so what causes depression?
Depression can sometimes just happen to a person - without any apparent reason. However, there are a number of factors that can contribute to this state. So if you have been feeling more than a little down, it would make sense to consider what things may be playing a part. This could be the first step towards taking back control of your life.
For instance, depression may be triggered by having to deal with a significant loss. Bereavement immediately springs to mind, but other difficult-to-deal-with events such as losing your job, moving out of your community or the end of an important relationship can be just as likely to set it off. A physical or sexual assault could also be a cause, whether it was recent or not.
In fact, depression could, on occasion, be triggered by traumas that were experienced many years ago - even abuse or neglect suffered during your childhood. Things can be made even worse if you have not developed effective coping mechanisms or if you find it difficult to properly express your feelings. You may have the sense that you do not have sufficient control over your circumstances or that you are simply unable to cope.
Anger may well be an important factor here – particularly if it has become internalised. In fact, some people have gone so far as to describe depression simply as “frozen anger”.
Even though you may sometimes use alcohol to cheer yourself up, drink is actually a depressant that, in the long run, is likely to make you feel even worse. Street drugs, and even some prescribed medication, can also be a factor with depression. (Please remember to check the patient information sheet of any medicine you are taking - and do speak to your doctor should you have a concern about possible side effects.)
Of course, problems with sleep; a poor diet and a lack of fitness can all contribute to depression, as can a number of other physical conditions. These might include low blood sugar levels, hormonal issues such as thyroid problems, the menstrual cycle and menopause. There are also certain conditions that have an affect on the brain and the nervous system that should not be ignored.
However, it does not seem that genetics plays too much of a part here, as there does not seem to be any specific gene related to depression. Still, the condition can run in families, perhaps this is largely because of the members’ shared behaviour, attitudes and ways of seeing things.
Hypnotherapy and its related disciplines can be an effective tool in the combatting of depression. However, if you should suspect that any of the physical concerns mentioned might apply you, please consult your general practitioner before seeing me. Although I do have a concern that some doctors may prescribe dangerous antidepressants a little too easily, it is important that underlying conditions are diagnosed as early as possible.
Read about the cycle of depression, about prescription drugs and about the related conditions of grieving and anxiety. You can also find information about the symptoms of depression and about various types of depression here.
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When you understand that your feelings are triggered by what you think about an event and not by the event itself, you gain a measure of control. Although you cannot control the things (events) that happen to you, or change your feelings (after all, you feel the way you feel), you can change your thoughts. A change in thoughts often radically alters your feelings.
Julie A., M.A. Ross and Judy Corcoran, Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex, 2011