What is Depression?

Depression is a feeling of sadness, feeling. In more severe cases of depression, one might have a sense of feeling worthlessness. People with depression may feel isolated or consciously isolate themselves from others. The main difference between depression and feeling a bit sad is the consistency of depression. If the feeling of sadness or feeling low consists for a long time, then this is likely to be a state of depression. This refers to one’s outlook on life rather than just having a bad day. Many people who suffer from depression metaphorically refer to it as having a dark cloud that hovers over and follows them.

Depression is not black or white in the sense that one can either be depressed or not depressed. People can instead be thought of as being on a spectrum, and more severe depression may be referred to as ‘clinical depression’. Depression is very common and many people will suffer temporary depression in their lifetime.

Causes of Depression

There are various causes of depression, but it is usually brought on by various causes that occur over a period of time. Depression is not to be confused with feeling stressed (which yes, is a cause) after a bad day as this is temporary, but if one is constantly stressed then this will likely lead to depression. It could be thought of as a sadness that lingers. However, depression can also be caused by singular events or brought on in a short space of time also — this may be due to abuse in various forms, effects of medications, conflict in personal relationships, grief or past trauma. People may be prone to depression simply because of their biological genetics. Similar to anxiety, mental health issues can be seen as chemical compounds that shape the brain in which there is no nurtural cause. Illnesses and substance abuse can also cause depression in the same ways that they can with anxiety. People with anxiety may be prone to depression and vice versa, as anxiety caused by other factors can lead to depression and depression caused by other factors may lead to anxiety.

• Feeling stressed over a long period of time
• Medication side-effects
• Conflict in relationships
• Grief or trauma
• Biological genetics
• Feeling stressed over a long period of time
• Illnesses
• Substance abuse

Different Types of Depression

Many people may suffer from Dysthymia, which is a form of temporarily mild depression that generally lasts for a short amount of time. Similarly, depression can be caused by a particular time of year which is referred to as ‘seasonal affective disorder’. New mothers may also suffer from prenatal and postnatal depression.

• Generalised Depression
• Dysthymia
• Seasonal Affective Disorder
• Prenatal/Postnatal Depression

Symptoms of Depression

The main symptom of depression is a constant low mood. Other common symptoms include having a feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness. People experiencing depression describe it as feeling numb or empty. A key symptom that can be seen by external people is the loss of interest in hobbies and sex and isolating themselves away from others, which may be a conscious effort or may be a cause. Certain behaviours can be observed such as fluctuation with appetite and weight, as well as overuse of tobacco, alcohol, and substances. More severe feelings of depression may result in a feeling of being suicidal or having dark thoughts or self-harm.

• Constant low mood
• Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Feeling numb or empty
• Loss of interest in hobbies and sex
• Isolation
• Fluctuation with appetite and weight
• Overuse of substances
• Experiencing dark or suicidal thoughts

Therapy Techniques for Depression

Talking Therapy is more commonly used to treat depression than anxiety. It is a traditional method, in which the user is given time to talk through their mind as the therapist probes, analyses and advises. Much like anxiety treatment, CBT is the primary source outside of pharmaceutical treatment to treat depression. Other therapy techniques used for anxiety are also often used to treat depression, such as meditation. Examples of therapy techniques that are used more for depression than anxiety are Arts Therapy such as colouring are becoming more commonly used, and Ecotherapy entails spending time in green spaces and nature.

• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
• Talking Therapy
• Group-based CBT
• Meditation
• Arts Therapy
• Ecotherapy

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