Countless people may say they are depressed. However, everyday depression isn’t the same as clinical or major depression. What makes this type of depression different? What causes depression?
What is Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression is a persistent disorder with many symptoms. These symptoms interfere with daily life and can persist for months or even years. What can lead to this type of depression?
Common Causes of Depression
Many things can lead to a person being diagnosed with clinical or major depression. The following are a few causes of this disorder.
A person who has suffered abuse may become depressed. Any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse puts the person more at risk. The depression might not show up right after the abuse. It may rear its ugly head years later. In fact,ptsd and depression often go hand-in-hand, and PTSD is common in those who have suffered abuse.
As a person ages, they become more at risk of depression. Several factors increase this risk. A person who lives alone is more susceptible to mental health issues because they lack support from others. Sadly, this isolation puts them at higher risk of dementia, as well.
Some medications increase a person’s risk of depression. This includes Interferon, an antiviral medication, and Isotretinoin, a medication for treating acne. Corticosteroid use may also leave a person depressed.
Many people handle conflict with ease. For men and women with a biological vulnerability to depression, this conflict can be an issue. They may become depressed when they have a dispute with family or friends.
Loss of a Loved One
When a loved one passes, a person feels sad. Some people cannot overcome this grief. It overtakes them and they become depressed. This loss may not be the result of death, however. Divorce or moving away from loved ones can also lead to a person grieving and becoming depressed. People must recognize this and help those who appear to be struggling following a major life event.
A person’s gender plays a role in their susceptibility to depression. Women have a much higher rate of clinical depression, and researchers have yet to determine why. However, they believe hormonal changes in a woman’s body over the years may play a role in the diagnosis of depression.
Depression appears to run in some families. This doesn’t mean that every family will be diagnosed with this condition, as other factors play a role in its development. For example, scientists believe several genes come together to increase a person’s risk of depression. One family member may have the right combination of these genes, while another family member does not. The genetics of depression are complex. This disease isn’t the result of a single gene mutation, unlike many others.
Some people become depressed due to their life circumstances. They may have a mental illness that leaves them socially isolated or find they must move across the country for work, leaving their support system behind. Situations such as these can lead to a person becoming depressed.
A person who suffers from a chronic illness has a higher chance of depression. This illness may be something that will progress over time or it could be a sudden diagnosis like cancer. The individual should speak to their doctor about treatment options, as help is available if one asks.
Men and women with substance abuse issues are likely to become depressed. In fact, up to 30 percent of men and women with substance abuse problems are also diagnosed with clinical depression. While the drugs may make the user feel better in the short term, they make the person feel worse in the long run.
Depression can be treated. It’s a matter of finding the right treatment plan for the individual. Often, this plan will address the underlying issue that is leading to the depression also. With a comprehensive treatment plan, a person will find they can enjoy life once again.