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Depression is a condition that can occur once in a person’s lifetime, or can be an ongoing condition.  This condition can range from a mild form which may consist of feeling sad, blue or down in the dumps to a more severe clinical depression or bipolar depressive disorder.

Causes of depression may be related to biological differences, inherited traits or stressful events. Other causes of depression may be seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which may occur at certain times of the year or postpartum depression which can occur after the birth of a child.  According to a Mayo Clinic study, women are more likely to suffer from depression, as they tend to internalize problems (they blame themselves), whereas men tend to externalize problems (they blame others).  However, anyone can suffer from depression – men, women, children or the elderly.  This study also states that 90% of the more than 34,000 people that commit suicide each year have a diagnosable and treatable disorder.

People that suffer from depression may have the following symptoms:

  • A hopeless or helpless outlook
  • A feeling of worthlessness, self-hate or guilt
  • Anger, crying
  • Loss of interest, withdrawal from activities
  • Decrease in sex drive
  • Either excessive sleeping, or little to no sleeping
  • Changes in appetite/weight

Treatment for depression needs to be determined on an individual basis.  Psychotherapy, hypnosis, medication or a combination of treatments may be of benefit for patients with depression.  Psychotherapy or talk therapy, can be very beneficial if you find the right therapist that you can connect with to provide support.  Different types of psychotherapy including cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy (or a combination of these therapies) that can help to reframe negative thinking and understand the triggers of depression and how to avoid them.  Even severely depressed patients can benefit from psychotherapy, so there is hope in being able to enjoy your life.  Changes in lifestyle, including exercise, good nutrition, getting enough sleep and reducing stress can also be helpful in your road to recovery from depression.