Depression is a Psychological disorder. Around 300 million people around the world suffer. According to the estimate of the World Health Organization [WHO], 9 percent of women and 5 percent of men experience any depressive disorder in any year. The ratio of depressed women is more than men.
Considering it a disease is wrong as the disease is related to physical illness. It is psychological problem. Signs like continuous sadness, melancholy, loss of interest in daily activities and irritability are indications of depression.
Depression is of different types & varies from person to person
Types of Depression
- Major depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic depression
Major depression affects both men and women and it should be treated in time otherwise it can result in something fatal. Some of the symptoms of major depression can include, extreme depression and overeating or under eating.
- In case the symptoms appear, visit your doctor immediately
- Medications and antidepressants can prove to be beneficial
Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression. The person oscillates between low and high moods.
Psychotherapy can prove to be helpful in this case.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is mostly associated with the winter season. People become depressed in winters and the symptoms of depression end with spring/summer.
Psychotic depression includes symptoms of major depression along with psychotic symptoms. It includes symptoms like
- Hallucinations are perceiving or hearing those things which are not there in reality
- Delusions are about having false, untrue and unshakeable beliefs
- Paranoia makes you believe that the other person either wants to harm you or kill you
General Causes of Depression in Everyone
There are many social, physiological and psychological causes of depression. But the cause and factor differ in people. Sometimes there can be one cause of depression only while at other times, a couple of reasons can lead towards depression. These can be:
Some researchers have connected genetics with depression. But this is not a proved fact.
If one’s family member was or has been going through depression then one might be at a high risk of depression.
Drugs are one of the major factors of depression. Some people who have been feeling depressed, begin taking drugs which worsens the situation and makes them more depressed. Drugs do not provide escape and cure from depression. But people thinking them the ultimate solution.
Some prescribed drugs can also be the cause of depression. These can include Anticonvulsants, Benzodiazepines, and Statins. If you have been feeling depressed, it’s important to inform your physician.
Poor or Unhealthy Diet
Poor nutrition can be the stimulator to depression. Foods high in sugar and low in omega-3 and omega-6 can be the contributors of depression.
Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals can result in depressive symptoms.
Physical Health Problems
Sometimes any physical disease becomes the physical causes and makes you stressed and depressed. Mind and body are connected with one another. If one suffers, the other suffers as well.
So, it’s important to visit a doctor first to get it checked that whether you are suffering from a physical disease or not.
Stressful Life Events
Any stressful life event or a couple of stressful life events can take you toward depressive behaviors.
Divorce affects one with mental trauma. It is not easy to come out of the feeling of sudden loss. Many people are unable to marry again. Some become depressed for the lifetime.
They either do not trust or think everyone as a betrayer.
Extreme situations include OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and hallucinations.
Rape is the severest trauma to a person. Those who are raped become isolated. Victims of rape are often diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) or the highest end of it as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Sexual Assault, Harassment, Bullying
Victims of sexual assault, harassment and bullying are depressed more than other individuals. Children, teenagers or young adults who are bullied feel degraded, helpless, isolated and depressed.
Also, those people who are assaulted feel worthless and depressed and feel helpless to fight with depression.
Early Childhood Experiences
Early harsh childhood experiences often become the cause of depression. Death of a parent or child abuse in childhood leaves particularly deep traces in the adult life and as the time passes, one becomes more depressed.
Some people are pressured and stressed by their work or job. They feel this much tension and stress that they are unable to cope with depression.
Poverty and financial problems become the reason for depression. Those who are unable to provide sufficient necessities of life to their family feel sad and guilty and ultimately become a victim of depression.
Loss of Job
Sudden loss of the job can lead one to feel depressed.
With old age, the energies begin to lose and the thought of death comes over. Not able to help yourself in many tasks and death thoughts become the factors of depression.
Death of parents or close friends shocks a person. Often one is disabled to be in contact with reality. So, it makes the person so much depressed.
Family History of Depression
People who have any family member suffering from depression are supposed to be at a higher risk of depression. But it is not a fact yet many researchers claim it.
Poverty is a factor leading towards depression. Poverty makes one hopeless and depressed. As it becomes difficult to make both ends meet so housewives face stress and tension due to this.
Depression and hypothyroidism are related to one another. Sometimes their signs overlap with each other. Having low thyroid level can be the cause of depression. In this case, thyroid medications work better than the antidepressants.
Some researchers have connected brain chemical imbalance with depression. When certain neurotransmitters do not function properly, they affect mind and body and end up with causing symptoms of depression. It has not been proved yet many pieces of research claim it.
Causes of Depression in Women
Depression in women can be caused by infertility, menstruation, and pregnancy. These periods of life are regulated with so many hormonal changes and so they face depression.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
It happens, a weak before the menstrual cycle begins. Some of the symptoms of the postmenstrual disorder are mood swings, irritability, body ache, decreased interest in daily activities, breast tenderness and sleep problems.
