Key information on Depression
What is Depression?
Depression is a condition that affects your thoughts, emotions, and body. It can make you feel like life is bleak and pointless. Self care can help, but you may need therapy to feel like yourself.
Feeling down from time to time is a part of life and happens to the best of us. Sometimes we are stuck in a bad phase, and it can be challenging for us to walk with our heads up. But typically, when our circumstances improve, our sadness fades away, and we get back to our usual self. However, if your feelings of gloominess are persistent, and life seems to be dull even without any reason, it could mean that something other than normal sadness is at work.
Depression is a global problem that is much more complicated than being just sad. Depression can zap the joy out of your life because, unlike normal sadness, depression causes constant sorrow, feelings of emptiness, and loss of pleasure in life, thus seriously impacting your emotional and physical health and negatively impacting the way you think, feel, and act.
You may have depression if:
- You have five of the following symptoms for two weeks
- One must be low mood or loss of interest/pleasure
Depressed, sad mood most of the time
Loss of interest or pleasure from things you once enjoyed
Low self esteem
Desire to hurt yourself or take your life
Trouble concentrating, “brain fog”
Difficulty making decisions
Trouble remembering things
Thoughts/visualizing self-harm or suicide
Sleeping too much
Body aches, muscle soreness
Constant fatigue, low energy
Upset stomach, digestive issues
Unintended weight loss
Lack of energy
Loss of interest in enjoyable tasks
What causes Depression?
Experts don’t know exactly what causes depression to develop but there are many reasons it may occur.
Depression is a medical condition and with many treatment options. After a person experiences depression, they have a better chance of developing it another time. However, people with depression can live full and active lives. Good treatment and self-care routines are essential for recovery.
Here are some common reasons depression may develop:
- Physical health conditions
- Hormonal changes like pregnancy, giving birth, menstrual cycle
- Illnesses like hypothyroidism and
- Chronic conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, food sensitivities.
- Major live events or changes
- Can be a side effect of some medications
- Genetic likelihood, biological factors
- Family history, living with someone who has depression
- Difficult life experiences, relationships, family dynamics
- Abuse, neglect, trauma
- Conflict and stress
- Loss and unresolved grief
- Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol)
- Untreated anxiety
- Poor nutrition
How can you treat Depression?
Medication helps many people with depression symptoms, especially when they are first getting help. In a matter of weeks, a person can start to feel better. They can function and start doing normal things again. Medication can act like a support or crutch as a person does counselling therapy.
Counselling therapy is another effective way to help depression symptoms. Many people respond well to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy addresses the way thoughts, emotions, and behaviours work together and how depression affects this process. People often start feeling better after just a few weeks of treatment.
Self-care includes many simple activities you can do every day. Some kinds of self-care are enjoyable, like quiet reading time or spending time with a friend. Other types of self-care may be more challenging, like watching your spending habits and getting daily exercise. In the end, self-care activities help you live a healthy and stable lifestyle.