Causes of Depression

Types & Causes of Depression

Unfortunately, depression is often misunderstood and as a result individuals who experience depression fail to receive the help they need.

Depression is one of the most serious, and deadly, medical conditions any individual or family can face.

There are a number of different types of depression, ranging from mild to severe.

In some cases, depression is cyclic, occurring and reoccurring at varying periods throughout life.

Other types of depression appear to be brought on by physical conditions or major life changes.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression

In one individual depression may only present with one or two symptoms, while others experience a wide range of symptoms that are considered to be signs of depression.

When dealing with depression it is important to realize that the signs and symptoms of depression may take on many forms.

These symptoms may be gradual in some individuals while in others the signs appear quite suddenly. Symptoms may be behavioral, internal and/or physical.

A few of the most common signs of depression include:

  • A feeling of hopeless or sadness
  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty in sleeping, or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Thoughts of harming oneself
  • Irritability
  • Impatience with oneself and with others

The presence of just one or two of the above symptoms do not necessarily indicate a serious medical problem.

However, when there are multiple signs or when one or more signs persist for more than two weeks this matter should be taken seriously and medical attention sought.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Postpartum depression is a misunderstood side effect of pregnancy and childbirth that affects a surprisingly large percentage of women. Often referred to as the Baby Blues, this form of depression is thought to be triggered by a rush of hormones that accompanies pregnancy and birth.

The length and severity of postpartum depression can range from mild to serious and at its most extreme it can be fatal as well as dangerous.

Extreme cases of postpartum depression are known as postpartum psychosis.

Symptoms of postpartum depression include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • A feeling of failure or guilt
  • Bouts of crying for no apparent reasons
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impatience
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Extreme mood swings

The more serious form of postpartum depression may include symptoms such as:

  • Delusional thoughts
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia and thoughts of harming oneself and/or the baby

Major & Manic Depression

Manic-depressive disorder, which is also known as bi-polar disorder, is a form of depression that is considered to be cyclic in nature. Signs of depression appear and then appear to go away only to return at later periods throughout life.

When an individual experiences what is known as major depression, the symptoms usually are so severe that it is difficult for the person to function normally.

Major depression may be brought on by major life events, although this is not always the case.

Major depression can also be cyclic in nature.

When depression continues throughout life it is referred to as Dysthymia.

An individual who suffers from Dysthymia still may be able to function to some degree, but there quality of life is seriously diminished. Bouts of major depression may also accompany Dysthymia at varying times.

Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD

A form of depression that has only been brought to attention in the last few years is seasonal affective disorder.

Once commonly thought of as only the winter blues, this form of depression is generally linked to the varying amounts of sunshine throughout the year.

Individuals who suffer from seasonal affective disorder typically exhibit a strong desire to eat and sleep more.

Treatments for Depression

There are a number of treatment options available for the various forms of depression …

The most successful treatment options generally include a combination of efforts including psychotherapy, self-help and depression medication such as antidepressants.

In severe cases with individuals who suffer from manic and chronic forms of depression, treatment may be an ongoing process for a number of years.

To find out more about depression take a look at Mayo Clinic’s Depression Information.

Legal Disclaimer 

The information contained in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.


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