Opinion | The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They're Not What You Think - Deepstash
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How depression is measured

Depression is often measured by scientists using something called the Hamilton Scale. It runs from 0 (where you are dancing in ecstasy) to 59 (where you are suicidal). 

  • Improving your sleep patterns gives you a movement on the Hamilton Scale of around 6 points. 
  • Chemical antidepressants give you an improvement, on average, of 1.8 points, according to research by professor Irving Kirsch of Harvard University. 

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Causes of depression

Many leading scientists believe the whole idea that depression is caused by a “chemically imbalanced” brain is wrong. 

There are in fact nine major causes of depression and anxiety that are unfolding all around us. Two are biological, and seven are out in here in the world, rather than sealed away inside our skulls.

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Childhood trauma can cause depression

When you’re a child, you have very little power to change your environment. So, you have two choices.

  1. You can admit to yourself that you are powerless and there’s simply nothing you can do about it.
  2. You can tell yourself it’s your fault and at some strange level under your control. If you were responsible for being hurt, then at some level, you have to think you deserved it.

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Release your shame

Researchers tried discussing shame with ordinary patients that came for care. They were told something like, “I see you went through this bad experience as a child. I am sorry this happened to you. Would you like to talk about it?”

Just being able to discuss the trauma led to a huge fall in future illnesses. The act of releasing your shame is – in itself – healing.

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Biological factors are not primary drivers

Depression and anxiety are mostly being caused by events in our lives. You are far more likely to become depressed:

  • If you find your work meaningless and you feel you have no control over i.
  • If you are lonely and feel that you can’t rely on the people around you to support you.
  • If you think life is all about buying things and climbing up the ladder.
  • If you think your future will be insecure.

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