What is depression? Depression is a medical disorder, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It is more than felling sad for a short time or feeling grief after a loss. These feelings are hard to deal with, but they get better with time. Depression disrupts your daily life. It affects your thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical health. It is not a weakness or a fault.
There are many causes of depression including chemical imbalances, family history, other diseases or medications and the use of drugs and alcohol. In some people, depression can occur even though life is going well. In others, conditions such as extreme stress or grief may bring on depression. Some stresses that are common in our world today are: trying to raise children and work outside the home, trying to balance tasks at work and home, having a stressful job, being a single parent, or having money problems.
Some depression is situational; that is, when the situation improves so does your mood. For women, these feelings may occur around the time of certain reproductive events, such as menstruation, pregnancy, loss of a baby, birth of a baby, infertility, or menopause. These feelings are normal. Many do not need treatment. Depression linked to a situation can sometimes trigger true depression. If the feelings don’t go away, they should be treated.
You and your doctor need to work as a team to find the best treatment for you. Treatment may include antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, or both. Depression is a common medical problem that won’t “just go away”. Call and make an appointment as soon as possible. Together we can find a way to help you to both feel and function better.