Depression is described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
Clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The exact cause of depression is not known. Many researchers believe it is caused by chemical changes in the brain. This may be due to a problem with your genes, or triggered by certain stressful events. More likely, it’s a combination of both. Some types of depression run in families. But depression can also occur if you have no family history of the illness. Anyone can develop depression, even kids.
The following may play a role in depression:
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Certain medical conditions
- Sleeping problems
- Stressful life events
- Childhood abuse/neglect
- Job loss
Depression can change or distort the way you see yourself, your life, and those around you. People who have depression usually see everything with a more negative attitude. They cannot imagine that any problem or situation can be solved in a positive way.
Symptoms of depression can include:
- Agitation, restlessness, and irritability/ Fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- Difficulty concentrating/ Becoming withdrawn or isolated
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicide/
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
- Trouble sleeping or too much sleeping
Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness. If you identify with several of the above signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
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