Who Controls Your Moods?

Depression And Anxiety Clinic

Who You Spend Time With Impacts Your Mood

When you are with positive, supportive, and loving people, you feel happier and more content, and you live longer. This is not only intuitively true but research has demonstrated it again and again. For example, in a study at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, 10,000 men were asked, “Does your wife show you her love?” The detailed health histories of the men followed over ten years who answered yes showed fewer ulcers, less chest pain, and longer lives than those who answered no.

When you spend time with negative or hostile people, you tend to feel tense, anxious, upset, sick, and less intellectually on the ball. Being around people who make you feel stress causes your body to secrete an excessive amount of adrenaline, which makes you feel anxious and tense and puts you on your guard. Increases in the stress hormone cortisol can disrupt neurons in the hippocampus, one of the main memory centers in the brain.

Through the years people have told us that living with a person who suffered from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, or borderline personality disorder has had a negative impact on their physical and emotional health. The chronic stress for family members associated with these illnesses when they are untreated or under-treated can be devastating. Mothers of untreated ADD children, for example, have a higher incidence of depression themselves and often complain that they are physically sick more often and cognitively less sharp than before they had the child.

In our experience, a hallmark of unhappy people is that they have a tendency to surround themselves with negative people – with people who do not believe in them or their abilities, people who put them down, discourage them from their goals, and treat them as though they will never amount to anything. Surrounded by these types of people, you eventually get a clear message that you are no good.

Are you surrounded by people who believe in you and give you positive messages?

Do you spend time with people who encourage you to feel good about yourself? Or do you spend time with people who are constantly putting you down and down playing your ideas? Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Are they positive or negative? The reasons people surround themselves with negativity are easy to understand. People who grow up in negative environments often grow up to be negative. It is what they are used to and, in a strange sort of way, it is what they are comfortable with, what their brain knows. A Choctaw medicine man once told us, “People do not seek happiness, they seek familiarity.”

If an insecure parent continually belittles his child to make himself feel better, the child grows up believing that he is no good and that he is not worthy of being around people who make him feel good. When the trauma of divorce of death happens in a family, a young child often erroneously believes he is at fault and carries around tremendous guilt for a long time. Some children who witnessed parents struggle through a difficult marriage get the message programmed in their brains that relationships are inherently problematic, and they, too, get caught in incompatible relationships.

Adults, as well as children, can be beaten down after years of living through a difficult marriage or being in an abusive job situation. Many people will stay in a job they hate, for example, because their boss leads them to believe that no one else would hire them and that they are lucky to have the job. Just as in an abusive marriage, in an abusive job situation, employees have their self-esteem beaten down to the point that they no longer believe they can go beyond their abusive environment.

Past relationships have a real impact on present ones.

If your past relationships were filled with negativity, chances are your present and future relationships will be the same unless you make a conscious effort to overcome the past.

If you are experiencing depression caused by your past or present relationships, you are not alone. Depression CAN be treated and Amen Clinics CAN help. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.


  1. I wish I could afford to go to Amens Clinic ive had clinical depression.for at least 30 years.

    Comment by Denee — August 20, 2016 @ 9:13 AM

  2. Pretty sure its not income based. Some people don’t have the money to get the best treatment

    Comment by Denee — August 20, 2016 @ 9:14 AM

  3. Hi Denee, we offer help and solutions that fit any budget. Please contact our care coordination department to learn more: 888-288-9834

    Comment by Amen Clinics — August 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

  4. Thank you. I have no income at the moment. Unemployed for a few years. A lot of debt, payments, and other medical treatments. Appreciate the articles though. If you want to do a study on me then I can volunteer. I don’t respond to medications, antidepressants and have done all other treatments including Brainwave Optimization, Therapy, etc. Interesting case

    Comment by Denee — August 20, 2016 @ 12:23 PM

  5. My daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar 2, anxiety, depression and she has borderline personality disorder (BPD) tendencies. I do think she has it. Her psych won’t officially diagnose her with it, but she has 7 out of 8 things that people with BPD do. We had a SPECT scan done with you 11 years ago. She is now 22 yo and I am sure her brain has changed a lot. Can BPD show on the brain scan? I know it’s a personality disorder, but wanted to know if it would show and what kind of protocol is given to someone with all of this mental illness issues going on. It is breaking my heart that she is having to deal with so much. I just want to waive a magic wand and she would be all better.

    Comment by Dana — June 18, 2018 @ 9:36 AM

  6. Hello Dana, thank you for reaching out and providing this update on your daughter’s journey beyond her SPECT scan. We’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you via email to discuss everything further and determine what can be done to get a true BPD diagnosis.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 18, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

  7. Is there any way you could address a bit of Dana’s questions and concerns publicly for the rest of us to learn from? I was really interested to hear this response.

    Comment by Sh — September 22, 2018 @ 7:25 AM

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