Before we talk about what depression is, let’s dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about depression.
First off, if you are depressed it does not mean you are weak. Both Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are both revered heroes — and both suffered from serious depression during their lives. In fact there are many famous people, from all walks of life suffer, who suffer with depression.
Nor is depression considered a mental abnormality. The majority of people who seek counseling each you do so because they are suffering with depression. In the United States it is estimated that seven million people require professional help to deal with their depression.
Depressed people are not crazy nor do they have a mental illness. Many people get better without professional help or treatment. A very small percentage of people who suffer from depression end up needing to be institutionalized due to their condition.
Being depressed is not the same thing as feeling down or having the blues. Everyone goes through periods when they feel down or blue. Often when are asked what is bothering them, these folks will reply that they are depressed. Technically, that is not medically accurate.
True depression is a much more intense feeling that lasts a longer period of time. Depression, unlike a case of the blues, interferes with the individual’s daily life.
Another common misunderstanding about depression is that the condition is hopeless. This is commonly believed because people who suffer from serious depression often feel they have no hope left. Many feel they will never be happy or enjoy life again. As a matter of fact, this sense of hopelessness is actually one of the symptoms of chronic depression.
No wonder so many people want to know what causes depression, even though the actual causes are not completely understood.
It is clear that some people are more prone to depression than others. Exactly what causes this predisposition is a matter of debate. Some feel it may involve the individual’s development, their motivations and their needs. When a person’s needs are extreme or excessive it may be a trigger for depression.
There are studies that suggest the cause is often genetic — that an individual’s biochemistry may be at the root of the problem. Other studies tend to suggest that events in a person’s life will sometimes trigger depression.
One of the problems, though, is that if an event triggers depression,the depression continues on even after the event passes. This, in turn, may have a snowball effect.
For instance, let’s say an event in a person’s life triggers depression. The depression itself may cause the person to become withdrawn or irritable, thus making it impossible for them to go to work each day. This may result in the loss of a job, which triggers even more negative events, prolonging the depression.
Many experts believe that depression actually has its origins in a combination of these factors.
For instance body chemistry may cause depression, which leads to behaviors that lead to negative events.
Depression is a serious health problem and should not be taken lightly. Understanding more about depression and what causes it may help more people understand this.