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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes depression?

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    beyondblue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.beyondblue is a bipartisan initiative of ... View Profile

    Most people assume that depression is caused simply by recent personal difficulties. Depression however, is often caused by the mix of recent events and other longer-term or personal risk factors such as genetics.

    Research indicates that ongoing difficulties, such as living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, or long-term unemployment are more likely to cause depression than recent life stressors. Depression can also run in families and some people will be at increased genetic risk. However, having a family history doesn't mean that you will automatically become depressed if a parent or close relative has had the illness. Life circumstances are still likely to have an important influence on your chances of becoming ill.

    It is common for people to experience depression and anxiety at the same time.

    Common medical causes of depression include:
    •    Some forms of cancer
    •    Low thyroid function
    •    Brain injuries and diseases (eg. stroke, heart disease, head injury, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease)
    •    Quitting smoking.
    •    Anaemia
    •    Blood vessel disease in the brain due to diabetes and/or hypertension
    •    Some steroid and hormonal treatments
    •    Infectious diseases
    •    Chronic pain

    High-risk personality being:
    •    A lifelong worrier
    •    A perfectionist
    •    Unassertive
    •    Sensitive to personal criticism
    •    Shy, socially anxious and having low self-esteem.
    •    Self-critical and negative

    Common tests done by a doctor include:
    •    Full blood count and biochemistry
    •    Urine test for sugar and protein
    •    Thyroid function tests
    •    Occasionally, a brain scan.

    It's important to note that you can't always identify the cause of depression nor change troubling circumstances. The most important thing is to recognise the depression and to seek help.

    Remember, the sooner you get treatment, the greater the chance of a faster recovery.

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  • Amrina Panda

    Healthshare Member

    Probably you may not have been aware about the complete health effects of stress including:

    Spotted skin

    Stress has a tendency to change your complexion. Research shows that stress can damages skin conditions such as psoriasis and chances of getting acne”- states Rosemary Nixon, a famous spokesmen from Australasian College of Dermatologists. Other skin conditions such as eczema get even worse with stress.

    Memory issues

    Stress deteriorates the life of brain cells which control memory and logical functioning including judgment, emotional regulation and better reasoning- states Hassed.

    Also stress changes the wiring of your brain so that the areas which stores fear and stress actually develop, which implies you will be then more likely to respond with greater stress levels to very small triggers.

    An increasing waistline

    Women of ideal weight reported that high stress levels are increasing cortisol and deposition of more fat in abdominal area- as revealed in a research conducted by Yale University. The cortisol effects glucose levels in blood and leads to insulin resistance thus accelerating fat cells, specifically around belly area triggering   a ‘muffin top’ or central adiposity speaks Mitchell. This high fat deposition tends to increase the chances for type 2 diabetes.

    Positively, research shows that when stress is eased by practices such as mindfulness- in few weeks or months, your brain comes back to its healthy condition.

    So if you are already undergoing stress, try to overcome it using natural ways. Working out daily or meditation helps you to some extent. Otherwise you can go for stress reducing natural health foods or natural supplements which do not have any side effects and helps you come out of stressful conditions.

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