Depression – What Causes It and How to Deal With It
Depression is a very common condition that affects millions of people around the world every year. It can be very distressing and can make you feel as if you are going through a dark tunnel that you will never get out of. It can also lead to feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and lack of motivation.
If you are depressed, it is important to seek help right away. You can talk to a health professional such as a doctor, GP, counsellor or psychiatrist to find out whether you have depression and to get treatment.
Depending on the severity of your depression, your doctor will prescribe a combination of medicine, talking therapies and lifestyle changes to treat it. If your depression is mild, you may be able to wait and see whether it improves on its own.
Medication: Your doctor will probably recommend antidepressants. These can be very effective and can work well for most people with depression. But they do have side effects, and you will need to try different types of antidepressants to find the one that works best for you.
Psychotherapy: Your therapist will work with you to identify and change unhealthy emotions, thoughts and behaviors that cause your depression. They may also provide you with self-help resources to help you manage your symptoms.
Triggers: Certain events or circumstances can set off a depressive episode or relapse of your symptoms. This includes a break up with a partner, loss of a job or other life changes.
Brain chemistry and hormones: Your brain has chemical substances called neurotransmitters that control your mood. These chemicals can get disrupted when you’re depressed, for example due to pregnancy, menopause or thyroid problems.
Genetics: If you have a family history of depression, it is more likely that you will develop it yourself. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to the development of depression.
Stress: Too much stress can exacerbate your depression and make it more difficult to deal with it. Try to avoid stressful situations and make changes to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Support groups: There are many support groups that offer help and advice to those with depression. They can be found online and in your area, or you may find a group within your workplace.
Suicide: If someone you know has been suicidal, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately. If you suspect that a suicide attempt has occurred, stay with the person until a crisis counselor arrives.
If you or a loved one have attempted suicide, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline to speak with a crisis counselor. A trained crisis counselor will help you or your loved one get to the next level of safety and comfort.