Symptoms of (PMDD) include:
- mood swings,
- extra sensitivity and anger,
- change in appetite and eating habits
- lack of concentration,
- breast tenderness, weight gain,
- severe mood swings
- and backache
Baby blues occurs after the birth of a child. Women feel detached, sad and restless often. The duration of baby blues is 14 days after the delivery.
Social Causes of Depression in Women
Social factors play a major role in the lives of single women and housewives who are depressed. These can include lack of socialization, class difference, and work stress.
Socioeconomic status can play a significant role in depression in women. Women belonging to high social status suffer through depression due to bad marital status. In comparison to this, married women who belong to the lower stratum of society face depression due to social problems. But this cannot be said with surety as there can be other factors as well. But class difference does make a difference. So, women are affected by it and suffer through depression.
Lack of Socialization
Single women who have not from a strong financial background cannot go out with friends. They feel that it would cost money which they do not possess. Women belonging to a conservative family can’t socialize with people for long as their family does not allow it.
Housewives generally suffer lack of socialization. They stay at home most of the times, feeding their kids, doing house chores and taking care of their family. Women, often, after marriage tend to lose their former friendships. Housewives do not meet their friends anymore. Nor they go out neither they visit their friends. And due to this lack of socialization, they become depressed.
Then there are those women who work apart from maintaining their family and home. They face certain problems at job or office. When these problems become overpowering, they become a victim of depression. This affects their lives and their family members also.
If the symptoms of baby blues last longer than 14 days then it is possible that it is postpartum depression and not baby blues. Postpartum depression is severe and if the signs appear, you should not be ignoring them. The symptoms include the lower level of sexual drive, difficulty in sleeping, fatigue, sad mood, hopelessness, guilt and thoughts of suicide and death.
- You feel helpless and your bond with your husband is getting weak.
- You cannot bond with the newborn.
- You feel guilt due to this and you are depressed often thinking about death.
It can begin several years before your periods actually stop. Perimenopause begins 4 years before the periods stop. It can include symptoms like sudden change in mood, vaginal dryness, and irregular menstrual cycle. As a result of it, women feel depressed.
The average age period considered for menopause is 45 or 50. Ovaries stop making eggs and menstruation comes to an end. It is a part of the aging process. Some women face menopause before their 40’s due to an operation, surgery or disease. Due to the hormonal changes, women find difficult to cope with depression. They become more prone to anger, irritability, and arguments.
Infertility is one from the major causes of depression. Women feel themselves helpless just because they cannot give birth to a child. Thinking about it continuously leads them towards depression with thoughts of death and suicide.
Family comes up with its huge responsibilities. It is a burdensome task for those young women who are at a beginning of a family life.
Expectations are an important factor. A woman tends to have certain expectations from her husband and children. Sometimes she does not get what she is expecting and sometimes she is unable to fulfill her role and so others are disappointed due to her.
Both of the situations can be the cause of depression
Apart from that parents expect so much from their young daughters. When those young girls are unable to fulfil that criteria ,they become sad
Many women are the victim of sexual abuse. Sexual violence is not less than a trauma. It stays with them for
They cannot leave their husband who molests them as parents of the lady do not support her or dead or she is unable to support herself. Many women stay in abusive relationships due to their children while at the same time they go through severe depression.
Relationship with your Partner
The relationship between
Loneliness eats up any man. Women stay at home for most of the time. When children grow up and start attending school, they become more aloof
Monotony is like a disease. It causes depression. Most of the women staying at home have the same routine of waking up early, cleaning their house, sending children to school, making lunch and dinner for the whole family. This becomes a boring routine and it is not surprising to know that it can easily depress a housewife.
Unresolved issues in mind can be the cause of stress and depression.
For some women, it is difficult to accept their physiques. Some even face harsh criticism. This makes them negative about their selves and aloof.
Stressful life events play a generous role in making one depressed. Death of a partner or a child or death of your parents can make you feel depressed for a long time. The sense of grief and loss does not fade away so immediately. Often it takes years.
Nurturing children, taking care of them is a tough task. New mums feel it very challenging. They are fatigued by it with lots of questions in their mind. So, children do give an anxiety period to their mothers.
People do not value your time
Women at homes are mostly working but they are not appreciated for their jobs. They handle their house, children, and husband but often family members seem ungrateful.
There can be certain family problems which can be the cause of depression in women.
Causes of Depression during Pregnancy
Another reason for depression in women can be perinatal depression. They deal with sickness, weight gain and mood swings. Unhealthy diet and poor self-care can also play a part in making pregnant women depressed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression which is caused when circadian rhythm is disturbed. Women living in colder regions can be subjected to this depression.
