Depression affects every part of your life. Your sleeping habits, your eating habits, your job, your relationships… They all suffer when you become overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness. Being able to identify major triggers of depression might help you maintain a positive mindset. And if you take preventable actions to reduce stress, you may avoid severe depression before it takes over every aspect of your life.
Here are seven causes of severe depression and how to avoid it:
1. Poor Health
A health condition can easily trigger or worsen depression. After you’re diagnosed with an illness, it often becomes the most important thing in your life. It can be difficult to feel happy or to think positive thoughts. To help minimize this trigger, make your health a priority. If you are diagnosed with an illness, set up a treatment plan to help reduce some of the stress and alleviate depression
Relationship problems, money issues, lack of sleep, feeling overworked – all of these things and more can trigger chronic stress. The only way to get out from under it all is to know your limit. Don’t be afraid to say no. Prioritize and clear your schedule more often to give yourself some “me” time.
3. Major Life Changes
Major life changes can often trigger high levels of stress, which can lead to depression. Whether it’s a divorce, a death in the family or a job change, the most important thing during a major life change is to allow yourself to work through it. Take all the time you need, and don’t shut out your support system in the process. Allow your friends and family members to help you through it.
4. Money Problems
Financial problems are a major source of stress, anxiety, and depression in adults. Overdue bills piling up can be extremely overwhelming. Instead of sinking into feelings of failure or depression, choose to be proactive about the situation. Come up with a budget and a savings plan to help you get back on track.
5. Substance Abuse
Using drugs or alcohol to help alleviate feelings of anxiety or depression will lead you down a dark path. Substance abuse triggers further depression. If you are struggling with severe depression or substance abuse, ask for help. Create a support network of family and friends, and find a medical professional who can help.
6. Poor Sleep Habits
Lack of sleep can trigger depression, along with confusion, memory loss and plenty of other health issues. Forgoing sleep to finish up at the office won’t lessen your anxiety. It will have the opposite effect. Fixing your sleep habits can help alleviate symptoms associated with depression and help get your health back on track.
7. Losing A Job
Losing a job can trigger severe depression in many different ways. It might stem from the loss of the job, losing your income, or going through a major life change. It can be difficult to move on after losing a job, but it’s important to lean on your family and friends and find the strength to get back up. Try to see it as a chance to do something new. Update your resume, send out some applications, and keep a positive mindset about the future.
Next Steps For Severe Depression
Now that you know these common triggers of severe depression, what other steps can you take to feel better? Our post on natural remedies for depression will give you some ideas. Use all the tools available to you to feel yourself again.
Originally appeared on davidwolfe.com