7 Common Causes Of Anxiety & Depression

anxiety and depression

“Don’t believe everything you hear – even in your own mind.” – Dr. Daniel Amen

Most people that have to deal with anxiety and depression are unable to provide an exact reason to why they were afflicted in the first place. Aside from an individual experiencing a traumatic event (war, death of a loved one), comprehending what exactly happened to cause anxiety and depression is often a futile endeavor.

In most instances, depression and anxiety does not have a single cause. Medical professionals state that depression and anxiety surfaces from “a mix” of factors: genes, past experience, current circumstances, and others.

Understanding the reason why one is suffering from chronic depression and anxiety is not the most important thing. It isimportant that people with the disorders understand that it is not their fault. Depression and anxiety is a mental disease; and similar to physical diseases can affect anyone.

Certain lifestyle choices of experiences, however, can contribute to – or directly cause – depression and anxiety. The condition may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term); it all depends on the “mix” we discussed earlier; knowing this is a source of power, as we can counteract some of the things that instigate the conditions.

HERE ARE 7 COMMON LIFESTYLE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY:

1. SUBSTANCE ABUSE

People abuse substances such as recreational drugs and alcohol for a number of reasons. Substance abuse is a habit that may form at any time, including childhood and teenage years.

Drugs and alcohol “rewire” the brain’s neurochemistry; disrupting normal communication between neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the brain and body’s “communication chemicals” that control every physical and psychological experience.

Individuals susceptible to depression and anxiety who engage in drug use are more likely to develop mental illness.

2. OVERWORKING

Becoming exhausted because of too much of a heavy workload causes stress reactions within the body. Most people today concede that they’re at least moderately impacted by stress caused from work.

When the brain is exposed to chronic stress, it’s delicate chemical balance is interrupted. Again, those individuals prone to anxiety and depression for whatever reason – and are exposed to long-term stress – are prone to anxiety and depression.

3. GRIEF AND TRAUMA

A common talking point in the news is the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in military members. Being a witness or victim of violence of any kind can trigger a biological reaction that evolves into full-blown anxiety and depression.

Feelings of grief following the death of a loved one or friend, though uncomfortable, can serve as a good healer. However, prolonged grief in susceptible demographics can cause mental health issues.

4. HEALTH CONDITIONS

People diagnosed with untreatable health conditions may be at an increased risk of becoming depressed. Age-related illnesses or diagnoses of terminable condition such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, or cancer often induce feelings of panic and helplessness; of course, prolonged exposure to these feelings can manifest into anxiety and depression.

It is also worth mentioning that the changes of an anxiety/depression diagnosis increases with age, per WebMD.

5. SUDDEN AND STRESSFUL CHANGES

During the infamous Wall Street Crash of 1929, which led to the loss of billions of dollars and laid the foundation for the Great Depression, 23,000 people committed suicide – at the time, the highest number of suicides ever in one year.

While the number of people who killed themselves due to anxiety and depression cannot be ascertained; it is fair to assume that the mental illness had played a role.

6. POOR SELF-IMAGE

Finding accurate statistics and facts people with low self-image (self-esteem) is quite difficult. Across sources, a few common outliers:

– Females are more likely than males to have self-esteem issues

– People with self-esteem problems are more likely to engage in behaviors considered a health risk (smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, poor diet)

– There is a correlation between negative self-image and suicide

A continually negative picture of oneself can lead to obsessive thought patterns; about appearance, money, reputation, and so on. In a worst case scenario, the brain’s neurochemistry is altered, producing depressive and anxious symptoms or conditions.

7. ISOLATION OR REJECTION

As human beings are naturally social creatures, we require social interaction to function properly. Human beings also long for intimacy; another person to care for, love, and support them.

Related article: 10 Hidden Anxiety Triggers You Need To Avoid

Isolation, voluntary or involuntary separation from other human beings; and rejection, refusal of others to accept or consider you as part of something, are counterintuitive to the brain’s innate social cognitive functions. As a result, the brain adopts opposing thought processes, and forms neural networks, that disturb it’s natural chemistry.

In short, isolation and/or rejection can lead to a neurochemical imbalance that manifests into anxiety and depression.

Finally…

Should you or someone you know potentially suffer from an anxiety or depression-related illness, there are a variety of effective treatment options available.

Therapists, support groups, medical professionals, and many others are there to help resolve the issue.

Source:www.powerofpositivity.com

Stephen Hawking’s Beautiful Message For Anyone With Depression

stephen hawking

Stephen Hawking has one of the greatest minds of our time. He is well known for his work in theoretical physics, and was born on January 8, 1942, (300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England. As a young child, he wanted to study mathematics, but once he began college, he studied Natural Sciences. Then, during his first year in Cambridge at the age of 21, Hawking began to have symptoms of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Doctors gave him two-and-a-half years to live.

Now, at the age of 74, he continues to teach, research, and provide the world with beautiful messages. He says that his expectations were reduced to zero when he was given the ALS diagnosis. Ever since then, every aspect of his life has been a bonus.

