Can Living Somewhere Make You Depressed?

In this brief article, we will be answering the question “Can living somewhere make you depressed?”. We will also discuss how moving in a new location and house affects our mental health and how living conditions cause depression. We will also answer frequently asked questions about the subject.

There are many factors that may cause depression and one of them is significant changes in one’s life. Examples of such changes are having a new job, getting a promotion, break ups, divorce, having a child and moving into a new house.

We all know that change is constant and inevitable and we are designed to adapt to that reality be it changes that occur within our environment, the society, career, our locale’s policy or in the smallest and basic unit of the society which is in our homes, our family.  

Some of us have opportunities that require or lead us to move into a new city, house or area. While this may be inevitable, for some of us and our family members who come with us in the moving, this may be an uncomfortable experience that may even lead to depression. Be it an older or younger individual.

Can living somewhere make you depressed?

Yes, it can. You and your body may have a difficulty adjusting to the new environment and the people in it, for example, Seattle or Portland. Moving into a new location can also be a stressful event because of the things that should be done. Living conditions may also be a factor that contribute to one’s biological and psychological condition. It may also be because of other medical conditions, one’s diathesis or genetic vulnerability.

Can where you live cause you depression?

You will find many studies that areas where you live, be it in a city or rural will make one depressed, others will say it will bring good to a person than bad. Due to many factors such as availability of goods, opportunity to meet and social with others, traffic, environmental conditions such as the quality of air and pollution can contribute to one’s mental health or may cause depression.

Rates of depression across different locations may vary depending on race, marital status, immigration status, age and working status. It may be less of geographical yet more on cultural factors.

Those who feel safe walking around their area is less likely to have depression.

A research from Penn State University found that people who live in the suburbs are less likely to have depression because they are close to their work, they have available amenities they need similar to what we can find in cities, but they are not too close from the stress you experience in the city. Weather, social support and living closely with families and relatives also contribute to the psychological wellbeing of a person.

Location does not necessarily make a person depressed. However, the biology, psychology and the social aspects of a person most likely contributes to depression.

In a global perspective, it is suggested that areas wherein continued military conflicts occur such as Honduras, Palestinian territories and Afghanistan have higher rates of depression.

However, others can benefit with relocation such as people with seasonal affective disorder moving in to a sunny area. It is better to find an area in which you find yourself and mental health in a better condition.

Relocation Depression

Moving in to a new location can be a stressful event for a person and depression might become a result.

Signs and symptoms:

·        Anhedonia or lack of interest in pleasurable activities

·        Significant weight loss or weight gain

·        Extreme insomnia or excessive sleeping

·        Lethargy and low in spirit

·        Having difficulty focusing and concentrating

·        Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and helplessness

·        Hostility or irritability

·        Increase in consumption of alcohol and/or drug use

·        Excessive time scrolling and facing your devices and social media

·        Unwilling to go outside and leave the house

·        No desire to socialize or meet new people

·        Decreased interest in sex

How to cope with depression

• Change in Diet – There are no specific diet that is found to relieve depression. However, a healthy diet, along with healthy habits and lifestyles, may help us prevent mood disorders and better our mood.

• Reduce stress when relocating to a new place – Moving itself and carrying with you your things can be a stressful event. Try being intentional and bringing in your essentials, sell or donate your just-in-case items.

• Slow down – Relocating might take a toll on you because of the many things that should be done for the moving. Allow yourself to rest, plan and list down the things you must do and prepare for the moving.

• Be optimistic – Although there might be a significant amount of change that will happen because of relocating, try to stay positive and see the good of what can primarily seem to be a stressful situation. If you think about it, moving to a new place allows you to have a fresh start!

• Establish support system – Relocating may mean being closer to your loved ones or being further away from them. Nevertheless, always keep in touch or build new relationships that will help you get through and move forward with the changes in your life and environment.

Talk Therapy – Helps a person manage symptoms of depression gracefully. Talk therapy provides you a channel to process the stress you experience either be at work, home, school or your own anxiety.

• Explore your new living area – There are so many things you will discover in a place unfamiliar to you. Particular in a place where you are relocated. It is important to become familiar with where you live as this is a form of rapport building for a new resident.

• Expose yourself to new experiences – Be engaged with the newness of moving in. You may discover places you have never seen; experiences you have never been in and meet people that will make you feel at home and make moving easier than you expect it to be.

Meditation – This facilitates a person by relaxing the mind through mindfulness and eases the neural activities that occur in the brain and the body when in a stressful state. Similar to a person who has depression or its symptoms. Cortisols normally are high during the morning and decreases at night. This also fluctuates according to our activities during the day. However, for a person with depression, this stays steady or even worse.

