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Causes Of Depression Living With Depression

Updated on March 30, 2012

With the invention of the Internet has come a wave of self-diagnosis. People are sad for a while and decide they are depressed.

Self Diagnosis

Sure people could read a news or magazine article before and still decide, “I’ve got that!” but it’s even worse today and everyone diagnoses himself or herself with a new disorder or disease every few years.

There is a huge difference between being sad or down and being clinically depressed. It’s like OCD, ADHD or a few other disorders that are over used. Everyone has down days from time to time. Being sad is a natural part of living and most of us don’t need medication to get through it.

Why so much sadness?

Death and disappointment are part of life and naturally we mourn for a while after it happens. People expect to always be happy and life isn’t that way. You can’t have the good without the bad; you need sadness to compare with happiness.

Some think it’s due to the war or the bad economy but the fact is we’ve had these problems since day one; it’s part of life.

Today we have a more sedentary lifestyle than in the past. We were born hunter-gatherers with bodies requiring exercise and exertion. Sitting idle for too long causes our bodies to gain weight and our brains to shut down turning to a hibernation state making our bodies sad. We trick our mind into thinking its winter and we suffer from SAD or seasonal affective disorder, which is not the same thing as depression.

Exercise program

Studies have shown that depressed patients who are put on an exercise program drastically improve their mood. Most are able to discontinue medications altogether as long as they stay on their exercise program.

Getting outside in the sunshine also helps.

Some people truly have major depression, a chemical imbalance in the brain and still need prescription drugs but most have situational depression brought on by sedentary lifestyles.

Serotonin drugs cause weight gain and obsessing about food or overeating. Not exercising adds to this problem.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a natural chemical our brains create on it’s own making us feel content. A clinically depressed individual doesn’t produce enough of this chemical causing depression or feelings of sadness and despair. Exercise helps our brain produce more serotonin naturally and that is why patients who start an exercise regimen feel better and most can discontinue taking harmful drugs that have all sorts of nasty side effects, weight gain only being one of them.

Our serotonin function is to make us content or feel good emotionally. When we have too little we feel sad or depressed. That is where uptake inhibitors come in. They work to help trick our brain into thinking we are content and we have plenty of the feel good chemical serotonin.

What kind of exercise works for depression?

You can start slow with walking on a treadmill or tai chi eventually working up to a more vigorous exercise program if you are physically able and most people are. Those with limitations or people with disabilities should consult your physician to see what you are capable of doing. Swimming pool exercises work well for those with handicaps. You want to get your heart rate up.

A leisurely stroll through the park does not count as exercise but you have to start somewhere so if that is all you are able to do then go for it but try to build up speed so you are at least walking at a brisk pace.

Only a psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose depression

Unless a person has been diagnosed by one of these physicians they do not have a proper diagnosis. A primary care physician will sometimes give temporary medication to a patient who has lost a loved one but these medications shouldn’t be taken long term unless you have had a proper analysis and been diagnosed with depression. Even then you should try to get on an exercise routine and get outside to work yourself off of these medications if possible. They have a list of nasty side effects and the longer you are on them the worse it gets.

Abuse of serotonin drugs

Too many people are on these medications that don’t really need them. I think it has contributed to the obesity and low libidos of many Americans. Pharmaceutical companies have encouraged doctors to prescribe these medications over the years and now we have too many depending on these drugs to function.

You can’t watch television without a pharmaceutical commercial advertising medication for depression. Yes, we all get down and sad but most of us are not clinically depressed nor do we need to take drugs.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Spirit, grief and sadness is a normal part of life and we all need to learn to cope without drugs. Those medications are terrible causing weight gain and lost libido. People need to educate themselves on the side effects.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 5 years ago from Isle of Man

      Did you know that they are actually considering medicating grief! This is how ridiculous things have gotten. You have written a great hub on this subject and I will, continue to tweet your stuff and feature articles like this in my daily newspaper. If you bookmark the newspaper and if you wish I will notify you when you are featured. Keep up the good work! BTW Depression is what I specialize in treating here at my Private Hypnotherapy Practice in the Isle of Man.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Charlu. Exercise is good for us all even those who don't suffer depression. I can tell a difference in my well being when I make sure to do my exercises.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Awesome hub and I must say I never thought about exercise, walks and swimming helping depression, but it makes perfect sense. Voted up useful awesome and interesting