15 Nov The (many) causes of Depression…and why just one approach to treatment may not be enough
Harvard Medical School just published an article called “What causes depression? Onset of depression more complex than a brain chemical imbalance”. (Read the full article).
YES! We in the worlds of both therapy and preventative wellness are happy to hear this because WE ALREADY KNOW that there are many different causes. The funny thing is that normally, you are on one side of the camp or the other, depending on your view of health. Maybe you are someone who believes that everything boils down to biology and genetics and there is nothing we can do about it. Maybe you are someone who believes we do not take good enough care of our bodies and if we did, our brain would have the proper nourishment to function optimally. Maybe you are a person who believes that if we exercised more regularly, our brain would get the regular boost of serotonin and feel-good hormones that we keep hearing about and that would bust the depression.
Harvard says it could be any number of these things:
Genetics – You are born with the physiological predisposition for depression and are stuck with that
Temperament – You are born with a level of emotional sensitivity that makes you predisposed to internalize bad things that happen
Stressful events – The more or bigger stressful life events a person encounters, the more prone to depression
Physiology of stress – Stress takes a physical toll on the brain and nervous system, slowly depleting feel-good hormones and healthy nervous system function
Early losses and trauma – When bad things happen at an early age it changes the brain’s wiring and makes it more difficult to function optimally in adulthood
Medical problems – Nutritional deficiencies, problems with immunity, gut microbiome, endocrine system disorders etc. get in the way of optimal brain function
Medication side-effects: Some medications for other things actually can cause depression
We in the preventative health world also know that things like lack of sleep, poor nutrition and lack of exercise can exacerbate any of the above causes and also need to be considered.
So what does this mean to us?
Well, what if your low mood / sadness / depression is caused by not one of any of those things but several, all mingling and interacting with each other? We end up with this complex cocktail that cannot be resolved just by one intervention. AND, this cocktail is uniquely yours because no one has the exact same mix of biology, history, current health and personal experience that you do.
If this is the case – that depression is in fact a combination of many factors and that no one person has the same combination, then:
Shouldn’t we be developing treatment plans that address multiple different mind-body-spirit factors at the same time for each, individual person?
It seems to me this is the ONLY way we can truly get to the root-cause of depression, rather than simply managing the symptoms.
Shouldn’t we be working together?
Doctors, personal trainers, nutritionists, therapists, yoga instructors and so on rather than each of us doing our own thing to help the same person? THIS is why people search for years and years to cure their depression when mainly all they ever find is some level of symptom relief.
We at GROW are here to help you take the WHOLE -YOU approach to your health if you are ready for the journey.
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