Depression- Where Did That Come From? How does it feel? What do I do about it?
Where did that come from?
9 possible causes, “There are a number of factors that may increase the chance of
depression, including the following:” (Causes of Depression,
1. Abuse. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can increase the vulnerability to
clinical depression later in life.
2. Certain medications. Some drugs, can increase your risk of depression.
3. Conflict. Depression in someone who has the biological vulnerability to develop
depression may result from personal conflicts or disputes with family members or friends.
4. Death or a loss. Sadness or grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural,
may increase the risk of depression.
5. Genetics. A family history of depression may increase the risk. It’s thought that
depression is a complex trait, meaning that there are probably many different genes that
each exert small effects, rather than a single gene that contributes to disease risk. The
genetics of depression, like most psychiatric disorders, are not as simple or straightforward
as in purely genetic diseases such as Huntington’s chorea or cystic fibrosis.
6. Major events. Even good events such as starting a new job, graduating, or getting
married can lead to depression. So can moving, losing a job or income, getting divorced, or
retiring. However, the syndrome of clinical depression is never just a “normal” response to
stressful life events.
7. Other personal problems. Problems such as social isolation due to other mental illnesses
or being cast out of a family or social group can contribute to the risk of developing
8. Serious illnesses. Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or may be
triggered by another medical condition.
9. Substance abuse. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major
or clinical depression.
How does depression feel?
Remember- sadness is a feeling. Depression is an illness.
- Abuse- You feel that you are to blame, unappreciated, inferior, wonder if you are
crazy ( Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. in HelpGuide.org)
- Conflict- Being bullied, for example- “Often people who are bullied can feel like a
‘victim’ but it’s important that you don’t dis-empower yourself and let the bullying
dictate who you are.” (Ditchthelabel.org/7-things-you shouldn’t-do-if-being-bullied)
- Death or loss-“Whatever the cause, the feeling of grief often comes in waves. The first flooding, crushing tidal wave usually subsides within a few days or weeks, but even months later an unexpected, poignant memory will bring on tears, a sudden constriction of the chest, a lump in the throat.” ( Lynn Mary Karjala, Ph.D. psychologist, Roswell, Georgia)
- Major events- On the job- Cliff Ranson, editor in chief of Popular Science Magazine tells the story of a friend who worked awful hours, nights, weekends, you name it. As a consequence, he slept less and less while, at the same time, his job ramped up. He finally gave his two weeks’ notice.
- Other personal problems- Social anxiety, “Some people experience anxiety in most social and performance situations, a condition known as generalized social anxiety disorder. For other people with social phobia, anxiety is connected with specific social situations, such as speaking to strangers, eating at restaurants, or going to parties”. (Excerpted from Melinda Smith, M.A., and Ellen Jaffe-Gill, M.A. Last updated: August 2015. On help.org)
- Substance abuse- “Guilt and shame are common feelings.” (Scott Pelley interview, December 13, 2015)
What do I do about it?
“People need to realize that treatment for depression is relatively quick, relatively
painless. The newer medications are very effective. Psychotherapy is just as effective. The two
together are effective with 90 percent of patients. Therapy doesn’t have to take a long time; 8 to
12 weeks is usually enough time to show some real progress.” (Susan Pearsall, NY Times, Jan 11, 1998,
quoting Dr. Richard O’Connor’s q & a- author of the book, Depression and Ways to Keep It at Bay)
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in.
We are online at counselingondemand.com
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