What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Depression?
Clinical depression is a medical condition that doesn’t just affect your outlook and mood, but it affects your marriage too.
According to WebMd, depression doesn’t cause divorce; it’s not dealing with the consequences of depression that can lead to divorce.
Depression is often called the “blues.” Someone who is depressed feels sad and loses interest in activities they once enjoyed.
Most people feel a little blue sometimes, but clinical depression is more than feeling “down” once in a while.
Depression is a serious mental health condition that requires medical attention. And it can affect people of all ages, races, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds; no one is immune.
Unless depression is treated, it impacts your life, marriage, and career. It can trigger addiction, cause suicidal thoughts and attempts, and strain relationships.
Depression impacts one’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior; symptoms vary depending on the severity.
Technically, for a person to be diagnosed with depression, one of these two symptoms must be present on most days over the same two-week period:
- Sad or depressed mood
- Loss of interest in fun or pleasurable activities
Plus, five or more of these symptoms must also be present:
- Having difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Being tired
- Feeling sad or lonely
- Feeling guilty
- Poor school or work performance
- Difficulty making decisions
- Trouble thinking clearly
- Being worried all the time
- Being anxious
- Being isolated
- Being restless
- Feeling worthless or hopeless
- Craving foods that aren’t healthy for you
- Having little energy
- Alcohol or illicit drug use
- Muscle pain or headaches
- Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
And watch out for the following symptoms as they may mean you have other types of depression, such as bipolar disorder or catatonic depression: psychotic episodes, mania, changes in motor abilities, or mood changes.
Where Does Depression Come From?
Any number of things can cause depression. Furthermore, some people are more susceptible to depression than others, so it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
Common Causes Of Depression
- Genetic—believe it or not, depression can be inherited, although scientists have yet to identify the specific “genetic mechanism.” But If you have a family member with depression, your risk of depression is higher.
- Biochemical— some people have identifiable changes in their brains when depressed, indicating that changes in brain chemistry may trigger depression. Neurotransmitters within the brain, especially norepinephrine, serotonin, or dopamine, affect pleasure and feelings of happiness, which may be out of balance in people with depression. It isn’t clear why these neurotransmitters are out of balance and their role. Antidepressants act to balance these neurotransmitters, especially serotonin.
- Hormonal—changes in hormone production and function may lead to the onset of depression. Hormonal changes related to thyroid problems, childbirth, and menopause, have been associated with depression. With postpartum depression, for example, the woman has a change in hormones that causes her to develop symptoms of depression that can be extremely serious if left untreated.
- Seasonal Depression—some people develop feelings of tiredness, lethargy, and reduced interest in everyday tasks when daytime hours grow shorter in fall and winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is more often found among people living in northern climates.
- Situational Depression—significant changes in your life (especially unwanted changes) such as losing a job, career issues, financial uncertainty, divorce, a death, or trauma, among others, can have a big impact on your emotional and mental state.
- PTSD— post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of depression that happens after a severe situation in your life. PTSD can be seen in childhood trauma, soldiers after a war, being diagnosed with a life-threatening depression, suffering a serious car accident or another type of accident, dbeing assaulted or abused, or seeing something scary.
From the National Institute of Mental Health, depression often appears with these medical conditions:
· Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – According to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America, 7.7 million adults, or 2.5% of the population, has PTSD. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Rape is the most common trigger of this type of depression; 45.9% of women and 65% of men who are raped will have PTSD. Childhood sexual abuse is one of the strongest predictors of a diagnosis of PTSD
· Cancer and treatment for cancer
· Drug abuse or addiction
· Eating disorders
· Parkinson’s disease
· Heart disease or those who have had a heart attack
There are many other causes of depression, but most of the time, the problem is biochemical; antidepressants are commonly used to change the brain’s chemistry.
Just because a person struggles with depression doesn’t mean they must settle for less joy and success. With treatment, a healthy, fulfilling and happy life and marriage are possible, whether the treatment is temporary or lifelong.