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An Introduction to Depression

Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes sadness and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems and decrease your ability to function at work and home.

If you are experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from depression:

Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact a mental health professional for help. Depression is treatable, and there is no shame in seeking help.

What Causes Depression?
There is no single cause for depression. Instead, it is thought to be caused by genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some people may be more vulnerable to depression if there has been a family history of the illness. Certain medical conditions can also increase one’s risk of developing depression. And while not everyone who experiences these things will develop depression, they may increase one’s vulnerability:

Certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders can lead to depression. Anyone taking certain medications, such as steroids or beta-blockers, may also be more vulnerable. Drug and alcohol abuse can also lead to depression. And while many people turn to substances as a way of coping with their depression, it ultimately makes the problem worse.  Environmental factors such as financial troubles, the death of a loved one, retirement, or losing one’s job can trigger depression. Psychological factors such as low self-esteem, negative thinking patterns, perfectionism, and feelings of helplessness may also contribute to depression.

Depression is a serious but treatable illness affecting millions of Americans annually. If you think you may be suffering from depression, please reach out for help from a mental health professional. You are not alone, and there is no shame in seeking help. Call today at 816.519.5166 or Schedule Online to get your Teen or child help today.







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