Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, it’s a combination of both.
Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression, even kids. The following may play a role in depression:
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Certain medical conditions, including under-active thyroid, cancer, or long-term pain
- Certain medications such as steroids
- Sleeping problems
- Stressful life events, such as: breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing a class, death or illness of someone close to you, divorce, childhood abuse or neglect, job loss, social isolation (common in the elderly)
Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you. People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude, unable to imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Symptoms of depression can include:
- Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
- Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss
- Very difficult to concentrate
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
- Becoming withdrawn or isolated
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness
- If depression is very severe, there may also be psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions and suicidal feelings.
The good news is that there are many types of help available. Medication can be very effective. There are many non-drug options such as acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine techniques, herbal supplements, acupressure or reflexology. At times, discussing your feelings with a trained professional psychologist is helpful at getting to the root of the problem. If pain is a contributing factor, find the resources to help you regain control. Whether depression is caused by chronic physical or mental pain, or even if you don’t know the cause, a call to Rejuvenation Health will help. Let us guide you towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.