For some people, sub-zero temperatures aren’t the only difficult side effect of winter. Approximately 10 million Americans also experience seasonal affective disorder, a depression-related mental health condition that waxes and wanes depending on the time of year.
In most instances, the disorder begins around the last leg of fall and lasts through the spring. It’s typically prevalent among people in northern states that are cloudier, colder and darker for extended periods of time.
Unfortunately, the changing season isn’t the only surprising cause of depression. There are some triggers — including lifestyle habits — that can prompt the condition.
“Depression comes in many forms. It can be mild and people can be functional, or it can be severe and debilitating,” Josie Znidarsic, a family physician at the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness institute, told The Huffington Post. “It can happen to anyone. … A major life trauma doesn’t have to occur to have depression. It’s also not something that will just disappear if you ignore it.”
Of course, there are instances where the mental health condition isn’t caused by any external circumstances. Some people’s brain chemistry, hormones and genetic inheritance from family members can also be a large factor. That said, there are times when an outside trigger can contribute to the development of the mental illness. Below are a few surprising contributors to depression.
1. Chronic illness
Dealing with chronic disease isn’t just tough physically, but emotionally as well. People who suffer from a chronic condition like heart disease, diabetes and cancer are more likely to experience depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to note that scientists have yet to determine which one may cause the other, but experts stress that there are specific ways to manage the mental health disorder while working through chronic illness.
Here’s a good reason to kick that habit to the curb: A 2015 British study found that smokers were more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression overall than non-smokers. Additionally, the study found that smoking may be a source of anxiety because of the feelings of withdrawal smokers experience after not having a cigarette, the researchers said.
“That ‘high’ you get from cigarettes isn’t useful because it’s destructive to your body,” Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Michael Roizen previously told HuffPost. “You want to figure out what will give you a ‘high’ that isn’t damaging or contributes to disease. Do that by finding a passion you love, whether it’s exercise, talking with a friend or cooking. That’s going to help, particularly when it comes to depression.”
Source: 9 Sneaky Causes Of Depression