It is known that stress, lack of sleep, difficult life events as well as medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can trigger depression. However, most people don’t realize that even positive events or where you live and how often you use social media are also linked with increased likelihood of developing depressive symptoms. I am to share some little known facts about depression that I often pass on my patients.
1. Your mood is dependant on a cocktail of brain chemicals: acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. If either one is out of balance, so is the mood.
2. When there is a harmony among the cocktail of brain chemicals, there is a sense of “aahhh,” one feels grateful and satisfied with life overall.
3. Women are 70% more likely to suffer from depression than men.
4. Although depression often occurs in winter months, spring-time depression is common and can be more severe because the contrast of inner feelings of hopelessness is even more highlighted with outward state of nature’s rebirth and renewal.
5. Anxiety often goes with depression.
6. Depressed mood in children or adolescents (or men) can manifest itself as irritability.
7. Unlike bipolar disorder when mood fluctuates from being sad to having bursts of energy and excitement, depression is unipolar with sadness as a prevailing mood.
8. Life changing events, even positive ones, such as getting married, new job, moving to a new home can lead to depression as much as negative life events.
9. Facebook use linked with depression. One study sites that more frequent the use of Facebook is associated with the feeling of less life satisfaction.
10. Instagram is even worse than Facebook for worsening one’s self-esteem, feeling of inadequacy and therefore, depression.
11. Urbanites are more prone to depression than rural area dwellers.
12. Those living in Southern states are more likely to have depression.
13. Average age of depression onset is 32 years of age.
Awareness of the above facts about depression can increase personal insight about his or her mood. Behavioral changes can be adopted since some of the depression risk factors are modifiable.