A guide to what is depression – Know common causes and symptoms

Depression is a common problem these days. According to the reports, more than 70% people across the world suffer from different types of depression. More interestingly, a lot of people even do not know that they are suffering from depression. So, at this time of the world, we need to know the term depression with more perfection. It is better to keep away the myths and understand the facts regarding depression. So, the question is – what is depression? To define depression in simple words, it can be said that this is a basically a mental health problem that occurs due to various conditions, under various circumstances.

What is Depression?

Different medical experts define depression in different manner. It is hard to give a concrete definition of depression. It can generally be identified as a mental disorder or mental disturbance that can be experienced on short term or long term basis. As it is a mental disorder, there is no reason to consider it as lesser harmful than any other physical disorders. In fact, depression can lead to various critical physical damages. For example, a depressed person experiences quick mood swings.  Due to this, sometimes they can attempt suicide or hurting themselves in some ways. Depression also leaves a lot of physical problems, like heart disorders, brain diseases, hormonal imbalances, etc. In the following section of this article, we shall discuss some of the common causes of depression:

Various Causes of Depression

In our modern as well as contemporary society, talking about depression is a necessary thing. People need to understand the term depression more precisely. Optimal awareness amongst the people can solve this disease with perfection. To know depression in better manner, let us discuss salient casus behind this mental imbalance:

  1. Mental Stress: Too much mental stress leads to depression of different kinds. People acquire mental stress due to various reasons from various sources. For example, too much worried about something or hypertension is a common cause behind mental stress. Mental stress can also be caused by over workload. This is why people working in corporate sectors are mostly vulnerable to mental stresses. Their mental stress leads to depression in most of the cases.
  2. Consumption of Alcohol or Chain Smoking: If you are a heavy alcohol consumer or a chain smoker, depression can occur to you very commonly. Regular alcohol consumption should be restricted into occasional habit. Moreover, when you feel sad, try doing something productive rather consuming alcohol or indulge in smoking.
  3. Failure in Relationship: Failure in relationship is often found to be a common cause behind depression. This type of depression results into dreadful consequences. If you are suffering from such depression situations, it is better to consult an experienced psychologist.
  4. Pressure of Studies on Kids: Depression amongst kids is common and mostly that is caused by pressure of studies. Often parents want to make their kids best in all aspects. Failing to stand out with such immense pressure of expectations, depression for kids takes place.

Common Symptoms of Depression

To know what is depression, it is equally important to know the symptoms of depression. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Feeling sad often or constantly
  • Feeling tremendous mental pressure
  • Feeling low
  • Quick mood swing
  • Over attracted towards alcohol or cigarettes
  • Feeling guilty

Depression can lead to many physical as well as mental challenges. So, it is important to consult a psychologist as soon as possible. If you suspect depression is creeping in slowly in your mind, you should consult psychologists for quick medical solutions and mental counseling. Before consulting a psychologist, know his or her skills, specialization and certifications.

Self harm

Key points to remember

  • self harm is becoming more common amongst teenagers in New Zealand and other countries in the western world
  • there are many reasons why people self harm
  • the most important thing to do is to listen
  • if your young person tells you, or if you find out, ask them what was going through their heads when they were doing it
  • listen carefully for the answer and then ask them how they would like you to help
  • most importantly DON’T PANIC
  • if you keep calm and are reassuring then your young person will have much more confidence to tell you more
  • it is very important to encourage talking as that is a much better way to help the intensity of emotions than to self harm

What is self harm?

Self harm is becoming more common amongst teenagers in New Zealand and other countries in the western world. It is usually a coping strategy rather than a problem solving strategy, which is often how suicide can be seen. It should always be taken seriously as 30 percent of people who deliberately self harm can die from this. 

Self harm is also known as deliberate self harm (DSH) and can take many forms. It is becoming more common amongst young people but it can also occur in much older people.

It can take the form of:

  • cutting
  • burning
  • hair pulling
  • punching
  • overdose

Sometimes behaviours such as dangerous drinking, dangerous driving and sexual risk taking can be part of the range of self harm behaviour.

How common is it?

