to please them, trying to live up to their standards and expectations, society’s expectations. It’s not being independent and realising that actually, you are totally happy and blissful in your natural state, when you’re not thinking any kind of crazy thoughts.

You do not need anybody to fulfill you. In fact, nobody else in life can fulfill you. No human being can fulfill you. No external object can fulfill you. This is all a question of your inner psychology. This is a problem not just for depressive people, this is a problem for almost everybody out there.

Not realising that you could not find deep fulfillment in anything external. It’s all internal. Starting to get around that and being more authentic. Especially be more authentic with people. You’re so worried about rubbing somebody the wrong way, saying something wrong to somebody, getting someone’s disapproval, that that is destroying you.

You’re so worried about not being able to live up to some image of how you should look, or how successful you should be, or how you should feel, or how many friends you have, or the kinds of parties and places you go to, or the house you live in, the clothes that you wear.

You’re so worried about that that you don’t realise that stuff cannot make you fulfilled anyway, even if you had it all in place. You really are misunderstanding what fulfillment is on a deep level. You should probably check out some of my other videos that really talk about what happiness is and how to get it.

Ways To Help Yourself

Solutions — let’s talk about some of the solutions. The fundamental solution is to start to do introspection and understanding of how your ego is creating your depression. You have to start taking responsibility. You are creating it. You have to start to understand that. This is not something you are just exposed to one time right here.

This is something you need multiple exposures to. This is something you should really start thinking about, and start noticing about how you are creating the feelings in your life. That is the most underlying solution.

I would say next on the list would be: start to meditate. This is so important. If you’re a person with depressive symptoms, you need to start meditating, at least twenty minutes every single day as though your life depended on it. For some of you, it actually might.

Start meditating. I have other videos that talk about meditation, the benefits of meditation, how to do meditation. There are millions of books and resources out there. Join a meditation class. Do it yourself. Do it with a friend. I don’t care. Build a habit of it and follow through on that. Stick with it and you’re going to see some amazing results.

Another thing you can do to boost your mood and get yourself out of depression is to start exercising consistently. There have actually been studies that have shown that exercise is equally effective as Zoloft, in controlled studies of relieving depressive symptoms. This study is talked about in the book The How Of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubomirsky. I’m sure you can find it in other places as well.

This is a powerful finding. An antidepressant, an exercise can have an equal impact on liftin your depression. In fact, that study they did showed that exercise is better, because the exercise produces more lasting results. When you take yourself off the antidepressant, you’re back in your depressive mood. Whereas when you exercise, even if you get off that exercise, the results of it last longer.

Plus, the exercise is good for your anyway. You should be exercising anyhow. That’s another one. Then I want you to do the little things that you know you need to be doing. Wake up on time. Get to your job on time. Do your work well. Eat healthy. All the little things that are important to you, start doing them.

If you don’t know what’s important to you, start to clarify that. Value clarification, I talk about value identification in many other places. You can get coaching on that, to really get your values, to understand who you are and what’s important to you, then start living to those principles.

Of course, life purpose. If you’re depressed, I can definitely guarantee you’ve got no life purpose. You probably don’t. If you’ve got a strong sense of purpose, and you know what you’re committed to creating in life, and your life is not about yourself but about serving others, about having creative impact, it’s very hard to be depressed.

That’s why I’m rarely depressed. It’s because I have a very strong sense of life purpose. I’ve worked on it a lot. Get your life purpose into place. I have a lot of videos that talk about that. You can also get coaching on that if you’re really serious. I do coaching on that.

Then, if you really want to get a handle on depression, and not only that, but take it to the most highest level possible, I encourage you to look into serious meditation work, serious contemplation work, really working your way towards enlightenment.

Research the idea of enlightenment. I have some videos that talk about enlightenment. Really research the idea of ego, your subconscious mind and enlightenment. Commit yourself to that spiritual work you do with enlightenment, because what that is going to do is put you in that present, blissful state you are naturally capable of being in. Taht is going to completely shift you. Right now you are in the exact opposite of all that.

Wrap Up

That’s it, this video ran a little bit long because there’s a lot of deep stuff in here, plus a little bit of these practical tips. I’m going to wrap it up here. This is Leo, signing off. Go ahead, please comment on this. Let me know what you think. Leave me your comments, like I said.

Like this, share this with friends. Of course, check out Actualized.org for more advanced personal development videos, where I really talk about how to find your passion in life. It’s not enough to just get yourself out of depression. What is that?

Who wants to just come out of a depression to a normal kind of life? That’s probably why you’re depressed in the first place. You don’t really have a strong sense of purpose. I want you to set some huge goals for yourself. I want you to set an amazing vision for yourself.

You’re not just going to get out of this depression, you’re going to go on to create amazing things, to empower people, to start a cool business, to live an amazing career, to produce great art, whatever it is, start a family. I want you to get in touch with that.

