Depression News: Top 8 Surprising Causes of Depression

Depression statistics are alarming: major depressive disorder affects 14.8 million American adults and is the leading cause of disability for people ages 15 to 44. The most common reasons for depression range from a family history of mental illness, a recent trauma or stress. However there are other reasons that you may be experiencing depression.

1. Facebook Depression Facebook depression could be a clinical term someday according to a new American Academy of Pediatric clinical report. As the report explains, “Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.” The quest to be cool extends far beyond who sits where at the cafeteria table.

2. Time Spent Online. A recent out of the UK published in the journal of Psycopathology, it was revealed that excessive internet usage may be linked to depression. This new form of “internet addiction” may be adversely affecting young people (ages 16 and up) for the escapism that the internet allows.

3. Sleep Deprivation can be a major factor in causing depression, even one sleepless night can affect you mentally, putting you in a sour mood.  The difference between six hours of sleep and seven hours can really add up in the long run in terms of your mood.

4. Procrastination The research on procrastination suggests that you are more likely to put things off if you have low confidence in your ability to succeed at what you’re supposed to do. In counseling many procrastinators, it’s clear that low self-esteem is usually a cause of procrastination. When you are depressed, your self-esteem is at a low point, so you may doubt your ability to be successful, and you are more likely to put things off.

5. Sibling Rivalry Yes, blame your siblings. Sibling rivalry could take on a whole new meaning.  A study led by Dr. Robert Waldinger, director of the Study of Adult Development at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, found that poor sibling relationships in childhood may be a predictor of major depression in adulthood.

6. Mid-Life Crisis. According to research conducted by David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald, if happiness had a shape it would be similar to the letter U. That’s right, we are born happy little babies, dipping into depressed midlife crisis adults, and curve back up to our happy place after we’ve had our AARP card for a while.

7. City Living Depression and mental illness may be caused by city living.  A new report says that weak social ties may be to blame for the higher rates of mental illness for people living in urban areas. It’s not the hustle and bustle of living in the “concrete jungle” surrounded by people that’s makes city dwellers mentally unstable either. In fact, it’s the opposite. Cities packed with people can actually make people feel disconnected, anonymous and socially isolated. The irony of being surrounded by millions of people, yet feeling like a hermit.

8. Low Levels of Vitamin B6 and B12 Linked to Depression If you’re feeling blue, you may want to examine your diet. A new study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher intakes of vitamins B6 and B12 are associated with a lower likelihood of depression in older adults.

Disheartening, yes, but not in light of the fact that depression is not a terminal illness. It is treatable. Unfortunately, many people allow it to go on for far too long, or even worse, ignore it altogether. The big tragedy is that only two out of three sufferers will seek medical advice.


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  • Number 7 is ironic, to me, considering how much more alive I feel in city environments versus suburban environments. The suburbs are death if you ask me, and living there often tops my list of reasons when I’m depressed. I can’t wait to live in a big city!

  • I think they were comparing big city living to small town living. Not necessarily suburban living. The close knit community of a small town can, for some, be a lot more comforting.

    But I also tend to disagree with a lot of these points. Correlation doesn’t always equal causation. I’m in a very low point of my depression at the moment and I have to distract myself with anything I can find to keep my sanity. Right when my mind is not distracted by something it starts to cycle through all the things that make me more depressed. So all of the online or procrastination reasons aren’t really causes, they’re symptoms of an inability to function.

  • @jebediah: That’s a great observation. One I appreciated reading, as I can relate. I share the same thought process overall. Having lived in both small towns and suburbs, I personally see every day life in both of them so similar that they’re sort of interchangeable in my mind, in terms of how they affect me. There is certainly a distinction between the two, and I realize some people find these environments comforting, but I find living in those environments very unfulfilling. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s mind-numbingly lifeless and insipid, really. About as inspiring as a flavorless snowcone.

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