Everyone feels down now and then but feeling down does not mean that you are clinically depressed. Suffering from depression is very different than simply “feeling depressed.”
Clinical depression often causes despair and hopelessness so profound that the depressed person loses interest in life, becomes incapable of feeling pleasure and may be unable to get out of bed or eat for days at a time.
Major depression is not necessarily caused by an event or as a result of the state of affairs in someone’s life. Often there is not a definable event that triggers depression. Experts agree, however, that certain people are predisposed to depression due to factors that include family history of mental illness, abuse, chronic illness, loss of a parent, divorce or abandonment. In some cases, depression can be wholly attributed to chemical imbalances. Whether caused by psychological factors, chemical factors, or a combination of the two, the most important thing is to identify the illness and seek treatment.
Beyond the agonizing despair that depression causes, the major risk associated with depression is suicide. Statistics show that within five years of suffering a major depression, and estimated 25% of sufferers try to kill themselves.
This information was reviewed by
Samantha Thomas, LCSW Thomas Conflict Management