In order to discuss the physical contributors to depression, it is necessary to give a working example of it. A woman named Andrea Yates had been suicidal and hospitalized. She was taken off her medications. They had been of help to her. Because of the wide hormonal changes in her body after delivery, that deficit contributed to her plunging head first into what is called postpartum psychosis (a break with reality).
Unfortunately, many mothers with this psychosis are consumed with thoughts of death to their babies and destruction of themselves. Note the scripture concerning this:
“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
There are six physical contributors to depression.
#1 Hormonal imbalance
The question arises as follows: “Can depression be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain?” This frequently asked question is answered with an unquestionable yes! Hormonal changes during puberty, postpartum (after childbirth) and peri-menopause (around menopause) can lead to depression.
#2 Medications and drugs
Certain legal and illegal drugs can cause depression, such as analgesics, anti-depressants, steroids, contraceptives, and cardiac medications.
#3 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.
#4 Melancholy temperaments
Orderly, gifted, and creative, the person with a melancholy temperament can be moody, overly sensitive, and self-deprecating. Because of those with this temperament are analytical, critical, and hard to please, they can take everything too seriously or too personally, quickly become depressed over circumstances or the slightest imperfection in themselves or others.
#5 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.
#6 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.
“A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15
Question: “Why do twice as many women have depression as men?”
Women produce only one-half the amount of serotonin as men; however, estrogen in women multiples the amount of serotonin to equal the level in men. The challenge occurs at three specific times–prior to a woman’s menstrual cycle, after childbirth, and around menopause–when estrogen levels drop, sometimes severely. If a woman’s estrogen level is not sufficient to multiply serotonin, she experiences a depletion of serotonin, which can cause depression. This is one reason why many women receive Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and why other women consult their physicians in order to feel “whole” again. Jesus said,
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Matthew 9:12