As those who suffer from depression know, it’s not a simple black and white issue. Depression can develop in anyone, at any age, and to people of any race or ethnic group. Depression is never a "normal" part of life, no matter what your age, gender or health situation. It can often be misunderstood as just feeling “sad” but is a complex condition. The impact of depression may cause its sufferers to lose pleasure from daily life, it can complicate other medical conditions, and it can even be serious enough to lead to suicide.
What are the Causes of Depression?
While the cause of depression is not the same for everyone, a number of factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor may trigger the condition. Oftentimes, people become depressed for no apparent reason.
- Biological - People with depression may have too little or too much of certain brain chemicals, called "neurotransmitters." Changes in these brain chemicals may cause or contribute to depression.
- Cognitive - People with negative thinking patterns and low self-esteem are more likely to develop clinical depression.
- Gender - More women experience depression than men. While the reasons for this are still unclear, they may include the hormonal changes women go through during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Other reasons may include the stress caused by the multiple responsibilities that women have.
- Co-occurrence - Depression is more likely to occur along with certain illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and hormonal disorders.
- Medications - Side effects of some medications can bring about depression.
- Genetic - A family history of depression increases the risk of developing the condition. Some studies also suggest that a combination of genes and environmental factors work together to increase the risk for depression.
- Situational - Difficult life events, including divorce, financial problems or the death of a loved one can contribute to depression.
- Substance Abuse - Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.
No matter what the cause of depression is for you or a loved one, it is important to seek treatment.
Recognize the Symptoms of Depression
Being able to recognize when someone is suffering from depressions versus just having a low or sad mood is key to recovery. Unfortunately, only about half of the people who suffer from depression ever seek treatment.
Symptoms of depression may include but are not limited to:
- Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating, or appetite loss
- Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won't go away
- Digestive problems that don't get better, even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
There isn't a "depression test" a doctor can use to determine if a person has it, so a thorough history and physical exam is often the starting point.
Why Seek Depression Treatment at The Meadows
While depression is overwhelming, there is hope. Even the most severe and complicated cases of depression are treatable, and with the proper care, individuals can enjoy a life free from the condition.
At The Meadows treatment center in Arizona, our competent and compassionate clinicians and therapists specialize in treating not only the symptoms of depression but also the underlying causes. We help patients heal and find freedom from debilitating depression, and learn the skills necessary to build and re-build fulfilling relationships.
We believe that successful treatment combines powerful and unique methodologies that enable support, discovery, and healing. Since each patient comes to The Meadows with a unique story, our staff works to create a personalized patient treatment plan that combines multiple therapies to unlock the greatest potential for healing and growth.
The Meadows’ executive team, led by CEO Sean Walsh, understands that a program’s effectiveness lies in its staff’s interactions with each and every client:
“I believe that we have the most talented and professional staff in the business. Many of our staff have experienced portions of the issues that our clients are going through, and they understand and can identify with our clients’ concerns. I believe that this adds to the atmosphere of acceptance and respect that our clients feel when they arrive and during their entire stay with us,” Walsh said. “Our staff changes people’s lives.”
At The Meadows, the medical and clinical staff are attentive to the needs of patients and always maintain the level of professionalism and confidentiality that enables patients to fully focus on treatment and recovery.