When we’ve been diagnosed with a health condition, or are concerned about our health, it’s natural that we head to Google for some answers. Depression is no different; whether we’re experiencing it ourselves or supporting a loved one who has depression, we hit up the search engine. We’ve answered 10 popular Google searches which begin with ‘why does depression…?’.
Why Does Depression Occur?
There is no one reason why we might be unwell with depression. There are often several factors; we might find ourselves unwell due to traumatic events, go through periods of sustained stress and anxiety, our lifestyle factors, lifestyle choices, medical problems, medication, culture, genetics, our family history, all play a part. It’s a complicated illness, one which affects different people in different ways.
Why Does Depression Come Back?
Just as the causes of depression are different for us all, there’s no definitive answer as to why we experience a relapse.
We all have mental health, we’re on the sliding scale between being mentally well and being mentally unwell, throughout our entire lives. There are times when we feel more healthy than others.
Added to that, recovery isn’t ever linear. It’s a process, rife with trial and errors; the right help and support, medication, lifestyle changes, nutrition, sleep, work, study, stress, boundaries, self-care, therapy, etc. As much as some of those elements are within our control, there are things which happen throughout life, which aren’t and can cause a relapse.
Changing our habits is also really hard work and as we grow and evolve, what works for us might grow and evolve too. Depression is complex, and as humans, we’re complex too. Ensuring our needs are met; the emotional, mental, physical and social needs we all have, can be a difficult juggling act.
Why Does Depression Exist?
Depression is an illness with mental and physiological symptoms. Whilst advances in science allow us to understand the effects of the illness and ways we might treat it, there’s no solid answer to why it exists in the first place.
Why Does Depression Cause Weight Loss?
Depression can affect our appetite. Weight loss and weight gain are both symptoms of depression, both of which can be caused too by medication. We might lose our appetite but depression can also affect our energy and motivation levels, which means thinking about food, choosing food, buying food, and preparing it, feel like insurmountable tasks which can lead to weight loss if we’re too exhausted to do those things. Added to that, depression can make us feel everything at once or nothing at all, and we sometimes feel numb to the hunger signals announcing that it’s time to eat.
Why Does Depression Make You Tired?
Depression exhausts our cognitive functions which can lead us to feel bone-knackering-tired. Sometimes the circumstances leading up to being unwell might have been exhausting in themselves; sustained stress, burnout, bereavement and trauma. We might struggle to sleep, or feel as though it’s all we want to do. It takes a lot of energy to deal with negative thoughts or anxiety. If we’re not eating properly, we can feel more tired. It’s usually a vicious cycle too – the more tired we become, the harder we find it to do the things that might help us to feel less tired.
Why Does Depression Cause Fatigue?
Even if we manage a good night’s sleep, depression can still cause us to feel fatigued. Fatigue is different from tiredness; it can include muscle weakness, feeling drained, apathy, slowed thinking, and having absolutely no energy to do anything. Fatigue can be a symptom of depression, it might also be a side effect of the medication we’re taking. Or it could be caused by another illness.
When we’re feeling rubbish, we often find that our energy levels drop. This might mean that we stop doing things that we used to enjoy. The more tired we become, the more activities we’re likely to drop and yup, you guessed it, we’re most likely to drop the self-care ball and the things we enjoy. Mundane activities can drain us, whereas doing things we enjoy can give us a boost. So, when we stop doing the enjoyable things and find we’re only doing the mundane, we become even more tired. Being an adult comes with responsibilities and life admin which we can’t always put on hold, but we can work on creating a balance which might help us to tackle fatigue.
Why Does Depression Come And Go?
Depression is anything but simple. The causes of depression can be very varied and differ from person to person. Because of this, the reasons for it coming and going are usually different for everyone. It can be reactive to things going on in our lives. Although we might not always be able to pinpoint exactly what’s triggered it, there’s usually something that causes it to come back. Some people might find that they experience depression once and it never comes back. Others might find that it comes and goes.
Why Does Depression Cause Insomnia?
Depression can cause all sorts of issues with sleep. This includes difficulties getting to sleep, waking up during the night, waking up tired, and sleeping during the day.
There are similarities in brain chemistry between people experiencing depression, and people experiencing insomnia. One of the things depression can do is to cause the sequences of our sleep stages to off-kilter. This can mean that we wake up more regularly during the night. So even if we can get to sleep in the first place, we won’t necessarily stay asleep. This shows that on a biological level, the two can be linked.
Why Does Depression Make You Cry?
One of the symptoms of depression is that we feel tearful a lot of the time – sometimes with no clear reason. Our sustained low mood can leave us feeling helpless, hopeless and with a bleak perspective on the world. We might find that we’re giving ourselves a hard time, feel incredibly lonely and isolated, and as though we’re completely stuck. Our emotions may sway from an acute sensitivity to a numbness where we don’t feel anything.
Depression can bring lots of negative emotions. There are times when we might feel upset, anxious, overwhelmed, or frustrated. Crying is a natural reaction to these feelings. Because we feel negative emotions more regularly, we might find that we cry more often.
Why Does Depression Make You Lazy?
Depression doesn’t make us lazy. What it does do, is limit our energy, motivation and give us a foggy head. It’s like wading through treacle which means the tasks we take for granted when well, feel Herculian. This understandably impacts our productivity and focus.
To other people, we might seem lazy, but we’re unwell and limited by our illness – just as other illnesses limit us.
It’s really common to wonder where new symptoms come from and why they’ve appeared. Due to the complexity of depression, it’s also understandable that we have more questions than answers. If we’re worried about the things we’re experiencing, it’s always worth booking an appointment with our GP or another health professional to talk it over.
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