The average age of a person who becomes depressed is 30. Women are twice as likely to become depressed as compared to men. The causes of depression are unknown, however, there are some factors that are thought to play a role in the development of depression. This includes changes in hormonal levels, family history, traumatic life events, lifestyle choices, and brain chemistry. A new study suggests that those who are experiencing social isolation from a family member are more prone to become depressed.
The study involved having people complete questionnaires concerning their family and social lives. Also, questionnaires where they discussed their feelings of depression. Researchers discovered that those who experienced social isolation from a parent were 20 times more likely to experience depression. This is a very interesting finding because this means that one in every thirty people may have a risk factor for depression.
Studies have also shown that there are social factors that are seen to trigger depression. Among these are stress, relationships, physical illness, and broken family ties. It is thought that there is a biological factor that plays a role in depression. This is believed to include an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. In a new study, it has been seen that a gene related to how the neurotransmitter GABA is processed is found to be a risk factor for developing depression.
No known cure for depression
However, still there is no known cure for depression. It is important for those who are already suffering to seek medical help as soon as possible. There is no quick way to counteract the effects of depression. Treatment options include antidepressants and psychotherapy. Medication can help reduce the symptoms of depression and increase the amounts of neurotransmitters in the brain but it is only a temporary solution. The therapy options include the use of antidepressants which have been used in the past to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Recent studies indicate that these are not effective in the long term. This may be due to the fact that antidepressants can increase the levels of chemicals in the brain and this can lead to some unwanted side effects such as weight gain or sleeping disorders. These side effects can lead to a person being dependent on the medication to cope with their depression.
The study found that having a family history of depression was linked to being more prone to depression. Those who experienced depression before also had a greater chance of developing depression than those who did not have depression in their family. It is thought that having two copies of the gene that encodes for the neurotransmitter GABA was a greater risk factor for becoming depressed than the one or two that do not experience depression.
A sign of clinical depression
While we all feel sad or low from time to time, when those feelings linger for days, weeks or months is a sign of clinical depression. Clinical depression is believed to be caused by an imbalance of certain brain chemicals that regulate mood.
Antidepressant medications are one treatment option for those who are suffering from clinical depression. The drugs are used to help balance the number of neurotransmitters in the brain. These drugs work by affecting the amounts of these brain chemicals. They also allow the brain to receive the correct amount of signals to prevent the symptoms of depression from intensifying. In some cases, clinical depression can be treated with non-medication treatments such as light therapy or psychotherapy. These treatments allow the patient to receive the right amount of stimulation to help balance the chemical imbalances in the brain. While these non-medication treatments are a good option, it is important to seek a professional’s advice before proceeding.
What can you do yourself?
You may have noticed how difficult it can be to get depressed. That is why it is important that you seek support from others. Do not be shy, ask for help. We have put together some tips that you can use to help combat depression yourself.
1. You should monitor your stress levels. If you have been in a rut or are constantly worrying about your personal financial situation, change this. Get outside and walk around. Engage in some sort of exercise. Exercise can increase the levels of chemicals in the brain that have a calming effect.
2. It is also important that you get enough sunshine. Try to get into the morning sun. Many studies have shown that exposure to sunlight has a calming effect.
3. You should also make changes to your diet. Try to eat more foods such as bananas, almonds, and turkey that are full of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have an effect on the chemicals in the brain. These chemicals work to prevent depression from occurring.
4. Make sure that you get enough exercise. Exercise improves your mood. However, you should not overdo it. Go out with friends so that you can keep your stress levels low. You can also take a yoga class to help you work through your depression.
5. Make sure that you get a good night’s sleep. If you have been sleeping too much, you should try to sleep less. You should also try to exercise. Exercise can help you achieve that right balance.
6. Avoid foods that are high in sugar. These include sweets, chocolate, and soda. These foods can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels go up, your mood can quickly change from happy to unhappy.
7. You should also limit your caffeine consumption. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant. It can also have an effect on the chemicals in the brain that can cause fluctuations in your mood.
8. Avoid caffeine if you are sensitive to alcohol. It can make you nervous, which can affect the chemicals in the brain.
9. There is an herbal supplement that you can take to help with depression. It is called St. John’s Wort. It is a safe alternative to medications if you are allergic to them. Most people can take it safely.
10. You should also eat a well-balanced diet. Foods high in protein can make your depression worse. These include chicken, fish, and pork. You should also avoid foods that are high in sugar. These include cakes, cookies, pies, and candy.
If you want to find an herbal remedy to treat depression, you should visit your doctor first. It can take weeks for them to find a medication for you. Some may recommend dietary changes first. This can take medication. The good thing about herbal treatments is that there are no known negative side effects.