Some people go through life struggling with depression. What makes this health disorder arise for them? WebMD.com lists the common causes of depression. Here are a few of them:
We still don’t know exactly what happens in the brain when people become depressed. But studies show that certain parts of the brain don’t seem to be working normally. Depression might also be affected by changes in the functioning of certain chemicals in the brain
Women are about twice as likely as men to become depressed. No one’s sure why. The hormonal changes that women go through at different times of their lives may play a role.
Trauma and Grief:
Trauma such as violence or physical or emotional abuse — whether it’s early in life or more recent — can trigger depression in people who are biologically vulnerable to it.
Changes and Stressful Events:
It’s not surprising that people might feel sad or down during stressful times — such as during a divorce or while caring for a sick relative. Yet even positive changes — like getting married or starting a new job — can sometimes trigger a clinical depressive syndrome that is more than just normal sadness.
People may believe they know most of the facts about this mental disorder. According to everydayhealth.com there are 12 surprising Facts About Depression. Here are the top six:
- Depression might be a “gut feeling.” A complicated relationship between the brain, the central nervous system, and the “good” bacteria in the gut could contribute to depression, according to a review of research published in January 2016 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology . A varied diet that includes probiotics and prebiotics may play a role in managing depression, the researchers theorize.
- Depressed people might not look depressed. “Depression is a hidden illness,” says Jeremy Coplan, MD, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate in New York. Some people can seem upbeat and cheerful, but inside they’re struggling with the symptoms of depression.
- Exercise helps manage depression. “Exercise improves mood state,” Dr. Thienhaus says. He explains that exercise helps stimulate natural compounds in the body that can make you feel better. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days. “We typically recommend that people with depression exercise, develop a healthy diet, and go to bed at a regular time.”
- Depression is a leading cause of disability. The World Health Organization considers depression to be a leading cause of disability worldwide. “People routinely say that depression is the worst thing that’s happened to them,” Coplan says. “And the reason that’s offered is that their brains don’t work properly. They can’t make decisions and they aren’t sure of themselves — everything requires huge mental effort.”
- Warming up could help. People who are depressed may have an altered thermoregulatory system. Exposure to heat may have potential as a sort of antidepressant, says Charles Raison, MD, professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison. More research is needed, but hot yoga, a warm bath or shower, saunas, and hot tubs are low-cost ways to try this for yourself.
- Depression affects the body. Headache, stomach problems, shortness of breath, and general physical tension can all be symptoms of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Depression may be an illness, but it’s one that people can recover from.
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