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Depression: causes, symptoms and treatments


Depression is still a poorly understood disease. Let's find out what it is, what the causes are, how to recognize it and how to act when it occurs.

When we talk about depression, we mean a very widespread pathology that can affect people of all ages, genders and social status.
Unlike what you think, it's a malaise that affects both emotions and the body . Those who suffer from it, in fact, can have even serious physical symptoms that can affect the quality of life. Often difficult to recognize (both for those who suffer from it and for those around them), depression is divided into many subgroups of different entities and which therefore require personalized treatments. Let's find out, therefore, everything there is to know about this widespread evil and which many, erroneously, still struggle to talk about.

Depression and its main causes: this is why it occurs

The first thing to know is that there are different forms of depression that differ in the presence of some symptoms and that in some cases can be linked to other diseases.


In general, the causes are divided into various aspects which can be summarized as follows:

– Biological factors
– Genetics
– Social reasons

The former are usually linked to hormonal imbalances or alterations in the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. By working on them, it is usually possible to rapidly improve the symptoms.
In the case of genetic factors, depression is already present in one or more family members and this leads to an actually higher risk of contracting the disease. However, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, we talk more about predisposition.
Social reasons, on the other hand, are due to stress factors, very intense social pressure and problems of everyday life that are hard to bear. A classic example is depression which can occur in the event of major and/or debilitating illnesses or when you lose someone you were particularly close to.

In all cases, the therapeutic approach is essential in order to understand, first of all, the triggering cause of the depression. In doing so it is in fact possible to take the first steps to counteract and cure it.

Symptoms of depression: how to recognize it

As already mentioned, depression can be difficult to recognize. When it arrives, it tends to present itself, at least at the beginning, with almost common symptoms that can be traced back to other problems. They range, for example from headaches, anxiety and tachycardia, up to muscle pain. In some cases one feels tired and with variable mood . Nothing too different from what you feel when you feel stressed or when you experience a particularly intense moment.

This is one of the most serious problems because those who suffer from depression, at least at the beginning, find almost comfort in the ways they automatically implement to counteract it. Ways that often lead, albeit slowly, to isolation or a feeling of being alone.

Going to the most characteristic symptoms, these can be summarized as follows:

– Low and/or variable mood
– Asthenia
– Lack of interest in others
– Lack of desire to do things
– Absence of sexual desire
Lack of appetite
– Low self-esteem
– Constant sense of frustration
– Bad mood
– Poor reaction to adversity
– Desire for solutidines
– Anxiety at the thought of having social experiences
– Continuous drowsiness
– Lack of concentration
– Frequent migraine
– Nausea in moments of stress
Altered sleep cycles
– Moments of hyperactivity that alternate with those of laziness

In more serious cases, depression can manifest itself with more evident physical symptoms and which can interfere with everyday life. In addition, it may also occur in conjunction with certain diseases or substance or alcohol abuse.
In any case, it is always essential to ask for help from an expert.

Treatments for depression

The first thing to do when you suspect a case of depression (both personal and in your emotional sphere) is to contact an expert.
In fact, depression can present itself both in a mild and in a major form and only an attentive doctor will be able to understand the difference and implement the right treatment .

The first step is therefore to contact a psychotherapist. These will be able to understand if the depression is due to a trauma or some unresolved personal problem or if it is instead linked to a deeper illness that requires medication.

There are also cases of social media depression or the now famous Covid depression , which can be easily resolved with the help of the right doctor. Which also applies to postpartum depression , often unrecognized and capable of ruining the lives of new mothers.

In all cases, the best solution may be to undertake a psychotherapeutic path to which to associate some drugs. However, it is a choice that is always made in agreement with the doctor and on the basis of the personal situation. In some cases, the psychotherapist can therefore request the help of a psychiatrist or a neurologist, useful both for the prescription of any psychotropic drugs and for in-depth examinations.

What if the depression is only momentary? It often happens that you feel depressed. A common situation that shouldn't cause any concern if it doesn't last too long. In these cases, especially to avoid feeling this way, it can be useful to include the so-called antidepressant foods in your diet. These, in fact, are able to keep the mood high, helping to counteract depression.

depressed woman
depressed woman

How to tell if you are depressed or if you know someone with depression

The first step to recovering from depression is to recognize it and accept it. This disease, in fact, is not an indication of weakness but rather of traumatic experiences or imbalances and/or health problems that need to be resolved promptly by the doctor. The hardest thing to do, however, may be to recognize it. How to do it then?

Generally, if you suffer from depression yourself, you should pay attention to the duration of symptoms. It can often happen to feel sad or drained by a sad event. If the feeling doesn't return or tends to get worse, however, it's possible that depression really is involved.

The desire to always sleep and do nothing is also a clear symptom, together with the lack of interest in things that one once loved. When you realize you're in such a spiral, asking for help is timely . In case of depression, in fact, you will start to get out of it while if the situation was another you will have had the opportunity to talk to someone who can immediately focus on the problem and help in its solution.

The same symptoms can be found in the people we love. If this happens it is important to give them the right support and push them slowly towards the choice of asking for help. In fact, it is good to remember that the person suffering from depression must be the first to want to be helped and this can only happen if they do not feel judged but supported throughout the process.
By acting in this way for oneself and for others, the chances of defeating depression will certainly be higher.

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