There are quite a few depression triggers that are well known, for example; grief, unemployment, financial issues and trauma are just a few. However if you are not experiencing any of these and are feeling depression without reason, it can be very difficult to pinpoint the specific cause. The truth of that matter is that perhaps there is not a concrete reason why you are feeling this way.
If however you are feeling depression without reason, here are a few causes that are little-known and should be taken into consideration:
1. Summer Weather
Commonly associated with winter blues, seasonal effective disorder (SAD) and winter blues affects around five percent of all Australians. However one percent out of that five is struck by this form of depression during the summer. Warm weather depression takes place when the human body experiences a delay while adjusting to the new season. Instead of greeting the morning and enjoying the dawn, the body has a difficult time becoming adjusted. Research shows that this could be due to imbalances in the hormone melatonin and in the brain chemistry.
For a long time now, although a chicken or egg sort of scenario, smoking has been linked to depression, meaning that those who are prone to depression are more likely to take up smoking. However, nicotine is not to have an effect on the brain’s neurotransmitter activity, causing higher levels of serotonin and dopamine, coincidentally this is also the mechanism of action found in antidepressant drugs.
This may very well explain the high addictive nature of this drug, the extreme mood swings associated with withdrawal and well as the reason why there is an association with depression and smoking cessation. You could help to balance the chemicals in your brain by avoiding cigarettes and remaining smoke free.
3. Thyroid Disease
The butterfly shaped gland in the neck is called the thyroid and when not enough thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid, it is known as hypothyroidism, one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is depression. This is a multifunctional hormone; however one of the main tasks it performs is acting as a neurotransmitter and regulating the levels of serotonin. If you are experiencing any new symptoms of depression, especially if they are accompanied with constipation, cold sensitivity, and fatigue, it may help to get a thyroid test done. You can treat hypothyroidism with medications.
4. Poor Sleeping Habits
It is not new news that being deprived of sleep can cause irritability; it can however also increase the risk of depression. A study performed in 2007 found that when participants who were healthy had been deprived of sleep, after viewing images that were upsetting, they experienced greater brain activity than the participants who were well rested, one of the study authors noted that this is similar to the reaction that a patient who is depressed will have. If you lack sleep, your brain does not have time to replenish its cells, this leads to the brain not functioning as well and is one of the many things that could occur because of this is depression.
5. An Overload of Social Media and Internet
Do you spend a lot of time on social networking sites or in chat rooms? Various studies have suggested that, particularly with preteens and teens, this can be associated with depression. Real life human interaction may be a struggle for Internet addicts and the may lack in companionship, this could also cause an unrealistic view of the world. There are experts that actually call this “Facebook depression”.
A study conducted in 2010 found around 1.2% of people between the ages of sixteen and fifty one spend ample amounts of time online, they also have higher rates of moderate to severe depression. That being said, researchers did note that it is unclear if an overuse of Internet can lead to depression or if depressed individuals are more likely to spend a lot of time on the internet.
6. Where you Live
The debate of whether city or country life is better is an endless one. However research has shown that those who live in an urban setting have a 38% higher rate of suffering from mood disorders when compared to those living in rural regions. A journal of Nature study conducted in 2011 explains why this is true; those who live in the city have higher levels of activity in the area of the brain that regulates stress levels. Higher stress levels can lead to other mental health disorders.
7. Lack of Fish in the Diet
There may be an association between a low intake of omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon and a higher risk of depression. A Finnish study conducted 2004 found an association between low intake of fish and depression in women, however not in men. Neurotransmitters like serotonin are regulated by these fatty acids which could explain this connection.
8. Poor Relationships Between Siblings
Although any kind of unhappy relationship can trigger depression, a study conducted in 2007 by the American Journal of Psychiatry found that men who before the age of twenty did not get along with their siblings were more likely to suffer from depression later in life when compared with those who did. In fact relationship stress can be a significant factor in developing depression.
So if you are feeling depression without reason, consider the above mentioned scenarios and see if any of them could possibly apply. It is important that if they do, you seek immediate professional help so that what you are experiencing does not get worse.