The Youth 2000 study is a random sample of all high school students in New Zealand. It has gathered information from young people about many topics that affect their lives through an electronic survey. Youth 2000 gathered information in 2001, 2007 and in 2012. One of the questions asked was about self harm. These were the percentage of young people who said that they had harmed themselves in the last two surveys:


The results show that girls self harm more than boys and there have been increasing numbers of boys and girls self harming in our high schools over the last 5 years.

Why do they do it?

There are many reasons why people self harm, including:

  • to cope with stress and anxiety
  • as a physical demonstration of emotional pain
  • to feel something when they feel numb (may be part of depression)
  • to express hatred against self
  • because of guilt and self punishment
  • because it has become a habit
  • to distract from intrusive thoughts
  • to try and make other people listen to them
  • to copy a friend
  • to feel good
  • as part of an illness like borderline personality disorder or schizophrenia, or depression

What can be done to help?

The most important thing to do is to listen. If your young person tells you, or if you find out, ask them what was going through their heads when they were doing it. Listen carefully for the answer and then ask them how they would like you to help.

You might ask what they wanted to achieve/get out of what they did and maybe suggest other ways of achieving the same thing.

Most importantly DON’T PANIC.

If you keep calm and are reassuring then your young person will have much more confidence to tell you more. It is very important to encourage talking as that is a much better way to help the intensity of emotions than to self harm.

  • find out more about what is causing stress in their lives and offer to help them to deal with it
  • provide attention to your young person
  • acknowledge the emotion they are feeling – never belittle it or tell them not to be so stupid
  • spend more time with them doing things together like have a coffee date, go for a walk or to the movies, watch TV together
  • encourage them to join a group, or gain a new skill
  • if you are worried and the first steps of listening and encouraging talking are not helping then seek professional help

Where to go for help

It may be helpful to talk to the school counselor, your family doctor, or a Youth One Stop Shop if there is one in your area.


If you can’t get in to see your family doctor then ring the psychiatric emergency service at your local hospital, or the child and youth mental health service.

Encourage your young person to try Sparx, a computer game which has been designed to treat depression in young people and help them to learn to control their emotions with their thoughts.

How to reduce depression caused by work

Depression caused by work in Office is a topic of increasing concern these days. More and more stories employees are stressed and suffer mental breakdowns in work place are heard every day. With the ever growing technology and science the world has become much smaller and hence people are always connected to work even when they are not in office. Also with more job pressure, inadequate breaks, no holidays, office politics, burden to perform better. All these factors increase the already pressurized mind and causes depression and mental breakdowns. When one of the employees is depressed, it can disturb not only that particular employee’s efficiency and contentment, but the whole mood of his or her workplace and colleagues and their efficiency too. Fortunately, depression in the workplace is not incurable or hopeless. Rather than taking drastic measures like firing a good employee there are other ways someone who is depressed at work.

depression caused by work

Depression caused by work

A Contented Workplace

Work can actually reduce the possibility of becoming depressed as ur provides a sense of accomplishment. In spite of this, there are situations in which work is less than beneficial to overall happiness and cause depression in the workplace.  Hence a workplace needs to have certain basic needs to keep the employees happy.

  1. Good working conditions which includes satisfactory levels of light, fresh air, less noise, comfortable temperature of the place.
  2. Optimal amount of workload that is not too much or too little
  3. Jobs that are not monotonous and boring to keep mind active and healthy.
  4. A good support system in office, friendly colleagues, a good boss, a proper Human resource guide.
  5. Proper guidance and support along with training and just performance evaluation and promotions and and when suitable.
  6. Fair and equal pay and offering raises at correct times.

What to do as a boss or a manager

As a manager, your responsibility is to ensure the needs of the business are met. If personal problems are damaging an employee’s capability to complete a task in the workplace efficiently and fulfill their workplace duties, you need to support the employee and advise them to get help for themselves. It is not your duty to analyze depression caused by work but it is your responsibility to recognize difficulties from employees that are interfering with performance at the office and deal with them. This may mean referring that particular sub ordinate to the business employee assistance program, if you have one or human resources.

