If you suffer from depression, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 14.8 million adults in the United States suffer from this mental disorder. Depression can make you feel hopeless and even be disabling in some circumstances. There is some good news though. If you get the right treatment, you can recover from depression and live a normal life again. The first step is determining the root cause of your depression.
What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Depression?
Genetics: If someone in your family has suffered from depression, you have a higher chance of developing the disease at some point. According to WebMD, if your parent had depression, you are three times more likely to suffer from this mental illness in the future. People with a family history of depression usually start having anxiety problems as children and develop depression between the ages 15 and 34.
Death of a Loved One: When you have recently lost someone close to you, it is perfectly normal to feel depressed. You still can't believe that person is gone and are trying to figure out how you will live without him or her. It is definitely helpful to talk to someone, whether it is a family member or professional counselor, during this tough time.
Abuse: If you were physically, emotionally or sexually abused in the past, it is not uncommon to suffer from depression. You may think that you deserved to be abused and start to feel worthless. The first thing you have to do is realize that the abuse was not your fault. Talking to a therapist can help you come to terms with your abuse and understand that you did not cause it.
Major Events: Big life changes, such as losing a job or getting divorced, can lead to depression. Events like these can make your life so different that you do not know how to act. Do not keep your feelings bottled up inside. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can help you feel better.
Winter Weather: It is possible for some people to experience depression during the colder months. According to WebMD, individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder are sensitive to light and feel the blues when the temperatures dip below freezing. An effective treatment for this type of depression is to expose yourself to bright artificial light in the morning.
How Is Depression Treated?
Talk Therapy: Whether it's for a few months or several years, talking to a professional therapist can help improve your depression symptoms. He or she can help you determine the root cause of your depression and teach you healthy coping mechanisms.
It is important to be completely honest with your therapist. If you do not tell the whole truth, he or she can't help you the right way. Counseling services will not judge you and will take you seriously, so you don't have to worry about being embarrassed.
Medication: Antidepressant medications are one of the most common ways to treat depression. They can dramatically reduce your symptoms and help you have a more positive outlook on life. There are several types of antidepressants out there, so have your doctor help you choose the right one. If a particular antidepressant causes too many side effects, you can always try another medication.
Hospitalization: If your depression is very severe, hospitalization may be necessary. Psychiatric treatment in a hospital will prevent you from harming yourself and help you find relief from your depression. Someone will always be there to talk to you during your stay.