Depression is a common mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness and loss of interest in enjoyable activities. It impacts an individual’s life in a variety of ways and does not simply mean feeling sad; depression can take over an individual’s life, affecting their feelings, thoughts, and behavior. Therefore, it can be helpful to examine the depression causes and treatments.
Depression can also be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, trauma, and brain chemistry. Thus, depression is not being weak or a state that an individual can control as it is a legitimate medical condition that can paralyze a patient’s life in a multitude of ways without emotional support and proper treatment.
Depression Causes and Risk Factors
Genetics — People who have a family history of depression are more likely to experience depression.
Chemical and hormonal imbalances — Both hormonal imbalances in the body such as in postpartum depression and chemical imbalances in the brain can result in the appearance of depression.
Trauma — Stressful incidents or traumatic events that can, for example, involve abuse, violence, or a loss can also trigger depression.
Other mental health conditions — Conditions such as anxiety disorders and eating disorders put one at an increased risk of depression.
Some other causes and risk factors include chronic conditions like cancer and heart disease, drug and alcohol abuse, having low self-esteem, having body-image issues, and being LGBT without support.
The two most effective approaches to depression treatment are antidepressants and psychotherapy. In most cases, a combination of medications and talk therapy is preferred. Some of the most common antidepressants in use are SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Popular antidepressants like Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft are all SSRIs.
Depending on your case and symptoms, your psychiatrist may also choose to put you on serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or SNRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, or atypical antidepressants. Finding the right antidepressant may take time and several tries, and most antidepressants take at least a few months to take effect.
Talk therapy is just as important as an antidepressant in the long-term management of depression as a therapist can guide you through your negative thoughts and feelings and may even help you learn how to control and manage them. Therapy is especially essential in adopting healthy, positive behaviors that can help one cope with negativity and sadness a more effectively on a daily basis.
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