Depression Causes, Types and Treatment


Depression is an emotional disorder that causes a feeling of constant sadness and a loss of interest in performing different activities. Also called "major depressive disorder" or "clinical depression," it affects a person's feelings, thoughts and behavior, and can cause a variety of physical and emotional problems. It is possible that you have difficulties to carry out daily activities and that, at times, you feel that it is not worth living.

More than just a passing sadness, depression is not a weakness and one can not recover overnight easily. Depression may require long-term treatment. But do not be discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, with psychotherapy, or with both.

Causes of depression

A negative event such as the loss of a loved one, a job, suffering a serious medical illness, or being under long periods of stress, can be "triggers" of a depressive episode, although sometimes depression can be spontaneous and the person you can not associate it with a specific event or cause. 

Genetic factors, hormonal changes, certain medical illnesses, stress, grief or stressful life circumstances can also contribute to the development or maintenance of depression. The combination of any of these factors can produce changes in our brain and difficulties in adapting to internal or external events, contributing to the appearance of depressive symptoms.

In some cases, there is a triggering event and then a kind of spiral begins to occur, for example: suppose your partner leaves you, you begin to feel sad and avoid seeing your family and friends, and also start to consume alcohol. This sequence of related events can make you feel increasingly sad and more depressed.

Many studies show that there is a genetic component in depression, although a gene has not yet been identified. Some studies (including work with the general population and studies of twins) show that the chances of developing depression tripled for people whose parents or siblings have had this disorder. In other words: people who have a relative who has had depression are more likely to develop the disorder, although other factors are also necessary.

Depression is a biosocial disorder. This means that to explain the genesis of depression it is necessary to consider the interaction between biological and environmental or psychological factors. Both factors are sides of the same coin and their interaction is important to explain depression and other psychiatric disorders. These factors can interact at different levels, at the level of resilience, as triggers, as maintainers and as factors to end a depressive episode.

Types of depression

The depressions can be classified in a simple way into 3 types.

Major depression has a more biological or endogenous origin, with a greater genetic component and less influence of external factors. It may appear recurrently and, in some cases, it bears a certain relationship with the season of the year.

In contrast, there is reactive depression, caused by poor adaptation to stressful environmental circumstances. 

Dysthymia, formerly known as depressive neurosis, characterized by a depressive episode of lesser intensity than the previous ones, of chronic evolution (more than two years), without asymptomatic periods and with feelings of disability and somatization. This last type of depression seems to have a closer relationship with the way of being and with prolonged stress.

Finally, there is a type of depression called masked, which instead of manifesting itself with the symptoms already mentioned, appears as organic discomforts -omatizations- or changes in behavior.

How to treat depression

Activate: It is key to face the discouragement that leads to depression and loss of interest in everyday activities through the performance of activities that make the person feel better. In that order of ideas, a psychologist is a perfect choice.

Positive thoughts: This is a therapy that can be carried out at home, as moving away from negative thoughts and attracting those that are positive is a more than adequate way to identify real techniques of how to operate in the face of depression.

Self-esteem: Self- esteem can be developed and in terms of mental health has been found to be key to improving the state of the immune system, in other words, to make the body is more physically and mentally.

Assertiveness: Defending oneself in a non-violent way against the pressures or obstacles of everyday life is a demonstration of progress in the care of depression.

Emotional intelligence: It is an advantage for all kinds of everyday situations or experiences in life. This is allusion to the fact that anxiety, sadness or anger do not overflow the interpretation or mode of works in everyday life.

Facing the situations: Sometimes because of the difficulty or the depression itself you want to flee, but the situations must be faced and if you do not do it, at some point it will be necessary. Do not leave it for later.

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