Depression is a psychological disorder, and almost 300 million people worldwide suffer from this problem. According to the World Health Organization [WHO] estimate, 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 it is related to physical illness. Instead, it is a psychological problem. Signs like persistent 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 undereating.
- 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)
The seasonal affective disorder is mainly associated with the winter season. It is because 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.
Causes of Depression in Everyone
Symptoms of Depression
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Change in appetite
- Loss of interest
- Reckless behavior
- Difficult to concentrate
- A headache or a backache
- Low mood and sadness
- Feeling of Hopelessness
Most Causes of Depression
- Poor or unhealthy diet
- Physical health problems
- Stressful life events
- Early Childhood Experiences
- Work stress
- Financial problems
- Loss of job
- The family history of depression
- Chemical Imbalance
There are many social, physiological, and psychological causes of depression. But the cause and factor differ in people. Therefore, 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 proven.
If one’s family member was going through depression, one might be at a high risk of depression.
Drugs are one of the significant 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 an escape and cure from depression. But people think them the ultimate solution.
Some prescribed drugs can also be the cause of depression. These can include Anticonvulsants, Benzodiazepines, and Statins. So if you have been feeling depressed, it’s essential to inform your physician.
Poor or Unhealthy Diet
Poor nutrition can be a stimulator to depression. For example, foods high in sugar and low in omega-3 and omega-6 can contribute to depression.
Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals can result in depressive symptoms.
Physical Health Problems
Sometimes any physical disease becomes the material cause and makes you stressed and depressed. It is because mind and body are connected. If one suffers, the other suffers as well.
So, it’s essential to visit a doctor first to check whether you are suffering from 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 a lifetime.
They either do not trust or think of 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 others. Children, teenagers, or young adults who are bullied feel degraded, helpless, isolated, and depressed.
Also, those assaulted people feel worthless and depressed, and helpless to fight depression.
Early Childhood Experiences
Early harsh childhood experiences often become the cause of depression. For example, the death of a parent or child abuse in childhood leaves profound traces in adult life, and as 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 cannot cope with depression.
Poverty and financial problems become the reason for depression. Those who cannot provide sufficient necessities of life to their family feel sad and guilty and ultimately become victims 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 being able to help yourself in many tasks and death thoughts become the factors of depression.
The death of parents or close friends shocks a person. So 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 to depression. Poverty makes one hopeless and depressed. It becomes challenging to make both ends meet; homemakers face stress and tension.
Depression and hypothyroidism are related to one another. Sometimes their signs overlap with each other. For example, having a low thyroid level can cause depression. In this case, thyroid medications work better than antidepressants.
Some researchers have connected brain chemical imbalance with depression. When certain neurotransmitters do not function properly, they affect the mind and body and end up 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, so they face depression.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
It happens, a weak before the menstrual cycle begins. Postmenstrual disorder symptoms 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 a child’s birth as women often feel detached, sad, and restless. The duration of baby blues is 14 days after the delivery.
Social Causes of Depression in Women
Social factors play a significant 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. For example, women with high social status suffer from 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. Still, it cannot be said with surety as other factors, but the class difference does make a difference. So, women are affected by it and suffer through depression.
Lack of Socialization
Single women who do not have a solid financial background cannot go out with friends. They feel that it would cost money which they do not possess. Likewise, women belonging to a conservative family can’t socialize with people for long as their family does not allow it.
When put into such circumstances, a person who is already depressed becomes more depressed. Also, when teenagers want to stay friends with a particular group, their parents disapprove and do not let them join that circle, which saddens teenage girls.
Housewives generally suffer a lack of socialization. They stay at home most of the time, feed their kids, do house chores, and take care of their families. As a result, women often lose their former friendships after marriage. Housewives do not meet their friends anymore. Nor do 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 specific problems at their job or office. When these problems become overpowering, they become a victim of depression. It affects their lives and their family members also.