Primary intervention on the early days on your part will permit for a better effective treatment. You can be even more supportive by permitting them to take time off from work if it is psychologically necessary and ease the employee’s work load in the project by adjusting work strains and expectations, if possible. It is also vital to look at the work atmosphere provided in your office to ensure that you are providing healthy working conditions and not adding to the stress levels of your employees.

Employees to help themselves

If you are suffering from depression caused by work it is always better to seek advice from proper sources. Your company may have programs and departments to assist you or you can seek professional help. Do not stop working completely as soon as you are depressed as it will escalate the situation. Work on whatever you are capable of doing, even routine tasks. However if you are unhappy with a work environment inform it. Or if you do not like your workplace try for some other job. Doing nothing, and resting at home, will only increase your feelings of insignificance and contribute more to your depressed mood.

Symptoms and Effects of depression caused by car accident

There are thousands of car accidents on road every day. Millions of people all around the world die of car accidents year after year. A major car accident affects a person in many ways more than just death. It can leave lifelong physical injuries and even cripple a person. Sometimes there are many bodily injuries to a person that he or she may have to be hospitalized for months. Some people find it very difficult to get back to normal life as their physical strength has gone down considerably because of the accident.

The car accident can also leave lasting impacts in a person’s mind. An individual can suffer from a lot of psychological trauma as an after effect of the accident. An accident besides leaving a person physically weak also weakens mind of some. Physical injuries in car accident and the Pain and problems it causes can put a person over tremendous strain. These difficulties can eat you up and over time, and may start affecting your normal mood. Lingering pain causes numerous problems that can lead to depression caused by car accident.  A car accident can also hurt a person financially and cause legal troubles from the individual which increases the overall troubles combined with constant pain can cause low self-esteem and feeling of hopelessness. If the pain from injury stop a person from going to work or continue is normal activities it can add to the overall feeling of helplessness and lead to major depression

Shock, Trauma wounds, damages and disability that often occur along with an auto accident can leave many of its victims with major depression.

Depression caused by car accident

Symptoms of Depression caused by car accident

Although symptoms of depression can differ from individual to individual following are some of the most common Symptoms of Depression after a car accident

  • Feelings of unhappiness, sadness, and hollowness for a long time almost every day
  • Loss of interest in regular activities that an individual used to relish doing before the accident.
  • Complete loss of appetite and anemia or excessive eating due to stress. Some People after accidents tend to over eat to forget the pain. Some even become addicted to food.
  • Some people due to pain from the accidents sleep throughout the whole day. There are others who cannot sleep at all and suffer from insomnia.
  • Anxiety, fear and general feeling of restlessness.
  • Feeling tired for no apparent reason. Fatigue and weariness all through the day.
  • Feelings of insignificance or guilt almost every day.
  • Lack of concentration in all activities and loss of memory combined with loss of alertness and quickness in activities.
  • Touchiness and frustration over petty issues, constant anger and irritation even over small matters.
  • Crying for a long time for no apparent reason or very small reason.

Depression caused by car accident can affect a person in a numerous ways. Psychological trauma affects a person in many facets. Some may even have fear of driving a car for a long term. It is extremely difficult for a person who got into a car accident to get over it quickly. If any person associated in the car accident has died or gotten a serious injury the other person involved has a feeling of constant guilt and touchiness. Even that may cause feeling of unhappiness resulting in major depressive episodes.

What is Depression, symptoms and its causes

  1. What is Depression
  2. Signs of Depression
  3. What causes Depression

What is depression

Many individuals have passed through depression once in a while. The feeling of sadness or depression might be your usual reaction towards injured self-esteem, struggles of life and losses. So, the question is – What is Depression? Depression can be termed as original illness impacting the brain. Or can be put in this way – it (depression) is a severe illness that occurs owing to the transformations in the brain chemistry.

There is some other definitions citing on – What is Depression? Depression not only is a critical illness but also the most common one. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) – depression is among the most hindering disorders worldwide that affects at least 1 in 5 females and 1 in 10 males at a certain point during their life. It has been anticipated that 21 percent among ladies and 12 percent among men in the United States are likely to experience periods of depression during their life.

