Depression FAQs

Every year, more than 17 million American adults experience some form of depression. Amazingly, two-thirds of people with depression never actively seek or receive the help they need. The information below addresses common questions about this illness.

What is the definition of depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent (more than two weeks) feeling of sadness or low self-worth that is a significant change from previous behavior. Often its symptoms become so severe that they interfere with a person’s daily routines, personal relationships and ability to function socially.

What are common symptoms of depression?

  • Changes in appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation (e.g., pacing around the room)
  • Constant fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide
  • Chronic irritability or angry outbursts
  • Restlessness or excessive energy
  • Diminished ability to think, concentrate or make decisions.

What causes depression?

  • Genetic Predisposition. People with depression in their family background are three times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression than those with no family history of depression.
  • Environmental Factors. Poor sleep habits contribute to, and in some cases may cause, depression.
  • Drug Abuse. Excessive alcohol or drug use are often connected to depression.
  • Other Illnesses. Those suffering chronic severe illnesses, like Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease or chronic pain, often experience depression, perhaps due to the biological changes in their bodies.
  • Social Factors. Major life events, such as divorce, unemployment, or the death of a friend or relative can trigger depression.

What methods are used to treat depression?

While major depression currently has no known cure, a combination of medications and therapy are often effective in managing or reducing its symptoms.

What lifestyle changes can help treat depression?

  • Regular exercise. Aim for 30-60 minutes of aerobic activity.
  • Social support. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or volunteer in activities to help others.
  • Nutrition. Eat well, including small balanced meals.
  • Rest. Aim for 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Stress Reduction. Look for ways to manage and reduce your stress.

Does treatment help those who seek it?

Some 80 percent of people treated for depression show signs of improvement within 4-6 weeks. There may not be a cure for depression, but research strongly shows that the majority of those who seek treatment will benefit from it.

Could depression therapy help someone in your life? There are many issues to consider, as a professional, like a depression therapy professional, at a treatment center like the Lotus Wellness Center, can explain.