Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting over 264 million people globally. Major depression is a severe form of depression that can significantly impact a person’s life. In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms and causes of major depression.
Symptoms of Major Depression
Major depression is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable. Symptoms of major depression can vary from person to person and may include:
- Feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Thoughts of death or suicide
These symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years and can significantly impact a person’s daily life.
Causes of Major Depression
The causes of major depression are complex and multifaceted. Some of the factors that may contribute to the development of major depression include:
- Biological factors – Changes in brain chemistry or hormonal imbalances can contribute to the development of major depression.
- Genetics – A family history of depression may increase the risk of developing major depression.
- Environmental factors – Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a job loss, can trigger major depression in some individuals.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, heart disease, or cancer, can increase the risk of developing major depression.
- Substance abuse – Alcohol or drug abuse can contribute to the development of major depression.
Treatment for Major Depression
Treatment for major depression may include a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. Antidepressant medication can help to balance brain chemicals and improve mood, while psychotherapy can help individuals to learn coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep can also be helpful in managing major depression.
Major depression is a severe mental health disorder that can significantly impact a person’s life. Understanding the symptoms and causes of major depression is the first step in getting help for this condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of major depression, it is essential to seek professional help. With the right treatment and support, individuals with major depression can recover and lead fulfilling lives.
Acknowledgement – Co-drafted with Chat GPT with illustration by DALL-E
Pearce, M., Garcia, L., Abbas, A., Strain, T., Schuch, F. B., Golubic, R., Kelly, P., Khan, S., Utukuri, M., Laird, Y., Mok, A., Smith, A., Tainio, M., Brage, S., & Woodcock, J. (2022). Association Between Physical Activity and Risk of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA psychiatry, 79(6), 550–559. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.0609
Gariépy, G., Honkaniemi, H., & Quesnel-Vallée, A. (2016). Social support and protection from depression: systematic review of current findings in Western countries. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 209(4), 284–293. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.115.169094