Depression is the opposite of happiness. It is one of the most painful and long-lasting negative emotions springing up from your negative belief about yourself. Depression is always a feeling, an emotion, about yourself, not about the outside world or your circumstances in life. Depression is ALWAYS about YOU.

Depression has two essential elements: Helplessness and Hopelessness. In the first, feelings of helplessness come from your negative self image, from your perception that you are powerless to change the circumstances of your life. Your self image is ‘I am powerless’ to change this.

When you believe that you have no power to control your life or to get what you want or change your condition, you are embracing Helplessness. You are helpless, powerless and unable to change your circumstances.

The second essential element of depression is the aspect of time. Hopelessness comes from adding to your image of yourself as powerless, the idea of a long time, of “foreverness”. As opposed to just a temporary, passing condition, your situation is unresolvable because you have no power to change what you do not like. Hopelessness springs from being powerless and not being able to see an end to this powerlessness, ever. This combination of I can’t, plus I will never be able to, generates emotional energies (feelings) of depression.

From your perspective, you feel the problem is difficult and you lack sufficient personal power to quickly and easily solve the problem. But for whom is a situation or problem difficult? Only for those who believe they can’t, and feel powerless to change anything. Those who believe they can, are powerful enough, so don’t feel depressed.

Contrary to appearances, you aren’t depressed about the problems in your life or about anything external to you. You are depressed about Who You Are in relation to the problem. This is the key to understanding depression.

If you are depressed, you are operating in the belief that you are powerless, unable (to solve, control, get, change whatever). You are being Not-Powerful , as opposed to Powerful, in the face of your predicament. This is what depresses you, your lack of power, not the circumstances. Your depression springs from your belief (conscious or unconscious) in your inadequacy, not from anything external.

Test this. If you could solve your problems (from a position of Power), you would quickly have no problems and you would feel fine, right? You may feel challenged; you may worry a little; but you don’t get depressed. The essence of depression is your subconscious belief and feeling of being powerless forever: you are powerless and there is no alleviation in sight, ever. The key to breaking free from depression is therefore quite simple but not necessarily easy.

We have established that external conditions do not cause depression, though they are a trigger. Depression is a two-fold internal perception: I can’t, (powerless) and never will be able to (element of time). It is necessary therefore, to change one’s positional belief of powerlessness to one of I can, I am powerful enough to change this. You will never be able to totally control the external world, but you can learn to control your internal world, your self-image and your emotions, and this is all that is necessary.

You can live free of depression even in the face of major negative events in your life, like divorce, loss of job, bankruptcy, death of a loved one, illness etc. You can create a new self image in which you are in control of your emotions and feelings. It is a small mind shift, but may take a gigantic leap of faith. You can be happy no matter what. This where your life coach can assist you to reframe how you see yourself: move from depression to joy, from hopelessness to happiness.

Author's Bio: 

Marie C. Barrett, is an author, teacher and holistic life coach. For personal coaching to discover real joy, go to Follow at