Unexplained aches or pains in the body that won’t go away
Increase in complains like tension headache, stomach irritation, back pain and aching muscles is also very common. Decreased capacity of tolerating setbacks, pain or uneasiness is also part of major depression.
The causes for major depression are many and varied; some of the causes are also some of the symptoms of depression. It’s useful to break them down into categories.
Stress plays a big part in depression. Often people struggle to manage stress leading to burnout, fatigue and depression. Reaction to stressful situations and life events also precipitates depression.
Researchers have theorized an explanation called the “kindling effect,” or “kindling-sensitization hypothesis.” This theory surmises that initial depressive episodes spark changes in the brain’s chemistry and limbic system that make it more prone to developing future episodes of depression. This may be compared to the use of kindling wood to spark the flames of a campfire. Since early episodes of depression make a person more sensitive to developing depression, even small stressors can lead to later depressive episodes.*
- Sleeping problems
- Changes in life circumstances
Like stress, not taking care of oneself is part of triggering depression. These habits can often be done unconsciously in repeating patterns.
- Reckless spending
- Excessive debts and spending
- Losing jobs and responsibilities and not caring
- Unhealthy romantic and sexual relationships
- Failing at school or work
- Sabotaging healthy relationships
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Depressed people find it very hard to love themselves and take care of themselves and their bodies. Mental and physical health go hand in hand, and the focus on mental health often detracts from the very real bodily experience of depression
- Chronic pain
- Aches and pains
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Poor conditioning
- Poor diet
People who suffer major depression often have harder upbringings than people who do not get depressed. Problems include suffering abuse from a parent, psychological, physical and sexual or a combination of all three, separation from a parent or a parent having a mental health issue themselves.
- Bullying in school
- Bullying in workplace
- Parents not adequately caring and loving their offspring
- Not being able to cope with major life change or stage: marriage, university, having children
- Feeling unsupported through crisis or transitional life stage
Major Depression can be in reaction to something very unexpected. These events take away a sense of control over situations. They often require time to work through, process so some sense of resolution occurs, if other life stressors happen during this time.
- Car crash
- Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Death or illness of someone close to you
- Natural disaster
- Witnessing act of violence
- Job loss
- A rape or sexual attack
Health problems can cause depression in different ways. The despondency and hopelessness around conditions like chronic pain and cancer can cause a reactive major depression. Other condition like an underactive thyroid and certain steroids can also cause symptoms akin to major depression. Again professional judgement is needed in making these determinations. The genetic link in major depression is more than compelling. Depression can normally always be detected up the genetic line.
- Certain medical conditions, including underactive thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain
- Certain medications such as steroids
- Chronic pain
- Genetic link, family history of depression
- Developing a disease or illness that will not get better.
We hope this article has given you more information about the signs and causes of major depression. If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please contact a professional to seek further help.