Why am I so depressed?

Why am I so depressed?
Do you have signs and symptoms of depression? 

Depression: Struggles, Support and Hope

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’ve asked yourself at one point “Why am I so depressed?”. Depression is a very real and difficult condition to face. It can cause physical and emotional pain and leave you feeling isolated, out of control, and hopeless. Fortunately, there is help available. With the right information and the right supports, it is possible to manage and even overcome depression.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the complexities of depression and provide resources and strategies for managing the condition. We’ll also explore the potential causes and symptoms of depression as well as conventional treatment options and self-help strategies. This is a comprehensive guide to depression – one that we hope will provide insight, support, and ultimately, hope.

Depression is an intense feeling of sadness that persists for a long period of time. It is a mood disorder that affects how you think, feel and act. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines depression as “a period of at least two weeks during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image.”

It is important to note that depression can manifest differently in everyone and is experienced on a spectrum – from mild occasional sadness to severe, long-lasting clinical depression. A person should seek medical attention if their symptoms persist for more than two weeks or begin negatively affecting their daily functioning.

History and Statistics of Depression

Depression is a disorder that has been recognized for centuries. It is mentioned in writings from the time of Hippocrates, who described it as “melancholia.” In more recent times, depression was often seen as a “moral failing” or a sign of weakness, and society responded with stigma and exclusion.

Despite this history, many people still don’t understand the magnitude of depression, or how common it can be. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in the U.S., affecting over 17 million adults nationwide.

It’s also important to note that depression doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, or other factors. While women are more likely to experience depression, men can also struggle with depression and must be aware of the signs and symptoms. Additionally, depression occurs across all ages and races, and often goes undiagnosed and untreated due to stigmas that keep people from seeking help.

It’s estimated that only about 40 percent of people with depression receive treatment, even though depression can be treated. The good news is that the more we talk about depression, the more we can break down stigmas and encourage people to get the help they need.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, know that you are not alone and there is help available.

Depression is a complex condition that affects millions of people around the world. While it is still not known exactly why someone develops depression, researchers believe there are many potential causes. These causes can include genetics, environmental factors, and other medical conditions.

When discussing the causes of depression, it is important to consider genetics first. Research suggests that people who suffer from depression have a higher chance of having a family member with depression as well. Additionally, specific genes have been associated with an increased risk of depression. It is important to note, though, that having a genetic predisposition doesn’t mean you will definitely develop depression.

The environment also plays a role in the development of depression. Experiencing trauma or prolonged stress can increase the risk of developing depression. Similarly, any significant life changes or events, such as the death of a loved one, relationship difficulties, or financial hardship may increase the risk of becoming depressed.

Finally, certain medical conditions may increase the risk of developing depression. People living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDs, and multiple sclerosis may all be at a higher risk. Additionally, certain medications used to treat medical conditions can also increase the risk of depression.

Overall, while it is not possible to determine the exact cause of someone’s depression, there are several potential contributing factors to consider. Genetics, environmental factors, and medical conditions can all increase the risk of developing depression.

Depression can affect us in different ways. It can be hard to identify the signs and symptoms, as often they may be different for each person. The most common physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms of depression are outlined below.

Physical Symptoms

The physical manifestations of depression can include:

  • Increased fatigue and low energy
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or oversleeping
  • Lack of motivation to do everyday activities

Emotional Symptoms

It is typical to feel sad and weepy when dealing with depression, however, the emotional symptoms can also present themselves as:

  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, such as hobbies
  • Persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Cognitive Symptoms

Depression can also affect your thinking processes. This can lead to:

  • Trouble focusing, making decision, and remembering details
  • Inability to concentrate and comprehend
  • Negative thoughts and thinking patterns
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Excessive alcohol or drug use

Behavioral Symptoms

Changes in behavior are common when dealing with depression. These can include:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Isolating oneself in order to avoid social interaction
  • Increasingly appearing agitated or anxious
  • Sudden outbursts of anger, frustration or irritability
  • A decrease in self-care routines such as showering, brushing teeth, etc.

If you are experiencing any of the above signs or symptoms, it is important to reach out for help. Talking to a professional can help you to manage the condition and understand yourself better.

Treatment Options for Depression

If you are struggling with depression, there are several conventional treatment options available that can help. The most common treatments for depression include psychotherapy and medications. Here is an overview of these treatment options:


Psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy”, is a type of counseling where you discuss your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with a mental health professional. During psychotherapy, you may work on positive thinking patterns, learn to manage stress, or explore ways to improve your relationships. It can also be helpful in identifying any underlying factors that are contributing to your depression.


Some cases of depression may also benefit from medications. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers may be prescribed to balance out chemical imbalances in the brain that could be contributing to your depression. It is important to speak to a healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits involved with taking medications.

Other types of medications such as anti-anxiety medications or sleep medications can help to manage symptoms associated with depression, but they may not provide as long-lasting relief as psychotherapy or antidepressant medications. It is best to speak to a healthcare provider about what medications might be best for you.

Self-Help Strategies For Dealing With Depression

Depression can be debilitating and can feel like an insurmountable task. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to help manage your symptoms. It is important to remember that depression is not a sign of weakness or deficiency - it is an illness. With the right support and strategies, you can learn how to cope with your depression.

Changing your lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to manage your depression. Making small changes in your everyday routine can make a big difference in how you feel. Here are some things to consider when creating a self-help strategy for managing your depression:

  • Exercise regularly – even a 30 minute walk every day can help to lift your mood.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet – ensuring that you get plenty of vitamins and nutrients has been proven to have a positive effect on mood.
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol and other drugs – while these substances may seem to temporarily provide relief from depression, they can actually lead to more severe symptoms in the long run.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself – goal setting is a great way to increase motivation and manage your depression.
  • Learn relaxation techniques – activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Spend time with supportive people – having a strong social support network can be very beneficial when managing depression.
  • Engage in activities that bring joy – focus on activities that make you happy, such as hobbies, creative pursuits, or anything else that brings you joy.

