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What Causes Depression?

Recognize Your Risk Factors

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Thanks for sharing. Report
As someone who struggles with depession, this was a good article. Report
I do become depressed and buy things I just try to shop at the wals Walgreens Walmart so I don't go craze but exercise helps a lot. Good article thx. Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Thanks for coping suggestions. Depression isn't a one size fits all illness. Report
Did NOT agree with your question:

True or False: Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Answer: False

I did not deal with depression until I dealt with PTSD from combat in the military. I now have an imbalance in my brain that causes my brain to not produce normal levels of serotonin. I must take a medicine named seroquel to bring the serotonin levels back to normal.

So the answer to this posted question is inaccurate.
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Glad you put chronic health issues in here. I have had MS for 28 years and am not able to get around well. I miss exercising that always did. Report
I worked on a crisis line for many years. Depression is no joke. If you're struggling, please find someone you trust to talk to. Report
What do you do when a loved one suffers from depression (has since elementary school and is now 30) but refuses to take medication? He has been suicidal but just doesn't think that the medications will work. I worry about him constantly! Report
I am a 65 year old woman who has suffered from anxiety, with depression off and on in my life and some of the periods were way longer than others. I tried to take medication, Lexipro, about 6 years ago with disastrous effects. I ended up in the ER with serotonin syndrome, blood pressure that was in stroke range and completely out of it. Doctors had to give me a downer, a benzodiazepine, to counter act my reaction to the SSRI. Needless to say, I cannot take them. In an effort to help myself, I started doing massive research (spent a couple years reading everything I could my hands on) about anxiety, how it manifests, how we actually contribute to its continuation, etc, although I never wanted to admit to myself that I may be doing something to prolong it, There are totally conflicting studies on the topics of depression and anxiety depending on what you read. Because the meds were not an option for me, I sought help from someone who actually schooled me on the physiology of the condition from the brain aspect. I learned that anxiety is not a mental illness but a long term habitual thought process that becomes ingrained in the amygdala in our brains. He described it like learning to ride a bike. After you learn, it becomes second nature to do so and the same goes with anxiety. It has literally nothing to do with any imbalance in the chemicals in the brain at all. Once a severe anxiety episode takes hold, over time it can become second nature to unintentionally park ourselves in that state of thinking, not realizing that we are doing it. I learned so many ways to deal with anxiety by facing it head on and not running from it. It was a huge relief to know that I did not have a mental illness, I was not diseased and I could help myself. I also learned that 90% of the body's serotonin resides in the gut, not the brain. What we eat has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body and our mental health. I've learned to eat cleaner and feel so much better. This is not to say I will never have another episode of anxiety. It was built into humans for survival, the fight or flight response. It's only when we allow ourselves to remain there. It took hordes of work on my part to totally change the way I think about things, but I truly believe the help I sought helped me to get to the root of it and cure me more than any drug ever could. Learning what it actually was was half the battle for me. For those who think they are doomed to always have depression or anxiety, I just will never believe that to be true. It wasn't for me. Anxiety and depression are horrendous while going through it, but there are many ways out of it. Report
Several years ago I radically changed my diet. I did it to help someone else in my household, but the end result was that I disappeared decades of living with chronic depression. What I didn't realize at the time was that I began eating a diet that was a very low inflammatory diet. It's been kind of magical... Report
Some if not all of those controllable factors aren’t always that controllable - sleep, diet and alcohol disturbance are even classed as symptoms. Report
In my growing up family depression was never allowed--you just kept working. Sometimes it worked but many times not. I find just getting outside to help a lot. Report
Thank you for an excellent article on depression. I have had it my whole life and found the article to be very informative. If people want to go deeper the internet is open to all! Report

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