What Are The Causes Of Depression
Experts say that depression is caused by an interaction of genetic factors and real life triggers. Because depression often runs in families, experts believe that genetic factors make some people more vulnerable to than others, because of their individual brain chemistry.
Depression triggers can include:
* Situational factors: Major problems and life crises — a romantic break-up, job loss, or the death of a loved one, for example — are often the immediate, most obvious causes of depression. But ongoing life challenges like poverty, unemployment, and social isolation, as well as childhood trauma, also put people at higher risk for depression.
* Medical factors:Chronic pain or illness can lead to depression. Certain medical conditions — including hypothyroidism, cancer, and hepatitis — can cause depression. Nutritional deficiencies and some medications are culprits as well. Therefore, it’s important that treatment for depression include a medical evaluation.
* Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression, a discrepancy likely due in part to the tremendous hormonal shifts that accompany menstruation, child birth, and menopause.
* Stress: A connection between chronic stress and depression has been established and could explain why stressful life situations, like poverty and unemployment, put people at far higher risk for depression.
Treatment for Depression
You Drink Alcohol In Excess
You might think happy hour is the ultimate way to unwind from your day, but the temporary effects of alcohol are just thattemporary. When you drink, alcohol increases dopamine, a feel-good chemical, and binds to and alters the neurotransmitter receptor GABA, which increases the effect of GABA and can have a calming effect in the moment. But it also interrupts other mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like serotonin. When these alcohol-induced effects wear off, you may experience a range of anxiety symptoms.
In the long term, excessive drinking makes neurons less excitable and permanently changes the mRNA and protein levels in GABA receptors. This makes the receptors less sensitive, so the brain needs more GABA. Without it, symptoms of anxiety can result. This doesnt necessarily mean you have to completely remove alcohol from your life, but take at least three nights off per week from drinking and always drink in moderation.
Diagnosing Depression And Fatigue
To make a depression diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and give you a questionnaire that assesses depression. They may use other methods, such as blood tests or X-rays, to make sure another disorder isnt causing your symptoms.
Before diagnosing you with chronic fatigue syndrome, your doctor will run several tests to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. These may include restless leg syndrome, diabetes, or depression.
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Alternative Treatment Options For Depression
Traditional treatment methods dont work for everyone. Because depression is a complex and not well understood mental health disorder, there is still not a consensus on the exact cause of it. That is what explains the variance of response levels patients have to antidepressants. In a large number of depression patients, even after trialing several different drugs, antidepressants are ineffective.
These treatment-resistant patients still have some alternative treatments to consider. Patients that were not responsive to conventional treatments have increasingly sought brain stimulation therapies out. Transcranial magenetic stimulation is one such therapy that has been clinically proven to help about 60% of treatment-resistant patients experience symptom relief. TMS therapy is the only brain stimulation technique that does not require sedation or surgery, and is well tolerated with few reported adverse effects.
Other alternative treatments might include hypnotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy , and vagus nerve stimulation.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Versus Depression
Depression is a leading cause of disability in the United States and with so many different signs and symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose. In fact there are many other disorders that mimic depression including hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, fibromyalgia, diabetes, dementia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a medical diagnosis with an unknown cause that affects young and middle aged adults primarily in the United States. Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome often report feelings of excessive tiredness, lapses in short-term memory and feelings of depression secondary to their excessive fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
- A lapse in short term memory but an intact long term memory
- Problems concentrating
- Unable to perform everyday tasks due to extreme fatigue
- Preceding viral infection
- Inability to say or find a particular word during normal speech
- Postexertional fatigue
- Non-restorative sleep
- Depression because of the inability to perform everyday tasks
Major depressive disorder
- Sleep disturbance
- Suicide ideations
Differences and similarities between chronic fatigue syndrome and depression
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How To Tell If Depression Is Not The Cause Of Irritability Or When You Feel Tired
If you dont think its depression, there are a few indicators that you need more sleep. One sign is that you want to do things, but you dont have the energy to do them. With depression, you wont even desire to do the things you once enjoyed, and it wont be because you feel tired.
Another way to tell if it is not depression-related fatigue is to feel better after getting some sleep. If you get a good nights sleep and your mood improves, its likely general fatigue. Depression-related fatigue doesnt get better after rest, indicating other underlying issues.
It Makes You Frustrated
Depression commonly causes frustration because you want to be happy and get things done, but you cant get past the issue. You will likely struggle to make sense of things, and your mind will continually race. When those things happen, it creates frustration because you want to have a better mindset and react differently.
While frustration might not seem like a big deal, it can quickly make you feel tired and irritable. You wont want to keep trying when you feel like you cant get your words and ideas out.
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What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
Prioritize Getting Good Sleep
Since depression may be causing you to have disordered sleeping habits, it can be helpful to develop better sleep habits.
Sleep hygiene pretty much just means good sleeping habits. Here are some ways of implementing sleep hygiene:
- Be consistent with sleep and wake times. Try going to bed at roughly the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. This way, your body becomes accustomed to a certain routine that optimizes healthy sleeping.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature. You can experiment with different room temperatures or try out a white noise machine. With patience, you might discover the best room environment to promote sleep.
- Remove TVs, computers, and smartphones from the bedroom. This may seem like an impossible task sometimes, but avoiding harsh blue light will help you fall asleep faster.
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Thyroid Issues Are To Blame
Your thyroid gland produces hormones involved in metabolism and growth, releasing the hormones only when needed. But when your thyroid gets out of whack , your thyroid can overproduce or underproduce these hormones, leading to a range of physical and mental symptoms.
