Depression is a mental illness that affects nearly one in five people in the United States. It can be severe or mild. If you feel like you’re depressed, seek help from a professional right away. Symptoms include sadness, irritability, fatigue, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, and aches and pains. In addition, depression can reduce your energy, concentration, and decision-making.
Depression can be caused by a wide range of factors, including genetics, family history, and personality traits. Studies also suggest that people who have experienced stressful events are more likely to develop depression. For example, a breakup in a relationship can lead to feelings of depression. Similarly, a death of a loved one can cause depression. Some other common causes of depression are substance abuse, chronic illnesses, and traumatic experiences.
Depression is also associated with changes in hormones. Menopause, pregnancy, and thyroid problems can all increase the risk of depression. People who have a family history of depression are also more at risk of developing the condition. Getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet can prevent depression and improve its symptoms.
When you are depressed, you may be unable to perform daily activities and you may be unwilling to engage in social activities. Depending on the severity of your depression, you may need to take antidepressants or get counseling. Getting help can speed up the process and ensure that you feel better soon.
Your health provider will want to conduct a physical examination and explore your medical and family histories. They may also order lab tests to measure hormone levels. This will help to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Once your doctor determines that you have depression, they will likely recommend that you start treatment. Treatment can last for a number of weeks or months, depending on your specific situation. During treatment, you will be encouraged to participate in exercises and other activities that you enjoy. You will also be given advice on how to eat healthier foods and avoid unhealthy foods. Also, you can be asked to keep a diary of your medication and how you are feeling.
While some types of therapy can help with depression, others do not. There are several forms of alternative medicine that can be beneficial, such as massage, hypnosis, and acupuncture.
Counseling can help you to understand the causes of your depression and deal with the emotions that it brings. It can involve talking with a mental health professional, as well as working with friends and family.
It’s important to remember that even though it’s very difficult to deal with, depression is treatable. Most people are able to get rid of the symptoms of depression and return to a normal life. However, untreated depression can last for months or even years. Even if you’re suffering from depression, getting the help you need can make a huge difference.
Whether you’re a teenager or a senior citizen, it’s important to recognize the signs of depression and to get help as soon as possible. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has published guidance on depression treatment, which includes recommendations on complementary therapies.