According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people in the world are suffering from depression. Chemical imbalances are considered as a key cause of depression. The disorder has been linked to problems with neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which play an important role in regulating our mood and drive to do or seek things. But is depression always a chemical imbalance? While chemical imbalance is one of the causes of depression, there are several other causes of this condition.
In many cases, your temperament affects your behavior and thus, your mood. Studies show that stressful life events like a traumatic experience or losing a loved one can trigger depression. In some people, less severe events like doing badly in exams or a bad appraisal at work can also cause mood imbalances.
If you take the time to understand simple things affecting your behaviour, you can reduce the chances of depression. Observing things like your tendency to participate in social events or your reactions to different situations can help you in accepting yourself better.
If you are genetically vulnerable, even the simplest of things like missing a deadline can disturb the production of protein by your genes. This leads to mood imbalances and ends up in depression.
Studies show that several people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which typically sets in during the months of fall or winter. This happens due to the lack of natural Vitamin D our body receives during these months. In such cases, regular exercise may help one fight depression as it will pump up the body’s metabolism and help you feel good. Vitamin D supplements can also help.
Certain medical conditions can also lead to mood disorders. These conditions include degenerative neurological conditions, endocrine disorders, diseases of the immune system, cancer and other infections, such as HIV, Hepatitis, etc.
There have been extensive studies to show that intake of Omega 3, Omega 6 supplements, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K need healthy fats to get absorbed in the body. Not consuming good fats can leave us feeling low and depressed. There’s also a link between sugar and depression. Similarly, a lack of exercise in our daily lives can lead to reduced metabolism in our body and in the long run, lead to adverse mood imbalances.