Depression is a condition that can be very misunderstood. It affects many people from all walks of life and arrives for a variety of different reasons. It is indiscriminate- about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 or 8 men will suffer from depression at some stage of their life, and women are much more vulnerable to it than men.

If one quarter of the women on this planet is depressed at some stage of their lives, and one eighth of the men, then depression is a very real issue in our society. It carries with it a sense of shame which does not help you to ask for help when you are suffering from it.

What causes depression?

There are many factors that can lead to depression, and some of the main ones include-

Hormones. Pre-menstrual tension and post natal depression are both recognised as being related to hormonal changes in the woman's body at various times. Hormonal imbalances and long term endocrine issues are known to contribute to depression.

Toxins. Heavy metals and toxins can lead to depression in a variety of ways due to the fact that approximately 90% of the toxins we ingest daily interfere with the serotonin levels in our body. They have been linked to depression in a number of studies. Many prescription drugs are linked to depression as well.

Home environment. Depression can also be a learned behaviour. If you were raised in a house where sadness was present, from grief, or illness, or a depressive parent, then in later life, you can be prone to depression because it is what you have learned. We often replicate in later life the circumstances of the childhood home that we grew up in. We do this unconsciously.

Chemical imbalances. Depression can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain- these can be induced by medicine, diet, drugs, alcohol, environment, stress, and many other causes.

Anger. Depression can be referred to as repressed anger. Often when we are either unconscious of the anger or unable to express it, we turn it in on ourselves and this becomes depression.

Circumstance. Depression can also occur when circumstances become untenable- loss of a loved one, becoming bankrupt, having a terminal illness, and other life experiences can lead to depression.

Spiritual Growth. Sometimes spiritual awakenings can be mistaken for depression. This is because in our society we do not recognize spiritual growth as a valid experience and we are very removed from that which is sacred.

All of the above can produce long term or short term depression and each of them presents challenges to the patient and to the people who are looking after them. Remember that no one chooses to become depressed, and that life with depression is not something to be ashamed of, or seen as weak. It is a condition that affects increasing numbers of people from all walks of life.

The good news is that recovery is available in many guises. Natural health and alternative medicine offer a variety of solutions. Yoga, exercise, and a good healthy diet can also be good remedies for recovery. Finding out what you are angry about and working through it can assist the depression. Another way is to detoxify so that the heavy metals and toxins can no longer interfere with the serotonin levels. Learn new behaviours as coping mechanisms with a professional to assist your growth. Try anything that you think will help you to live life as you want to.

The most important thing that you can do for someone who is suffering from depression is to listen to what they are saying without telling them to cheer up or showing them how good they have it. Understanding that they are suffering and that perhaps you need to seek external help with them could be the best gift you could give a person who is depressed.

Written by Caroline Nettle

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Author's Bio: 

Caroline Nettle is passionate about healing, recovery, and assisting others to grow. Her website Spiritual Growth Tools is the culmination of many years of seeking answers about her own health and well-being, and studying the human condition. She writes articles, is a healer and gives talks about subjects relating to spiritual growth and personal development.
She is an avid reader and researcher and on her international travels, she came across many weird and wonderful ways to make the human experience more enjoyable. Some of them seemed a little comical, and some of them downright strange, but some of them had a profound effect on her health and well-being, and they inspired her to want to create Spiritual Growth Tools, so that she could share what she learned.
Spiritual Growth Tools is an online resources dedicated to spiritual growth and personal development. It aims to provide resources and information to assist others on their journey to inner peace, vitality, and a happier, healthier lifestyle!
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