You have a great life – at least from the outside. You have loving friends and family. You have a roof over your head and you can eat whenever you want. You’re not broke. You’re not struggling with a serious illness in the family nor did you break up with someone. The problem is, you’re constantly miserable.
So, why are you depressed? Depression affects over 240 million worldwide. Many people struggle with depression after undergoing a stressful incident like death or loss of a loved one, being abused, losing a job, or arguing with someone. Depression also affects people who experience life altering events like having a baby, changing jobs, moving to a new place, or graduating from college.
If you have experienced some of these instances recently, this could be what’s causing your depression. However, without experiencing these common triggers, it can be confusing what’s causing you to feel depressed. You might even be feeling guilty for having these emotions because you can’t understand where they’re coming from.
You might be surprised to know that there are other factors that may be causing your depression aside from these common causes. Here are some of the less evident reasons why you might be depressed.
You are going through a chemical imbalance in your brain and body
There have been several studies showing that depression can be caused by an imbalance in your body. Some scientists say that a chemical imbalance in your brain may be causing you to feel depressed. There are also studies that show that the nerve cell connections, growth and functioning have a major effect on depression.
If you are female, hormonal imbalance could also be the reason why you are feeling depressed. There are studies showing that rapid hormonal changes can impact a person’s mood especially during menstruation, childbirth, and menopause.
You have a family history of depression
Do you know that genetics could also be the reason why you are feeling depressed? According to studies, people who have a family history of depression have a higher risk of developing major depressive disorders or MDD. However, scientists are still not clear on what genes specifically cause depression. It is important to note that while family history and genetics could play a major role in your mood problems, these are not the only factors and may only contribute to the severity of the problem.
You have poor lifestyle choices
When you’re not sleeping well, eating poorly, not exercising, or always stressed, it’s easy to blame depression as the root cause of these habits. However, it is also possible that these lifestyle choices are factors contributing to your lingering depression.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is a very critical part of our daily lives. If you lack sleep, this could influence your energy, motivation, emotions, and overall mood. Notice that you’re probably more irritable after having a poor night’s sleep. When you’re constantly short on snooze time, this could accumulate over time and this could be what’s making you feel down. According to one study, chronic sleep deprivation could be one cause of depression.
While it could be argued that the reason why you’re not eating well is because you’re depressed, what you’re eating may also be what’s causing you to feel more depressed in the long run. There have been studies linking poor diet choices with depression.
According to these studies, having a diet with nutritious food like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil and antioxidants is associated with a decreased risk of being depressed. On the other hand, you’re more likely to be depressed if your diet is filled with refined sugars, processed meat, and other high-fat food products.
No Physical Activity
Are you leading a sedentary lifestyle? Do you spend over 8 hours in front of a computer and the rest of the time lounging on your couch watching Netflix? If you lack physical activity, then this could also be the cause of your depression.
According to research, when you stop exercising, this could trigger symptoms of depression. On the contrary, physical activity can play a major role in improving your mood and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
Your ways of coping with depression are making you more depressed
Many people cope with depression differently. Someone who’s depressed may choose to eat tubs of ice cream, drink copious amounts of alcohol or take drugs. These ways of coping are very common because they provide temporary relief.
However, it is important to keep in mind that constantly being dependent on these mechanisms will not cure your depression. Instead, several studies support that using unhealthy food, alcohol, and drugs could even worsen your condition.
Deciding to abuse drugs or alcohol to self-medicate your depression disorder could lead to a substance abuse problem. This could lead to more critical issues not only on your mental health but also on your physical health as well.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.