Depression is a condition that causes a constant feeling of being sad, miserable, unhappy or uninterested. Also called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how an individual feels and acts in everyday situations.  Depression may lead to a variety of emotion and physical problems and make feel an individual feel as if life isn’t worth living. Depression requires long-term treatment be means of medication, psychological counseling or sometimes both.



Signs and symptoms of depression may include:  

  • Feeling of sadness and emptiness
  • Feeling of frustration
  • Feeling of unhappiness
  • Feeling of worthlessness or guilt
  • Loss of will or interest in normal activities
  • Angry outbursts
  • Sleep deprivation or sleeping too much
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unexplained physical problems
  • Recurrent suicidal/death thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide



Although the exact cause of depression is unknown, potential triggers may be due to:

  • Biological differences
  • Brain triggers (Neurotransmitters)
  • Change in body’s balance of hormones
  • Inherited traits or medical conditions
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life events (death or loss of a loved one, financial loss, others)


Risk factors 

Depression can occur at any age but is most often begins in the teens, 20s or 30s. Factors associated with the risk of developing depression include:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease
  • Personality traits such as low self-esteem, self-critical, others
  • Medications such as sleeping pills or high blood pressure pills
  • History of disorders, depression, alcoholism, medical conditions, or suicide
  • Stressful life events such as death or loss of a loved one, physical abuse, others



Complications of developing depression may include:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Excess weight gain
  • Family problems
  • Relationship issues
  • Work or school difficulties
  • Social seclusion
  • Cutting oneself
  • Suicidal thoughts, attempts or suicide
  • Development of other medical conditions



A few recommendations for preventing depression may include:

  • Taking steps to control stress and boost self-worth
  • Finding comfort in family and friends
  • Receiving treatment at the earliest sign of a problem
  • Considering long term treatment to help prevent relapse