While everybody feels sad or down every once in a while, many people suffer from an actual medical condition, known as depression or major depressive disorder, which impacts their lives on a daily basis. 

Causes of Depression

While the exact cause of depression isn’t known research has show that as with many mental disorders, a variety of factors may be involved, such as:

  • Stressful life events
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Brain chemistry
  • Trauma during childhood
  • Biological differences 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

For many people with depression, symptoms can be severe enough to impact their daily activities. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day for a period of two weeks or more and may include but are not limited to:

  • Constant feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Crying spells
  • Trouble concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability and frustration accompanied with angry outburst
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Fatigue, being tired and having a lack of energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame

According to the National Institute of Mental Health
in 2017 an estimated:

Adults age 18+ were diagnosed with at least one major depressive order
Adolescents ages 12 - 17 years old were diagnosed with at least one major depressive order

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