What causes depression? How is the male mid-life crisis a link in some cases?
by N J Howell
Herbal Remedies for Depression
Sometimes, what causes depression is self-evident and a person knows exactly what triggered the downward mental spiral. However, if the depression is chronic and longterm, it may be much harder to track down the originating triggers because they may stem from as far back as the formative years of childhood, those vital years between the ages of four and seven.
Although there are physiological imbalances that can be measured and which will help a doctor assess physical causes of depression, I believe most depressed states begin with emotional or mental distress. If a person suffers recurrent bouts of serious depression over time, I usually am able to track the events of their childhood to some point of emotional trauma that is unresolved. Specifically, in cases of longterm, chronic clinical depression, there may well be emotional issues that have been triggered between the years of four and seven, the so-called formative years. More on healing the inner child
Healthy Weight Loss
If someone is clinically depressed for the first time in their life, then I'd look to the events of the past 2 years in particular. If there is some major change that has occurred in that time, I would definitely seek counsel on that issue to make sure there is nothing unresolved or unhealed in that situation.
Some common causes of depression, particularly in a person not prone to being depressed may include loss of a loved one or intimate relationship, traumatic injury, loss of employment or other stress-inducing change. Underlying causes of depression may include not eating right (rapid weight loss diets may cause depression in dieters for this reason), some other undiagnosed medical condition that is zapping energy, or the overuse of alcohol or prescription sleep aids.
What is the link between age and depression?
Age may sometimes be a significant factor with both men and women. For women, a special kind of hormone-influenced depression may occur. In fact, one of the common symptoms of menopause is depression, due to hormonal changes within the body. Menopause symptoms, though physical in nature, can be greatly reduced when a woman can emotionally and mentally embrace the changes in her life, rather than resisting them. I know this from personal experience.
I'm in perimenopause and have resisted it mightily. Now that I have relaxed into the changes my body is going thru, the symptoms are also evening out. I've also addressed the physical, of course. I've additionally taken steps to balance my body with natural progesterone but the biggest factor in my own well-being have been mental and emotional. If you are menopausal and also in depression, you may want to have your doctor rule out hormonal imbalances as a factor.
Add to this the other common occurrence from that time in a woman's life which may include an almost total loss of sex drive or interest in sex, surprising and simultaneous rapid weight gain and muscle-tone loss, and no wonder women get depressed.
Male Mid-life Crisis: It is now known that, like menopausal women, men go through a chemical and hormonal malstrom of their own, somewhere in their middle-age years. This has been called the male mid-life crisis and is often contributed to strictly emotional factors such as the realization some men have that they are not as sexually and physically active as they had always been.
I think there's more to it than just wanting to be young again and that the male mid-life crisis will one day be treated medically, just as menopausal depression is treated as a medical condition. Of course, this may already be the case with some doctors. Talk to your doctor if you feel that the physical changes in your body during the mid-life may be impacting your moods and contributing to depression.
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Mental Health Disclaimer: Depression is a complex condition and the information here is only a partial look at a challenging, nuanced mental health condition. Please seek additional counseling, evaluation and treatment if you feel you suffer from depression.
The information shared here at the wellness library is for educational purposes only and never intended to replace professional evaluation, testing and treatment that may also be indicated.