7 Reasons Behind Depression

7 Reasons Behind Depression

There are many theories about depression but none of them are entirely understood. Many persons have a different level of vulnerability to depression. 

But we all believe that depression is something we cannot ignore easily. It may arise from various internal or external factors. Some experts believe there are some key factors which are involved in almost all cases of depression.

Statistics

According to a survey on mental health by National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), 1 in every 20 Indians suffers from some form of depression. 

WHO’s recent global health estimates on depression suggests that there are 322 million people living with depression worldwide and out of this, over 50 millions are Indians.

So what causes depression or mood disorder that sometimes defies explanation? We have summarized some of the most common factors responsible for depression.

Causes of Depression

Genetic Factors

While there still need to be learned a lot about the role genetics play in depression, some research do indicate that depression is inherited in some form. However, researches have not yet been able to identify specific genes causing depression.

Imbalanced Hormones

Hormonal changes in the body might trigger depression in many people, especially in women who are twice vulnerable to depression as compared to men. Hormonal imbalance can occur during pregnancy and during the initial weeks after delivery or menopause. 

However, risk of depression declines after a woman crosses menopausal phase. In men, low level of testosterone (often during male menopause or andropause) can cause depression.

Alteration in Brain Chemistry

Neurotransmitters, the natural brain chemicals that help different areas of the brain communicate each other, are considered responsible for mood swings. Some of the recent researches indicate that changes in the functionality of neurotransmitters are likely to play a key role in triggering depression.

Illnesses

In many people, chronic illnesses such as heart diseases, thyroid & kidney diseases as well as diabetes can lead to depression.

Certain Medications

Certain drugs used in the treatment of acne, anti-viral medicines and corticosteroids can increase the risk of depression. Also, high blood pressure medication or sleeping pills can increase the chances of depression.

Lack of balanced diet

This might sound unwise but absence of a variety of vitamins such as B-complex, C & D and minerals can actually contribute to the symptoms of depression. In addition to this, imbalanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 and high sugary diet has also been linked to depression.

Major life events

Stressful things happen to all of us. But when this stress overcomes a person’s ability to cope, it causes depression. Stressful things could be many including death of a loved one, physical or sexual abuse, financial problems, strained relationships, etc.

How to Treat Depression

Though it’s a topic that demands a detailed explanation but to give a brief overview, it can be done through various means. Typically, it is treated with medication, psychotherapy or sometimes combination of both. 

It could take time to diagnose and start the best treatment regime, what we have to make sure is to keep our mental health professional updated about the side effects of certain medication or symptoms we are experiencing.

Sources

1. Depression: What you need to know(2017, January). National Institute of Mental Health read more
2. Depression.(2017, January). National Alliance on Mental Illness read more
3. WHO: Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders read more
4. What is depression?(2017, January). American Psychiatric Association read more