Depression can set in without you even realizing it, and especially as the days are getting shorter and colder, the changing seasons blues may magnify some depression triggers that are already looming. Check out these surprising, yet common, depression activators:
- Facebook Overload: Too much time spent interacting through social media instead of face-to-face, especially for preteens and teens, can result in an unrealistic view of the world. Internet addicts also tend to feel less of a sense of companionship, which then causes loneliness. All of these things can activate depression. One study found a strong link between people who spent an extraordinary amount of time online and depression, but the study wasn’t clear if the internet usage caused the depression or the other way around.
- End of a TV Show or Movie: There’s a phenomenon that when something that stirs up a lot of emotions and occupies your thoughts ends, you can easily feel depressed. This applies to things like redecorating your kitchen and planning a wedding, but it also applies to TV shows and movies as well. And studies prove it. Fans of the movie Avatar, as well as of the Harry Potter series, reported feelings of depression and even suicidal thoughts once the films were over. “People experience distress when they’re watching primarily for companionship,” said Emily Moyer-Gusé, PhD, assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University, in Columbus.
- Where You Live: You might not put too much thought into your local climate or culture. Depression can almost blend into the scenery in some places. In 2011, a study in the journal Nature found that city dwellers experience considerably more stress than rural residents. Stress can, and often does, lead to depression, which helps to explain the recently found statistic that people who live in an urban area are 39 percent more likely to experience depression than people who live in the country. Other factors include the higher the altitude at which you live, the higher the suicide rate. Also, the more affluent a country, the more cases of depression (aka money doesn’t equal happiness). Lastly, people who live in some states, like Mississippi or Indiana, are more likely to experience depression than residents of other states like California or Maine.
- Too Many Choices: Whether you’re standing in line at Starbucks or buying a new car, the options are endless. This may seem like a great thing, but for some people, less is more. People who tend toward perfectionism may not be able to make an easy decision and therefore spend a lot of time agonizing over the best choice. This coping mechanism increases stress and may lead to depression.
If you’re feeling sad or hopeless, are sleeping too much or too little, have a decrease in appetite or an increase in cravings, trouble concentrating or feeling motivated or if you’re having thoughts of suicide, please consult with your doctor immediately.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.