The #1 cause of depression, according to science

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 National Health Survey, 4.7 percent of adults over the age of 18 regularly experience feelings of depression, with about 1 in 6 adults will have depression at some point in their lives. While everyone experiences sadness, how does depression differ, who is most likely to get it, and what is the main cause? Read on to learn everything you need to know about depression – and to protect your health and that of others, don’t miss it Certain Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.

Mature doctor in uniform speaking to the camera

Mature doctor in uniform speaking to the camera

Mark Pollack, MD, board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer for Myriad Mental Health, creator of the GeneSight test, explains that depression is a treatable, but serious, mental illness. “It’s characterized by feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, negativity, sleep and appetite disturbances, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms that last longer than two weeks,” he tells WebMD. Eat this, not that!

crying womancrying woman

crying woman

Depression affects everyone differently and can manifest itself in different ways. The CDC offers several symptoms associated with it.

  • Often or always being sad or anxious

  • Not wanting to do activities that used to be fun

  • Feeling irritable, easily frustrated or restless

  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

  • Waking up too early or sleeping too much

  • Eating more or less than usual or having no appetite

  • Experiencing aches, pains, headaches or stomach problems that do not improve with treatment

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions

  • Feeling tired even after sleeping well

  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless

  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

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depressed woman talking to female psychologist during session, mental healthdepressed woman talking to female psychologist during session, mental health

depressed woman talking to female psychologist during session, mental health

dr. Pollack explains that while there is no blood test for depression, there are screening tools that doctors can use to assess whether a person is showing the symptoms of major depressive disorder.

“This screening is important because while 7 in 10 adults said they are more aware of their own or others’ mental health problems than they were before the pandemic started, less than half of adults are confident they can recognize whether a loved one suffers from depression, according to the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor,” he explains.

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woman stressed at her deskwoman stressed at her desk

woman stressed at her desk

There are many possible causes of depression. “It is believed that people are predisposed to depression due to a number of factors, including changes in brain function, a family history of depression, stressful life events, adverse social health determinants such as poverty, or having other medical problems,” says Dr. Pollack argues.

If it’s the latter, CDC reports, for example, that “evidence shows that mental disorders — such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD — can develop after cardiac events, including heart failure, stroke, and heart attack.”

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sad 70s senior grandmother looks in distance thinking.sad 70s senior grandmother looks in distance thinking.

sad 70s senior grandmother looks in distance thinking.

dr. Pollack reveals that scientists have not yet identified any cause. “It can be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors,” explains the CDC. Although there is only one cause, there are the most common causes:

  • Your age

  • Important life events

  • Personal conflicts

  • Death of someone close to you

  • Your gender: Women are twice as likely as men to get depressed

  • Medications or substance abuse

  • Severe disease

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Mature fitness woman tie shoelaces on the roadMature fitness woman tie shoelaces on the road

Mature fitness woman tie shoelaces on the road

Like diabetes and heart disease, depression is a medical condition and there are ways to help prevent it. “You may be able to reduce your risk of getting the condition, such as going to therapy with a mental health professional, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, etc. But as with other conditions, it may not be entirely too prevent – because of no fault of the person who suffers.”

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therapist and patient talkingtherapist and patient talking

therapist and patient talking

If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, talk to your doctor as soon as possible, Dr. Pollack on. “Depression can and should be treated,” he says. They may do a depression screening to assess mental health and discuss treatment options, including medication, talk therapy, or other things.

If he uses drugs as a treatment, he emphasizes that it is important to know that only about a third of patients achieve remission of their depression with the first medication. “If a drug doesn’t work for a patient, the doctor may try different drug doses, change drugs, or add another drug to what the patient is already taking,” he explains.

It is also important that both you and your family members/lover recognize that depression is not due to a lack of willpower. “It’s a disease like heart disease, diabetes, etc. It’s out of a person’s control, and there’s no point telling them to ‘stop it’ or ‘we all get sad sometimes.’ the same as telling someone who is having a heart attack that ‘you were out of breath once so you know what it feels like.’ You should think of your loved one as suffering from a medical condition – and offer the same kindness and support.”

He also suggests educating yourself about depression. “The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has many resources to help people better support someone with depression. When you talk to your loved one, be prepared to listen more than talk. asking loved one how you can be helpful,” he says.

Finally, he emphasizes the importance of professional help. “It’s a crucial step to get better,” he says. Nearly half of those diagnosed with depression or worried they might have depression say they would be embarrassed or embarrassed if others found out they were suffering from depression, according to the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor. But you shouldn’t let your loved ones stop them from getting the treatment they need and deserve.” And to get through this pandemic as healthy as possible, don’t miss this one. 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.