1. Depression can be genetic, although the exact gene causing it is presently unknown. If you have a family member with depression, you’re more likely to experience it, too. This however might be hard to tell as clinical depression was formally recognized in the U.S. around 1970s. Prior to that, it was known as melancholy, therefore undiagnosed. It could have been misdiagnosed for a multitude of other reasons, especially in the old days.
2. Depression can be triggered by imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Why this is happening, remains a mystery and is not fully understood. Antidepressant medications work to balance these neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin.
3. Hormonal changes certainly play a role in developing depression. Generally, depression is more common in women than in men, due to the changes in hormone levels throughout a woman’s life. Pregnancy, giving birth or experiencing a miscarriage, PMS, menopause are just a few examples. Thyroid problems can cause hormonal fluctuations as well because thyroid is an endocrine gland.
4. Enter the change of seasons. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that can happen as daylight hours get shorter as the winter approaches. Around this time of the year, some people experience feelings of tiredness, lethargy and loss of interest in everyday tasks. This condition usually goes away once the days get longer.
5. Then there is a situational depression that can happen due to a change in life circumstances or struggle. Such as for example, losing a loved one, getting fired from work, financial troubles or other serious changes. PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorders is often diagnosed in soldiers returning from war. However, it can also happen as a result of a childhood trauma, abuse or assault, a car accident, or being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Some sources classify these as anxiety disorders.
The treatment of depression is a long and bumpy road. It may include medications, psychotherapy, or both. It can go by trial and error and takes time to find a working combination of these. Exercises can definitely help but oftentimes it’s easier said than done. When you’re feeling sad, worthless and having low energy, exercises can seem next to impossible. Perhaps you can start out slowly. Try to stay busy with something you enjoy doing … if you draw a blank, turn to chores. Generally, anything that helps to take your mind of whatever bothers you. If you feel like writing, keeping a diary might help; blogging is even better. You can find plenty of understanding folks here on WordPress.
Listen to the music! Just sit in a quiet place and do nothing but listen to your favorite tune. You can feel the music; it allows you to express yourself at the times when you’re short of words to describe your feelings. Music can be a welcome distraction that takes your mind off whatever bothers you. There is no guarantee that it’ll work but it’s worth trying.
Disclosure: the above statements represent my personal opinion and derive from my online research. They can be seen as controversial and some sources disagree. Each to their own. Your mileage may vary but this is My Mileage.