What is Depression and What Causes It

Have you ever felt so low that it was impossible to think of anything else? 

Have you ever felt so hopeless that you could no longer see any positives in your life? If so, you may be experiencing depression. 

Depression is a common mood disorder with many different causes. In the United States alone, nearly 21 million adults have been diagnosed with depression that is over 8 % of all adults. 

It is widespread problem, affecting most people at some point in their lives. 

While there are many different types of depression, they all share similar symptoms. 

These include:

  • Feeling tired most of the time and loss of interest in things that usually give you pleasure 
  • Feelings of sadness or guilt 
  • Loss of energy 
  • Poor concentration and difficulty making decisions 
  • Avoidance of social activities and situations that used to make you happy, as well as a decrease in appetite and/or weight gain
  • Sleeping more than usual or consistently having trouble sleeping
  • Muscle aches or pains or changes in how your body feels when touched
  • Headaches 
  • Irritability and/or anger
  • Restlessness or excessive activity (e.g., pacing back and forth)
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, or feelings that nothing is worth doing
  • Feelings of self-disappointment and hopelessness about the future.

Signs of Being Depressed

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression and are unsure if it’s just a bout of the blues, it may be time to seek counseling for yourself or your loved one. 

Some signs that may indicate depression include: 

  • Lack of interest in pleasurable activities like sex or social gatherings
  • Prolonged feelings of sadness without reason 
  • Inability to make decisions due to lack of energy 
  • Increased irritability and/or anger, primarily directed at loved ones 
  • Excessive activity, such as pacing back and forth or constantly moving around

What Causes Depression

Many factors can cause depression, including physical illnesses, chemical imbalances in the brain, social and psychological problems, certain medications, and alcohol. 

However, the most common cause is a combination of these factors. In other words, a genetic component of depression is worsened by environmental stressors. 

The uncertainty of life events (such as job loss) is also known to trigger depression. It is not uncommon for people with the illness to have experienced previous or multiple episodes in their lifetime. 

Some common triggers for depression include: 

  • Emotional trauma or stress that has lasted for years 
  • Recent losses or personal tragedy 
  • Loss of a loved one 
  • Changes in personal relationships 
  • Change in sexual preference 
  • Major life changes 
  • Chronic and severe illness or disability 
  • Isolation and loneliness

Types of Depression

It is possible to have an underlying medical condition that causes a type of depression. 

Many different types of depression may be experienced for different reasons, including:

  • Postpartum depression (a type of depressive disorder that may occur in new mothers)
  • Seasonal affective disorder (a type of depression that occurs at the change of a season when the length of light in your area changes drastically) 
  • Dysthymia is a long-term form of low mood. 

There are also some psychological causes of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness or guilt.

What Medical Treatments Help

With depression, there are many different types of treatments, some of which include medication and therapy. 

In addition to these methods, there are also natural therapies that may help. For example, acupuncture, yoga, and massage are all ways in which you can relieve symptoms of depression naturally. 

Medications can offer many benefits, like relief from physical symptoms such as muscle aches and pains or headaches. 

Suppose you don’t want to take prescription drugs but still need relief from your symptoms. In that case, over-the-counter medications can be a suitable alternative depending on the severity of the symptoms. 

If you have been diagnosed with clinical depression, you must see a doctor and follow their advice about who should prescribe your medication. 

Similarly, suppose you find that your natural remedies aren’t helping enough, or they’re making your symptoms worse throughout treatment. 

In that case, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about what other options may be available for you as well.


There are a few exercises that can help with depression. 

The first is physical exercise. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and other chemicals that improve your mood. 

In addition to the physical benefits, exercising helps relieve stress and boost self-esteem. 

Second, doing things you enjoy daily is crucial because it will break up the monotony of everyday life. 

Third, get enough sleep. Research has shown that getting enough sleep helps improve mood and gives energy for daily activities. 

Lastly, social support from friends and family is very helpful in fighting depression. 

Many people suffer from depression alone or don’t realize they’re depressed because they don’t reach out for help due to embarrassment or shame. 

It’s important not to feel embarrassed or ashamed about asking for help, as many resources are available for those who need them.


If you’re experiencing depression, you might find it difficult to find any positives in your life. 

Meditation is a great way to help with depression because it allows you to relax and focus on the present. It can also help reduce anxiety and stress. 

Meditation is helpful for people struggling with mental health issues like anxiety and depression. 

One study from the University of Maryland found that mindfulness meditation was effective at reducing symptoms of depression in adults for up to ten months after the meditation sessions ended. 

Another study found that it helped alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in children aged 9-13 years old after just four weeks of training. 

The benefits of meditation don’t stop there, though. It has also helped improve mood, cognitive functioning, sleep quality, pain tolerance, and weight loss. 

A recent study published by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Research Centre in 2010 found that mindfulness meditation reduced depressive symptoms by 50% in just eight weeks.

Its many positive effects on body-mind balance include focusing attention on the present moment rather than the past or future.

5 Tips to Feel Better About Yourself

  1. If you feel like you can’t get out of bed in the morning or are depressed for an extended period, getting help is essential. 
  2. Talk to others: If talking to friends and family members don’t work, talk to your doctor or therapist. Talking about your feelings will help you see them in a new light. And if they don’t know how to help you, they can recommend a professional who does. 
  3. Connect with someone online: Many people find comfort in connecting online with groups of people going through similar experiences. When you find those groups and make friends online, it’s easier to share your feelings and connect with people who will care about what is happening in your life. 
  4. Go for a walk: Get outside, even if it’s just for a short walk. Sometimes exercise alone can help lift your mood and give you a sense of calmness or peace. 
  5. Take up some form of therapy: Therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression. It gives you something positive to focus on while also providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you understand your problems better and teaches you coping skills that can benefit your daily lives. Therapists offer individualized treatment.

Have a Positive Body Image

Depression usually starts with a mood disorder. If you’re feeling low, your self-esteem may be negatively impacted, leading to depression. 

Approximately 40 percent of people who have depression also experience body image issues. Losing weight, watching your weight, or having poor self-image is common among those with depression. 

Changing the way you think about yourself and what your goals are in life will help you feel better about yourself and deal with any body image issues you might be experiencing.

Be Patient With Yourself

Depression is a complicated disorder to understand and live with. It can feel like a weight that is too heavy to carry on your shoulders. But even though it may feel like it is taking over your life, there are ways to help manage and overcome it. 

The first step to overcoming depression is recognizing the symptoms. By being aware of what they feel like, you will be able to recognize when they are present–and get help sooner! In addition, finding a way to distract yourself from depressive feelings is essential. 

There are many different ways that people deal with depression; some people might find it helpful to go for walks or exercise, while others might turn to their social support network for comfort. 

Another option for combating the negative thoughts that come with depression is writing about them in an activity journal. 

Writing down what you are feeling helps these emotions escape from within you and can be seen as a form of therapy. 


Depression is an illness that affects people in different ways. It can leave people feeling sad, hopeless, and even suicidal. Depression can take on many forms, and the only way to know for sure is to go to a doctor for help. Always seek help from your doctor first before trying alternative therapies.