• Exercise – This increases the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine responsible for mood, sleep cycle, digestive system regulation, feelings of pleasure, movement and motivation. These are areas which affect someone with depression.

• Medication – Other recovering from depression improve better with the combining therapy or interventions with medications like SSRIs, sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Serafram), paroxetine, fluvoxamine and citalopram. Note that medications among individuals may vary. Always consult your psychiatrist and disclose all factors that should be considered before taking these drugs.

Psychotherapy – Therapies and therapists are able to help you find ways to cope with the challenging effects of depression. This also strengthens your prefrontal cortex which plays a role in personality, social interaction and decision-making.

• Self-care – Aside from therapies, medications and other interventions mentioned, remember that one of the keys but the most important is one’s willingness to help thyself. Avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs and other numbing activities are few preventive measures to avoid remissions and worsening one’s condition.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQs: Can Living Somewhere Make You Depressed?

Can living somewhere make you depressed?

Yes, it can. You and your body may have a difficulty adjusting to the new environment and the people in it. Moving into a new location can also be a stressful event because of the things that should be done. Living conditions may also be a factor that contribute to one’s biological and psychological condition. It may also be because of other medical conditions, one’s diathesis or genetic vulnerability.

Why do people get emotional when relocating?

Relocating or moving affects many parts of somebody’s life. Be it in their relationships, career or mental health. Something new can also be something stressful. As we adapt to change, our body adjusts to the newness. It is not just our mind that processes the changes but also our body as it tried to be familiar and be vigilant to what you encounter. Especially when something or somewhere is unfamiliar.

How do I stop being overwhelmed when I move?

Get social support from your family, friends and loved ones. If you are relocating with your family or someone, don’t just simply move to a place, arrange furniture and things accordingly. Make it an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and bond by setting expectations, hope for goodness and be directed to betterment of your living condition.  

Can where you live affect your mental health?

Yes, it can. There are studies that shows either living in a city or urban affects one’s mental health. But this changes over time as we are designed to adapt to our environment, people and changes that surround us. However, other medical conditions is also found to contribute to depression.

Environmental stress also increases risk of developing psychological disorders like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. One’s biological, psychological state and social dynamics can contribute to the development of a mental illness.  

Can a house make you unhappy?

Yes, it can. Negative energy in a house can exacerbate relationships, depression, anxiety, financial concerns, professional issues, health problems and disturbance in sleep.

Can lifestyle have an effect on depression?

Yes, it can. Lifestyle can have an effect on depression depending on the kind life you are living. Poor sleeping habits, excessive alcohol and drug use, too much exercise, eating too much, overthinking things and unhealthy habits may contribute to depression. It is important that we become mindful of what we let in and let out of our systems and acknowledge and recognize what makes us comfortable and uncomfortable.  

Will relocating make me happier?

Yes, it can. If relocating improves your quality of life, it will likely make you happy. However, relocating is not the only solution to make you happier. You may relocate but what if the environment you moved in to is surrounded by dangerous people or has poor and unhealthy living conditions. This may more likely cause you harm than good.

How can poor housing affect mental health?

Poor housing or housing problems may affect mental health because of the stress it causes a person such as danger surrounding the neighbor, unhealthy living conditions, dirty environment, overcrowded, not having the adequate size of the house may cause disturbance in the functioning and introspection of a person.

Can living in a small house cause depression?

Yes, it can. Researchers suggest that living in small spaces is okay for younger people. However, as a person gets older, living in a small house may take serious toll on one’s mental health that may result to substance abuse, depression and domestic violence.

Moreso, living in poor conditions such as a cramped, dark, untidy house can lead to detrimental effects. A study in 2017 in England found that one out of five adults suffer from depression and anxiety due to insecure rental contracts, housing pressures and bad conditions.  

How do you make a house a home?

You make a house a home by not only making it physically cozy, warm and beautiful place but building harmonious relationship with people you live with, being kind to your neighbor, cleaning your surrounding and making room for peace and silence from time to time. Being grateful for the things that you have, those tangible and not, will also make you feel at home.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question “Can living somewhere make you depressed?”. We also discussed how moving in a new location and house affects our mental health and how living conditions cause depression. We also answered frequently asked questions about the subject.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioral therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://www.getbellhops.com/blog/relocation-depression/

https://www.mymove.com/home-inspiration/decoration-design-ideas/how-to-make-your-house-a-home-without-spending-any-money/

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/relocation-depression-when-moving-makes-you-sad/

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