5 Surprising Causes Of Depression (And How To Survive Them)

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5 Surprising Causes Of Depression (And How To Survive Them)

Are you depressed? Is someone you know suffering from depression? Do you wish you knew the causes of depression?

Depression is a horrible, life-altering thing, something that we all hope to avoid and desperately want to get over if we possibly can.

Fortunately, understanding what causes depression can help you to learn how to not only survive it but to thrive in spite of it.

Here are 5 surprising causes of depression and how to survive them:

1. Genetics

For many people, the cause of their depression is something they have absolutely no control over — their genetic history.

For me, I had been depressed my whole life, even as a young child. I carried with me this sense of hopelessness and dread that was debilitating and left me feeling alone and scared.

Nothing had happened to me in my young life to make me feel this way. There were, unfortunately, genetics working against me. Both my paternal grandfather and great-grandfather suffered as I did. They had passed it down to me.

So if you find yourself depressed and nothing is specifically wrong it could be that you are clinically depressed. Talk to your primary care physician about it immediately. She can help you!

RELATED: Signs Your Depression Is Getting More Serious (And It's Time To Reach Out)

2. Trauma

For many people, trauma is the source of depression.

Many depressed people who I have worked with have suffered from terrible trauma. They have been sexually abused, abandoned by their husbands, have lived through a bad accident, or been verbally abused by a parent, among other things.

If you have had a trauma in your life, either recently or in the past, see your primary care physician right away. Therapy could be the first step toward dealing with the trauma. Medication might supplement the therapy as well.

Get help! You will be glad you did.

3. Life

Yes. Life. It is chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting. Life has so many moving parts and much of the time they move against us.

Are you struggling in your life right now? Do you have too much going on at work? Are you having some problems in your marriage or with a child? Are money issues negatively affecting your life?

All of these things, and other things as well, are the difficult parts of our life that we have to deal with every day. And sometimes these things just become too much to bear and we can get depressed.

A good way to deal with this kind of situational depression is to address the issues head-on.

Is there too much going on at work? Figure out a way to delegate some things. Problems with your marriage? Talk about it with your spouse and figure out how to address it. Money problems? Identify the cause and work to make changes.

Situational depression can often be handled by fixing the issue. Sometimes medicine or therapy can be helpful dealing with situational depression as well.

Try both and do what you can to make some changes. Now.

RELATED: 7 Ways Depressed People Love Differently

4. Drinking

Drinking alcohol is something that lots of people use to deal with their stress and depression. Unfortunately, drinking is the worst thing that you can do when you are depressed and can actually make your depression worse.

People tend to drink because it ‘loosens’ them up. If they drink more than they should, it can have the opposite effect — it can make them feel stupid and out of control. And when too much alcohol is consumed, it stays in the body for a long time and causes a chemical change that can lead to depression and can also make existing depression worse.

It is important to avoid drinking when you are depressed. If you must drink, drink only one. Adding alcohol to the mix when you are already depressed will only make everything you are struggling with worse. 

5. Vitamin D deficiency

In recent years, we have learned that many people in the world suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency and that deficiency can lead to depression.

The only way to absorb Vitamin D is through sunlight. These days many people wear sunscreen every day and this screening keeps the body from absorbing the healthy parts of the sun's rays.

Furthermore, many people live in areas where there just isn’t enough sunlight to keep them fortified. Think New England from November to March or Seattle during the rainy season.

If you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, there are a few things you can do about it.

You can take a Vitamin D supplement (doctors recommend between 1,000-4,000 IU per day). 

You can also get a Full Spectrum Sun Lamp, a table-top device that you use for a few minutes each day which will give you the same effects as sitting in the sun: lots of Vitamin D without the possibility of skin cancer. These you can find on Amazon and other such websites.

Staying on top of your Vitamin D is an excellent, and easy, way to address your depression and survive and even thrive!

Depression has a number of causes and many of them are surprising. Treating each kind is a little bit different but it is possible to do so.

One thing that every person dealing with depression can do is to exercise and eat right. More than anything else, having a healthy lifestyle is the best way to survive and thrive while living with depression.

So ask yourself which of the categories above is the closest description of your depression and start your treatment right away. Make every effort to live a healthy lifestyle as well and you will be well on your way to surviving and even thriving in spite of your depression.

Imagine not feeling depressed. How great would that be?

RELATED: 5 Ways To Hold Up Your End Of The Relationship When You Have Depression

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Prevention Magazine, The Good Man Project, among others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live. Looking for more ways to be productive? Contact her NOW and she can help!