STEPHEN HAWKING’S BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE FOR ANYONE WITH DEPRESSION

One of the most brilliant minds did not allow these life challenges to stop him. He continued studying. Hawking has twelve honorary degrees. He has dedicated his life to finding answers about the universe, the Big Bang, creation and scientific theories. He cannot speak or move, bound to a wheelchair, but he has found ways to inspire the world, encouraging us to find the mysticism in the stars. He says:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Recently during a lecture in January at the Royal Institute in London, Hawking compared black holes to depression, making it clear that neither the black holes or depression are impossible to escape. “The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up; there’s a way out,” he said.

When asked about his disabilities, he says: “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.” He continues with an inspiring message about disabilities:

“If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one’s physical disability will not present a serious handicap. I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal.

My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.”

Stephen Hawking does not only encourage the scientific minds to pay attention, but inspires the rest of us to take notice that there is connection between the stars and each one of us. His disabilities have not stopped his curious mind and sense of wonder.

His daughter, Lucy, shared with the crowd at the lecture, “He has a very enviable wish to keep going and the ability to summon all his reserves, all his energy, all his mental focus and press them all into that goal of keeping going. But not just to keep going for the purposes of survival, but to transcend this by producing extraordinary work writing books, giving lectures, inspiring other people with neurodegenerative and other disabilities.”

Source:www.powerofpositivity.com

Study: People With Depression Use Language Differently – Here’s How to Spot It

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A new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has discovered a class of words that can accurately assess whether someone is suffering from depression. Utilizing a technologically advanced set of linguistics algorithms, computerized models cull through massive data banks of spoken or written text in minutes to determine if someone shows signs of being depressed.

What Do Plath, Beethoven, and Cobain Have in Common?

This technology may sound Orwellian, but it could be useful considering that people use language differently when they are depressed. You can see examples of this in the poetry of Sylvia Plath (Plathcommitted suicide in 1963), the song lyrics of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain (Cobain allegedly took his own life in 1994), or even letters written by the composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, who was prone to ecstatic highs and suicidal lows.

Even the famous poet John Keats, wrote a poem in 1819 with advice for those who suffer from depression, titled ‘Ode on Melancholy.’ The work suggests not blocking depression with drugs but to seek out beauty and admire it instead – so clearly we’ve been struggling with this problem of depression for some time.

Not everyone who suffers from depression is a famous artist or singer, but the language used by these prominent individuals offers a good foundation to understand how a computer model could pick out possibly-depressed persons. These individuals however, might also suggest a class of people who are particularly sensitive to the woes of the world – sensitive artists or empaths, frustrated by a world that they find cruel, demanding, seductive and bewildering.

Irrespective of the true causes of depression, and some rather simple methods of curing it, the computer models use a few tools to reveal a consistent difference between the language of those who are depressed and those who are not.

Utilizing journal entries, personal essays, song lyrics, poetry, diaries, and snippets of spoken language, the computer model calculates the percentage and prevalence of words and classes of words, lexical diversity, average sentence length, grammatical patterns and many other metrics.

The findings from this accumulated research reveal clear differences. Some of the findings are less than monumental – as they examine the content of what someone talks about. For example, a depressed person is likely to talk about being “sad” or “lonely.” They tend to use negative adjectives and adverbs. This is something we might pick up on intuitively, just having a conversation with a friend who is feeling down.

Low Empathy Equals High Depressive Traits

However, an interesting use of pronouns is apparent in depressed people as well. Those with depression symptoms use more first person singular pronouns, such as “me,” “myself”, and“I,” and far fewer second and third person pronouns like “them,” “they,” “she,” or “he.”

This suggests that people are more focused on themselves and their pain, and less connected with others – which ironically is one of the causes of depression. It isn’t someone’s fault that they become “self-absorbed,” but it does seem to prevent them from experiencing true joy and self-acceptance.

Interestingly, when self-absorption is explored in many famous literary works, it is generally contrasted with self-reflection, self-awareness, and introspection—personality traits which suggest maturity, sensitivity, and achieving valuable personal insight, but also an knack for empathizing with others and to understand that we’re “all in this together.”

Moreover, there have been numerous studies linking low empathy with high depressive traits. As Ugo Uche explains,

In the process of a person becoming more depressed, as he gets good at being able to deny his negative feelings, he consequently becomes good at denying the positive opposites of his negative feelings, hence a significant difficulty in being cognizant of any feelings, except the feelings of being dead inside oneself.”

The Solution to Depression May Have Been Accidentally Unearthed by a Computer Program

The solution to the problem may have been inadvertently revealed by the computer program, and subsequent study by researchers, Mohammed Al-Mosaiwi, and Tom Johnstone. The researchers even state that the results found by the linguistic modeling pinpoint absolutist thinking, more than depression itself, but that this type of thinking can certainly lead to depression.

The solution, therefore, it to expand one’s empathic connection to others, lest they become isolated in their own absolutist world of pain.

This fascinating emotion, likely evolved to help us survive, is a primal ability to feel how others feel. When a friend experiences the loss of a loved one, you feel the sadness as well. It is as if everyone’s brains are connected (and they are), strengthening our ability to express compassion. By cutting ourselves off from the pain of others, we may also be cutting ourselves off from the positive emotions that others feel as well – and thereby strengthening our own neural pathways to pain.

 Source: themindunleashed.com