If the symptoms of baby blues last longer than 14 days, then it may be postpartum depression and not baby blues. However, postpartum depression is severe, and if the signs appear, you should not ignore them. The symptoms include a lower level of sexual drive, difficulty 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 guilty and depressed, often thinking about death.
It can begin several years before your periods stop. Perimenopause begins four years before the periods stop. It can include symptoms like a sudden change in mood, vaginal dryness, and an 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 it difficult to cope with depression. They become more prone to anger, irritability, and arguments.
Infertility is one of the significant causes of depression. Women feel helpless just because they cannot give birth to a child. It continuously leads them to depression with thoughts of death and suicide.
Family comes up with huge responsibilities. It is burdensome for those young women at the beginning of 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 cannot fulfill her role, 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 cannot fulfill that criterion, they become sad.
Many women are victims of sexual abuse. Sexual violence is not less than a trauma. It stays with them for their whole lives, and they go through depressive episodes off and on. Many women are forced into marriages, and they have to face sexual assault.
They cannot leave their husband who molests them as the lady’s parents do not support her or are dead or unable to defend herself. As a result, many women stay in abusive relationships due to their children going through severe depression.
Relationship with your Partner
The relationship between husband and wife matters a lot. It is one of the primary reasons for depression. Often, a woman’s partner cannot understand her, making her sad. Lack of communication also makes a difference. Due to this, a gap is created. Trusting your partner emotionally and expecting that trust in return is quite normal, but when any woman is not being trusted and talked to, she feels alienated and cynical.
Loneliness eats up any man. Women stay at home 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 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. It 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. It makes them harmful about their selves and aloof.
Stressful life events play a significant role in making one depressed. For example, the death of a partner or a child or the end 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 an arduous 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 home are primarily 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 typical family problems that can cause 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. An 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 caused by the circadian rhythm. 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, financial problems, breakup, peer pressure, academic expectations, and bad relationships are the causes of depression in teens and students.
Symptoms of depression include a hopeless and annoying attitude, low self-esteem, loss of interest, guilt, and difficulty thinking.
Students who come from a poor background stay stressed about college fees. Then come those who have to support their family and carry the burden of the 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 massive role in making out behaviors of teens. For example, some students get involved with wealthy mates and pretend about a certain status quo. For this, they take debts, and then they are overburdened, 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, so they focus on getting good grades, ultimately burdening themselves. As a result, they develop a sense of competition, which is more likely to be called ‘jealousy’ but not competition.
When a student compares himself with his classmates/mates, he looks down at himself. His self and abilities do not seem enough. He instead becomes sad and anxious.
Instead of forcing on grades and this false sense of competition, parents should focus on encouraging their children. Teachers also expect students, and students are worried about meeting their expectations.
What works like ice topping at the cake is a bad relationship. Teens at 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, items 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 where the problem lies.
So, bad relationships become the cause of depression. Also, when they go through the breakup phase, their other life activities are affected. The world seems to drown, and many students get involved in drug abuse, thinking it an everlasting stage.
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 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 grief of friends or parents.
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, they become sad. A child’s soul cannot rest in a single place. Children are like butterflies, especially when they see their other siblings playing; he feels helpless as he cannot play with them.
Child abuse is a significant 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 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 issues, and preference to one child on another.
When parents get separated, the lives of children are affected. Because for children, the love of a father and mother is essential. Some children are more sensitive, and they become sad and depressed.
Children with single parents feel sad when they look at their peers who have both mum and dad. They miss their parents at school or any significant event where they need both parents. Sometimes other children make fun of such a child who does not have both parents.
Sometimes children feel bad when their parents cannot provide enough facilities. The things other children get to make them jealous and frustrated simultaneously.
Middle children often complain as they think they are not valued as their elder or younger siblings. As a result, they become isolated and face sadness.
Role of Parents
Parents can play their role by supporting their children. For example, if your child feels physically weak, you should consult your doctor. Talk to your child about what his dreams and the little world are all about. Please support them. Make them trust you. Try to develop a healthy relationship with them to confide in you.
