Have you ever felt depressed? Chances are, the answer is “Yes”. Depression is a common human experience that most people will face in their lifetime, probably more than once. Most feelings of depression come and go, and do not interfere in the person’s day-to- day functioning.
Sometimes, however, the symptoms can be more intense, last longer, and are very disruptive to the person’s life.
There are many causes of depression, and they are different for each person. Often, more than one thing is the trigger. Below are examples of causes of depression.
The Cause Can Be Biological
Depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance, a medical condition, a reaction to certain medications, etc.
Look To Your Family History
Depression often “runs in” families. That is, you are likely to see other family members who suffer from various types of depression or other mood disorders. You may have a predisposition to depression.
Depression can be triggered by a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, etc. Any drastic change can evoke feelings of depression. Like the causes, the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. In addition, the intensity of the symptoms can be felt with varying degrees.
Some examples of symptoms of depression are:
Inability to concentrate
Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
Poor nutrition, such as overeating or no appetite
Withdrawal from people and activities
Alcohol/ drug abuse
Identifying the symptoms and their severity can be the first step in implementing a course of action. In many cases, therapy with a trained professional is the best action. Therapy can help the person to gain understanding of the depression and begin to make improvements in the quality of life.
For people with more severe and chronic symptoms, the possibility of medication along with therapy should be evaluated.
Along with therapy, the person can implement a plan to take better care of themselves, physically as well as mentally. This plan can include:
Structure Your Day
Make sure you are engaging in activities of daily living, such as getting up in the morning, getting dressed, going to work or school, etc.
Get the Support You Need
Make sure you utilize your support system, trusted friends and family members who make you feel nurtured. If you do not have access to this, join a support group, a church, etc., where you feel comfortable.
Look At the Positive
Try to develop a positive attitude. Look for the good in a situation, and try not to dwell on the bad.
Monitor your progress - see what works for you and what doesn’t. Look for situations where you feel you are making the most gains. Try to avoid triggers which may set you back.
Develop an exercise program and commit to it. Try to find something you enjoy and stick to it. Walking is free, easy, and a good aerobic exercise. Any type of exercise will result in a reduction of tension and create a feeling of well-being.
Commit to eating well-balanced nourishing meals. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible.
Look At Your Values
Clarify what your values are and assess if you are living accordingly. Make a commitment to avoid engaging in self-defeating or self-destructive behaviors.
Remember that when depression ends, you can regain control of your life. By taking responsibility and committing to trying and following through with interventions, you can improve the quality of your life experience.