Depression is a serious and common mental illness that affects the way you think, feel, and act. It can also cause physical health problems, such as sleep disturbances and headaches.
It can happen in various stages of a person’s life, and may be related to major life changes or psychological factors. It is most common in adults, but children and teenagers can also be depressed.
There is no one definite reason for depression, but experts believe that genetics, stress, mental illness, and major life events can contribute to it. It’s also more likely to occur in women, as they are more vulnerable to the biological and hormonal factors that cause depression.
People with depression often have low self-esteem and feel hopeless about their lives, and they may have thoughts of suicide or death. They can also have poor concentration and difficulty making decisions.
In severe cases, the symptoms of depression can interfere with your ability to work, sleep, and eat properly. They can also affect your relationships and your ability to enjoy activities you once enjoyed.
The first step is to make an appointment with your health care provider. This can be your primary doctor or a health care provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses (for example, a psychiatrist).
Ask about the symptoms you’re experiencing. Tell them how long they’ve been happening, when they started, and how they’re affecting your life.
If they’re affecting your life, you need to get help sooner rather than later. This is because untreated depression can lead to more serious issues in the future, including problems at work or in your relationships.
You should also let your health care provider know if you’re taking any medication or have any other medical conditions that could be causing the same symptoms. They can use a physical exam, interview, and lab tests to rule these out.
Your health care provider can also suggest talking therapy, or psychotherapy, to help you learn how to manage your feelings and behaviors. It can take up to 10 sessions before significant improvement is achieved.
Treatments for depression include medications and a combination of therapy and lifestyle changes. You may need to try different combinations before finding the right combination for you.
Talking to a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you find the right treatment for your symptoms and give you the tools you need to live a more fulfilling life. A licensed therapist can also provide you with emotional support and encouragement.
Eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise can also help you with your depression. A healthy diet can reduce symptoms and lift your mood, while regular exercise may help ease the feeling of fatigue that often comes with depression.
Having a supportive partner and family can also help you stay well. Having supportive people around can help you feel more comfortable about seeking treatment, and they may be more understanding if they notice that you’re feeling depressed.