What Actually Causes Depression? ‘People often ask’. Let’s put it this way, Do you often feel hopeless in life? Then you might be suffering from mental issues such as depression. It is a common and serious mental illness, which negatively affects how you think, act, and feel. Depression makes you feel alone and lose interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can cause several physical and emotional problems in your life.
Causes of depression
Here are common causes of depression:
According to health experts, different situations such as abuse, neglect, poor social network, trauma, and bullying can lead to depression and stress.
Several studies have indicated that emotional abuse is as powerful as physical abuse. With time, both conditions lead to depression and low self-esteem. You can also develop anxiety.
The research has depicted that emotional effects of neglect such as fear, inability to trust, and isolation can result in long-term consequences. It also increases the risk of developing a drug addiction.
Poor social network
Socialization plays an important role in building your personality. However, lack of social network and support is strongly associated with loneliness and depression by affecting your brain functions.
Trauma, a big change, or a struggle in life can cause depression. Being fired, losing a loved one, or having financial problems can badly affect your mental health.
Bulling affects emotional, physical, and mental health during school years and in adulthood as well. The research has indicated that bullied teens and children are at high risk for developing depression and anxiety.
Your lifestyle also plays an important role in defining your both physical and mental health. Several life situations like a financial struggle, overworking, unhealthy habits, and life transitions can make you feel depressed and alone.
Some financial problems such as being retrenched, losing a job, inability to pay bills, long-term unemployment, and not being able to cope with the increasing costs of living can disturb your life.
Bad eating habits not only affect your physical health but mental health as well. One study has demonstrated that excessive intake of processed foods, alcohol and smoke (Addiction) leads to hypertension, heart problems, and depression.
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Working for long hours can reduce your fitness level and can put your body and mind under stress. And this situation results in abnormal weight gain, bad concentration, heart problems, poor circulation, depression, and many more.
A life transition can also have an impact on your mental health such as empty nest syndrome. It refers to the grief, which you feel when your children move out of the home. It is more common in women because they are more attached to their Children.
3. Biological factors
Do you have imbalance chemicals or hormones and genetic problems in your body? If yes, then you might be suffering from depression. Let’s discuss how?
Changes in hormone functions and production can cause the onset of a depressive state in your body. Different hormonal states such as childbirth, menopause, or thyroid problems can cause depression.
Depression can be an inherited problem. The research has indicated that you are at higher risk for developing depression at some point in life if you have a family member with depression. The exact gene is unknown, which leads to depression.
Imbalance in certain chemicals that are released from your brains such as neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine) can affect the feeling of pleasure and happiness in your life. That’s why different antidepressants work to balance these neurotransmitters, especially serotonin to treat depression.
Your spiritual peace plays a crucial role in maintaining your both mental and physical health. Some spiritual factors such as lack of spiritual fulfillment, existential crises, and huge shifts worldwide can make you depressed.
Lack of spiritual fulfillment
Spiritual fulfillment is knowing your soul and the purpose for what you are here in this Earth school. When you are spiritually fulfilled then nothing can stop you from achieving your life targets. On the other hand, lack of spiritual fulfillment induces negative thought that leads to depression.
Existential crises refer to the feeling of unease about choice, meaning, and freedom in life. Like, a person going through a difficult divorce can think that the foundation on which his life was built is weak. All these negative thoughts lead to depression.
Huge shifts in worldwide
According to WHO (World Health Organization) report, global crises in developed countries have resulted in increased employment, insecurity, and debts. All these factors have caused high incidences of depression among the population.
4. Cognitive factors
Cognitive factors leading to depression include the following:
Several studies have indicated that having high unrealistic expectations about yourself can contribute to a feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and problem in coping with symptoms. Usually, perfectionism results when you try to live up to an internal ideal, it is also motivated by fear, like worrying about how others think about you.
A cognitive distortion is one of the major contributors to depression. When bad things happen, you start to chastise yourself with negative thoughts like, I am not good or I am a total failure. And all such thoughts make you feel alone, depressed, and sad.
Low self-esteem/ low self-worth
Low self-esteem and self-worth can affect your life quality in several ways such as negative feelings and constant self-criticism can cause depression, guilt, shame, and stress.
Body image issues
Body image issues are common in adolescence. That’s why there is a high prevalence of depression in teens. The research has indicated that higher body dissatisfaction is strongly linked with poor life quality, eating disorders, and depression.
Prevention of depression
To prevent depression all you have to do just change your lifestyle and eating patterns. Some depression is a part of your normal routine because you are living in an often chaotic world. But when these conditions become part of your daily struggle, you have to act before it’s too late. Drugs do not give you permanent relief from depression, only through a healthy lifestyle you can get rid of these issues.
Some natural ways to get rid of depression are:
I. Be active and social
Physical activity not only ensures your physical health but mental health as well. And a sedentary lifestyle can bring negative thoughts. Regular exercise works a hundred times better to reduce depression than medicines. You feel fresh, relaxed, and calm after many hours of work out. Exercise improves your blood circulation, supports all physiological body functions, and gives you mental peace. There are different types of exercises for anxiety and depression such as breathing exercises and yoga.
Be social, talk to your friends and family when you are depressed. Do exercise with them, and play indoor games like chess.
II. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is very dangerous to your health because it is a natural sedative. Your nerves feel calm by drinking one drink of alcohol. But, when the buzz is over depression returns with vengeance. So, avoid this and look for natural ways to remove depression from your life.
III. Quit smoking
In stressful conditions, smokers search for a cigarette. Similar to alcohol, smoking gives you a quick fix that may worsen stress over time. According to research, smoking at an earlier age can increase the risk of depression in your later life. Studies have also revealed that chemicals and nicotine present in cigarettes alter your brain functions that lead to depression.
IV. Get enough sleep
Proper peaceful sleep is the best remedy to treat mental issues like anxiety, depression, and stress. A common symptom of anxiety and stress is insomnia (difficulty in sleeping). So, prioritize your sleep by:
- Sleep at night, when you feel tired
- Avoid taking nicotine, caffeine, or large meals before your bedtime
- Do not use a laptop, tablet, or phone on the bed
- Keep your sleeping area cool and dark
- Write all your worries before going to sleep
- Try to sleep at the same time each night
V. Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a new way to promote brain health. In this technique, different essential oils are used to improve your well-being. Oils are inhaled directly or added to your warm bathtub, so they diffuse in your body. You can use various essential oil such as lavender, grapefruit, clary sage, ylang-ylang, and bergamot. Studies have found that aromatherapy can:
- Helps you to get relax
- Helps you to sleep peacefully and properly
- Improves your mood
- Maintains your blood pressure and heart rate
VI. Eat a healthy diet
Avoid the intake of processed and refined foods and start eating a healthy diet. Though, a low carbohydrate diet, chemicals in processed foods, and dehydration contribute to the onset of depression. A high carbohydrate diet can also influence your temperament. So, try to consume a healthy diet including complex carbohydrates, protein-rich foods, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits. Because there is not any magic diet to eliminate depression, only a balanced diet can help you in achieving your goals.
Some healthy eating guidelines to prevent depression are:
- Eat more selenium-rich foods, as studies link low intake of selenium with poor mental health. These foods are lean meat, soy foods, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and low-fat dairy.
- Increase intake of vitamin B12. You can get them from dark leafy vegetables and low-fat animal dairy products, to prevent depression.
- Add omega 3 to your diet, main sources are flaxseeds, fatty acids, and walnuts.
Depression is caused by several factors. But you can easily manage or prevent this problem with an active lifestyle and a healthy nutritious diet.