Why Do I Have No Interest In Sex
No one is in the mood for sex all the time, but a persistently low sex drive is a common sign of depression in both men and women. Just as the disorder affects appetite for life in general and for food more specifically, it dampens the appetite for sex. Low libido is also influenced by the general lethargy and inability to feel pleasure that are hallmarks of depression what’s more, it can both reflect and intensify relationship difficulties depressed people experience.
Can Stress Bring On Depression
Studies show that one factor consistently associated with depression is the number and degree of major stresses experienced in life. Poverty, for example, is a significant, enduring stressor, not easily modifiable, highly linked to depression risk. But to a degree still under study, attitude plays a major role in the perception of stress.
Some stress is necessary to keep people alert. It isnt just that situations differ in the degree to which they stress human systems much depends on how people regard some situationssay, taking final exams. People who see stress as a challenge rather than as a plague recruit positive rather than negative emotions. Whats more, they do not experience the harmful effects of stress hormones on body and brain.
Are Women More Susceptible To Depression Than Men
Around the world, women are 1.7 times more likely to develop depression than are men, and the difference in susceptibility emerges in adolescence. Among younger women, the gender gap in depression is even greater, although before puberty, males and females have equal rates of depression. Studies pinpoint social and cultural reasons as well as biological ones.
Women more often experience internalizing symptoms, reflected in physical pain and other somatic complaints, social withdrawal, and self-blame, while men present with externalizing behaviors, reflected in irritability, anger, aggression, and substance use. In addition, childbirth is associated with a particular form of depression susceptibility is thought to be related in part to the rapid hormonal shifts that occur postpartum in combination with the vastly increased demands of new motherhood.
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Seeing A Doctor About Depression
Big changes in your life, like bereavement, losing a job, or even having a baby, can cause symptoms of depression. You’re also more likely to experience depression if you have a family history of depression. However, it’s also possible to become depressed without there being an obvious reason.
You can learn more about depression causes here.
Antenatal And Postnatal Depression
Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth . This time frame may also be referred to as the perinatal period.
The causes of depression at this time can be complex and are often the result of a combination of factors. In the days immediately following birth, many women experience the baby blues, which is a common condition related to hormonal changes, affecting up to 80 per cent of women who have given birth.
The baby blues, or the general stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a new baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression.
Depression is longer lasting and can affect not only the mother, but her relationship with her baby, the childs development, the mothers relationship with her partner and with other members of the family.
Up to one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent in the first three months after having a baby.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Depression
Studies consistently show that depression is most associated with the number of stressors experienced in life, and the effect is cumulativethe more stresses that accrue over time, the greater the likelihood of getting depressed. The loss of an important relationship by death or divorce is experienced by most people as a major stress requiring significant adjustment.
Loneliness is both a physical and emotional stressor, and rates of loneliness, known to be high among the elderly, are sharply rising among the young, who increasingly report having no close friends. Job loss or the threat of job loss are almost invariably sources of constant worry. In the absence of a wide array of coping skills, even minor bumps on lifes journey can become significant stressors.
Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
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What Are The Causes Of Depression Here Are 14 Surprising Triggers You Should Know About
Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the US. Its estimated that one in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Depression might negatively affect the way you feel, think, and act. It can cause feelings of sadness, a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, or an inability to function at work and home.
Experts think multiple factors cause depression, including genes, changes in brain chemistry, personality, and environment. Many times, its a combination of two or more of these factors that bring on depression or make it worse. Going through trauma, grief, financial troubles, job loss, and major life transitions can also trigger depression. While those triggers might be more well-known, there are others that are less obvious. Here are some depression triggers to keep in mind.
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year, typically lasting four to five months per year, the National Institute of Mental Health reports.
About 5% of people in the US have SAD, according to the American Psychiatric Association. While the disorder is most commonly associated with the winter season, some people do experience it during the warmer months.
