Can Mercury retrograde cause depression?

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Page last updated: 10/11/2022

Can Mercury retrograde cause depression?

In this blog we will discuss whether Mercury retrograde causes depression.

We will also briefly discuss what mercury retrograde is, why people think it causes depression, what the actual cause of depression is, and what one can do to manage depression. 

Can Mercury retrograde cause depression?

No, Mercury retrograde does not cause depression and there is no credible science to backup the claims that the alignment of planets is impacting your mental health. 

Mercury retrograde is an event that occurs roughly three to four times a year where the planets appear to go backwards or retrograde.

This event or phenomenon arose because there is a period in each year that mercury appears to move backwards even when it actually does not move backward- so the term mercury retrograde is based on ancient astrologers belief based on stargazing. 

Basically Mercury retrograde is more or less an optical illusion, so the planet is not moving forward and the phenomenon is not real so it cannot possibly have any impact on an individual’s life. 

However, many new age believers think that it does have some profound impact on one’s emotional well-being while others actually claim that it happens to them.

However, some of the more plausible explanation as to why you are experience depression during the mercury retrograde period could be because of the following reasons:

You are self prophesying because you are being constantly surrounded by information related to the gloom and doom whenever Mercury goes back into retrograde.

This constant barrage of information can lead to negative thinking and rumination which is very likely to make you more pessimistic and hence impact your mood. 

It is possible that you have Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that starts in the late fall and early winter and goes away during the spring and summer.

If Mercury retrograde supposedly affects you during the winter months since that is usually when the retrograde period happens, it is possible that you are misinformed and that you have SAD which is coinciding with the retrograde period. 

Another possibility is that you are stressed because of work or because of the holidays etc which could coincide with the time mercury is in retrograde which is making you assume that the path of mercury is what causing this and not the stress. 

What are the causes of depression?

Some of the possible reasons why you are experiencing depression includes:

High levels of stress

Depression has many possible causes. One of them being chronic stressful life situations  that can increase the risk of developing depression.

Depression can be caused when you are unable to cope with the stress in your life because stress has a variety of mental and behavioural symptoms. These symptoms include: insomnia,  trouble sleeping, excessive sleep, and changes in appetite and eating habits. 

Being in a state of continuous stress with these symptoms can lead to deteriorating health, continued low moods, decrease in productivity which can impact your occupational life and also cause strain in your relationships. 

These negative impacts can lead to feelings of hopelessness, dread, doom, and also feelings of worthlessness and the sense that one is a failure in their ability to cope with life all of which can be internalised, leading to developing depression and anxiety. 

Illnesses

Researchers estimate that depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness and that one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.

Chronic illnesses can become a limiting factor in an individual life and cost the person’s 

mobility (ability to move) and independence, change the way they live, see themselves and also impact their relationships. 

This can cause a lot of stress and emotional distress caused by a sense of despair or sadness. When there is a lack of support when someone with this chronic illness is faced with stress and hopelessness, it can lead to deeper experiences of depression. 

Unresolved Trauma

Unresolved trauma, be it experienced first hand or being a witness to it can cause individuals to develop depression as well. 

Traumatic life events tend to impact an individual negatively and cause anxiety as a result of a sudden change in world view or the fear and anxiety that they faced during the traumatic event. 

Trauma survivors can become so scary that they develop a generalised anxiety or panic disorder which can limit their lives, cause a sense of hopelessness and despair due to the dysfunction it causes in one’s life and relationships thus leading to depression. 

Can Mercury retrograde cause depression?

Life circumstances

Life circumstances such as death of a loved one, or after a separation or divorce is challenging irrespective of who has left and who has been left behind. 

It is a major life event that can cause mental anguish and lead to what is known as “adjustment disorder or situational depression”- referring to depression that arises after a change in life circumstances such as a loss of a relationship or loss of a person.

Rumination

Another reason why one might be depressed could be because of the negative rumination.The practice of thinking deeply does not have any cause and effect relationship to depression. 

However, if you indulge in deep thinking without mindful awareness and intent and your process of thought turns more into overthinking and rumination, there is a likelihood that your thoughts might negatively impact your mood and cause the onset of depression.

When people tend to spend time overthinking every scenario in their lives based on these cognitive distortions, it can become a problem. Rumination, when it affects everyday life, can lead to mental health disorders such as depression.

Isolation

If we consider the relationship between solitude and depression, there is no direct relationship. It is not necessarily the case that solitude causes depression. 

Instead, when we consider what could increase risk of depression is the misconceptions about self worth that is driven by one’s perception of their state of loneliness. 

There have been a number of studies that have shown that loneliness and isolation does impact an individual’s mental health. 

What to do if you have depression?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.

Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts. 

Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives. 

People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.

This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts. 

While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death. 

If you have depression or know someone who has depression, here are a few things that one can do to seek help:

Reach out

If you find yourself struggling with depression and loneliness, we urge you to seek support from a professional immediately. 

Here are a few resources form the NHS that you can make use of if you are suicidal, depressed, or engageing in self harm. 

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • Text “SHOUT” to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text “YM” if you’re under 19
  • If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
  • Self Injury Support webchat (for women and girls) is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7pm to 9.30pm
  • CALM webchat (for men) is open from 5pm to midnight every day

You can also reach out to your local medical service providers or a mental health service provider. 

If you are hesitant about reaching out for help, speak to a trusted friend or adult about what you are going through.

Do not hesitate to make use of resources provided to seek out professional support.

Seek professional help

Seek out professional help when these thoughts don’t improve after a week or two even after you have tried to manage them alone. 

It is also imperative that you seek out help when the intensity of these thoughts and feelings disrupt your ability to function and meet the demands of your daily life. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed whether Mercury retrograde causes depression.

We have also briefly discussed what mercury retrograde is, why people think it causes depression, what the actual cause of depression is, and what one can do to manage depression. 

FAQ related to mercury retrograde depression

Does Mercury in retrograde cause depression?

No, Mercury retrograde does not cause depression and there is no credible science to backup the claims that the alignment of planets is impacting your mental health. 

Can Mercury retrograde affect mental health?

No, Mercury retrograde is more or less an optical illusion, so the planet is not moving forward and the phenomenon is not real so it cannot possibly have any impact on an individual’s life. 

Does Mercury retrograde affect emotions?

No. Mercury retrograde does not have any impact on your emotional health and there is no credibility since that says otherwise. If you are experiencing emotional issues during this period, it is probably a coincidence and your emotional issues could be because of stress, seasonal affective disorder, or because you are psyching yourself out.

References

Holland.K. What You Need to Know If Your Depression Feels Debilitating. Healthline. Retrieved on 19th April  2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/crippling-depression#causes

Susannah Guthrie. How Mercury In Retrograde Actually Affects Your Body And Energy Levels. Elle. Retrieved on 20th April 2022. https://www.elle.com.au/beauty/mercury-retrograde-effects-20860

Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro. Here’s The Real Reason You Might Feel Emotional During Mercury Retrograde. Bustle. Retrieved on 19th April 2022. https://www.bustle.com/p/can-mercury-retrograde-cause-depression-heres-why-you-might-be-feeling-sadder-than-usual-6945835

Khevna Pandit. Have things been going wrong lately? Blame it on the ongoing Mercury retrograde! The Bridge Chronicle. Retrieved on 20th April 2022. https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/lifestyle/self-optimisation/what-is-mercury-retrograde-all-you-need-to-know-about-this-astrological-phenomenon