Depression can be caused by a combination of things
There is no single cause of depression. Usually it’s a combination of things happening in your life. If you think you may be suffering from depression, you might have a hard time figuring out what you’ve done or what medical condition may be causing the feelings. Actually, depression causes usually come from a number of directions.
We’ll look at some of them in a moment.
But first… Anxiety and depression go hand in hand, so if you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder such as panic attack, eating disorder, or alcohol or drug abuse, you’re prone to developing a depression disorder.
Causes of Depression
CHANGE: Big changes in your life can trigger a bout of depression, even if the changes are happy ones. Marriage, a new baby, graduating from school and embarking on a new life can be among the triggers that herald an episode of major depression in your life.
Besides the good changes happening in your life, depression causes can also include bad stuff like financial crises, loss of a loved one, pessimism over where your life is heading or a lowered sense of self-esteem.
MEDICATIONS: Medical conditions and/or prescription medications can also be among the root causes of depression. Any time your immune system is weakened by stress or physical trauma, depression can set in, causing even more problems.
LONG TERM ILLNESS: Living with a chronic illness is one of the main depression causes and can last for an inordinate amount of time, even after the illness is cured. This type of depression can often be helped with developing a healthy diet and exercise plan, changing certain lifestyle habits or changing medications that could be causing the depression.
ABUSE: If there is or was abuse in the home or abuse that took place earlier in life, that can cause depression.
GUILT AND CONFLICT: Personal conflicts, guilt over something that happened or fallouts with family and friends can cause feelings of depression as can isolation from family and friends because of an illness or other personal problems.
CHEMICAL IMBALANCE: Depression sometimes (not always!) signals that there’s a chemical imbalance in your brain caused by the malfunction of neurotransmitters (various chemicals).
FAMILY HISTORY: Your family history may play a large part in depression causes. Depression can also stem from family genetics, often present in generations of a single family.
As you can see, depression causes are complex. Some people are more susceptible than others and some manage to shake themselves out of the symptoms while others cannot. It doesn’t mean one person is stronger or mentally better able to handle depression, but that life’s situations may be overwhelming.
It might take years to identify the exact causes of your depression. Meanwhile, although antidepressants may help, they simply mask the real causes. If you’re suffering from depression, begin a journey of self-discovery to find out the real reasons.
Depression and anxiety are similar but different, so they need different treatments
In today’s world, depression and anxiety can go hand in hand. You may feel anxious about losing your job, your home or your car and become depressed about the situations. In fact, it’s difficult to find a person who’s depressed and doesn’t have some form of anxiety.
But even though depression and anxiety are similar and often go together, the two disorders require different types of treatments.
Tension or anxiety or depression?
You may think you’re depressed, but really it’s “just” tension from life’s daily challenges. You may have obsessive thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, rapid heartbeats, insomnia or other symptoms that could either point to depression or anxiety. On the other hand, you may believe you’re simply anxious about problems in your life, when you’re actually depressed.
How do you find out which one you’re suffering from and get the proper treatment? Seeing a caring health professional is the best way to determine the appropriate treatment for either anxiety or depression. But, before you see the doctor, some preparation on your part is essential to help the professional to diagnose you properly.
Journaling with specifics
Keep a journal of your moods and feelings, and be specific. Write down the time of day you’re feeling down or anxious and what may have triggered the mood. If you’re visiting a doctor for the first time about depression or anxiety, he may not be able to give you a quick diagnosis, and it’s common for doctors to prescribe an antidepressant before making a complete evaluation.
An antidepressant may not be the right choice and may simply mask the symptoms you’re having. It’s important for you to be candid with your physician and ask about seeing a mental health professional at the same time as checking out your physical symptoms.
Research the various types of depression and anxiety disorders so that you can have an educated conversation with your health care provider. Be an active participant in your own health care.
For example, there are mood disorders that are similar to the symptoms found in depression. These mood disorders come about because of problems in relationships, family and financial concerns. The feelings can trigger sadness that turns into severe anxiety and then depression sets in when the feelings interfere with how you function on a daily basis.
Besides the threat of depression and anxiety, another disorder might turn out to be the culprit that’s terrorizing your life – bipolar disorder. This disorder causes mood swings that go from extreme highs and feelings of euphoria to extreme downs accompanied by racing thoughts, reckless behavior and impulsive decisions. Bipolar disorder should never be treated with antidepressants, so it’s imperative that you discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
As you can see, depression and anxiety symptoms are difficult to separate into a list that defines each one. The symptoms are so similar that these two disorders can be misdiagnosed. Research your symptoms and make sure you’re prepared before you see your doctor.
Finally, know this: If you’re battling with depression or anxiety, help with is available!
And we’ll get into that in the following articles. Be optimistic. Be hopeful. “This too shall pass.”
And here is part 2 of this series: What Causes Depression During Pregnancy?
DEPRESSION: Need to learn more? Discussing causes, symptoms & treatments for the 6 types. Tips for managing. Natural treatments, too!
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