Depression is an illness of mind and body that individuals may struggle with daily. There are different types of depression and causes.
The Illness of Both Mind and Body
Depression is an illness because people suffer from physiological and emotional symptoms. Life becomes challenging because the symptoms interfere with the individual’s ability to function optimally.
Unipolar and bipolar are two types of depression. Unipolar depression may occur many times throughout a person’s lifetime. Bipolar depression is not the same as unipolar depression. Bipolar Depression is considered manic depression because as the depression advances, a form of mania (delirium) occurs. Bouts of depression and mania may go back and forth within the individual’s life.
Another form of depression is dysthymia, a chronic, low-grade depression. This form of Illness can reoccur frequently and interfere with an individual’s ability to function socially and enjoy life. Even a person without a college degree can conclude that this depression may result from thinking, which is harmful on a subconscious level. A form of depression called double depression is more severe, and the individual will suffer significant episodes of depression before returning to a calmer state of mind.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a state of depression resulting from gray days, where it always rains and there is no sunshine. Individuals who suffer from SAD can feel sluggish and have low energy, suffer from anxiety, experience a loss of interest in activities, and crave unhealthy foods.
Causes of Depression
Food also affects the brain. Junk foods and unhealthy eating habits may contribute to or cause depression. Our brain’s neurotransmitters control our behaviors and are related to our moods. These neurotransmitters connected with our spirits are norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.
As the brain produces norepinephrine and dopamine, we are more alert and act and think faster. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that eases the tension in the brain. The neurotransmitters transport the impulses that occur among the cells in the nerves. The amino acid tryptophan processes the serotonin.
The serotonin increases when eating foods containing tryptophan, and the individual may feel more relaxed. These foods increase the level of tryptophan in the brain and are in the form of complex carbohydrates. Some examples of these foods include:
- Whole grains such as barley, buckwheat, brown rice, oatmeal
- Beans and lentils
- Root vegetables such as yams
Dopamine and norepinephrine are produced when foods high in protein are eaten. These foods include meats, legumes, and dairy, such as eggs, nuts, and seeds. Therefore, foods influence neurotransmitters, influence our moods, and help with alertness.
Posttraumatic experiences or trauma in general can cause depression. Abuse, whether past or present, such as mental, emotional, or physical abuse, will influence or cause depression. Further forms of abuse, such as neglect, criticism, rejection, and violence, can also cause it.
It can also be caused by disease, lack of exercise, and genetics. Stress, chemical imbalances in the brain, upset stomach, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, lack of exercise, too much sugar, endometriosis, allergies, low blood sugar, and other conditions are all factors in depression.
Family relationships or lack of relationships can cause or worsen the illness. The pain involved in broken or damaged relationships in a family can seem unbearable, and guilt often plays a significant role in an individual’s life. People blame themselves for issues that are not their fault. This illness can be a regular occurrence when dealing with these family issues.
Hope May Produce Depression
Experiencing good things in life causes hope, which may make the individual wish for what they cannot have or attain. This increases the risk of experiencing more loss.
Individuals may give up on themselves because they refuse to live with hope that is deferred – seeing no reason to live, work, or stay involved with life if they can’t be with a particular person, reach a specific goal, or be engaged in certain activities. They may become emotionally numb and withdraw from having an active and happy life. Thus, hope may produce depression.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression include anxiety, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, insomnia, or sleeping too much, difficulty in making decisions, appetite changes, backaches, headaches, digestive disorders, angering quickly, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in hobbies, sadness, numbness and tingling in the body or extremities, and displaying little or no emotion at all. Some individuals may think about death or consider suicide.
Anxiety: A Factor of Depression
Many individuals experience anxiety along with depression. Anxiety is a state of being in which the individual often feels nervous and distressed. Situations may feel distressing and threatening even if no actual threat occurs. Individuals may be in a state of over-alertness or always on guard as if they are or will be, in imminent danger.
Physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased urinary frequency
- Dry mouth
- Tingling sensations
- Weakness or fatigue
- Flushing and sweating
Fear is often experienced with depression and may co-occur with anxiety.
An individual can experience feelings of panic, as well – either acute or chronic, which can result in panic attacks. These attacks usually involve feelings of significant physical discomfort and fear. They are often unpredictable but not physically dangerous.
Mental symptoms of anxiety can include not being able to concentrate, living in the past as opposed to the future, not being in the moment, or not being aware of one’s surroundings.
Eating correctly, seeking professional help, and keeping a journal to record thoughts and feelings help heal when recovering from depression. In certain situations, medication is prescribed to assist the individual in dealing with it.
About the author:
Diane H. Wong is a dedicated content and essay writer at KingEssays. With her exceptional writing skills and deep passion for research, she crafts compelling pieces across various topics. Diane’s work reflects her commitment to excellence, making her a valuable asset to the KingEssays team.