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My Personal Studies of Depression

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avatar Okimmi
Level 24 : Expert Pokemon
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Ok, depression is an issue that so many young people deal with everyday. I hate to think about what they may be going through, and even I have had my moments where depression takes over-- takes over my plans, my emotions, basically my entire life. I've been doing some research about what causes depression, specifically in young people ages 10-18. I want to help everyone who may be hurting right now and I seriously do hope you can figure out just why you're feeling the way you're feeling. (NOTE: I am not a professional. If you have major depression, seek help from someone who understands better than I do. Please.)

Depression and its causes are a tricky thing to explain, but I've managed to narrow it down to five main reasons why you might be struggling.
~Lack of Sleep or Nutrition
~Personal Loss
~Trauma
~Hormonal Imbalance
~Drugs or Abused Substances

Lack of Sleep or Nutrition- Basically what it sounds like. If you're a night-owl who struggles with depression, it may be because you aren't getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can cause lots of problems, especially in train of thought. People who don't get enough sleep lose the ability for brain cells to communicate properly, which basically means you're not thinking straight. Similarly, a lack of nutrition can cause symptoms of depression, mostly because of your body's need for certain vitamins and minerals.

Personal Loss- Usually starts with the death of a loved one, a personal loss is difficult to deal with. Most of the time, a loss will cause grief. Feelings of grief will usually wear away as time goes on, but a deep connection that has been lost may result in depression.

Trauma- Depression can also be caused by times of extreme physical or mental hardship, also known as trauma. Trauma is defined as a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury. (As by the Merriam-Webster dictionary) Which basically says everything you need to know about it. It's so hard to deal with, and I salute those who stay strong through it all.

Hormonal Imbalance- Because I'm specifically listing causes of depression in young people, it's important to consider their hormones. During the time of puberty, (*shudders*) one's brain goes through so many emotional changes, specifically in females. (Females are actually much more likely to suffer from depression than males.) Sudden changes in hormones may cause severe mood swings, often characterized as depression. This is a normal feeling and will usually go away with time.

Drugs or Abused Substances- Drugs, similar to trauma, can cause an emotional damage to the brain. The user may not be able to function correctly and may even develop a dependence to the drug. Being left without a drug one has become addicted to will cause symptoms of severe depression. The easiest way to avoid this type of depression: don't take illegal drugs or misuse prescription ones.
If you must take an over-the-counter type medicine, please read the instructions carefully and follow them.

That sums up everything I know. (Link for my information and further information will be in the "additional credit" section, Which I hope is enough to make sure I don't get suspended for plagiarism.)
Please stay safe and if you're dealing with depression, I urge you to seek help. I may not know everything about what you're going through, but I want you to live your best life, and for you to be safe. I hope this will help at least one person. <3
I hope this counts as family-friendly because I know so many people who are suffering and I feel as though I need to help them.
(NOTE: Let's keep this post clear of hate. You may correct or add something if I made an error, but please try to keep it as positive as possible.)
CreditMerriam-Webster dictionary, https://www.verywellmind.com/common-causes-of-depression-1066772, https://www.psycom.net/depression.central.women.html
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  • barrowisp
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • April 22, 2019, 4:25 pm
I've lived with depression since as long as I can remember, and since it didn't get better upon changing my environment I decided to start counseling and medication, what's now 16 years ago. While I don't think that *my* depression is due to anything in the list above, I do believe when my counselor says that they contribute to depression. When you are in a situation that makes you vulnerable to depression, it's especially important to be disciplined about taking care of yourself.

So yeah, make changes to allow yourself more sleep, cut back on substances that affect mood (including caffeine and alcohol), and make an extra effort to nourish your body with vitamins and protein, in smoothie form if eating sounds too difficult. When you feel okay-ish, squirrel away some long-shelf-life foods that are easy to prepare, so that when you feel like eating nothing you at least have something you know you can eat. I keep yogurt handy.

I highly recommend that you find someone you can talk to about loss/trauma, even if it's just an anonymous website. Expressing your feelings weakens their power over you. Learn to meditate, in a way that allows for your negative thoughts to surface and drift, rather than trying to throttle them.
  • barrowisp
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • April 22, 2019, 4:44 pm
In addition to the things above, make an extra effort to do some sort of physical activity, whether exercise or not; it can help to release endorphins. And even better if the activity is something with people, in-person. There's something about face-to-face interaction that contributes to health, so I decided that next time I'm feeling black, I'll go to the mall that has a great community area, and just read through the stuff (menus, rule books, T-shirts) in the area, for a minimum of an hour. But best of all is dancing: it's physical, with people, and with music. If it involves physical contact, so much the better. I'm a strong believer in the importance of physical touch. But since going out to dance is sometimes too much effort, I settled on just sitting at the mall as part of my self-care plan.

Last but not least, take steps to fix any physical discomfort. If you have an illness, or pain, now's the time to do something about it. A negative mindset can cause physical symptoms, and vice versa. Get a massage, visit the dentist, call a nurse, try a painkiller (one that's compatible with any current meds). To the highest degree possible, remove physical ills as a possible contributor to your depression. Then focus on stabilizing your body's well-being with the sleep and nutrition mentioned earlier.

Together, these strategies make up a skillset known in therapy circles as P.L.E.A.S.E. (to help patients recall the mental checklist): treat Physical iLLness, practice balanced Eating, avoid mood-Altering substances, practice balanced Sleeping, and get Exercise.

https://healthypsych.com/dialectical-behavior-therapy-dbt-please-mastery-technique-for-emotion-regulation/
While they're by no means a cure for depression, they do serve to reduce your vulnerability to depression, and I recommend that teens in particular cultivate this skillset, to make the ups and downs of this period less de-stabilizing.
  • CHorse
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Fish
  • April 19, 2019, 6:48 pm
Well, I know you're doing your best but just wanted to note that one huge part and causant of depression is hopelessness. I think there was a study that someone did you should look into, don't recall a name, but there's definitely something to do there. Some guy found out that if you zap dogs, and they can't do anything about it, then they will become depressed. It's not pain; because similarly they tested out the same thing but if dogs jumped over a fence they would not get zapped, and while it was the same pain administered in the end, the thing that caused depression was hopelessness.
but otherwise good job!
Sometimes depression isn't any of the above. It could be a symptom of a disease you don't realize you have, so you categorize it as mental health issues.

It's been found that a lot of other illnesses(no, it just sounds worse than it is!) actually have symptoms similar to depression and anxiety, consider ADHD/ADD.

I know this from not just personal research but my own experiences. I'm not diagnosed with ADHD/ADD but almost everyone I've been close friends with + my partner all were, and let me tell you, I'm pretty sure all of them had to deal with depression.

The causes you listed were common, but there's so much more to it. Sometimes, it almost seems like it was caused by absolutely nothing.

I hope this comment helped you to add some things to your well-researched list! ♥
  • barrowisp
  • Level 13
  • Journeyman Explorer
  • April 22, 2019, 4:52 pm
Thank you for your input. I agree that depression often doesn't have an identifiable cause. Though loss and trauma can indeed trigger depression, it's basically a 'normal' response, and will pass with time. Many people can't relate to depression that doesn't have a clear cause. Folks who think "I should be happy" and yet feel miserable probably suffer even more, as hopelessness overtakes the horizon, So I suggest that folks should stand ready to provide sympathetic listening to a friend who hints at depression, even and especially if you don't understand the cause.

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