If you or someone you know has depression, it’s important to seek treatment. Depression doesn’t go away on its own and can lead to suicide, a serious medical emergency. Depression is a complicated illness and it can take time to find the right treatment. There are many ways to treat depression, including medication, psychotherapy (talk therapy) and lifestyle changes. The key is to get help at the earliest sign of depression and to continue treatment over time.
Depression is a disorder that causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness that cannot be shaken. People with depression may also have trouble thinking clearly, feel tired all the time, and lose interest in activities they usually enjoy. People with depression may have problems with their eating or sleeping, and may start to think about hurting themselves or taking their own life. Depression can be triggered by major events, such as a job loss, a relationship breakup, or a death. It can also be a result of some illnesses, such as thyroid disease or other physical illnesses that have side effects that make depression worse.
Some scientists believe that depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. These imbalances can be due to genetics or to a history of childhood trauma or abuse. Some people are more likely to have depression, and it tends to run in families. Depression can also be a result of environmental factors, such as living in a difficult social or economic situation. Some studies suggest that people who have depression are more likely to be exposed to toxins and pollutants, such as cigarette smoke or toxic chemicals in the workplace.
The signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person, and the severity can change over time. Some people have a mild form of depression that goes away on its own, while others have a severe form that requires medical treatment.
It is often hard for people with depression to ask for help. Those who care for them can offer support by helping with daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning. They can also encourage exercise and relaxation and can help people with depression see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
People with depression are more likely to have other mental health problems, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. They are also more likely to have other medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Depression can also occur in combination with substance use disorders, such as alcohol and drug addiction.