It’s the one disease that affects 1 in every 5 Americans. It can’t be seen with the naked eye but is so debilitating, that it can actually make a victim of the symptoms become a recluse. We hear about depression in many forms: PTSD, post-partum, manic, and childhood forms. We know it can be genetic, but what triggers a sudden onset of this paralyzing medical condition?
Things that can trigger depression
- Genes. Genetic changes can trigger depression if you have a family member that suffers from this. In fact, you are 8 times more likely to develop it in your lifetime. According to NBC news, there is hope in new DNA testing to combat the gene that causes this to be inherited.
- Gender. Women tend to have more depression than men. Whether it is hormones, a hectic life, or being more emotional, females suffer more. Men do suffer from depression, but seem to mask it more with alcohol or other distractions to cover up the symptoms.
- Alcohol. This two-edged sword is used by way too many people to fight depression-bringing on more depression by the consumption of too much alcohol.
- Life Events. Losing your job, the death of a loved one, divorce, any of the major life events can be too much for some to handle.
- Isolation and loneliness. This one is a two-edged sword, as well. People who are depressed tend to want to be alone-which brings on more depression from feeling left out and isolated. People who do not have contact with their friends, have no transportation, or being alone on the holidays, can all bring on severe depression.
- Illness. It is very common for someone who has had a bad bout with the flu, a major surgery, or any type illness to become depressed. Hormone imbalance, chronic pain, and heart surgery are big triggers for depression.
- Personality. People who develop a pessimistic attitude towards others, become judgmental, and negative towards life tend to become severely depressed, eventually. Negative attitudes can bring on negative health issues. Most depression is a depletion of “serotonin” in the brain which is the happy transmitter.
What is Depression? The DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic bible, refers to various conditions that involve feeling sad, inability to experience pleasure, lack of self-worth, inability to concentrate and suicidal thinking, not to mention dysregulated sleep and appetite and movement, though you don’t have to experience all these at once.
A person should always seek medical help when they can no longer cope, feel overwhelmed, and nothing is helping with their depression. It’s normal to feel down once in a while, but if you’re sad most of the time and it affects your daily life, you may have clinical depression. It’s a condition you can treat with medicine, talking to a therapist, and changes to your lifestyle.
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