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  • Writer's pictureHeather Steele

Depression: What Is It And How Is It Treated?


A middle aged man sitting on the edge of his bed looking unhappy in the dark

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities. It affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.(1)


Depression is a common condition, affecting millions of people around the world. It can affect people of any age, race, or gender, and can occur in any cultural or socioeconomic group. Some people experience mild or occasional episodes of depression, while others may have more severe and long-lasting forms of the disorder.


Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life.

Are there different types of depression?

There are several different types of depression, each with its own symptoms and causes. Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is the most common form of depression. It is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities, as well as a variety of other symptoms such as changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide. Other types of depression include persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression, and bipolar disorder.


What causes depression?

The causes of depression are not fully understood, but are thought to be a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychological factors. Some people may have a genetic predisposition to depression, which can be triggered by certain life events, such as a major stressor, a medical illness, or a traumatic experience. Brain chemistry may also play a role, as imbalances in neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, have been associated with depression.


How can depression be treated?

The symptoms of depression can be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help to regulate the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing symptoms of depression. In addition, psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help individuals change negative patterns of thought and behavior, learn coping skills, and address underlying psychological issues that may be contributing to the depression.


It's important to note that depression is not a sign of weakness or something that can be easily "snapped out of." It's a serious medical condition that requires professional treatment and support. People experiencing depression may not be able to simply "pull themselves together" and need to seek help from qualified healthcare professionals. With proper treatment and support, many people with depression are able to improve their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.


Recovery from depression is also not linear, some may have relapse and that's normal too. It's important to be mindful of self care, avoiding potential triggers, and to continue seeking support even after feeling better. Support can come in many forms, such as counseling, support groups, or friends and family. Find out how our team of compassionate and professional counselors and therapists can help.


If you are struggling with depression, reach out for help.

Depression is a challenging and debilitating condition, but it is also treatable. Seeking help and treatment early on can improve the chances of a full recovery, and it's important for anyone who thinks they may be depressed to seek professional help. With the right treatment and support, people with depression can regain their ability to enjoy life and find hope for the future.




References

  1. What is Depression - https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

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