A simple definition too exists on What is Depression? When you feel low, sad or even moody occasionally then few people pass through such feelings extremely for a longer period say for weeks or months or years and unfortunately without any sole reason at times. So, depression can be stated as a low mood – a critical illness that affects on both your mental as well as physical health.

Depression isn’t an impermanent weakness sign or change in your mood. Rather it can be defined as a real medical illness showing several cognitive, emotional, behavioral as well as physical symptoms. Now that when you know – What is Depression? Check out for the types of depressive disorders which include:

Signs of Depression:

After it is discussed about What is Depression, look at the signs so that you can recognize the illness easily:

Distorted Feelings

Major depression is the form of disorder affecting your mindset and let you feel down about how you view life generally. Having a complete helpless or even hopeless viewpoint of your life can usually be related to the sign of depression. Other Signs of Depression that you might gain within include the feel of self-hate, inappropriate guilt or worthlessness. Often you will notice the common recurring thoughts within like ‘what is the point after all?’ or ‘I am guilty’.

Change in Sleeping Patterns

This might disgust you completely. According to studies made, it is must for a person to sleep at least for 6 to 7 hours a day. However, depression might allow you to oversleep (termed as hypersomnia) or make you spend the whole night walking like a ghost (termed as insomnia). In both the cases, you are at a loss – if you are oversleeping then you are either getting late for school or office leaving your tasks incomplete. Contrarily, spending sleepless nights won’t allow you concentrate on your work which might hamper your productivity.

Loss of Interest

Depression can eliminate the enjoyment or pleasure completely from the things that you would love to do once. This can be withdrawal from the activities you once enjoyed to do such as hanging out with friends, getting indulged into sports or even your favorite pastime. This is one of the major Signs of Depression. You will even notice lesser urge for sexual relationship and impotence as well.

Irritability or Anger

Depression can completely change you as a human being. For example: you might be the person with coolest mindset and love to enjoy every moment of your life irrespective of whatever it is. However, suffering from depression will turn your behavior – you will notice the following things within:

  • Restlessness
  • Feeling agitated
  • Low level of tolerance
  • Short-tempered
  • Turning violent

Apart from these, you will feel everyone taking control over your nerves. When these things become start controlling you then it is really a problematic situation for you and your family.

Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts cannot be listed out of the Signs of Depression. This is the scarcest truth that is connected to depression. In the year 2013, over 41,000 individuals committed suicide in the U.S. as it has been estimated. Suicidal thoughts hardly ever attack one’s mind without showing the signs first. You will notice the person talking about death or even attempting it prior to getting success in putting an end to his/her life. If you find anybody in the situation then it is high time to seek medical help for the person.

Appetite and Change in Weight 

The appetite as well as weight can vary for every person suffering from major depression. Some people will be inclined towards increased appetite which further results in weight gain (over 5% body weight will be noticed within one month). On the contrary, others won’t feel the hunger and as a result, lose weight. A differentiating factor is determining whether such dietary changes are associated to depression intentionally or not. If not then it is a clue that it is the sign of depressive disorder.

Difficulty to Make Decisions

Another major problem that depression brings is making it difficult for you to make decisions. For an instance: initially you would have taken few or zero minutes on what dress to wear yet now you will find it difficult to make out what would look best on you or what you prefer. Similarly, there are other instances that will make you feel about taking bit longer time in taking decisions which would not have been the case before.

Uncontrollable Emotions  

Unable to control your emotions is one of the major Signs of Depression. It takes a single minute to outburst your anger and in the next moment, you start crying uncontrollably. There is no external reason for such changes in you rather it is your emotions that sometimes are high and sometimes low at a certain point. Depression is the key to swing your mood that keeps you away from something that you desperately desire for. Since this is also the sign of bipolar disorder, the two illnesses are confused over and over again.

Reckless Behavior

This is something no one would desire to see in them or in others. However, thanks to depression that makes you reckless without your knowledge. You or someone else, when suffer from this illness takes to some escapist behaviors like compulsive gambling, getting engaged into dangerous sports, reckless driving and even addicted towards substance abuse. These are the things that ruin your life completely. Hence, it is advised to seek medical help instantly.

