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 Depression  Holistic-online.com

Causes of Depression

Genetic Factors.

Your risk for developing depression increases when there is a family history of the illness. The risk is somewhat higher for those with bipolar disorder. Not everybody with a family history develops the illness. Also, major depression can occur in people who have had no family members with the illness. This suggests that additional factors are involved in the onset of depression.

Biochemical Factors.

Evidence indicates that brain biochemistry is a significant factor in depressive disorders. For example, individuals with major depressive illness typically have too little or too much of certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. Sleep patterns, which are biochemically influenced, are typically different in people with mood disorders.

Depression can be induced or alleviated with certain medications, and some hormones have mood-altering properties.

Environmental and Other Stressors.

Significant loss, a difficult relationship, financial problems, or a major change in life pattern have all been cited as contributors to depressive illness. Sometimes the onset of depression is associated with acute or chronic physical illness. In addition, some form of substance abuse disorder occurs in about one third of people with any type of depressive disorder.

Psychosocial Factors.

Persons with certain traits-- pessimistic thinking, low self-esteem, a sense of having little control over life events, and proneness to excessive worrying-- are at a higher risk to develop depression. Upbringing or sex role expectations may contribute to the development of these traits. Negative thinking patterns are typically believed to develop in childhood or adolescence.

We can classify these under mind, body and spirit. This classification is courtesy Robert Ivker, author of "The Complete Self-Care Guide to Holistic Medicine."

BODY: Physical and Environmental

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Heredity - close to 50 percent of sufferers have a hereditary predisposition

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Candidiasis (yeast overgrowth)

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Inhalant and food allergies

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Childbirth-postpartum depression

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Female hormone dysfunction or insufficiency - PMS, perimenopause, menopause

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Hypothyroidism

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Hypoglycemia

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Obesity

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Folic acid deficiency

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Drugs and medications: Tagamet, Inderal, narcotics, benzodiazepines , birth control pills, sleeping pills, prednisone, alcohol, marijuana.
See Also: Drugs that Can Cause Depression

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Lack of exercise

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Biochemical - low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine 

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Environmental toxicity - air pollution (decreased negative ions, increased positive ions, outgassing), heavy metal exposure (mercury, lead, cadmium)

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Decreased sunlight (seasonal depression)

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Overcrowding

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Lack of grounding in the earth

MIND: Mental and Emotional

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Distorted thinking

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Grief-feelings of loss following bereavement, divorce, or retirement

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Feelings of failure

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Lack of stimulation

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Addiction to work

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Sense of helplessness

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Lack of self-expression

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Sense of powerlessness

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Emotional traumas as a child: history of abuse or violence, abandonment or neglect

SPIRIT: Spiritual and Social

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Lack of purpose or meaning in life

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Feelings of isolation; lack of compassion or a committed loving relationship

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Lack of family or social connection

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Feeling disconnected from God/Spirit

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Spiritual issues are more prominent with severe or chronic depression

Source: Complete Selfcare Guide to Holistic Medicine by R S Ivker

See Also: Drugs that Can Cause Depression

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