Depression: Biological and Environmental Factors
Depression and Its Influence on Individual’s Behavior
Depression is one of the phenomena of human behavior caused by the diversity of factors. It is possible to define both biological and environmental factors influencing the depressive state of mind in each particular case. First, it is necessary to mention that every individual may have both external and internal factors influencing his behavior and outcomes of each particular situation. For example, when it comes to passing exams, a student faces two factors – luck, as an internal factor, and difficulty of the exam questions, as an external factor. In the majority of cases, an individual is capable of influencing the internal factors. In case of a student, he/she is capable of learning the material by heart to reduce the negative influence of one of the external factors. However, if a person has already failed in passing exams several times, regardless of his efforts, it is most likely that negative experience will transform into a light form of depression, preventing one from successful outcomes.
Depression has a significant influence on individual’s social activities. First, it is possible that a person suffering from depression will avoid society and any type of communication. However, during the first stages of depression, an individual will try to blame others for his mistakes, misfortune, and non-successful activities (Hames, Hagan, & Joiner, 2013). It helps to enhance a positive self-view and prevent one from seeing personal mistakes. People suffering from depression may participate in social life, but they will probably try to overwhelm their desire to express their own opinion. It happens for the reason of facing the fear of failing every time a person tries to be a part of group activity. Without changing the attitude to the society and its members, it is impossible to handle depression. It means that if a person starts avoiding society more often than he/she used to, there is a need to turn to the services of a therapist. Otherwise, it is most likely that there will be serious problems with social integrity and social interaction.
Stress and Its Role in Shaping Depressive State of Mind
In the contemporary world, it is impossible to live without facing stressful situations and difficult decision-making processes. The key aspect of success, in terms of stress, is an ability to respond to stress and learn how to transform the situation for one’s personal benefit. However, some situations may break the natural ability to resist to problems. An individual faces depression when he/she fails to respond to stress in a proper way, or some emotional responses may be so strong that they lead to psychological misbalance. The ability of a person to handle stress without falling in the depressive state of mind lies at the core of the stressful situation and an individual’s response to it. It means that if a person faces anger, irritation, disappointment, fear, or grief in the excessive amount, it is most likely that depression will overwhelm him/her. As a result, emotional background of a person becomes a motive to avoid society and any communication. Depression equals inability to perform with the same intensity and mental abilities.
Behavior of an individual facing emotional stress has a significant print of the depressive mood. Response to stress can be different according to each specific situation. It is possible to evaluate several behavior stages of a person facing stress. First, any person experiencing stress will put some efforts to cope with it. It is a natural response helping to survive and solve the diversity of problems. However, because of psychological aspects and personal characteristic traits, every person has a different level of stress resistance. As a result, while one individual may easily solve the problem, another one will feel helpless and upset in the same situation. Procrastination is also one of the possible outcomes of an individual’s behavior (Msetfi, Murphy, & Kornbrot, 2012). A person may find it unnecessary to complete routine tasks in fear of failing. If seeking for help does not solve the problem, an individual sets his emotions free. As a result, mood and emotions start to prevail, which means that a person is not capable of solving the problem. In addition, a person seeks for solitude, as long as he/she did not find any support and failed being a successful individual in the eyes of the society. However, there is a chance that a person will find support at home from the side of one’s pets. In some cases, pets become the only ones able to help a person cope with stress (McConnell et al., 2011).
Continuous irritation and frustration lead to the inability of a person to take any routine task because of the fear to fail. Misfortune becomes one of the main causes of problems in the mind of the one suffering from stressful situations, leading to depression. If depression continues to evolve, it has a serious influence on an individual’s psychological and physiological health. First, a person loses trust in himself/herself and starts avoiding people because he/she does not want to look weak in their eyes. It becomes hard to generate positive emotions and overcome hardships on the daily basis. As long as psychological and physiological health are connected, the following conclusion can be made. Physiological health goes through many transformations because of stress triggers. Neurochemical changes and hormonal fluctuations are the most common transformations in physiological health, which lead to an overall weakness. The nervous system suffers from stressful situations and cannot cope with them without therapeutic measures in some severe cases.
Depression has a significant effect on an individual’s health. Atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and many other diseases come from the continuous stress a patient faces. Many studies prove that there is a direct connection to asthma, cancer, chronic back pain, complications in pregnancy, headaches, skin problems, and many other diseases, which a patient will find hard to combat. Personality aspects of psychological and physiological health have a direct influence on an individual’s ability to resist stressing triggers and its consequences. It is obvious that a person cannot resist depression without social support and appropriate emotional background. It means that emotions need a continuous control with regulation of the ability to respond to routine difficulties. The list of health risks extends depending on the severity of stress and individual’s response to it. However, it is hard to claim that the contemporary world does not face depression as one of the most serious problems of the humanity.
Evaluation of Biological and Environmental Factors of Depression
Biological causes of depression relate to the brain function and its aspects. Many studies continue to work on evaluation of the connection between brain functionality, its changes, and depression development. Many scientists claim that there are significant changes in the limbic system, which lead to misbalanced human performance. The limbic system depends on the functionality of hypothalamus, which sends signals to all body parts. If hypothalamus fails to function in a proper way, human organism faces various deviations in normal activity. Dysfunction of neurotransmitters, related to the neurons movement, is also another biological factor of depression. As a result, neurological transformations and changes in the limbic system lead to the deviations in hormones’ production. Endocrine system may find it hard to perform in the same terms in order to provide organism with the required amount of all hormones. Excessive amount of some hormones prevailing on the number of others leads to unpredictable results in human behavior.
As for environmental factors, it is possible to see that routine stress at home or at work can lead to the irritation, which can further transform into depression. It is a fact that negative experiences at work lead to the development of irritation and depression (Levens & Gotlib, 2010). It is impossible to avoid problems in everyday life. The main idea is that environmental factors can become triggers of the depressive state of mind based on the individual’s inability to respond to problems. Traumatic events can also become environmental triggers of depression. Divorce, serious illnesses, business failures, and other external factors can lead to annoyance with further transformation in depression. Loss of a marriage partner may also be a serious emotional damage. Childhood problems may also be the trigger of depression in adulthood. In general, all these aspects formulate a single system of external factors creating tension and stress leading to a widespread psychological disease.
Depression is a problem, which builds itself upon both biological and environmental factors. Stress and lack of emotional resistance lead to the development of depressive mood destroying physical health. As a result, psychological disease becomes the reason of various health problems. An individual suffering from depression should have enough therapy and support in order to be capable of handling a psychological disorder. Otherwise, the whole life of a person will fall under significant threat. The discussed topic is one of the most serious ones in the contemporary society. Scientists continue to pay much attention to the nature of depression in order to find ways of preventing it.