Depression is not a weakness or a label being applied to everyday sadness. It is a very common, often debilitating condition that affects millions of people across the world. It can occur in anyone at any age and when untreated, it can impair work performance, change relationships, and dramatically reduce quality of life.
Symptoms of depression can include the following:
- Chronic aches and pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
- Chronic sad, anxious or empty feelings
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness
- Irritability or restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Problems with sleep
- Thoughts of suicide or making suicide attempts
Not everyone with depression will have all of these symptoms. The symptoms may vary from person to person. Young children and teens can get depression but it mostly occurs in adults. Depression is more common in women but men do get depression too. Loss of a loved one, stress or hormonal changes or traumatic events may trigger depression at any age.
There is no single cause of depression. Depression can happen due to a combination of factors such as:
- Genes - depression may be hereditary
- Brain chemistry and structure - when chemicals in the brain are not at the right levels, depression can occur
- Environmental and psychological factors - trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, and other stressors can trigger depression.
Even in severe cases, depression is very treatable. Dr. Mapatwana provides a wide range of highly effective, individualized treatments for depression and mood disorders. She is specially trained in various types of therapy and offers expertise in the use of medication as well. When performed in a person-centered, thoughtful manner, these treatments are proven to be life-changing interventions for what can feel like a hopeless situation.
You do not have to suffer silently- there is help available.