There is no one particular cause of depression. You can experience depression for a host of reasons. Depression occurs differently in different people and thus there are various stimuli that can act as triggers.
For instance, there may be people who experience depression due to a stressful event. This could be losing a loved one, experiencing divorce, terminal illness, etc.
Also, there can be a combination of events that can act as triggers for depression. For instance, you may experience an illness and at the same time lose a loved one.
Many people also go into depression with age. This is mostly due to the financial crisis they are into or their social life which makes them depressed.
People who feel depressed also mention the downward spiral of events. For instance, one may see a financial crunch which may make them withdraw from social life, lose interest in routine activities, and get into alcohol consumption.
Let’s see what are the top 4 causes of depression.
1. Environmental Factors
One of the top reasons for depression is unfavorable childhood experiences. Different types of unpleasant childhood experiences are one of the critical predictors of depression later in life. These majorly include stressful events like seeing the separation of one’s parents, child abuse, losing a loved one, etc.
Events like these make one withdraw from family and friends and deal with things on their own.
2. One’s Temperament
Personality or one’s nature also plays a significant role in making one vulnerable to depression. For instance, you may be facing low self-esteem issues or could be excessively critical about yourself.
This could result from your childhood experiences, your genes, or both.
3. Genetic and Physiological Factors
It is quite likely to inherit depression from someone in your first blood. In fact, iaf you have someone in the first-degree family who suffered from depression, the chances of you having depression increase by two – four times.
4. Course Modifying Disorders
As per DSM-5, all the non-mood disorders increase the risk of depression in an individual. Some of the common non-mood disorders include anxiety, substance use, and BPD.
A serious illness may also result in one showing depressive symptoms. These illnesses could be diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or morbid obesity.
You may experience loneliness which may be an outcome of withdrawing from family and friends. Similarly, those who decide to stay alone or do not seek partnerships suffer from loneliness which has the higher possibility of leading to depression. on-mood disorders increase the risk of depression in an individual.
What Should You Avoid if You Have Depression?
As discussed in the earlier sections, there are a number of things that you should avoid if you are depressed.
1. Do not lose connection with people. Withdrawing from family and friends or being lonely adds to your depression.
2. It’s difficult to move out of bed. But, don’t stay in bed for days as this makes you feel more depressed. Instead, exercise and get going.
3. Don’t consume alcohol and indulge in smoking cigarettes. Where alcohol acts as a depressant, smoking tobacco works like a stimulant. These add to your depressive mood, despite giving you temporary relief.
4. Listening to negative news also acts as a trigger and adds to the depressive mood. It makes one more pessimistic about life as its various aspects.
5. Avoid processed foods, foods high on sugar and salt, caffeine intake though tea, coffees, and chocolates.
6. Avoid negative thoughts that make you pessimistic and severely impact your mood.
7. Don’t work till late nights and make sure you are having a good night’s sleep.
How Can I Stop Being Sad Anymore?
The strategies mentioned above can help you to stop being sad anymore. For instance:
- Connecting with your family and friends and letting them know the kind of support you want from them
- Taking up mindful meditation to become aware of the current situation without being judgemental
- Taking up activities that make you feel good. These could include painting, reading, exercising, having a hot bath
- Creating a gratitude journal which involves writing things that you are grateful for appreciate, or are thankful for
- Having a good night’s sleep
- Avoiding consumption of recreational substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine
- Managing your diet and making sure that you consume healthy foods
- Increasing positive feelings
- Visualizing a positive future that can help uplift your mood
- Identifying and practicing your core strengths like love for learning, perseverance, honesty, kindness as a trigger and adds to
What is The First Line Treatment for Depression?
Antidepressants serve as the first-line agents for treating depression. The commonly used antidepressants for treating depression and approved by the FDA are as follows:
SSRIs: These are the antidepressants that are highly prescribed by the mental health professionals for treating depression. These include citalopram, escitalopram, sertraline, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and fluvoxamine.
What Happens in the Brain During Depression?
The depression symptoms like lack of interest and self-worth, poor concentration, etc are the result of dysfunctional neural networks.
Likewise, there are other processes that take place in depression. These include biological processes that involve changes in neurotransmitters, hormonal homeostasis of stress, metabolic dysfunction, increased inflammation leading to impaired metabolism, etc.