Depression is associated with changes in brain function, and alterations in neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Excessive consumption of alcohol or other substances can trigger or worsen depression.
Women are about twice as likely as men to develop depression and are especially prone to depressive disorders around the time of their menstrual period, during pregnancy, post childbirth, and perimenopause.
A person may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression if they have a longstanding or life-threatening illness (such as coronary heart disease or cancer), sleep disorder, thyroid issue, or hormonal disorders.
A range of events, situations or incidents can trigger depression. Some common examples are death of a loved one; close association with a sick relative; abuse or neglect as a child; divorce or marital problems; loss of a job; financial problems; moving to another city; social isolation; discrimination. Events need not be negative in nature to cause distress. Even positive events such as getting married or having a baby may lead to a depressive episode.
While genetic factors play a role in the vulnerability of a person to depression, they are not the only cause. Depression is triggered by a combination of genetics and external factors.
Yes, depression is a serious, but treatable, medical condition. With the right treatment and support, individuals who are diagnosed with depression can get better.
A major depressive episode is characterized by a set of symptoms that typically lasts for a few months. If left untreated, depression can last for months or sometimes years.
Depression is a serious mental illness and is unlikely to go away on its own or cure itself. Without treatment, depression can last for months or years and can become chronic. While a person experiencing depression may have days when they are able to cope, and other days when they find it difficult, it is important to reach out and seek professional treatment at the earliest.
Having experienced an episode of depression can place a person at higher risk of a relapse. But not everyone who has recovered from depression will experience it again. Getting the right treatment is crucial to recovery and in helping prevent future episodes.