Depression can be triggered by a number of factors including grief, financial difficulties, trauma or unemployment. However, if you are depressed, and none of these applies to you, it’s quite difficult to figure out the exact cause of your mental illness. You may also get depressed from side effects of certain medications such as valium and Xanax. Additionally, certain drugs used for treating high blood pressure and menopausal symptoms are potential risk factors for depression. In some cases, there might not be concrete reasons as to why you are depressed.
10 Surprising Causes of Depression
1. Birth Control Pills: similarly like other drugs, the pill has some side effects. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic version of progesterone, which according to studies can trigger depression in some women. In reference to Hilda Hutcherson, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, New York, the reason as to why the pill causes depression is still unknown. Hilda adds that although not all women get affected, those with history of depression become more prone.
2. Poor sibling relationship: in a 2007 study which was published in American journal of Psychiatry, it was found that men who didn’t get along with children before the age of 20 were more prone to get depressed later in life than those who did. Although it is still unclear what is important in sibling relationship, researchers suggested that it can help children’s ability to socialize with peers.
3. Lack of omega-3 fatty acids: lack of these nutrients found in fish and vegetable oils can pose you at a greater risk of depression. According to a 2004 Finnish study, there is a strong connection between eating fish and depression in women, but none in men. The fatty acids help in the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. Additionally, fish oil supplements can be beneficial as well. In one study, they helped ease the symptoms of bipolar disorder patients.
4. Too many choices: there are several things to choose from – be it breakfast, cereal, clothes, electronics etc. All these can be overwhelming and this is not an issue with customers who pick the first thing they see that meet their needs, according to psychologists. Nevertheless, you can respond to choice overload by optimizing, or exhaustively reviewing your options as you dig for the most appropriate item. According to researchers, this is a coping style associated with depression and perfectionism.
5. Your location: it is hard to distinguish if it’s whether you live in city or country life. But according to research, if you live in an urban area, you are 39% more likely to suffer from mood disorders than those in a rural setup. A 2012 research explained that city dwellers have more activity in the brain that controls stress. And increased levels of stress can trigger psychotic disorders.
6. End of something important: when something that matters a lot in your life comes to an end, such as a TV show or movie, it can spark depression in some people. For example, in 2009, fans of the movie ‘Avatar’ complained of feelings of depression and some became suicidal on realizing that the fictional movie wasn’t a reality.
7. Social media addiction: in reference to several studies, spending too much time in social media, especially by teenagers and pre-teenagers, can trigger depression. Coined as ‘Facebook Depression,’ researchers found out that about 1.2% of people aged between 16 and 51 spend excessive time over the internet, and become more likely to get depression which is between moderate and severe.
8. Inadequate sleep: failure to get enough sleep can not only make you more irritable, but can also make you more prone to depression. In reference to Mathew Edlund, MD, director of the Center for Circadian Medicine, your body doesn’t have enough time to replenish the brain cells if you don’t get enough sleep. The brain stops to function properly which can cause depression.
9. Thyroid Disease: the failure of your thyroid gland, which is located on your neck, to produce enough thyroid hormone is referred to as hypothyroidism. Depression is one of its symptoms as the hormone is tasked with regulating serotonin (neurotransmitter) reuptake. Go for a thyroid test incase experience new depression symptoms marked by cold sensitivity, constipation and low energy.
10. Smoking: for a long time, depression has been linked with smoking. It is hard to tell which comes first because depressed people tend to start the habit. Nicotine in cigars affects the activity of neurotransmitters. As a result, there is an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels. This is comparable with how antidepressants work.
The ten surprising triggers of depression don’t exhaust what can lead to the mental condition. Summer weather and other factors can ignite depression in different people. The good news is that depression can be treated, especially if diagnosed at early stages. You should never hesitate to seek professional help in case you spot depression symptoms. At least, now you are now aware of the 10 surprising causes of depression.