Why I am Depressed?
One of the biggest questions looming over you is, “Why a I depressed?” Sometimes there seems to be an obvious reason, but there are other times when no clear source can be identified. However, there are several things that can contribute to depression.
These aren’t always present, but they can be. It’s a good idea to look back at recent history – or even long-term history – and see if you can find any of these triggers in your past. If you don’t, it doesn’t mean that you’re not depressed. But if you do, it can be helpful in determining a treatment plan.
Causes of Depression
Childhood trauma. Many people who experience depression in adulthood have had trauma as a child. This could be the death of a parent or other loved one, witnessing a violent act, or more commonly abuse.
If you experienced abuse or neglect as a child, problems can manifest later in life. Even if the abuse is something you feel you’ve put behind you, it can crop up and become a problem in adulthood. But there is hope to move on and enjoy your present life and future.
Life events. There are many life events that can trigger an episode of depression. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Becoming a new parent
- Job loss
- Death of a loved one
- Victim of a crime
- Failing a class or a major test
- Rejection from a school or job
- Divorce in the family
- Social isolation
This is just a short list of possibilities. But everyone is an individual and can have specific problems that aren’t generalized. You may have a unique situation that’s causing problems in your life.
Even happy changes can cause stress. New marriages and new babies are wonderful changes, but they are also stressful and can cause some upheaval to your normal routine. This stress can lead eventually to depression.
Alcohol or drug abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse are major contributing factors to depression. In some cases, they directly cause depression because of the changes they make in brain chemistry. For example, alcohol and marijuana are both depressant drugs.
They slow down the heart rate, impair judgment, and can cause feelings of fatigue and listlessness. Depression is not likely caused by a drink or two. It’s more likely a result of chronic abuse of these substances.
Alcohol and drug abuse can also cause one to make decisions he or she wouldn’t normally make when sober. The resulting consequences can also cause depression – especially if you don’t remember making those choices.
Family history. While it’s not completely understood, modern medicine has discovered that there is a genetic component to depression. If you have a family history of depression, it could be a genetic condition.
This is especially true with certain types of depression such bipolar depression. But it isn’t limited to bipolar depression. Some people with clinical depression have a family history as well.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you have to surrender to depression. Even if you have a genetic predisposition to depression there are treatment options and lifestyle choices that can help conquer your current problems and prevent future ones.
Problems sleeping. Some depression is caused simply from sleep deprivation and disturbances. This could be the result of a health problem or it could be caused by interruptions in sleep from a snoring spouse, uncomfortable bed, or too much caffeine.
If you correct the problems that are disrupting your sleep, your feelings of depression can resolve pretty quickly. It’s amazing what sleep deprivation can do to the body and mind and how quickly a good night of sleep can bring renewal.
Medical conditions. There are many medical conditions that can actually cause depression. For example, hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid that causes feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. However, it’s easily treatable and those symptoms can be cured.
There are other conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that can also contribute to depression. Simply experiencing prolonged illness can take its toll on your body, mind, and spirit. It’s essential to seek social support and assistance during these times.
Medications. Some medications used to treat physiological problems can have depressive side effects. Most commonly, sleeping pills and blood pressure medications can slow down the heart rate and cause your system to be depressed.
Take a look at your medications and look at the side effects. If you are taking a medication with side effects of depression, talk with your healthcare provider about what you might be able to adjust.
The above list includes some contributing factors, but isn’t exhaustive. There are many other triggers that can lead to problems with depression. You may have none of the problems listed here and still be feeling depressed.