Depression is extremely common and affects about one in five people at some point during their lives. There can be a number of reasons a person may become depressed.
- Genetics. Some people inherit genes that make them more prone to developing depression. This may be particularly noticeable if other family members have suffered from it.
- Chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication such as anti-depressants can help restore this imbalance. As a person recovers from depression, the chemical changes reverse and go back to normal.
- Changes in physical symptoms. Fatigue, anxiety, lack of motivation and concentration or other physical changes can lead to negative thinking patterns which may lead to depression.
- Difficult life experiences. Negative early life experiences such as neglect, bullying or abuse can result in depression. Additionally, difficult current life events such as a relationship breakdown, loss of job or bereavement can lead to reactive depression.
Everyone feels a bit depressed at times but knows we do not need to seek treatment as this feeling probably passes in a day or two. When depression is more severe, the depressed mood will continue and usually presents with other common symptoms.
Common symptoms might include
- Anger and irritability
- Lack of motivation
- Changes in appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory difficulties
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in sex
- Thoughts of death. Frequent or serious thoughts about suicide need to be addressed as soon as possible. A trained mental health professional will help support you whilst you talk through your difficulties and work towards a solution or better outcome.