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Understanding the Causes of Depression
Extreme sadness, emptiness, pessimism, anxiety, apathy, fatigue, irritability and talks of suicide are only some of the glaring neon signs that someone may be suffering from deep and absolute misery, or, as those in the field of psychology call it — depression. While it is perfectly normal to be sad over matters that are personally relevant, it is another story to be extremely miserable.
If you have a friend who is undergoing depression, it may seem tempting for you to abandon ship, but studies have been conclusive that social support has been crucial in helping depressives get through their dark moments. Promising help to a depressive friend however, may be easier said than done. Sometimes it becomes just to taxing to be the listening ear and emotional punching bag, but before you call it quits, think again. Your presence alone may be the determining factor in saving someone’s sanity or someone’s life.
One way to help the helpers keep up with their depressive pals is to obtain a thorough understanding of why people sink into depression. Scientifically, a genuinely depressed person is not in such a state simply because he/ she wants to transform your life into a living hell. There are deep-seated reasons for what they are going through.
Although it is impossible to pinpoint the exact causes of depression, experts agree on some factors that may push a person to the edge.
This is probably the most overused and misused factor in explaining depression. When other explanations cannot be found, it is always easier to blame it on the genes or some bodily chemical imbalance. There are cases however, where depression may really be caused by biological factors. It is true for example that there have been proven cases that depression really does run in the family. If a friend suffering from depression has close relatives who are also in the same condition, then it must be in their genetic make-up. Other than genes, hormonal imbalance may also be a biological truth that may cause depression. Women for example who have just given birth may suffer from postpartum depression due to hormonal changes happening in a woman’s body after giving birth.
This is may seem to be a broad field to cover but it can basically be summed up by the cliché “No man is an island.” On the one hand, people who are not sociable and have very few acquaintances may sink into depression when they undergo life-changing events without anyone to support them. On the other hand, there are also those who know a lot of people but have many disruptive and psychologically damaging relationships. This may lead to becoming stressed and eventually depressed.
Believe it or not, there are economic factors to stress. In places where achievement and success are a premium, people may want to push themselves to the limits of their ability at work. Just like the kind of stress caused by social relationships, career stress could also be lethal. It has also been ascertained that in economically affluent countries, people who do not personally share in the affluence, or those who are on the poverty level, also suffer from depression.
Although there is a danger that focusing on the factors causing depression may encourage others to justify what they are going through, it is still best to look into these factors to understand why those who are depressed are the way they are.