Along with heart disease, cancer, and accidents, depression is listed by the World Health Organization as a serious, debilitating health condition. Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in America and continues to increase worldwide. As negative events and challenges pile up in life, many people may experience sadness or helplessness at one point or another. But persisting feelings of depression can cause significant impairment in daily functioning. Depending on the severity, depression can strain physical health, job performance, and personal relationships.
What causes depression?
There is no one clear cause for depression, but rather a combination of factors in life. Sometimes it can be triggered by a series of stressful events, or it can spontaneously occur without a clear cause. Depression results from an interplay of an individual’s genetic history and environment. Some factors that influence the onset of depression include:
- Family history
- Personal temperament
- Physical health
- Presence of other mental health issues
- Life events
- Quality of relationships
- Chemical imbalance
- Certain medications
What are some symptoms of depression?
Although symptoms of depression may vary from person to person and differ in severity, the symptoms listed below are some common, recognizable signs:
- Feeling sad or irritable
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of interest in hobbies that were once enjoyed
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
- Inability to concentrate or make decisions
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Depression can happen to anyone regardless of gender or age. It is not a weakness, personal characteristic, or a shameful condition. If you are depressed, it may feel tiring or even overwhelming to complete daily tasks, but it is important to stay actively engaged and develop coping and relationship skills. It won’t be easy, but it is important to be willing to take the first step. If you are suffering from depression and need help, Counseling California is here to support you wherever you are in life! Get in touch with one of our MFTs today.