Causes of Depression in Students & Teens
Depression in students can occur due to various causes. Poor sleeping and eating habits along with financial problems, breakup, peer pressure, academic expectations, and bad relationships are the causes of depression in teens and students.
Symptoms of depression include hopeless and annoyed attitude, low self-esteem, loss of interest, guilt, and difficulty in thinking.
Students who come from a poor background stay stressed about college fee. Then come those students who have to support their family and carry the burden of fee also. Sometimes they face high debts.
Due to this, they often become a victim of drug abuse. Some start smoking while others begin to consume a large quantity of alcohol.
It plays a huge role in making out behaviors of teens. Some students get involved with the mates who are rich and then they have to pretend about a certain status quo. For this, they take debts and then they are overburdened by those debts, finding no way out. This situation becomes so depressive for them.
Academic Expectations and Depression
Youngsters being in college face this problem. Parents expect highly of their children. They focus on grades and pressure their children to study and get high grades. They develop a sense of competition in them which is more likely to be called as, ‘jealousy’ but not competition.
When a student compares himself with his classmate/mates then he looks down at his own self. His own self and abilities do not seem enough. He rather becomes sad and anxious.
Parents, instead of, forcing on grades and this wrong sense of competition, should focus on encouraging their children. Teachers also expect from students and students are worried to think whether they will be able to meet their expectations or not.
What works like ice topping at the cake is a bad relationship. Teens in this age go through a roller coaster of emotions. They evolve and try new things. They meet new people and as they develop a romantic affiliation, things become different.
Often at this stage, they do not know whether the person they are involved with is right for them or not. The bad and unhealthy relationship affects them and they lose their peace of mind. It almost becomes impossible for them to figure out that where does the problem lies.
So, bad relationships become the cause of depression. Also when they go through the breakup phase, their other activities of life are affected. The world seems to drown and many students get involved in drug abuse, thinking it an everlasting phase.
The thought of getting no job also depresses them.
Causes of Depression in Children
3.3% of the children go through severe depression till age twelve or thirteen.
When children become depressed, they show symptoms like irritability, mood swings, low energy and lost interest in friends and other activities.
Depression in children occurs due to physical disease, child abuse, family problems or bereavement of friends or parents.
A physical disease can be the cause of depression. The child, in this case, may not be able to participate in his daily fun activities and cannot meet his friends which can depress him.
If they become bedridden then they become sad. A child’s soul cannot rest at a single place. Children are like butterflies. Especially when a child sees his other siblings playing, he feels helpless as he cannot play with them.
Child abuse is an important cause of severe depression. Children who are abused stay scared and shocked. Often they hesitate to tell their parents. This abuse does not only affect them in their childhood but also in their later life.
Sexual abuse and harassment
It leaves long-lasting and worst effects on the lives of victims. They stay afraid of strangers. They also do not trust anyone. To restore their trust and faith in humanity takes a long time.
Family problems can include, the divorce of parents, child of a single parent, financial problems, and preference to one child on another.
When parents get separated, the lives of children are affected. Because for children, love of a father and mother, both are important. Some children are more sensitive and they become sad and depressed.
Children with single parent feel sad when they look at their peers who have both mum and dad. They miss their parents at school or at any important event where they need both of their parents. Sometimes other children make fun of such a child who does not have both parents.
Sometimes children feel bad when their parents are not able to provide enough facilities. The things other children get to make them jealous and frustrated at the same time.
Middle children often complain as they think that they are not given as much value as their elder or younger siblings. They become isolated and face sadness.
Role of Parents
Parents can play their role by supporting their children. If your child feels physically weak then you should be consulting your doctor. Talk to your child about what his dreams and the little world are all about. Support them. Make them trust you. Try to develop a healthy relationship with them so they can confide in you.
Causes of Depression in Elderly
Depression in elderly happens due to their old age, diseases, need for attention and conversation with others, dementia and helpless situation (like they cannot do their task and need help).
Old age comes up with thoughts of decay and death. Elderly people often think that they soon gonna die. This makes them irritated, sad and depressed.
A man starts to lose his energy and vitality with age. The body becomes weak and organs start to decay. With these changes, come diseases. So, diseases are another factor of depression. When they fell ill, they show an annoyed attitude. When they are unable to help themselves out and need the help of others, they feel helpless.
Illness along with old age depresses elder people. Life does not stay lively. Even when they are alive, they are unable to enjoy life.
Need for Attention
Old people are no different than children. They need care and attention like a child. When young and other family members are unable to give them time, they continuously yearn for attention. They stay in need to be continuously attended by their families. Many old people feel isolated and depressed. They lose their relations and depression overcomes their mind.