These are just a few self-help strategies that can be effective when it comes to dealing with depression. Remember that staying positive and bringing joy into your life can help you to manage your symptoms. If you find that your symptoms are still overwhelming, make sure to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider for more advice.

Treatment Plan for Managing Depression

Treating depression can be a difficult process. While medication and therapy are the primary components of most treatment plans, lifestyle changes and self-help strategies can also play an important role. An effective plan will involve finding what works best for you and committing to it. Here are some tips to help you develop an effective treatment plan for managing depression.

Create a Daily Routine

Creating a schedule and sticking to it can be a great way to cope with depression. Having a routine helps minimize stress and promote positive behaviors. Start by making a plan for each day and writing down any activities or tasks that need to be done. Make sure to include time for self-care such as eating a nutritious meal, exercising, meditating, or just taking a break from daily stressors.

Learn Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and feelings of depression. These can include deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. When practiced regularly, these techniques can help you feel calmer and more in control of your emotions. Additionally, they can help reduce physical symptoms associated with depression such as headaches, muscle tension, and digestive issues.

Monitor Your Thoughts and Behaviors

It is important to pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors in order to recognize any negative patterns. If you notice any behaviors or thought patterns that are having a negative impact on your mood, it is important to find healthier ways to cope. For example, instead of thinking “I’m a failure”, remind yourself of your successes. Additionally, it can be helpful to talk to someone about your thoughts and feelings instead of trying to deal with them alone.

Seek Professional Help

If you are struggling to manage your depression on your own, it is important to seek professional help. Working with a mental health professional can help you identify the root cause of your depression and develop a plan to better manage it. They can also provide you with valuable support and strategies to cope with your depression.

Find Social Support

Having a strong social support system can be beneficial for anyone struggling with depression. It can be helpful to connect with family and friends who understand and can provide emotional support. Additionally, there are many online support groups for people with depression which can be a great way to connect with others who are going through a similar experience.

Seek Opportunities for Growth

When dealing with depression, it can be helpful to find activities that make you feel good. This could include anything from spending time outdoors to enrolling in a class or workshop. Engaging in activities that challenge you and provide a sense of accomplishment can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. Additionally, this can help to create a distraction from your depressive symptoms and give you something productive to focus on.

Stay Positive

Depression can be incredibly overwhelming, but it is important to stay positive and remember that there is hope. Take it one day at a time and reward yourself for small accomplishments. Additionally, be kind to yourself and do not expect perfection. Every day is a new opportunity to move forward towards recovery.

Depression can be incredibly difficult and exhausting to manage. It is not something you have to go through alone. There is help and support available, and with the right treatment plan you can make progress. No matter how dark things may seem right now, there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow. It's important to be kind to yourself and reach out for help when you need it. Everyone's situation is different, but it is possible to get better with the right support. Don't be afraid to ask for help and get back on the path to feeling better.

It's important to recognize the signs of depression and get help if needed. In order to provide accurate and helpful information on this topic, we want to make sure to use reliable sources and link to further resources.

When citing sources, it is important to include the author, title of the work, date published, and where it was retrieved from. Additionally, any paraphrased or quoted material should be properly cited in the text.

When providing links, it is important to check for accuracy and current updates. Only link to trustworthy websites and organisations. Below are some of the sources we used for this guide, and some other resources that can help those who are struggling with depression:

Source Material Used:
• The American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
• National Institute of Mental Health (2017). What is Depression?

Helpful Resources:
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
• Mental Health America. Find a Treatment Provider Near You
• National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

FAQs: Common Questions about Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be hard to know what to do or where to turn when you or someone you care about is struggling with depression. Below, we’ve answered some common questions about this condition to provide readers with more insight and resources to help themselves or their loved ones.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It can cause physical and emotional symptoms that interfere with an individual’s daily life. Other symptoms of depression may include difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, fatigue, problems sleeping, and thoughts of death or suicide.

What causes depression?

The exact cause of depression is still unknown, but there are several potential factors. These can include genetics, environment, certain medications, as well as psychological and social factors. It’s important to remember that depression is not caused by one specific thing; rather, it is thought to be the result of a combination of factors.

How is depression treated?

Treatment for depression typically includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy can provide emotional support and help individuals find healthier ways of coping with their emotions. Medication can help restore the chemical imbalance in the brain associated with depression. Some people also find relief from alternative treatments such as yoga, meditation, light therapy, and exercise.

Can depression be prevented?

There is no surefire way to prevent depression, but there are some things that can help. Regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in social activities have been found to reduce the risk of depression. It is also helpful to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindful meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.

Where can I get help?

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, it is important to seek help. Talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. There are also many online resources and support groups available. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a 24/7 hotline (1-800-662-HELP) for people in need.

At the end of this guide, we encourage readers to take action. There are many resources out there to help those who are struggling with depression. If you are feeling overwhelmed, scared, or just need someone to talk to, please reach out for help. Sharing this post can be a great way to spread awareness and lend a hand to those who are struggling. Additionally, here are some resources available for anyone seeking help:

• TalkLife – An online community providing peer-to-peer support for people dealing with mental health issues (https://talklife.co/).
• National Suicide Prevention Helpline – A free 24-hour hotline that provides immediate help to those in crisis (1-800-273-8255).
• HelpGuide – A comprehensive guide to mental health care and self-help strategies (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/).
• NAMI.org – The website of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) with information, resources, support groups (https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition).

These are just a few of the resources available to those struggling with depression. Please take the time to reach out for help and share this post with others who may need it.

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