Constant Guilt and a Bad Mood May Be a Sign of Concealed Depression

08 February, 2019
Constantly feeling guilty for things you're not responsible for should give you a clue that there's a problem. It's important to treat it as soon as possible, so it doesn't get worse.

Sometimes a tiny voice inside suddenly appears that fills us with feelings of constant guilt. It tells us we’re doing everything wrong and nothing is worth it; no matter how hard we try, nothing ever will.

This is when patients affected by what is known as “dysthymia” exhibit chronic discomfort and bad moods, losing interesting in almost everything.  They respond with apathy and bad moods.

These are all symptoms of a type of depression that, at first, could be mild or moderate. But if left untreated, it could easily become a greater problem.

Let’s get to know these two common symptoms better.

Depending on how they affect our lives and how much much control you have over these feelings of constant guilt and bad moods, you could possibly be talking about depression, or simply a bad time in your life.

When feelings of constant guilt and bad moods invade you

When something gets dirty at home and you don’t clean it or pick it up, you instantly feel guilty. Whenever you eat a little more than you should or have a conversation that you later regret, you feel bad. Once again, that old feeling comes back: guilt.

All of these negative emotions, lived every single day for several months, are an unequivocal sign that something’s wrong inside.

No one can live with the shadow of guilt like a constant threat from a knife.

Sad woman with snakes on head

Freud said in his time that “exaggerated feelings of guilt and self-blame are keys for understanding depression.” Through magnetic resonance we’ve been able to discover what this emotion creates in the brain.

Guilt and self-blame are a “hit” to the brain

The study about how the feeling of constant guilt affects the brain was published in the magazine General Psychiatry. It revealed the following:

  • The brain structure in charge of processing behavior capable of rationalizing and solving guilt is the anterior temporal lobe. This region is related to social behavior and is what allows you to see things more objectively.
  • People experiencing depressive disorders “have disconnected from this area” to activate exclusively the subgenual region.
  • This prevents you from making anyone else responsible for what they do (if someone causes you harm, makes you angry or deceives you): you make everything personal, you attribute everything to yourself.

We’re facing a reality that is clearly reflected in the brain.

According to experts, if left untreated, it could even cause a certain type of aggressiveness, a notable reduction in self-esteem, and in the worst of cases, the feeling that everything is getting out of control and that life is not worth it. This is very severe.

Check out:

Self-Esteem: The Key to Happiness

Bad moods as a daily companion

Bad moods and feeling like reality has lost its original shine is a characteristic symptom of dysthymia.

  • Apathy, reduced energy, sleeping problems, dietary ups and downs, going through periods in which you need to escape from people and then suddenly feeling like you need to be understood and tended to, are all signs of this type of depression. It also tends to have some sort of genetic link.

The most complex part of this type of depression is that you can go through a few years feeling fairly functional. You go to work, you take care of the house and your family, but you do everything feeling indifferent, clearly feeling like you’re not happy. Every day it gets harder to get up…

Also read:

If You’re Going Through A Difficult Situation, Stay Strong!

Sad girl feeling constant guilt

As soon as this shadow appears, it’s important to ask for help and be aware that something isn’t right and that you need to resolve it.

Strategies to face the day to day

In order to overcome depression, you need medical treatment, therapy, willpower and support from loved ones.

This means that every one of us needs to find the strategy that best helps them. Every person is unique and there are no two types of identical depression.

However, it’s never a bad idea to apply these simple recommendations in your day to day.

Flower growing in a field

  • Movement, exercise, sunbathing: this simply means going out of the house, surrounding yourself with “life”, moving your body and using it to create different, amazing changes in the brain.
  • Stop the negative wandering in your brain. You need to put an end to the mental noise, to the “I can’t”, the “I’m guilty”.
  • Your negative thoughts are not reality, they’re perceptions and your perceptions are not always true.
  • Visualize the change every day.  See how your life would be in a better mood, with more balance and inner peace.

Fight to make your dream come true.

  • World Health Organization. (2012). Depression, A Hidden Burden. Fact Sheet N°369.
  • Echeburúa, E., de Corral, P., & Amor, P. J. (2001). Estrategias de Afrontamiento ante los sentimientos de culpa. Análisis y Modificación de Conducta.
  • Echeverría, R. (2011). Emociones y Estados de Ánimo. In Ontología del Lenguaje.
  • Ministerio de Salud, C. (2013). Depresion. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling.
  • Green, S., Ralph, M. A. L., Moll, J., Deakin, J. F., & Zahn, R. (2012). Guilt-selective functional disconnection of anterior temporal and subgenual cortices in major depressive disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69(10), 1014-1021.