In most cases, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological causes. Typically, when people think of depression, they think of someone being unable to get out of bed or a person who cries all the time and withdraws completely from friends and family. While this can certainly be true, depression looks different in different people. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain and can range in severity from mild, situational depression to severe, recurring depression. Signs of depression represent a broad spectrum of symptoms, the most common of which are:
In and of themselves, these symptoms do not indicate a depressed person. All of us experience these things from time to time. However, when these symptoms, perhaps combined with others, interfere with your daily life and cause pain for you and those that care about you, depression could be a possibility.
Because of the stigma associated with it and the perception that we should be able to "just suck it up" and feel better on our own, many people with depresseive illnesses never seek treatment. It is important to know that depression is one of the most treatable mental health disorders. Once in therapy, most clients respond extremely well and can gain the tools they need to handle any future depressive episodes on their own.
Of course, in severe cases of depression, successful treatment can seem like an impossibility. Individuals struggling with severe depression feel hopeless, helpless, and alone. But even in cases such as these, therapy with a licensed professional can be extremely beneficial.