In a large 2015 study of people diagnosed with thyroid conditions, researchers linked an overactive thyroid to anxiety, while an underactive thyroid was associated with depression. Another study found that 60 percent of patients with hypothyroidism reported symptoms of depression, while 63 percent reported symptoms of anxiety.
Researchers still arent exactly sure what underlying mechanism links thyroid disorders with depression and anxietythere may be severalbut the relationship between thyroid hormones and mood regulation is likely stronger than previously thought.
It Causes Overwhelm When People Try To Help
Your loved ones have good intentions and want to help you feel better. However, their undesired help can cause irritation and feelings of overwhelming frustration instead of making things better.
Even the most well-meaning people in your life can exacerbate your depression symptoms, making you feel tired. When people try to help, it can make you feel like youve lost all control of your life and the situation in general.
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What Is The Treatment For Fatigue
The treatment for fatigue depends upon the cause. Some treatments for conditions that cause fatigue include medications, antibiotics, vitamins, and exercise. Medical treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause. Fortunately, many causes of fatigue may be treated with medications, for example, iron supplements for anemia, medications and machines to help sleep apnea, medications to control blood sugar, medications to regulate thyroid function, antibiotics to treat infection, vitamins, and/or recommendations for dietary changes and a sensible exercise program. Again, treatment of the underlying cause is the key to treatment of the symptom of fatigue.
Resource Of Mental Health Information And Treatment Options
The Treatment Specialist provides in depth information, statistics, and clinical study results about a wide range of mental health and behavioral health disorders. When wondering can depression cause severe fatigue, it implies that you or a loved one may be struggling with this serious mental health condition. The Treatment Specialist offers information about depression and the various treatment options available. For any questions about depression, please reach out to The Treatment Specialist today at 644-7911.
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What Is Fatigue And How Is It Connected To Menopause
Fatigue can have a range of causes, such as being a symptom of depression. Older people experience depression and the symptoms that go along with depression differently than other age groups. Fatigue and depression are two of the several psychological symptoms of menopause that women can experience.
It can be hard to figure out what exactly is causing fatigue and depression in menopausal women. Part of it may be due to hormonal fluctuations, but lifestyle factors and other parts of a woman’s life can also trigger fatigue and depression during menopause.
Fatigue is not the same thing as just being tired or sleepy, although feeling tired or sleepy can be a part of being fatigued. Fatigue is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, disinterest, and being worn-down. Fatigue is often connected to depression or another underlying medical condition.
Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
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Depression Also Affects Your Ability To Sleep
Adults should sleep seven hours a day or more, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For people with depression, that task may be challenging.
“People with depression often have trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep, or both,” says Dimitriu. People with depression may experience less slow wave or deep sleep, according to a September 2014 review in the journal Sleep Science. The end result? Sleep feels “less restful and restorative,” says Ricke.
Plus, people who are depressed can engage in “maladaptive behaviors that contribute to poor sleep,” says Ricke. For instance, depression-related fatigue can lead to someone taking a nap, which will only make falling asleep in the evening harder, she says.
Dimitriu and Ricke note that staying active may be hard for someone with depression, but resisting the temptation to stay on the couch can go a long way in fact, getting some physical activity each day may even help you sleep better at night.
Treating Depression And Fatigue
Taking antidepressants can sometimes make symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome worse. Thats why your doctor should screen you for depression and chronic fatigue syndrome before prescribing any medication.
Several treatments can help people with chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, or both. These include:
People with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome should also try to develop good sleeping habits. Taking the following steps can help you sleep longer and more deeply:
- go to bed at the same time every night
- create an environment that promotes sleep
- avoid taking long naps
- avoid foods and drinks that can prevent you from sleeping well
- avoid exercising at least 4 hours before bedtime
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Why Does Depression Cause Fatigue
Depression and fatigue often go hand-in-hand, as fatigue is a common symptom of depression and can make you feel worse if you do not find a way to tackle the problem. You may believe that your lack of sleep, energy, and motivation is just a part of depression that will pass over time. However, these things may be part of a bigger issue, which is known as fatigue. If left untreated this problem may become more severe and more difficult to treat as it progresses.
The combination of depression and fatigue can decrease your concentration, motivation and ability to do many every day simple tasks, leading to issues with work, education and even personal relationships. It may be that you do not even realize that fatigue is part of the problem at hand.
You may find it hard to keep up at work, leading to higher levels of stress or negative emotions. Studying may also become harder and more intense if you lack the necessary concentration or motivation to attend classes, hand in assignments on time and revise for your exams.
Light exercise and daily tasks may become the most daunting part of your day. These examples of fatigue work alongside depression and can decrease your progress in recovery and treatments if left unacknowledged.
Feeling Tired And A Loss Of Energy
Some people with depression may find it difficult to get up in the morning because they feel exhausted and run down.
They may feel too fatigued to do everyday tasks, such as going to work or cooking meals. They may spend a lot of time at home resting or sleeping.
The fatigue of depression can make a person feel as though they are always tired, despite getting enough sleep at night. However, others with depression do experience poor sleep.
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Aim To Exercise More And Start Small If You Need To
Though depressive attitudes may make it harder to work out, implementing an exercise routine thats realistic and attainable in your everyday life can ease depression fatigue.
Exercise has the added benefit of improving your sleep, too.
Its OK to start small even just walking for 30 minutes a day will likely boost your energy and mood. Exercise is truly an organic and reliable way to help address your depression fatigue.
Difficulty Getting Out Of Bed
Its normal to enjoy sleeping in or spending time in bed. However, if it has become difficult to find the motivation to get out of bed or get ready in the morning, this could be a sign of depression. Depression can make us feel fatigued and physically drained to the point where even small tasks, like getting up in the morning, can feel exhausting or difficult to do.
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