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Understanding Depression: Causes and Symptoms

Depression is a serious condition that can interrupt your relationships, work life and even your everyday activities. It can be triggered by a number of factors based on any experiences you have dealt with recently or stressful life events you may have encountered. Understanding the most common symptoms of the condition can help you to seek the help you need in order to feel healthy and happy in life again.

Causes of Depression

The causes of depression vary from each individual experiencing any symptoms of the condition itself. The condition can be caused by a sudden death in the family, losing a significant other or even handling the loss of a job. Oftentimes, it is triggered by a loss of a part of one’s life or the thought of losing control of it as well.

Common causes of depression may include:

  • Loss of a loved one by death or illness
  • Loss of a job
  • Stress from any outside source
  • Relationship issues
  • Health-related problems

It is extremely important to understand the varying causes of depression that may be triggering you to to feel depressed or even a close relative or loved one you know. When you have an idea of the causes of depression that can affect your everyday life, you can also gain perspective so you can consciously make the decision to improve your life in any area that you see problems.

Symptoms of Depression

The most common symptom of depression includes feeling overwhelmingly sad, anxious or hopeless during most days, regardless of the circumstances and those around you. Feeling “empty” and lonely are also signs that you are depressed that can also trigger additional symptoms as time progresses. Although feeling sad is a normal emotion experienced by all human beings, feeling upset and sad frequently and everyday even when you are unsure why you have the emotions is another sign of being depressed.

When you begin to feel guilt, not worthy and even pessimistic in your everyday life, these can be caused by depression as well. A loss in your own hobbies, socializing with friends and family and feeling tired at all times are all symptoms of being depressed.

You may lose your appetite and become irritable and fatigued. Patients who are depressed often describe their sleeping patterns as “sporadic” at best, with many patients claiming to have a form of insomnia. Other patients who are depressed experience the inability to hold a traditional sleep schedule due to excessive sleeping and the inability to function properly each day due to overwhelming tiredness.

Having trouble concentrating, making decisions and even rationalizing situations can all effect those who are having signs of being depressed.

Digestive issues, aches and pains can also be sub-symptoms of feeling depressed which can greatly impact your daily life, social activities and even your own personal goals and outlook on life.

Some patients who have a severe case of being depressed may also have frequently suicidal thoughts or tendencies due to the overwhelming stress they may be experiencing.

Seeking Help for Feeling Depressed

When you believe you are depressed, seeking help is essential to help with understanding the root causes of depression that are affecting you and how you can personally go about helping to improve your situation. First, it is important to reflect on the emotions you are having yourself by keeping a list and attempting to gain perspective from your own feelings and beliefs on your current situation.

Gaining perspective on the symptoms you are experiencing can be done by determining the trigger that has caused you to feel a specific way, especially when you feel sad, hopeless or even suicidal.

In extreme cases, seeking help from a medical professional or a therapist may be necessary if you are having suicidal thoughts or if you are considering harming yourself or others due to your emotions. Finding help when you are depressed is also possible by talking with a trusted friend or a loved one that you can count on to assist you with getting the resources you need to begin therapy and feeling better overall.

Dealing with the emotions that being depressed can trigger is often very traumatic as being depressed can greatly affect your everyday life, future plans and even the relationships all around you. However, being depressed is entirely treatable, regardless of your circumstances and the causes of your emotions at the time with the proper acknowledgement and care based on your own needs and the situations surrounding you personally.


Web MD: What is Depression?

NIMH: What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

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