6 things about depression that no one told you

6 things about depression that no one told you

Did you know that your brain size and eating habits can make you prone to depression?

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : March 14, 2016 10:59 AM IST

If you or your loved one is suffering from depression, it is a tough situation to handle. The symptoms of depression can wax and wane with time. While seeking help at the right time is essential, depression is not all about anti-depressants. It is a mental condition that takes place due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Other than this fact, nobody tells you everything that you might need to know about this mental disorder and its causes. Did you know, poor posture, smartphone addiction and other habits that can lead to depression?

Here are a few facts about depression that you need to know about:

1. Introverts are more prone to depression

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Depression affects your personality severely; however, some personality traits are more prone to depression than others. Some studies indicate that introverts stand a higher chance of suffering from depression and its symptoms than the rest of the population [1]. This personality trait in conjunction with other traits of an introvert like anger, fear, mood swings can influence their emotional well-being and eventually lead to depression if these negative emotions persist [2]. Loneliness and Facebook addiction could also be symptoms of depression.

2. Your brain size can predict your risk for depression

Well, we are not telling you to take a measuring tape and measure your head circumference to predict your risk, what we are talking over here is about the grey matter in your brain. People who suffer from major depressive disorder or anxiety disorder without depression, tend to have lower grey matter in their brain, especially, in the region responsible for a range of functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, rational cognitive function, decision-making and empathy among others. This results in problems of emotion processing and thus leads to depression symptoms [3]. Did you know eating tomatoes can help fight depression?

3. Your eating habits can also depict depression risk

Do you binge eat? Not only does it indicate that you could be suffering from an eating disorder, but it also suggests that there could be a strong link between your brain and food choices. In fact, mood swings and feeling blue (which could be a sign of underlying depression) can actually trigger binge eating. And you don t need anyone to tell you what damage binge eating can do to your body [4]. Here is why you overeat when stressed.

4. Your sleep cycle is also responsible

It is a known fact that your sleep and mental health are closely related. Many studies have repeatedly revealed that if you're not getting adequate sleep or have disturbed sleep patterns, this could put you at higher risk for depression. Also, people who suffer from major depressive disorders have trouble sleeping throughout the night, which can further aggravate the symptoms [5].

5. Anti-depressants alone won t help

Depression is not all about popping anti-depressants to get over the symptoms. It requires a collective approach with different kinds of therapies that help in fighting against depression on a long-term basis. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or talk therapy and psychotherapy equip a person better to overcome the symptoms. Treating depression effectively is never going to be a one-way approach. Here is how anti-depressants work.

6. It makes you prone to conditions like dementia as you age

Since depression affects your brain in more than one way, it plays a role in the decline of cognitive functions as you age. In fact, studies suggest that early-life depression plays a major role in dementia in later stages of life. This is not to say that suffering from depression during mid-life saves you from the risk of dementia. Researchers have found that depression and dementia remain interrelated [6].


[1]1: Jylh P, Melartin T, Ryts l H, Isomets E. Neuroticism, introversion, and major depressive disorder--traits, states, or scars? Depress Anxiety.2009;26(4):325-34. doi: 10.1002/da.20385. PubMed PMID: 19263467.

[2]1: Janowsky DS. Introversion and extroversion: implications for depression and suicidality. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2001 Dec;3(6):444-50. Review. PubMed PMID:11707157.

[3]1: van Tol MJ, van der Wee NJ, van den Heuvel OA, Nielen MM, Demenescu LR, Aleman A, Renken R, van Buchem MA, Zitman FG, Veltman DJ. Regional rain volume in depression and anxiety disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;67(10):1002-11. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.121. PubMed PMID: 20921116.

[4]Symons, S. C. (2003). Binge Eating, Depression, and Cognitive Therapy.Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 5(1), 45.

[5] Jones, D., Gershon, S., Sitaram, N., & Keshavan, M. (1987). Sleep and depression. Psychopathology, 20(Suppl. 1), 20-31.

[6]1: Byers AL, Yaffe K. Depression and risk of developing dementia. Nat Rev Neurol.2011 May 3;7(6):323-31. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2011.60. Review. PubMed PMID:21537355; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3327554.

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