Are There Different Types Of Depression
If you are given a diagnosis of depression, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe depression. This describes what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently, and what sort of treatment you’re likely to be offered. You might move between mild, moderate and severe depression during one episode of depression or across different episodes.
There are also some specific types of depression:
- Seasonal affective disorder depression that occurs at a particular time of year, or during a particular season. See our page on SAD for more information.
- Dysthymia continuous mild depression that lasts for two years or more. Also called persistent depressive disorder or chronic depression.
- Prenatal depression depression that occurs during pregnancy. This is sometimes also called antenatal depression.
- Postnatal depression depression that occurs in the first year after giving birth.
See our page on postnatal depression and perinatal mental health for more information. The PANDAS Foundation also has information and support for anyone experiencing prenatal or postnatal depression.
Is premenstrual dysphoric disorder a type of depression?
PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome . Many women experience PMS, but for some women their symptoms are severe enough to seriously impact their daily life. This is when you might receive a diagnosis of PMDD.
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Diet And Physical Activity
Recent studies have indicated that adults with mild depression may be able to prevent an episode of major depression through a combination of lifestyle changes. Gut microbes and diet may also play a role in the development of depression. Some research has also shown that certain diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, might help older adults avoid depression.
On the other hand, diets that are high in sugar and trans fat, especially heavily processed food, can promote or worsen depression, especially when paired with a sedentary lifestyle. A possible reason for the link is that diets high in these foods can lead to weight gain. Although, weight gain alone does not necessarily lead to depression.
While weight gain may be associated with the the onset of depression, it should also be mentioned that eating foods high in sugar or trans fats can disturb the balance of the gut microbiome. This can lead to a leaky gut. The immune system gets alerted and releases cytokines that can cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to alterations in neurochemicals. For example, some cytokines can shift production away from serotonin and into glutamate, which, when present in excessive amounts, causes cell damage or cell death. When this occurs, it can trigger anxiety or depression.
In fact, a 2018 study found that people were more likely to become depressed if they were overweighteven if the extra weight wasnt causing other health problems such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes.
Do Adverse Experiences Always Result In Depression
Research documents that there is a strong relationship between adverse experience in childhoodsuch as verbal or physical abuse or household dysfunction caused by a mentally ill parentand the lifetime risk of depression. Studies show that verbal abuse more than doubles the lifetime risk of depression. Adverse experiences are a significant source of stress.
But whether they summon resources for successful coping or lead to despair depends in part on the situation and in part on the person. A child facing verbally or physically abusive treatment at home or school who has no means of escaping continuing injury is at elevated risk for developing depression. Situations may not be subject to changebut attitudes, interpretation, and meaning of experience are always under individual control and can confer resistance to depression and other disorders..
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Does Depression Look The Same In Everyone
Depression can affect people differently, depending on their age.
Children with depression may be anxious, cranky, pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that a parent may die.
Older children and teens with depression may get into trouble at school, sulk, be easily frustrated feel restless, or have low self-esteem. They also may have other disorders, such as anxiety and eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or substance use disorder. Older children and teens are more likely to experience excessive sleepiness and increased appetite . In adolescence, females begin to experience depression more often than males, likely due to the biological, life cycle, and hormonal factors unique to women.
Younger adults with depression are more likely to be irritable, complain of weight gain and hypersomnia, and have a negative view of life and the future. They often have other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and substance use disorders.
Middle-aged adults with depression may have more depressive episodes, decreased libido, middle-of-the-night insomnia, or early morning awakening. They also may more frequently report having gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation.
Alleviate Anger Before It Worsens
Do you find that your anger gets out of control because you keep it bottled inside? If so, you may benefit from learning healthy ways to express your anger before it gets out of control. This might includes ideas such as learning to be more assertive or learning to express your emotions. Both of these activities will help to reduce the chance that your anger builds to the point that you must explode.
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They Can Develop Abnormal Eating Habits
Abnormal eating habits mainly develop for two reasons: as a form of coping, or as a side effect of lack of self-care. Eating too little or too much is a common sign of depression. Overeating is often shamed the most, when food can be the one source of pleasure a depressed person is able to give themselves and thus causes them to eat excessively.
