Depression – What Causes It and How Can It Be Treated?
Depression is a condition that causes persistent feelings of sadness and low mood, which can last for weeks or months at a time. It can affect people of all ages and genders, including children and teenagers.
Depression happens in different ways for different people, and it can be hard to know when you are depressed. But it is important to recognise that there is help out there and that you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for it.
Getting the right treatment is essential for treating depression. This can include medication or psychotherapy, which is talking to a trained therapist.
Your brain chemistry, hormones and life events may all play a part in your depressive symptoms. For example, a change in your thyroid levels or menopause can cause you to feel depressed.
Genetics also can make you more likely to develop depression, as can a family history of the disorder. Changing relationships, loss of a loved one or financial problems can also trigger depression.
Brain structure can also be a factor, as can medical conditions and substance use. A person’s age, where they live and whether they have a history of sleep disturbances or medical illness can also increase their risk.
The medications you take can also play a role in your depression, and some can even make it worse. For example, some types of antidepressants work by blocking the action of certain hormones. They can also cause side effects such as drowsiness and weight gain, so it is best to check with your healthcare professional before taking any medications.
Often, people with depression find they get better with some combination of medication and psychotherapy. Talking to a therapist can help you understand the cause of your depression and learn skills to deal with negative thoughts and feelings.
Some people find that talking to a friend or family member can help with their depression. They might also benefit from exercise, or a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Medication is the most common form of treatment for depression. It can be taken orally (in a pill) or by injection. It can be used alone, or alongside psychotherapy, and it’s often a long-term treatment.
Sometimes it takes a while to see results from medication, so your doctor may prescribe a trial of different medications before choosing the right one for you. If you are depressed, it’s important to get help as soon as possible so that the treatment can have the best chance of working.
You can also try supplements, which are usually not as effective as medicines but have been shown to reduce depression symptoms in some people. For example, vitamin B-12 and vitamin D may improve your mood.
Other factors, such as stress and a change in your physical health can also contribute to your depression. For example, being overweight can be a major cause of depression, as can a history of mental illness or a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer.