What is depression?
Depression is more than just ‘feeling a bit low’. It’s a condition where your mood drops for days at a time, meaning you feel sad, flat, and struggle to feel like doing anything much. Depression affects every part of your life and you may find you lose your appetite, can’t sleep, or that things which you used to find fun just don’t do it for you anymore.
What causes depression?
Everyone is different, and there are lots of things that can trigger depression. It can be about a one-off event or trauma, or something that comes on more gradually, fed by long-term unhelpful thought patterns. Depression can also have a physical cause or be related to other physical illnesses. The truth is, many people may never know what caused it - and that can be what feels most difficult. If two people have depression, it’s unlikely the cause is the same.
Can depression be treated?
Yes :) Depression doesn’t go away by just ‘pulling yourself together’, but usually requires a combination of approaches.
Talking treatments can help change negative thought patterns. Antidepressants increase the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain. Practical changes can help with isolation and loneliness. Often it takes a professional like a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist to help balance these different approaches to help you find the best way through.
Taking time out
Sometimes depression is about a rough period in life or a season when a lot is changing or uncertain. We can become depressed if there’s been a lot of pressure for a long time and it's worn us out - when you feel overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes your brain just wants you to hide away so you can rest.
In these moments thinking about what your rhythm is and how you get good rest and time away from whatever is stressing you out can really help. And sometimes when that moment in life lifts, so can the depression.