Posted By Wendy Boulay
Depression: The Causes and Signs
There has been a lot of discussion lately focused around depression. Perhaps sparked by the recent death of comedian Robin Williams, many people are left wondering what are the causes and signs of depression, and how can it be treated?
Causes of Depression
Often times, people can experience depression due to a normal, but emotionally intense life event. Some of the common triggers of depression are:
- The loss or illness of a loved one
- Difficulties with a personal relationship/marriage
- Low self-esteem
- Financial difficulties
- Problems with or the loss of your employment
- Addictions – drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc…
Many people also experience depression with no apparent cause. Studies have shown that in these cases, as well as the causes mentioned above, it could be a chemical imbalance in the brain. New research supports this theory; an article about the recent study can be found here: Depression’s Chemical Imbalance Explained.
Signs and Symptoms
While it is perfectly normal to experience the “blues” every now and then, depression is far different. When a person has a major depressive disorder, they are dealing with feelings of intense despair and sadness over an extended period of time. Some of the signs that you may be depressed are:
- Feelings of hopelessness and despair
- Detaching yourself from the people around you, including your loved ones
- Bouts of crying for no apparent reason
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent headaches
- Thoughts of suicide
- Thoughts of causing bodily harm to yourself
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is highly recommended that you visit your doctor for a consultation.
Recovering from Depression
Fortunately, depression is an illness that can be treated with the assistance of your doctor or mental health professional. Each patient’s case is unique and therefore creates a unique treatment. The most common methods currently used are therapy/counselling sessions with a psychologist/psychiatrist, and in some cases this is combined with medication. It is valuable to your recovery if you have the support from your family and friends while you are dealing with this illness. In addition, self-help groups have shown to provide great support in a faster long term recovery.
Depression should be monitored closely by your physician or psychologist/psychiatrist to ensure that it does not escalate. Call your doctor immediately if you have suicidal thoughts or tendencies.