7 Suprising Causes of Depression
Everyone is familiar with depression and the more common causes, such as a traumatic event, losing a close loved one, losing your job or financial difficulties, and so on. Depression is the most common reason that people ages 15 to 44 become disabled, and since it is so common, it is critical that everyone understand what causes this disorder. There are the common causes that most people are aware of, but you also want to explore the less common causes so that you can work toward prevention.
SAD in Warm Weather
When you think about the seasons affecting your mood, you probably think about dreary winter weather. However, the type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also impacts a small percentage of patients during the summer months. This is not due to the weather as much as it is thought to be related to a shift in weather patterns.
Nicotine is a stimulant, but there are times when it actually causes a depressive mood. When smoking causes depression, it is an interesting phenomenon because nicotine affects the brain in a manner that is similar to antidepressant drugs. Nicotine usually causes the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain to increase, resulting in a better mood. However, in some people, the opposite occurs with both nicotine and antidepressant drugs, resulting in depression.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a variety of health ailments, including depression. However, researchers are trying to discern whether or not this deficiency is the cause of depression or if depression is the underlying cause of the deficiency. It is known that when someone has low levels of vitamin D, it can negatively impact their mood and cause issues that also occur in depression, such as fatigue and muscle pain.
Too Much Internet Time
Spending time on the internet is something that most people do without even thinking. Between checking emails, interacting and social media, shopping and paying bills and just surfing, people spend hours on the net each day. There is research that suggests that people who spend a lot of time on the internet are more likely to experience moderate to severe depression. As of today, it is not known if a specific type of internet use is responsible for this, and more research is needed.
The End of TV Shows = End of Relationships
Everyone has their favorite television shows and movies that they watch religiously. After watching a show for years or a series of the same movie, some people can feel a sense of loss when it all ends. This is especially true for television shows that have been on the air for a number of years and had a large following, such as "Friends" and for movies with multiple installments like Harry Potter. This may cause depression because people find comfort in regularly watching a show or movie and they actually find some companionship from the characters in their show. When the show or series of movies ends, they can feel as though they have lost a friend.
Where you are living may have an impact on whether or not you may become depressed. For example, people who live in rural areas are less likely to experience depression than those living in major cities. This may be due to the bustle of city life compared to the more laid back rural life. In fact, when someone lives in the city, the part of the brain that regulates stress is more likely to have more activity and this can make it more difficult to bring stress levels under control.
Your siblings play a major role in whether you are happy or not based upon your relationship with them. Not getting along with your siblings during your teen years increases the risk for depression, especially in men. This is believed to be due to your siblings playing a major role in you learning to socialize with others. If you do not socialize well with your siblings, you may have difficulty socializing with others in the real world. Socialization and communication problems can cause depression by preventing you from having meaningful relationships in your life.
Depression can affect everyone differently and the severity of the effects can range from mild to severe and disabling. Due to the toll that depression takes on people's lives, it is critical that everyone work toward preventing this disorder. The best way to create a prevention plan is to know the causes and do everything that you can to avoid them.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Harvard Health Publications. (2009). What Causes Depression? Retrieved on January 22, 2015 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression
Levinson, D. F. (2015). Major Depression and Genetics. Retrieved on January 22, 2015 from http://depressiongenetics.stanford.edu/mddandgenes.html
Paykel, E.S. (2008). Basic Concepts of Depression. Dialogues of Clinical Neuroscience. vol. 10, no. 3, pgs 279-289.
Vitamin D Council. (2013). Depression. Retrieved on January 22, 2015 from https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/
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Mindfulness Meditation & Cognitive Therapy for Depression
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