Depression Triggers as we age: what are the factors?

Each year more than 45 million people in the world suffer from depression and anxiety disorder. Fear, anxiety, and stress are a normal part of life, even adaptive in many conditions.

There are some factors/ triggers which can affect people in some way.

1) Midlife can make miserable – according to research, midlife depression affects the globe. In the world, it peaks at around age 40 for women and 50 plus for men and usually starts to lift in the 50.

2) Depression trigger: overload of work – women suffer from the demands of children, ageing parents, marriage and jobs. They are feeling sad, worthless and guilty.

3) Changes in sex drive– as men age increase, their bodies produce less of the important sex hormone testosterone. Low testosterone levels can cause depression as well as erectile dysfunction, trouble getting an erection – and a decreased interest in sex. They lead to depression in people both men and women.

4) Thyroid disorders – in the case of overactive thyroid, it could be accompanied by heart problems, tremors or fatigue. An underactive thyroid can cause constipation or fatigue.

5) Achy joints – living with chronic pain such as arthritis or gout, and osteoarthritis increase the chance of having depression.

6) Perimenopause or menopause – Hormone fluctuations hit flushes and life changes related to perimenopause and menopause can make the mood swing. Mood swings or depression may worsen during this transitional period.

7) Low vitamin B12 – low vitamin B12 level may be caused by depression or lethargy.

8) Type 2 diabetes – Depression is a common and dangerous complication of many chronic conditions, including diabetes.

9) Drinking habits – about 1 in 5 older people, and young people who drink heavily have major depression. Some people start drinking more because of stressful events such as retirement or an overload of work in the office and home.

10) Poor sleep – Insomnia and other sleep disruptions which are common as we age, are closely related to depression. Obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome also have been linked to depression.

11) Retirement – if anyone were forced to retire because of poor health or other reasons – might very well be depressed. Factors such as financial insecurity or lack of social support can also make retirement or depressing conditions.

12) Heart problems – it is common to feel depressed after a diagnosis of heart disease or having a heart attack or cardiac surgery. But, many people with heart disease go on to experience severe, long-term depression.

13) Loneliness – social support can help prevent or ease depression. Those people who stayed connected with friends living elsewhere had less depression.


So, maintain keep in touch with close friends.

14) Health conditions – any chronic or serious condition such as Parkinson’s disease or a stroke can lead to depression. A stroke can also affect the areas of the brain that control mood.

15) Grief– It is normal to grieve after losing a spouse or other loved one. Memory problems, confusion and social withdrawal can be symptoms of depression.

16) Laughter– A good laugh can relax muscles, reduce stress and relieve anxiety. It can change the mood and feel relaxed.

So, take care of your health because depression is a medical illness- a health problem related to changes in the brain.

Dr S.k.jha


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