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Depression is a term used to describe a mood or state of mind and may arise for various reasons. Depression in some form or another it will most likely be experienced by each one of us e.g. not winning the lottery, not achieving good exam results, too fat or too thin. There are a small number of people however, for whom this mood swing can become a permanent state of feeling. This may be short or long term.

There are many factors, which are involved in the development of the depressed state. Acute depression can arise as a result of an event e.g. a bereavement, divorce, redundancy, in this instance it is quite easy to understand the reasons for the depressed state of mind.

In some instances however, where it is expected to see a more happy state of mind e.g. a new birth, some women actually experience quite the opposite. This is usually attributed to the high demands made by the baby, lack of sleep, hormonal changes and often a feeling of isolation especially in those new mothers who have previously had a very busy and active social life.

There are many other factors underlying the causes of types of depression e.g. stress, sleep deprivation, lack of sunlight (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD), side effect of some drugs, hormonal as in the menopause, PMT, and adolescent mood swings, to name but a few. It is a very complex area and treatment is always difficult if the cause is not so obvious.

There is also some evidence that depression is familial in other words there is a genetic or social factor. All our emotions are governed by various chemical reactions that occur in the brain, and these are triggered by other feedback mechanisms within the body usually hormonal. Any breakdown in these working systems can lead to a state of depression.

To keep all the systems of the body functioning at their optimum, it is necessary to have a good balanced diet rich in the vitamins and minerals the brain needs, plenty of regular exercise, sufficient sleep, a balance of healthy stimulus (too much leads to stress), and no toxins as in smoking, excessive alcohol use and drugs.

Additional Medical Conditions:

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