We offer you the resources to do that. We help you master your psychology so you can go out there and master the world. Sign up to my newsletter, and you’re going to get free weekly updates that will show you exactly how to do that. I’m researching literally over a hundred thousand dollars of personal development material and information, to bring the golden nuggets to you, so that you can figure out how to master yourself.

To really get through this, and live an awesome, amazing life where you’re completely fulfilled and depression is just a figment of the past.

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Bob says:

I just listened to How to Deal with Depression which was excellent but I think this video is a mandatory primer for the other and personally, one that I will revisit again. I love the brutal honesty and insite but appreciate the time spent outlining possible solutions. Thanks again Leo.

Maria says:

Amazing informational and motivational video. I will def revisit with a pen and notepad on hand I want to jot down all the “key” components of what depression really is. Bravo! Thanks.

Sona says:

Hello Leo , I love the way you explain things and your videos are very educational, I agree with everything you said about depression and love to watch your videos
Thank you ! Leo xoxo

Leo Gura says:

Thanks Sona

MightyJoe says:

Hi leo, this video was extremely helpful at this point my life. You might want to crossing index the session so that other people that are not depressed can also use it to be motivated. Although I feel depression as you say is an outcome of not taking action. It’s hard to find people that can help you restart and if they want to help you mobilize do they have the intellect to get the point across in a way that will help you restart as you have . In the past I have use your mobilization techniques to the point of creating fear in myself and anxiety but I have got the job done. It would be nice if you had other videos follow-ups to this. Good job

Su says:

I want to thank you for being so generous with your knowledge. I have been listening to many of your videos and I am amazed at the depth of your understanding of human psychology. Listening to you in so many subjects has made a great impact in my life ….

Leo Gura says:

My pleasure

loubna says:

Hey leo

I m definitely agree with all the details that u explained. And it’s so amazing how u do it.
I had have a great results after watching ur videos.
but I want you to propose me a video that can help me about ” love depression”

ramesh says:

Hey Leo,

I exactly understand what u r trying to drive and that’s a great feeling.

I like the way of ur explanation and hats off to your knowledge about psychology.

Thanks a lot once again, keep up the good work.

Elton says:


Meena says:

You are fast becoming my morning, noon & night mantra. I miss you when I don’t hear your voice and words of wisdom. You have an admirable balance of delivering your teachings in psychology and human pitfalls. Acknowledging ones mistakes are hard to accept but you make this seem a natural process and I can’t thank you enough for the insight. The more I see you, the more I want you :x

Vince says:

Thanks Leo, especially for the solutions. I’ve been trying to meditate the last year but it hasn’t worked for me because I’ve not been taking responsibility and the time to do it daily. First thing I’m off to do now is some meditation before bed, thanks for your insights.

Arthur says:

I love your videos I was learning allot about myself like depressed i was doing some of your meditating thank you for helping me with my life

Abhijeet says:

Can i get a free 1 hour cochin? I really need to talk to you please.

asima says:

Absolutely awesome video. Very insightful. I could totally relate to this..

Caroline says:

Hello! I’m Caroline from Holland. And i am going to watch a video, or listen to an mp3 a day. And start meditating every day. For at east half an hour. I want my life purpose. And i understand that my psychology sucks. So i’m goin to get to work on it! I can and will do this. I am glad i found you.

pam says:

I discovered your videos accidentally and I am so glad I did. I am clinically depressed but your words and passion really spoke to me. I plan on to start mediating and taking the next steps. thank you for your passion…I am going to start to mobilize my life and start the journey. thank you….

Ben says:

Well I must be doing it wrong the because I’ve been meditating for over 5 years twice a day for an hour each time and not a lot has changed. I still feel very stuck, still suffer from spiralling negative thoughts, still have very little confidence, still do nothing with my life, and my current long term relationship is ending because I was still too needy.

Ben says:

Well I must be doing it wrong then because I’ve been meditating for over 5 years twice a day for an hour each time and not a lot has changed. I still feel very stuck, still suffer from spiralling negative thoughts, still have very little confidence, still do nothing with my life, and my current long term relationship is ending because I was still too needy.

Brian Bink says:

I needed to hear it just the way you explained it and I agree, it’s just too easy to do the bare minimum in life and expect to feel fulfilled, happy and at peace, that’s just not realistic. I am seriously in need of meditation and clearing away the story that constantly plays in my head, it was real but serves no real purpose but to take me out of the present and limit my achievements and happiness, I’m glad I finally started watching your teachings and insights again because I’m sick and tired of the lack of joy, love and sense of personal worth I’ve been feeling for a long time, there’s no better time than the present to live in for me, Thank You

Thinking Errors aren’t easy to mend. But yh it’s in your hands. Furthermore, there are NO gene responsible for depression, so when we say “genetically depressed”, it really is more of learnt behaviours that are reversible rather than an hereditary “disease”.

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