Sadness – this feeling belongs to everyday life for an increasing number of people. A normal life seems no longer possible and one begins to ask oneself, why me? It just seems to be so unfair for oneself, being the one who is affected. Many things that used to be enjoyable are no longer any fun and one begins to ask oneself, what if it remains this way forever? One secludes oneself and the environment only tells one to pull oneself together – everyone feels low sometimes. Yet one knows that it is much more – the own soul has fallen ill.

Meanwhile there are over four million people, especially women, who are suffering from depression in Germany. A depression often expresses itself through symptoms such as constant despondency, listlessness and sleeping disorders. Depression can also often cause feelings of guilt,  fears, inner anxiety, physical complaints through to death wishes and suicidal thoughts.

It is difficult to differentiate between a negative phase of life and a depression requiring treatment. However, if a number of the symptoms stated above apply to you and last longer than 14 days, it may be an indication that you are suffering from depression.   

The causes for depression are as diverse as the characteristics themselves. Generally depression is caused by psychosocial influences such as decisive life changes and blows of fate. These also include anxiety disorders, compulsive behavior and phobias, as well as severe illnesses. Even consistent pressure in the family and within the job can strongly affect one mentally and cause depression in the long term. However, the most cases of depression are not caused by a reaction to a trauma or continual pressure, but actually can't be traced back to its origins. Apart from hereditary predispositions, hormonal malfunctions can also play an important roll.

Different scientific studies have shown that a change in the control system of the hormones takes place. Hormonal deficits are often the cause for depression and express themselves in different ways: Suffering from a thyroid disorder can lead to morning depression and a state of anxiety. The latter can also benefit from too little progesterone. A cortisol deficiency can also be responsible for depression caused by stress. If not enough sex hormones are being produced, then it can also cause a consistent depression. Too little testosterone by men, can express itself through emotional outbreaks, nervousness and irritability. Whereas listlessness and depressive moods can also be caused by a low DHEA.

Apart from the hormones, the neurotransmitters – our chemical messengers for the brain – are also often out of balance. For example, if not enough of the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and the so-called happy hormone serotonin is being produced, then this can also cause depression.

By healthy people the hormone levels are regularly within the reference range, which can prevent depression. Verisana offers the possibility to measure your hormones levels by means of a saliva test. The various samples can be easily collected in the comfort of your own home. Saliva tests for the determination of hormone levels are the recommended test form of the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

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