Depression is a normal part of the human experience; we all experience disappointments and dips in our moods due to our health or circumstances from time to time. However, when depression becomes the dominant emotion we feel for long periods, it can mean you’re suffering from a mental health issue. According to estimates in 2019, around 280 million people suffer from depression, and there is reason to believe those numbers have increased over the last few years. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, understanding the factors that lead to depression can be a significant first step to seeking treatment.
Major Life Changes
Significant life changes can lead to depression, such as losing a loved one, a job, your identity, or your quality of life (such as in the event of illness or injury). In addition, when our plans are interrupted by circumstances beyond our control or tragedy, and our life suddenly looks unfamiliar or different than we imagined, it can bring about sadness, overwhelm, and depression. Although it’s normal to feel stressed about such life events, clinical depression is never normal. If you or someone you know recently experienced a significant life change and is showing symptoms of depression, help is available. Read more about when to talk to a therapist here.
Many people are curious if depression is genetic, and while no one “inherits” depression, meaning if your parents struggle with depression, it’s not a foregone conclusion that you will. Scientists have found hereditary links that show depression can run in families. This isn’t bad news; as we learn more about this condition, we can better provide the treatment people need and help them find that treatment.
Brain Chemistry also plays a role in depression. The human body is a complex machine that utilizes millions of chemical reactions which are responsible for your mood, perceptions, and life experience. Because of the human brain’s complex nature, people can suffer from similar symptoms of depression, but they could stem from different places. This is why finding the right treatment for your body is essential. A trained therapist can help with this; often, a combination of medication and therapy is prescribed to help treat these symptoms.
History Of Abuse/Trauma
Unfortunately, by the time we reach adulthood, most of us will have experienced trauma, and many of us will have experienced abuse. Having a history of abuse and trauma affects us long after the event itself is over. The pain we carry from these events can affect how we make decisions and live our lives. Often people find themselves depressed due to abuse or trauma dating back to childhood. However, there is hope; talk therapy is one of the most effective treatments for dealing with depression caused by trauma and abuse. Therapy can help you make sense of the emotion surrounding your pain and provide you with coping skills that help you live a happier and healthier life.
Substance abuse is another type of abuse that leads to depression. The effects of substance abuse often lead to depression. If you or someone you know is recovering from substance abuse and is struggling with depression, talking to a therapist can help. Understanding what motivates your behavior and choices and developing good coping skills are all part of therapy. Treatment can help.
Where To Get Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, therapy can help. Talk therapy and counseling have been proven highly effective for patients struggling with depression. At Collective Counseling Services, we offer a wide range of counselors across the U.S. to find a therapist near you; contact us today!