Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loss of joy.
Major life events, such as bereavement or loss of a job, can trigger depression. But depression is distinct from the negative feelings you may temporarily have in response to a difficult life event.
Depression often persists in spite of a change of circumstances and causes feelings that are intense, chronic, and not proportional to your circumstances. Depression can last several weeks, months, or years for many people. It is a chronic illness that gets better and then relapses.
Thoughts are colored by your depressed mood, and these feelings have a strong influence on your behavior.
You may have had…
- Tendency to minimize the positive aspects of your body or personality and to maximize negative aspects of your body or personality.
- Tendency to have negative feelings of hopelessness, helplessness about your worth as a person and your abilities.
- Tendency to lack any motivation to attempt doing anything.
- Tendency to exhibit self-injurious behaviors, such as cutting or scratching.
- Tendency to exhibit aggressive ideations (hurting others, homicidal thoughts).
- Tendency to lack any motivation to live (suicidal thoughts)
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It can undermine a person’s relationships, make working and maintaining good health very difficult, and in severe cases, may lead to suicide. In fact, depression contributes to nearly 40,000 suicides in the United States each year. It can affect adults, adolescents, and children.
Depression can last for several weeks, months, or years. For many people, it is a chronic illness that gets better and then relapses.
Focuses on help to prevent relapse, people who take medication for depression should continue with treatment– even after symptoms improve or go away – for as long as their doctor advises.
Depression can alter your concentration and decision-making. It may also impair your attention and cause issues with information processing and memory.
Depression is a serious, chronic medical condition that can affect every aspect of your life. When it causes suicidal thoughts, it can be fatal.
Why do we experience depression?
Everyone can feel sad or overwhelmed at times. But depression is a chronic feeling of emptiness, sadness, or depression. It is a chronic feeling of emptiness, sadness, or inability to feel pleasure that may appear to happen for no clear reason. It is distinct from grief and other emotions you may feel following difficult life events.
The medical community does not fully understand the causes of depression. There are many possible causes, and sometimes, various factors combine to trigger symptoms. Factors that are likely to play a role include genetic features and changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels.
Some people have higher risk of depression than others. Your risk factors include:
- experiencing certain life events, such as bereavement, work issues, changes in relationships, financial problems, and medical concerns
- experiencing acute stress
- having a lack of successful coping strategies
- having a close relative with depression
- having sustained a head injury
- having had a previous episode of major depression
- having a chronic condition, such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cardiovascular disease
- having had a previous episode of major depression
- living with chronic pain
- lacking social support
I Am Here to Help
Depression is treatable, though the treatment may depend on the exact type you are living with. You cannot think your way out of depression. Depression is not a personal failing or a sign of weakness. Seeking treatment early may increase your chance of recovery.
Because depression can be challenging to treat. It is important for you to see a doctor with expertise in depression and to be willing to try several different treatments. Often, a combination of therapy and medication offers the best results.
Psychotherapy, or talking therapies, for depression include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Interpersonal psychotherapy, and Solution-Focused Treatment.
For some forms of depression, psychotherapy is usually the first line of treatment, while some people respond better to a combination of psychotherapy and medication.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy focuses on helping you identify the connection between your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. They then work steadily to change harmful thoughts and behaviors.
It’s Time for Change
Depression can blind you to question if happiness exists for you anymore. It can distort the way you perceive yourself and others. Likewise damaging is the desensitizing thinking of skepticism that can affect others who have not experienced these challenges. Like any part of your body, the brain is subject to illnesses, trauma, and chemical imbalances. When our minds are suffering, it is appropriate to seek help from medical and mental health professionals.
There is not a better time than now to deal with your pain and unhappiness. If you are feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, loneliness, sleeplessness, and heartbreak you will benefit talking about your feelings with a credentialed professional mental health counselor. Listening to you without judgment and with complete confidentiality. In collaboration with your counselor realistic, appropriate and attainable goals can be planned for yourself in all areas of your life. Mental Health treatment can result in positive life changes that bring healing and peace.