Exactly what causes depression really isn’t completely understood. Any of a combination of factors can lead to depression: personal or family history of depression; hormonal changes; an underlying illness; a profound loss; and/or prolonged distress, such has a poor relationship or a poor job fit. Any of these can trigger an episode of depression. The good news is that help is available and most people recover from depression.
Treatment falls into two categories, counselling and medication, which work jointly to help you get back to normal.
Counselling: Meeting with a counsellor provides you with a place to openly and privately talk about your feelings and experiences. Your counsellor can help you to find better ways of approaching and coping with your problems, and can provide you with new skills to apply to a variety of areas in your life.
Medication: When depression is more severe and/or does not respond to counselling, it is best to talk with your doctor about medication and the role it can play in your recovery.
Both doctors and counsellors can provide you with recommendations for relapse prevention, and both play an important role in your recovery.
If you are feeling depressed, take yourself seriously. Left untreated, depression can lead to under achievement, job loss, substance abuse, addiction, loss of relationships and/or unhealthy relationships, and even death.
Reach out for help if you have symptoms. If you think a friend or family member may be struggling with depression, encourage them to get help. Professional help does make difference. You CAN feel better!
[Originally published May 2012.]