There is no one cause for depression. Often several things combine and lead to the onset. Sometimes negative thinking patterns develop and can lead to a deterioration in mental health. Past experience may contribute, and often, incidents in childhood or events which interfere with our normal developmental patterns can impact our mental health.
Life events such as death of a loved one, children moving away, retirement, redundancy, an injury or life transition can trigger the onset of depression. Often it is not so much the event, but how we deal with it, or not. If we don’t find it possible to express our feelings and instead keep them bottled up, they stay there, accumulate, and become too much. This can signal the start of depression.
Depression is considered to be the result of emotionally generated problems and therefore requires emotional solutions such as counselling or psychotherapy. Sometimes it is considered the result of chemical imbalances in the brain which requires anti-depressant medication. When it’s source is physical problems, depressive symptoms can be alleviateded by addressing the physical issue.
Body and mind operate together, one affects the other: It is always worth bearing in mind that physical issues may underlie emotional symptoms. It is important that we account for biochemical factors which can impact our mood. These include:
- Food intolerance, eg wheat, lactose or gluten
- Hormones which, out of balance, can contribute to feelings of depression
- Anaemia, when there is a lowered red blood cell count, resulting to a reduced supply of oxygen to the body, including the brain
- Deficiency of Vitamin B which is needed for brain and nervous system functioning
- Under-active thyroid gland which can make you feel tired, sluggish and depressed
- Low blood sugar level. Balancing the blood sugar is very important.