Information about Depression

Everyone experiences good days and bad days where there are happy moments and moments of temporary depression when things don't go exactly the way that we would like them to. Temporary feelings of worthlessness, self blame, and disappointment can come from failing at something you tried hard to achieve. When you suffer a personal loss, feelings of sadness and emptiness will arise. These feelings are normal and they usually pass after a short time. This is not the case when you suffer from clinical depression.

Clinical depression is a mental health disorder that can affect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, the way you think about things and involves the body, and mind. A depressive disorder is more than a passing mood and it's not a sign of personal weakness.

When someone is clinically depressed they may have recurring thoughts of suicide. People who are suicidal are usually suffering from a serious and/or untreated (or under treated) depressive episode. During this episode they often can't think any differently because they are only focusing on the issues in their life that are contributing to the depression. Often people don't volunteer to get help because they are ashamed that something is wrong with them. Another thought is that they cannot be helped. Help IS available and by getting help people begin to feel much better within just days or a few weeks and suicidal thoughts begin to fade and are replaced gradually by positive thoughts and actions.

What causes depression?

Clinical depression doesn't come from one cause. The following list may be some reasons as to why some people fall into depression, although, there can be may other causes as each person is different.

  • Bullying
  • Extremely stressful home, school, and work life
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • An imbalance of chemicals in the brain
  • Psychological factors such as a negative view of life
  • Genetics

It is also understood that a combination of factors can cause depression. Factors such as genetic, psychological, and environmental combined together is often involved in the onset of depression.

How long does depression last?

The common depressed feelings we all experience after a serious loss, disappointment or failure in life may last for a short or a long time. The length of this sadness depends on the person and the support given to help the person to cope with it, but in the end it goes away.

Clinical depression may also last for short or long periods of time and may have recurring episodes that can last a lifetime. Without professional treatment, it may end naturally after several weeks or months. With treatment, it may end much more quickly.

How is depression treated?

Most people who suffer from depression seek out help from medication and/or psychological counseling. Support from family, friends and self-help groups also makes a huge difference. There are people who turn to drugs and/or alcohol to relieve their feelings. This is NOT a safe or effective treatment.

There are many people who are depressed that wait too long to seek any treatment or they may not seek treatment at all because they may not even realize that they have a treatable condition. Others may be concerned about the negative attitude held by society towards depression. This negative attitude only comes form people being misinformed, uneducated, or misunderstood about the subject.

If someone you know suffers from depression, offer to help them or get help for them, support them and let them know that you are there for them. Listen to them and let them know you care. Tell the person that it is okay to talk about their thoughts and feelings with you. If you suffer from depression, talk to someone about it. Talking about it with someone such as a friend, family member, teacher, doctor or counselor will make the depression feel much less like a burden or hidden secret, it will help you open up about the subject and help you to take the first steps towards feeling better.