Memory loss occurs with old age. The mind does not function properly. Elder people remember their past when they used to be active and had everything stored in their memory but they feel sad, being old, as they quickly forget things.
Causes of Depression at Work
Workplace causes depression in people. Environment, nature of the job, the attitude of the boss, relationship with other employees, job satisfaction, rights of workers and salary expectations play a significant role in causing depression.
With depression, the energy level and the passion to work decreases and the person indulges in procrastination, shows a decreased level in problem-solving and working, with passivity and frustration.
The environment of the workplace affects the employees. A workplace which is dull, drab and away from home already depresses the person. And when enough resources and facilities are not available then it depresses people at work.
Relationship With Boss
Those who work under a person who is authoritative and manipulates, become annoyed and depressed. Many people cannot leave the job as they are financially not stable and they direly need the job. They can’t leave a job and so they sadly bear out the misused authority.
Relationship With Other Employees
Any organization works due to the contribution of its employees. The relationship between people in the workplace should be good enough. It does not only effects one person’s mind and life but also affects the whole work environment and the specific industry or organization.
When workers are not given their rights, they feel frustrated and depressed.
Salary expectations is another cause of depression.
At many places, it becomes almost impossible to take a day off which is not right. In case of emergency, it’s not that the only emergency becomes a problem but also the thought of getting a leave from office.
Causes of Depression in Sports
Sports not only come up with passion, energy, and sportsmanship but with depression also. Depression in sports occurs due to reasons like playground pressure, the thought of losing the match when you have already lost few last matches, problems between players, staying away from home and expectations of fans, family and friends.
The game becomes really different when a player or a sportsman enters the arena of a sport. The pressure becomes high and players feel anxious and depressed.
Expectations from Players
Many people expect a good match from their favorite players so that person really becomes worried about the fact that whether he would be able to fulfill the expectations of his fans or not.
This stress and depression seem to overpower when one team has lost matches to another team, before. The ex-winners come up with confidence while the other team feels tensed and doubts his own abilities.
Many times, fights occur between players. Even a fight between two players affects others. It affects the whole team because a team works as a body. When one organ functions improperly, the whole body feels the ache and is pained.
When players have to stay away from home and their family, they often become sad. Their passion for sports remains the same but staying away from their loved ones also gives a bad feeling.
Sports are a part of the life of students at school, college and universities. Apart from that, people from all around the world, belonging to different professions, engage in sports. But they face such problems mentioned above.
Due to all these, depressed players are unable to play and give their best. They do not show much resilience and often become annoyed.
Suicide and Depression
Depression often becomes the reason for suicide. Victims of depression when are unable to cope with it decide to take their life thinking it the only solution to their problems and depression. Men die by suicide, three times, more than women.
If a person withdraws and threats to take his life, you should not ignore him.
You should try to talk to that person and help him out. If you feel that it’s not enough, take him to doctor. A professional can help in this regard.
Treatment of Your Depression
Visiting a Doctor
For depression, you can take help from your doctor. There is no need to feel embarrassed in telling about your feelings to a psychologist or a doctor. They know to keep the information private and help you with medications or therapies.
Self-help is changing your lifestyle. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is essential. You should add exercise in your daily routine. Instead of cutting off your relations, you should communicate with them. Talk therapy can help you. Engage yourself in healthy activities and that is how you will be able to avoid negative thoughts.
Add exercise in your daily routine. Exercise boosts up energy level and makes you feel fresh. This can really help you out to get rid of depression.
Therapies can include Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Biochemical Therapy.
In psychotherapy, depression lying in unconscious mind is brought into conscious and psychologist make the client understand his problem and how to tackle with it.
Stop Negative Thinking
During this depressed period, you often are overpowered by negative thinking. Try to engage in any healthy activity or add a hobby in your life. This can be your stress releaser equipment. Think that as you are fighting your own battles, others are fighting their own. So, don’t overgeneralize people. You are different and so everybody else is.
Save some time for yourself and go out to enjoy nature. It will make you feel fresh.
Cognitive therapy aims at decreasing the wrong assessment of circumstances. It makes the person hopeful about many situations that things can be controlled. It tries to change, self-abusing and self-hating attitude. It trains patients to control their negative thinking, to change their prejudiced thinking and cognition, with the right thinking and beliefs.
In biochemical therapy, drugs like Tricyclics and Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors, are used to treat depression.
Causes of depression vary but they can always be helped out. You yourself along with the help of your family, friends, and doctor can come out of it with an optimist attitude and a balanced mind.
Start meeting your friends again. Try to socialize. You can also visit your neighbors. This will help you to reestablish relations and you will feel good.
If you take drugs, stop taking them. Stop taking caffeine and alcohol. These fire up the situation and are the contributing factors towards making you depressed.