What does depression look like? What kind of visual do you get when you think of someone who is depressed? What feeling do you get when you are around someone who is depressed? What does someone who is depressed sound like when they talk or interact with you? Chances are very high that you can answer these questions easily because you have dealt with a close friend or relative being depressed or have been depressed yourself. According to WHO (world health organization) more than 300 million people have depression globally and it is the number one leading cause of disability in the world! So does that sound like a bunch of big babies to you? That’s not what science says. We may not know the exact reason or cause of depression, but I believe that depends on each individual person.


1. Gut bacteria

When most people hear the word bacteria they instantly think that it’s a bad thing and it definitely shouldn’t be in our guts. But research shows that an imbalance of specific gut microbiota can cause depression. To make matters worse, researchers believe that the depression you can get from this imbalance can cause even further gut microbiota imbalance and make your depression worse.

2. What you eat

This is partially related to the above point. To add on to that though, a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to increase your risk of depression. Omega-3’s are found in things like fish, avocado, flaxseeds or walnuts. If these foods don’t sound too appeasing to you then you can always look for a high quality fish oil to take. Low vitamin D and magnesium are also big nutritional deficiencies that could cause depression.


I always hate this answer because it feels like a scape goat excuse for certain things but there is a higher risk of depression if you have family members who suffer or suffered from depression. If this happens to be you, take the necessary steps to lower your own risk for depression. Look at the rest of this list and make the changes and don’t let genetics make you feel stuck.

4.Lack of exercise

Other than nutrition, I believe that this is the main reason that more and more people have been depressed especially in America. We are moving less and less because of convenience and it is taking a toll on our bodies, which translates to taking a toll on our minds as well.

5.Negative thinking

This is a big one as well. Negative thinking over time breaks down your mind, like not working out or moving breaks down your muscles. With everything happening in the world and social media giving us the ability to tap into everyone’s feelings and beliefs you can start to think negatively of yourself, the world/universe and others. I do not list social media as a cause of depression because in my opinion, social media can be a good thing or bad thing depending on how you use it and your consciousness. When it causes you to think negatively, it is a bad thing but you can reframe your mind to change that.

When you are prone to positive thinking, outside events will not cause you to become depressed. No matter who is president, or what someone says about you, if you are in control of your mind and how you decide to react, then you can adapt to mental stresses better. Positive thinking is not always an easy thing to do, which is why telling someone to “just suck it up” isn’t the answer. It is a personal decision that takes dedication and re adjusting constantly to whatever life throws at you.

Be understanding to others suffering from depression. This is not a simple disease that people need to just “get over”. This is not a disease that is always obvious and can look very different from person to person and can be hid very well. If you are one of the 300 million in the world suffering from depression, know that there is hope. Love yourself, try to improve on some areas I have listed here, try to talk to others and not be ashamed of your feelings. We are all in this together.

With love always,
Dr. J