Energy Loss

Depression makes you physically drained, fatigued as well as sluggish. Your entire body turns heavy which, in turn; exhaust you to perform even small tasks or might take longer time to accomplish the task.

Depression differs from one man to the other. Yet these are some common signs that you are going to notice when suffering from the illness.

What causes Depression?

It is very difficult to answer as there are many on – What causes Depression. These can include financial troubles, trauma, unemployment, grief and others. Have a look at some of the common causes of depression:

Genetic Reasons

One of the main reasons for depression is genetic factors. Depressive disorder when run in family unit increases the risk for next generation. It is believed that the illness is a complicated characteristic which might pass through generations even though the family history of psychiatric depressive disorders is not as simple as in the case of genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s chorea. There are some other factors influencing depression.

Change in Weather

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is among the commonly related diseases that affect the Americans. It has been estimated that 5% Americans are being affected by the winter blues. Contrary to this, lesser than 1% Americans feel the heat during summer. According to an expert – rather than enjoying the seasonal changes, the body finds it harder to adjust owing to the imbalances in hormone melatonin and the brain chemistry.

Critical Medical Illness

This stands as – What causes Depression? Here is an illustration to state the point. If you have ever suffered from a critical medical illness then it can prompt the disease in 2 ways which include the following:

  • Either you can get the disease directly from the illness
  • Or the critical illness is likely to trigger depression in the course of related worry and stress specifically when it engrosses the chronic pain or illness for a longer period

So, suffering from any critical medical illness causes depression.

Thyroid Disease

When thyroid (butterfly-shaped gland in neck) does not generate sufficient amount of thyroid hormones (referred to as hypothyroidism) then it results in depression. This is because depression is among the signs of thyroid hormone. The hormone is multi-functional yet its primary task is acting as neurotransmitter and regulating the levels of serotonin. If you feel new signs of depression especially with fatigue, cold sensitivity and constipation then thyroid test cannot hurt. However, hypothyroidism is a treatable condition with medicines.

Events of Life

Research indicate that prolonged difficulties such as experiencing stress at workplace for a longer period, long-term loneliness, unemployment and living in uncaring or abusive relationship can lead to depression compared to the stresses in recent life. However, the latest events like losing your job or the blend of events can give rise to depression among individuals who are prone to risk owing to personal experiences or previous bad experiences.

Poor Sleeping Habits

Everyone knows that deprivation in sleep can cause irritability but it can also raise the danger of depression. It has been found in a study made in the year 2007 – when healthy partakers had been deprived of proper sleep; they suffered great brain activity followed by viewing pictures compared to other participants who rested well that is the same as the reaction being given by depressed people as being noticed by an author of the study. So, this is What causes Depression as well.

Childhood Trauma

Another thing that can lead to depression is childhood trauma that you or someone has ever faced in life. For an instance: if you have experienced something traumatic like death of someone you loved or something else can live a major impact on your life. It can lead to brain changes for a longer period that affect responses to stress and fear. Some other history even increases the risk that includes a suicidal attempt or other forms of abuses – substance, sexual or physical.

Use of Alcohol and Drugs

Both alcohol and drugs can result from and lead to the disease. There are many individuals suffering from depression can lead to alcohol and drug issues. It has been estimated that lot many individuals experience depression at a certain point in their lifetime.

Changes in Brain

Even though many researches had been made in this complicated subject yet there is much to be known. Depression is just not the outcome of any chemical imbalance. For an instance: you either don’t have enough or much in a specific brain chemical. In fact, there are a number of causes that lead to depression. Factors like critical life stressors, substances that you intake (alcohol and drugs, certain medications) as well as medical illnesses can result in faulty regulation of mood in brain. Therefore, changes in brain also are What causes Depression.

Overload with Social Networking Sites

You might feel this trivial issue yet is true. Spending much of your time in the social networking sites as well as chat rooms can lead to depression as well. There have been many studies made suggesting that social networking sites can related to depression especially among preteens and teens. Addicts of the internet might struggle with lack of friendship and human interaction in real life and they might view impractical view of this world. Few experts even call this as ‘Facebook Depression’.

So, these are some of the causes resulting in depression. If you feel the same then it is advised to get instant medical assistance.

And just for fun also check out …