What is depression?
Depression is a condition that affects mood and can cause difficulty with thinking, memory, eating, and sleeping. Symptoms include feelings of sadness, anxiety, or hopelessness.
Clinical depression or major depressive disorder diagnosis indicates that you have reported feeling sad, worthless, or low on most days for at least two weeks in addition to having other symptoms such as a change in appetite, loss of interest, or sleep problems.
How common is depression?
More than 15% of adults, or one in six, will report experiencing depression in their life.
Types of depression include:
- Major depressive disorder: Major depression features intense or overwhelming symptoms that often interfere with everyday life for more than two weeks.
- Bipolar depression: People with bipolar depression experience alternating periods of highs and lows.
- Psychotic depression: People with psychotic depression have both severe depressive symptoms and hallucinations or delusions.
- Seasonal affective disorder: Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder, usually begins in late fall and early winter and goes away during spring and summer months.
- Perinatal/postpartum depression: Often known as postpartum depression, perinatal depression can occur during pregnancy and up to one year after having a baby.
Symptoms and Causes of Depression
What causes depression?
- Chemical Levels in the Brain: Abnormalities in brain chemistry may lead to depression.
- Family history/Genetics: If you have a relative or multiple relatives with depression, you may be predisposed to depression.
- Personality: People who have trouble coping or are overwhelmed easily may be more likely to be diagnosed with depression.
- Significant Life Events: Traumatic events, stress, isolation, death of a loved one, or lack of support can cause depression.
- Medical Conditions: People dealing with ongoing physical illnesses, pain, or life-changing medical diagnosis can be more likely to experience depression.
- Medication: Drugs and alcohol can also cause depression or make symptoms of depression worse. Prescribed medications often have side effects of depression.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in appetite or eating habits
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Feeling extremely sad, hopeless, or worried.
- Not enjoying things that you used to
- Being easily irritated or frustrated.
- Physical problems like headache or stomachache
- Thinking about hurting yourself or killing yourself.