Depression and Temperaments

Does My Temperament predict my moods?


The word depression received a lot of attention from the last post regarding my Easter.  The number one question I received was, “Do YELLOWS really get depressed?”


Here is an explanation:

Clinically speaking, anyone can become depressed. The Mayo Clinic defines depression as “a mood disorder causing a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.”

So, every temperament is capable of depression-like feelings. Depression just looks different with each individual – each temperament. Often times, a person’s reaction mimics what has been modeled for him/her.

Most people, who are familiar with the four temperaments, think BLUE (melancholy) is the temperament most likely to experience depression.  Not so.

BLUES are the deepest thinkers and feelers. They may hit a depression when they have been working toward something – have worked to where it was finally “perfect” – only to have their work criticized or negated. They tend to be the hardest on themselves.

Because BLUES are the deepest feelers, parents of BLUE kids should particularly take this seriously. Statistics show the 5th cause of death in children from 5 to 15 years of age is suicide.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education released: “Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 – 24 year olds because of depression.”

I recently had a BLUE friend describe her depression as feeling like a volcano of pressure building and building. When it erupted, all sorts of emotions exploded “quietly” from her: anger, unkind remarks (uncharacteristic of BLUES) and plunging sadness.

The key word here is “quietly.” It can be a quiet killer.

YELLOWS are unfamiliar with the “quietly” aspect of depression. YELLOWS rarely do anything quietly. When the fun is over, they may nose-dive into their own depressive feelings.  What I experienced, the day after Easter, also happens to me subsequent to theatre productions, or a successful speaking engagement, etc. However, I do not hesitate to let it be known how I’m feeling.

When things are no longer fun, I experience a huge sense of “let down.”  As intensely as YELLOWS party, they just as intensely “crash.”

REDS are known for their loud outbursts.  Their own form of depression often shows itself as ANGER – often, when they experience a loss of control or power. Short fuse- quick temper- cruel remarks -all are natural reactions of this RED temperament. If a RED is upset or depressed, it can look very much like abuse toward others.

GREENS are not exempt from depression, even though they are the nicest people in the world. They have an extremely long and patient fuse.  However, when it comes to their limit, they react also. Very few people hear or know it happens. Unfortunately, only those who are very close to a GREEN experience the down times of their depression – often showing itself as a “loss of interest.”

Let me quickly insert here: these are the negative pre-dispositions. You were born like this! This is our natural disposition without God’s help. Can you see how important it is to have God in control of our temperaments?

God takes the ugly and makes it beautiful! God takes the heartbroken and gives them hope!

I love the verse in Psalm 35, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”

Jesus said, “In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33b (The Message)

My YELLOW needs help from God to enable me to snap out of my feelings of depression!

Here are two books I highly recommend on Depression.

Depression: Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness by Edward T. Welsh

The Anxiety Workbook For Teens by Lisa M. Schab LCSW

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