According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 5% of the adult population worldwide suffers from depression. A depressive episode is categorized as a period of persistent low mood, sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness, affecting different areas of life. Although a single factor doesn’t usually cause depression, many significant factors can trigger a depressive episode.
Unlike normal mood fluctuations and reactions to challenges in day-to-day life, depression is just something you cannot “snap out” of. It can cause various symptoms with a significant impact on everyday life. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, which is the fourth leading cause of death in people aged 15-29. Fortunately, depression is a treatable illness, and with the appropriate support, people with the condition can lead successful and fulfilling lives.
Let’s talk about the symptoms of depression, the factors triggering depression, and where you can go for effective depression management in North Chesterfield, VA.
Symptoms of Depression
Some people may experience only one episode of depression in their lives, but more often, there can be multiple episodes of depression. A depressive episode lasts for two weeks or longer. Symptoms of a depressive episode can include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of irritability, frustration‚ or restlessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause that do not ease even with treatment
- Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide
When someone has depressive symptoms, they may experience significant difficulty in many areas of functioning and aspects of life, such as personal, social, family, occupational, and educational.
What Are the Triggers?
Although the exact causes of depression are still not completely understood, there are several triggers and other factors that may increase the risk of depression including:
- A traumatic or stressful life event, such as the death of a loved one, a relationship breakdown, family conflict, financial problem, unemployment, or physical or sexual abuse
- Period of stress and/or anxiety
- Social isolation
- Physical health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, or chronic pain conditions
- Family history. (There is an increased chance of developing depression if a blood relative has a history of a mental health disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or suicide)
- Specific personality traits, such as having low self-esteem or being overly self-critical or pessimistic
- Having a history of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder
- alcohol or substance misuse
- Using certain types of medications, such as hypertension medications or sedatives
Learning to recognize potential triggers can be beneficial in treating and managing the condition. Try keeping a diary to log mood changes, changes to daily routines, and any significant life events contributing to a deterioration in mood can help to recognize triggers and the need for treatment.
When to Get Help
Treatment for depression can vary depending on the type of depression, the severity of symptoms, and the potential cause of the depressive episode. It may include medication, psychotherapy, brain stimulation, other types of therapy, hospital outpatient or residential treatments, or a combination of treatments. Long-term maintenance treatment can help prevent a relapse of symptoms or prevent depressive episodes from worsening.
Help for Depressive Episodes in North Chesterfield, VA
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, contact the caring helping professionals at EPIC Health Partners LLC. We provide clinic-based, community-based behavioral health assessments, outpatient services, and telepsychiatry services to adults and children.
Our team of experienced and compassionate mental health providers offers outstanding individualized behavioral health care to enable individuals with mental health issues the coping skills to lead successful and rewarding lives.