What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.

Depression can be caused by many things, or even a combination of factors. Some even become depressed without any obvious causes.

Some of the possible causes of Depression are:

  • childhood experiences
  • life events
  • other mental health problems
  • physical health problems
  • genetic inheritance
  • medication, recreational drugs and alcohol
  • sleep, diet and exercise

Psychological symptoms

  • Intense sadness that causes you to struggle to function
  • Crying more often and for no reason
  • Becoming angry and frustrated over small things

Physical symptoms

  • Crying more often than normal and for no reason
  • Feeling more tired than normal and so tired that you struggle to get out of bed
  • Aches, pains, and digestive problems with no clear cause or explanation

Connect with others

It is important to seek the support you need when you are dealing with Depression. Talk to who you are comfortable with, whether that is a close family friend, family member, or even your primary care provider.

Set realistic daily goals

Stick to a daily schedule to ensure you eat regularly and get other tasks done. You want to aim to leave the house at some point every day.

Stay positive

Write down 3 things you are grateful for each night and reflect on them in the morning.

Prioritize your physical health

  • Exercise each day
  • Eat well
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Get enough sleep
  • Look after your hygiene and appearance

You should make an appointment to see your primary care doctor if you:

  • Have lost interest in most activities
  • Feel sad, empty, or hopeless much of the time
  • You have lost or gained weight
  • You have struggled with appetite fluctuations
  • You’re not sleeping well
  • You have little to no energy

When you’re depressed, you’ll likely experience a period of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and possibly other symptoms for longer than two weeks.

You should call 911 if you are feeling suicidal, or having thoughts of harming yourself or others. You can also call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing 988 across the United States if you are experiencing any symptoms of Depression.

  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Spend time with supportive family and friends
  • Try to stay positive

If you have Depression, we recommend you see your doctor every year to check in or seek regular counsel from a mental health professional.

For more information, visit https://adaa.org/