This is the 18th in a series of blogs, using answers I provided to pass Mental Health qualifications. This blog continues with possible causes of depression.
The next series of blogs will be expanding on how depression affects people and the different types of depression.
As with many mental health subjects, they can all be massive topics with reams of books written on them. I will aim to break depression down into 4 easy to read blogs, describing possible causes, different types of depression, how depression can affect individuals and the people around them, and how they can be treated and managed.
I strongly believe there is no one-size-fits all approach to managing any kind of mental health condition. It is the main reason why I am not a massive advocate of medication. I prefer to consider natural, healthy ways to recognise and manage any kind of mental ill health, tailoring each treatment and therapy to suit each individual. I do this from experience. It is what helped me which is why I believe it can help others too.
Possible Causes of Depression
I do not believe there is one definite cause of depression and there is a lot of conflicting information and research. Some consider depression to be genetic or hereditary, some say it is a brain chemical imbalance, some believe it is a how some feel self-important and some say it is about the general build-up of environmental and social factors.
From my own experience, a build-up of pressures and stressful and traumatic events can all lead to a build-up of stress. It is the build-up on stress after stress that can lead to depression. Stress is covered earlier in the series of blogs.
Each stressful situation or event, alone as standalone items, people may be able to cope with but when several factors build up, a person can struggle to cope and feel overwhelmed, leading to the feelings such as worthlessness, hopelessness, uselessness and basically seeing no light at the end of the tunnel, no way out of the mess the person feels they find themselves in.
Apart from the stressors, some contributing factors, in my opinion, to not helping with managing stress and becoming depressed are:
– Poor diet: – A lack of good quality, colourful nutritious food mans the body is not being adequately fed to help it to cope with general ill health, whether that is physical or mental. This causes further stress and strain on the body, depleting it of adequate nutrients to help feed the brain, as well as provide good hormones and that help people to feel good.
– Lack of exercise: – Exercise helps the body to produce natural hormones such as adrenaline and serotine, which are considered to be feel good hormones and as the body is depleted of these without exercise, the lack can contribute to mental ill health.
– In order to cope, people think that recreational drugs and alcohol can help but it is now well researched and reported that substance abuse (i.e., reliance on them) causes low moods and depression rather than improve them. The substances will also inhibit the brain and body from healing.
– Hormonal imbalances, probably especially in women, can lead to bouts of depression. Statistics states that women are twice as likely to have depression, then men.
In it’s most severe, and prolonged form, depression can lead to suicide.
Tracey of PlumEssence Therapies and Training is a qualified stress management consultant, mental health first aider, clinical hypnotherapist and body work therapist focusing on helping reduce and alleviate concerns connected to both physical and emotional wellbeing. Tracey is also a teacher and trainer, delivering workshops and accredited mental health courses.
Tracey is available for a no-obligation chat to see how we could work together on 01889 808388 or [email protected]