Depression isn't a bout of the blues. It isn't a sign of weakness. Nor is it something you can simply "snap out" of. Depression is a medical illness that usually requires ongoing treatment, just like one would manage diabetes or high blood pressure. With treatment, most people with depression feel better.
What IS depression?
- Depression is a medical illness that changes how you feel, think and behave.
- It affects people of all ages, races, genders, ability and socio-economic levels.
- 1 in 5 people experience depression sometime in their lifetime. Therefore, you are not alone.
What causes depression?
- Genetics/family history. Depression is more common when one has a family member with the condition.
- Brain changes. Depression is linked to an imbalance in brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters. When they are out of balance, they can affect mood, emotions and bodily functions.
- Stressful life events. Death and loss of a loved one, health problems, financial problems, traumatic events and high stress can trigger depression.
- Other factors. Sometimes depression can catch us unaware due to a prolonged lapse in habits and motivation.
How does depression look like?
Depression affects each of us a little differently. For some people, it is obvious - something isn't right. For others, they may feel miserable without knowing why. The trick is to ask yourself and your loved ones if they have been able to identify changes in the way you think, feel and behave. It also helps you recognize when your symptoms are getting better and you are beginning to recover from them.
Here is how depression may look like in people:
- Unexplained back pain, headaches
- Weight changes, sleep issues, concentration difficulties, fatigue
- Lacking pleasure in things they used to love
Let's learn how kids can get stuck in a spiral of depression, and understand how they can break that cycle by choosing meaningful and enjoyable activities.