What causes depression?

Article by: Rheann K. Many people experience a mental illness called depression, a “... mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest” (Mayo Clinic). This disorder is common, affecting 322 million people worldwide (adaa.org).

Everyone has their down times. Losing loved ones, failing tests, breaking up with best friends; all of these scenarios make people feel sad, but eventually this sadness goes away. However, the feeling of sadness doesn’t go away for people with depression. Some symptoms of depression are feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest, thoughts of guilt from past occurances and suicide, and having trouble thinking. When these symptoms are in effect for about 2 weeks, depression starts to change one’s social, educational and other parts of their life (adaa.org).


Right now, no one is sure what causes depression, but Harvard has found out about a possible link, through neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers in nerve cells. The brain produces neurotransmitters to make sure our body keeps functioning properly. However, if any neurotransmitter’s receptors become oversensitive, it can start sending inaccurate answers to other neurotransmitters, breaking down this delicate and complicated system. As of now, according to Harvard, more research needs to be done in the field of cells and their relationship to depression.


There are many places for someone with depression to find help. One can find help with a doctor or a mental health professional. Also, one can talk to someone they trust, who can comfort them. If you know someone who has depression and is considering suicide or has attempted it, make sure that they always have someone with them and call 911 immediately unless you can get them to a hospital’s emergency room safely. Additionally, you could call the suicide hotline, which is 1-800-273-8255 in the U.S. (Mayo Clinic). Be aware of your surrondings and help anyone you know with depression or other mental illnesses.


Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=abstract&utm_content=Major-depression&utm_campaign=Knowledge-panel

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

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