If you experience a persistent feeling of sadness and have no interest in anything, you might be suffering from a mood disorder called depression. Also called clinical depression or major depressive disorder, the condition affects the way you think, feel, and behave. Overtime, it can lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems. Many people with depression find it difficult to perform normal day-to-day tasks. It is also possible to have suicidal thoughts, and that is why it is important to understand the causes behind depression and have it treated.
What Causes Depression?
Depression is a serious mood disorder. It is not like a short bout of the blues that you can snap out of, but it is something more problematic with severe mental and physical consequences. Here are some possible causes of depression.
Many people smoke when they become depressed, while there are others who have developed clinical depression because of smoking. Both issues are inter-connected, so you need to stop smoking to avoid making your depression symptoms worse. It is important to note that smoking increases levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain, and the change in these neurotransmitters is the reason why you feel better when smoking. That effect makes smoking an addiction, but you will find yourself in trouble when the effect wears off. This is why you should avoid cigarettes in the first place to avoid throwing brain chemicals out of balance.
2. Thyroid Disease
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, which produces thyroid hormone to regulate metabolism and handle many other bodily processes. Thyroid diseases can reduce the production of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), and this can lead to depression. Thyroid hormone plays many roles in the body but it also helps regulate serotonin levels in the brain. It is a good idea to go for a thyroid test if you have recently developed depression symptoms with constipation, cold sensitivity, and fatigue.
3. Rx Medications
Many medications can be the causes of depression. Many people end up developing depression symptoms when they take Accutane or other similar drugs to clear up severe acne. Other people develop these symptoms when taking insomnia and anxiety drugs, including Lopressor, Valium, and more. Depression can also be a side effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs, or drugs used to treat menopausal symptoms or high blood pressure.
4. Overuse of Social Media
If you spend most of your time in your home communicating with people through social media alone, you may end up developing depression symptoms. It is important to interact with other people or your social life will become very restricted and this will eventually lead to isolation. Moreover, many people start comparing their lives with others on social media and that sometimes leads to feelings of depression.
5. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Many people do not understand the perils of not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect you in more ways than you might imagine. It increases your risk of developing heart disease and affects your mood and emotions in a negative way. Once you have become depressed, it will be harder than ever to go to sleep, which is only going to make matters worse.
- Sedentary Lifestyle
You cannot have a healthy body unless you have a healthy lifestyle. Too much sitting or a sedentary lifestyle can cause several problems, including clinical depression. You need to be active and exercise regularly because it dramatically boosts your mood by triggering the release of feel-good hormones.
7. Any Form of Abuse
Past sexual, physical, or emotional abuse can always lead to a variety of problems in future. If you have suffered any form of abuse in your past, you are at an increased risk of developing clinical depression later in life.
8. Conflicting Behavior
Many people develop clinical depression when they have personal disputes or conflicts with friends and family members. It makes them feel that others do not value their opinion. This can eventually lead to several mental and physical problems.
9. Death or a Loss
Losing someone very close to you can be one of many causes of depression. Grief or sadness from the death of a loved one is often very hard to handle, and if not managed well, you can easily develop symptoms of depression.
People with a family history of depression are at a greater risk of developing clinical depression. Experts believe that depression is more a complex train and many genes play a role, which is why it is possible to develop clinical depression when it runs in your family.
11. Major Events
When your life takes a big turn, it is obvious to find yourself in depression. Events like graduating, starting a new job, or getting married can also lead to depression in some cases. Similarly, getting divorced, losing a job, moving, or retiring can affect you mentally to an extent that you develop clinical depression.
12. Serious Illnesses
It is never easy to deal with serious illnesses such as cancer. Seeing your loved one battling with cancer can affect mentally to an extent that you develop depression symptoms.
What Can You Do?
Once you have clinical depression, you need to work with a therapist. You cannot handle things on your own. It certainly helps to know the underlying causes of depression, but you should work with your doctor to improve your condition.
Follow your treatment plan. It is important that you regularly attend your psychotherapy sessions. Do not skip just because you think you are feeling better. The same is the case with medications. Do not skip or stop taking them if you are not feeling well. Educate yourself about depression. This will help you understand more about your triggers and put you in a better position to deal with the condition. Your therapist will also help you recognize warning signs, so you could control your symptoms before they get worse. Stay away from recreational drugs. Drug abuse can cause less depression symptoms temporarily but the long-term effect will be devastating. You should ensure that you do not turn to alcohol, recreational drugs, or smoking to deal with your depression symptoms. Improve your lifestyle. You need to stay active, spend time with friends, have a good social life, and eat a balanced diet. At the same time, you should not sacrifice the quality of your sleep for anything.