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Depression is a common and serious medical illness. Having this condition negatively affects the way you think and act as well as how you feel. Being depressed causes feelings of sadness or a loss of interest in the things you once enjoyed. Depression might lead to a variety of physical and emotional problems. It can also lessen your ability to function in your everyday life.

This condition is different from feeling down or just sad for a few hours or a couple of days. It is also different from experiencing sadness after a difficult event or grief over losing a loved one. People with depression cannot just pull themselves out of it.

There are different types of depression and it includes:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Psychotic depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar depression

What Causes Depression?

There are various reasons why a person may have depression:

  • Family history: If you have a family history of depression, you may be more at risk.
  • Hormone levels: Changes in hormones especially in women occur. The hormones progesterone and estrogen change during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, postpartum period, or menopause.
  • Stress: Stressful life events such as work responsibilities, trauma, abuse, or poverty may lead to depression.
  • Medical problems: Dealing with a person with a serious health problem such as cancer may lead to depression. Some medical conditions such as stroke, hypothyroidism, or Parkinson’s disease may cause changes in the brain that can trigger depression.
  • Pain: Those who feel physical or emotional pain for long periods are much more likely to develop depression. The pain may come from an accident, chronic health problems, or trauma.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

If you have experienced most of the following symptoms each day over 2 or more weeks, you may meet the criteria for a depression diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • A persistent feeling of sadness or loneliness
  • Difficulties with attention or concentration
  • Eating too little or too much
  • Getting too little or too much sleep
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Depression may look different from a different person and the intensity of the symptoms also varies. If you have depression, may have experienced every symptom. This condition might appear differently in children than in adults. Some symptoms in children can include anxious behavior or anxiety.

Risk Factors of Having Depression

The following are the listed factors of getting the disease:

Areas affected by the condition:

Accordingly, when it comes to places/areas, United States, China, India, Brazil, and Bangladesh have the highest rate of depression. 

People who are at risk:

Depression may affect everyone even an individual who seems to live in relatively ideal environments. Various factors can play a part in depression:

  • Genetics: Depression can run in families.
  • Personality: People who are easily overwhelmed by stress, with low self-esteem, or who are normally pessimistic appear to be more likely to experience depression.
  • Biochemistry: Variances in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Environmental influences: Constant exposure to violence, poverty, or abuse may make some individuals more susceptible to depression.

Safety Precautions

If you do have depression, you can do a few things to keep it from getting worse:

  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs.
  • Stick with your treatment plan. If you are on medication, take it as prescribed. Don’t skip therapy sessions. Let your doctor know if isn’t working for you.
  • Try ways to fight stress like yoga or meditation.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Do things that keep you connected to others.
  • Don’t make big life decisions on a day when you’re feeling down.
  • Know yourself and pay attention to the things that seem to make your symptoms worse. Keep records and let your doctor know about it.
  • Talk to your doctor about medication that can stop depression from coming back.

Treating Depression

Depression is curable with the majority of those who search for treatment showing progress. The most commonly used treatments are psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, or a combination of the two.

The treatment depends on the severity, pattern, the history of the illness, and persistence of depressive symptoms. As with several diseases, early treatment is more effective and helps avoid the likelihood of serious reappearances. Depression should be cured by a physician or qualified mental health professional.