It hasn’t actually been proven yet why some people thrive in the face of adversity while others really seem to struggle. It could be genetics, experiences you had during your more formative years, the amount of social support you had while growing up, or just plain coincidence.

I think it’s safe to say, however, that most of us have felt depressed at one time or another, and some have experienced depression in a way that is quite a bit more serious and lasts a lot longer than the average person.

No matter who you are or where you come from, though, if mild, moderate or more severe depression does decide to make its way in to your psyche and reek a bunch of havoc it feels downright terrible and is really no fun at all.

This all said, believe it or not, there are actually a few good things that can come out of feeling depressed.

1. Being depressed can help us clarify our values and beliefs:

Going through something awful is just that. Awful. But going through something traumatic, life altering, or extremely upsetting causes an emotional upheaval. And when our emotions are in chaos, at some point in the process we need to reinstate some kind of order.

We become motivated to ask ourselves questions like “what matters to me most?” or “what do I want my purpose in life to be?” or “What do I really want out of my life?”

Questions like this prompt us to take a good solid look at ourselves and our lives and they provoke us to clarify what is really important. This then causes us to go forward living our lives with a new sense of clarity and purpose.

2. Depression Can Generate Emotional and Psychological Growth:

While we often think of depression as debilitating and stunting to our personal growth and development, going through something extremely upsetting, life altering or challenging can actually help to build strength and resilience… But only if we are able to get through the challenge and not get ourselves stuck in the much with it forever.

3. Depression Can Make us Mentally Stronger:

There are certain things about us that can only be assessed when put to the test through some kind of struggle. And for those who have ever been through depression, you KNOW how challenging it is.

So if you can handle getting through depression – one of the most difficult things out there – then you must know that you can pretty much handle anything. “ (More about this here)

Bad things happen no matter what – but I can handle it. I have before and I will again.

4. Depression Can Help Others

The only thing worse about going through something awful is going through it alone. One of my clients who has struggled on and off with depression for the past several years went to a mental health treatment centre a couple years ago.

She told me that the most helpful and hopeful thing in the whole treatment centre experience was being around others who really understood what she was going through and were able to relate to her and listen to her without any judgement or preconceived ideas.

And now, how she’s very courageously taken this experience in to her daily life is by intentionally being much more open and honest with others about her relationship with depression. And what she’s found is that her willingness to be vulnerable has allowed others to feel safe with her in opening up and sharing similar and previously undisclosed struggles they’ve had or have been having.

Has there ever been anything positive to come out of a challenge you’ve gone through?

Did you know you can now ‘Like’ Julia Kristina Counselling on Facebook? It’s true, I wouldn’t lie.