What are the Physical Contributors to Depression?

On June 4, 2001 psychiatrist Mohammed Saeed discontinues Andrea Yates’ prescription of Haldol (a strong anti-psychotic medication), on June 20, 2001 she drowns her five children, one by one, in the bathtub at their home in Clear Lake, Texas. Andrea YatesShe had been suicidal, hospitalised, and taken off the very medications that had been helpful to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into postpartum psychosis (a break with reality). Tragically, many mothers with postpartum psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. They could have written these words … “The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” (Psalm 18:4–5).

Physical Contributors to Depression:

  • Hormonal imbalance: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! For example, hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth), and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.
  • Medications and drugs: Certain legal and illegal drugs might cause depression, such as analgesics, antidepressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.
  • Chronic illnesses: Medical problems such as a thyroid deficiency and even a bout with the flu can cause chemical imbalances in the brain, which, in turn, can cause depression.
  • Melancholy temperament: Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can, at the same time, be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly becoming depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.
  • Improper food, rest, exercise: A deficiency in the physical basics of life can contribute to a chronic sense of fatigue, lack of energy, and social withdrawal.
  • Genetic vulnerability: Based on statistical data, those with depressed family members are two times more vulnerable to depression than those with no family history of depression. Likewise, “50% of those with bipolar have at least one parent with the disorder.”[1]

If you are concerned about depression, then learn what you can about your family history and your treatment options. Learning as much as possible about your health issues is essential. “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15)



[1] Hart, Archibald, and Catherine Hart Weber. Unveiling Depression in Women: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Overcoming Depression. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 2002