All people, no matter their age, gender, race, faith, ethnic identity, environment or financial status can suffer with depression. Many things happen in life to make us feel down, disappointed or blue. Fortunately, depression counseling can help.
How Do People Get Depressed?
Basically, there are 5 ways humans become depressed:
- Many adults get depressed as a natural reaction to a painful event in our life. Experiences happen that affect us emotionally, mentally and physically in a depressive way. If the event is mild then the sadness lasts for a short time. Some stressful events accumulate over time and cause depression. However, some experiences are traumatic and overwhelming and they really set us back and disturb us psychologically for an extended period of time. Such stressful situations include divorce, death of a loved one, job loss or unemployment, relocating one’s home, loss of a friend, big disappointments, chronic or terminal illness or unexpected change. Some of these events may be rooted in childhood, such as abuse, neglect, deprivation, abandonment and other serious stressors.
- A chemical imbalance or toxicity can occur in the brain and results in moderate or serious symptoms associated to depression mood.
- Genetics and family history can be a contributor. Depressive states can be biologically inherited and there can be a history of depression across generations within a family.
- Medical illness can also set off depression. A physical injury or disability, or a chronic or life-threatening illness can easily trigger a depression response.
- Side-effects of medications and substance abuse (legal and illegal) can cause a chemically induced depression.
Are There Different Levels of Depression?
Yes. Depression is a painful emotion that can manifest in many different ways – behaviorally, emotionally, socially, mentally. Some forms of depression are mild while others can become very serious or profound. Depression can be situational or chronic and the result of many different causes and combinations of circumstances. There are depressions that last for only a few months while others may be prolonged for decades.
Depression can affect children, teens, adults, and seniors so deeply that it can endanger their lives. Some people become so depressed that they cannot take care of themselves and expose themselves to danger or poor health conditions.
When significantly distraught and in emotional pain, people may become suicidal. They may lose hope and want to die in order to avoid their emotional and mental pain. Some may develop a plan and a method for killing themselves while others will make suicidal attempts or successfully end their lives.
Symptoms of Depression Often Vary between Genders and Age Groups.
Plus, these groups tend to respond differently to different types of treatment.
- Men often show: anger, irritability, isolation, withdrawal, hostility, aggression, numbness, shame, stoicism, criticism, addictions, risk-taking and suicidal ideas. Most men don’t recognize that they feel depressed and they take longer to reach out for depression counseling. Their symptoms are more “covert”. Most depressed men are under-diagnosed by medical and mental health professionals.
- Women tend to demonstrate: sadness, depressed mood, loss of energy, apathy, tearfulness, and reduced or increased appetite and weight. Most women recognize when they are depressed and talk about it. They tend to voluntarily reach out for help and are more easily diagnosed with depression.
- Children and adolescents tend to: either become more withdrawn, isolated and quiet or they act-out by becoming aggressive, defiant and oppositional when depressed. Kids tend to either enjoy or resist depression counseling. Most younger children will engage in play and activity therapies. They struggle to talk about their experiences openly. Many teenagers prefer group therapy over individual therapy.
- Elderly people often: become isolated, hopeless, helpless, apathetic, fatigued, angry, oppositional, sleep more, move slower, and have a reduced desire for pleasure and social interaction. Most elderly people with chronic illnesses, pain, disabilities or life-threatening diseases are usually depressed. Many seniors will resist participating in depression counseling or “talk therapy” but may passively take psychiatric medications.
If you are depressed, then you are not alone. You can feel better.
I’m here to help. Please contact me soon for a consultation at 805-448-5053.
Learn more about my depression services here: Depression Counseling