Causes of Depression in Elderly
Depression in the elderly happens due to their old age, diseases, need for attention and conversation with others, dementia, and helplessness (like they cannot do their task and need help).
Old age comes up with thoughts of decay and death. Older adults often think that they are soon going to die. It makes them irritated, sad, and depressed.
A man starts to lose his energy and vitality with age. The body becomes weak, and organs begin to decay. With these changes come diseases, so diseases are another factor of depression. When they fall ill, they show an annoying attitude. When they are unable to help themselves out and need the help of others, they feel helpless.
Illness, along with old age, depresses older adults. However, life does not stay lively. Even when they are alive, they are unable to enjoy life.
Need for Attention
Older people are no different from children. They need care and attention like a child. When young and other family members cannot give them time, they continuously yearn for attention. They stay in need to be constantly attended by their families. As a result, many older adults feel isolated and depressed. They lose their relations, and depression overcomes their mind.
Memory loss occurs with old age. It is because the mind does not function properly. More senior people remember their past when they used to be active and stored everything in their memory, but they feel sad 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 for working decrease. The person who indulges in procrastination shows a decreased level in problem-solving and working, with passivity and frustration.
The environment of the workplace affects the employees. For example, a dull, drab workplace and away from home already depresses the person. And when enough resources and facilities are not available, it depresses people at work.
Relationship with Boss
Those who work under an authoritative and manipulative person become annoyed and depressed. Many people cannot leave their job as they are financially unstable and need them. They can’t leave a job, 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 affect not only 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. It means salaries not provided at the deserved time or expected salaries are another cause of depression.
It becomes almost impossible to take a day off at many places, which is not correct. In case of emergency, it’s not that the only trouble becomes a problem but also the thought of getting 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 a few last games, problems between players, staying away from home, and expectations of fans, family, and friends.
The game becomes really different when a player or an athlete enters a sport’s arena. 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 indeed becomes worried about 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 before. The ex-winners develop confidence while the other team feels tense and doubts their abilities.
Many times, fights occur between players. Even a battle between two players affects others. It affects the whole team because a team works as a body. When one organ functions improperly, the entire body feels the ache and is pained.
When players stay away from home and their families, they often become sad. Of course, 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 worldwide, belonging to different professions, engage in sports, but they face such problems mentioned above.
Due to all these, depressed players cannot 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 is the only solution to their problems and depression. Men die by suicide three times more than women.
If a person withdraws and threatens to take his life, you should not ignore him.
It would be best to try to talk to that person and help him out. If you feel that it’s not enough, take him to the doctor. A professional can help in this regard.
Different Ways of Treating 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 to 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 to your daily routine. Exercise boosts up the energy level and makes you feel fresh. It can genuinely help you out to get rid of depression.
Therapies can include Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Biochemical Therapy.
In psychotherapy, depression lying in the unconscious mind is brought into consciousness, and psychologists make the client understand his problem and how to tackle it.
Stop Negative Thinking
During this painful period, you often are overpowered by negative thinking. Try to engage in any healthy activity or add a hobby to your life. It 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 attitudes. It trains patients to manage their negative thinking, to change their prejudiced thinking and cognition with the correct thought and beliefs.
In biochemical therapy, drugs like Tricyclics and Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors treat depression. Causes of depression vary, but they can always be helped out. With the help of your family, friends, and doctor, you can come out of it with an optimistic attitude and a balanced mind.
Start meeting your friends again. Try to socialize. You can also visit your neighbors. It will help you to re-establish relations, and you will feel good.
If you take drugs, stop taking them. Also, stop taking caffeine and alcohol. These fire up the situation and contribute to making you depressed.
Hi, my name is Eva. I am currently practicing as a clinical social worker, that being my childhood desire. As a licensed therapist holding MPhil in Clinical Psychology, I am now on biomadam to provide the natives with the best family advice! Do you have any questions? See you in the comment section.