When a depressed person is eating too little, its often because their depression is affecting their appetite and making eating unappealing. It can also be a subconscious need to control something, since they cannot control their depression. If someone is undiagnosed or has not shared that they have depression, people will assume their eating habits are a personal fault and judge them for it, making the person feel worse.
The Brain’s Impact On Depression
Popular lore has it that emotions reside in the heart. Science, though, tracks the seat of your emotions to the brain. Certain areas of the brain help regulate mood. Researchers believe that more important than levels of specific brain chemicals nerve cell connections, nerve cell growth, and the functioning of nerve circuits have a major impact on depression. Still, their understanding of the neurological underpinnings of mood is incomplete.
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Are People More Prone To Depression Later In Life
Depression is not a normal part of aging the disorder is less common among older adults than among younger adults, but is nevertheless a serious problem, as late-life depression is more often associated with suicide, self-neglect, and cognitive decline. When depression does occur among those over age 60, it is more likely than not to be a first episode. People with late-onset depression are less likely than others to have a family history of depression theres evidence that curtailment of daily activities is a significant precipitating factor.
Risk Factors For Suicide
Not all people with risk factors will be suicidal. In addition to depression or other mental illness, risk factors for suicide include:
- Current or past history of substance abuse
- Past history of suicide attempt
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
- Firearms in the home
- Feelings of hopelessness
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Some Common Causes Of Depression
Some factors that contribute to depression include:
- Brain chemistry: The “chemistry” of depression is not well understood, but researchers do know that an imbalance of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters can happen in anyone, even in the absence of an obvious “trigger.
- Non-modifiable risk factors: Some influences, such as brain structure, genetic predisposition, and environmental exposures, are not something a person can control.
- Modifiable risk factors: Risk factors that fall under the category of lifestyle choices are considered modifiable, but the extent to which an individual can do so will depend on their own ability and how much support they have.
Depression can make it much more challenging to address factors that might be contributing to depression, such as substance use or diet. As much as it is a mental illness, depression can also be physical. Symptoms like chronic pain and fatigue can make it difficult for people to take on lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, even if they want to and believe they could help.
To make these changes people need to have the right tools and a good deal of support. To get treatment, a person with depression needs to feel safe talking about how they are feeling.
A person who believes they are depressed for no reason may not feel they deserve to ask for or get help. Thats why its important to focus less on the reason for depression and instead think about the causes.
Electroconvulsive Therapy Electric Shock Treatment
If you have severe depression and other treatments, like medication, haven’t worked, ECT might be recommended for you.
When receiving ECT, you will be given an anaesthetic and medication that relaxes your muscles to begin with. Electrodes will be placed on your head that give an electrical “shock” to your brain.
ECT is given over a series of sessions, normally twice a week for three to six weeks.
ECT can cause side effects including nausea, headaches, aches in the muscles and memory problems.
Most people find that ECT is good for relieving severe depression, but the beneficial effects tend to wear off when several months have passed.
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What Is The Link Between Smoking And Mental Health Conditions
Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, than in the general population.6 About 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.6 Why smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions is uncertain. More research is needed to determine this. No matter the cause smoking is not a treatment for depression or anxiety. Getting help for your depression and anxiety and quitting smoking is the best way to feel better.
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Depression Affects Each Woman Differently
Not every woman who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some women experience only a few symptoms. Others have many. The severity and frequency of symptoms, and how long they last, will vary depending on the individual and the severity of the illness.
Where Can I Learn More About Depression in Women?
The following agencies have additional information on depression in women.
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How Is Depression Syndrome Diagnosed
Everyone may feel sad or down from time to time. However, clinical depression has more intense symptoms that last two weeks or longer.
To determine whether you have clinical depression, your healthcare provider will ask questions. You may complete a questionnaire and provide a family history. Your healthcare provider may also perform an exam or order lab tests to see if you have another medical condition.