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Depression Treatment and Causes

Updated on December 9, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

I'm interested in social issues, relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise, poems and fiction, plus safer living conditions.


Depression Causes and Symptoms

Depression may be caused by many different factors including stress, abuse, a serious illness, a sudden life change like a move, loss of a job or the death of a loved one. Substance abuse and depression does run in some families. Sometimes people have anxiety depression, or they may be overwhelmed with sadness for no apparent reason.

We all go through ups and downs, so occasional sadness is not unusual. The downs really shouldn’t last too long, and if they do professional help is probably a good idea. Sometimes there may be a chemical imbalance in the brain causing the depression.

Depression Hurts


Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Some of the common symptoms of depression are having difficulty with concentration, remembering details and in making decisions. Insomnia, particularly early morning insomnia is a classic sign or excessive sleeping. Other depression symptoms are fatigue, decreased energy, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness, irritability, restlessness, loss of interest in activities and hobbies, overeating or loss of appetite, persistent aches and pains, persistent sadness, thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.

Take anyone who expresses suicidal thought seriously and call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or1-800-273-TALK.

Setting Personal Boundaries

It is important to understand your personal intangible boundaries, knowing they are always present. If you have confusion about responsibility and ownership in your life, the problem is with your boundaries, and it can cause depression.

When you look at two houses with a fence between them, it is clear which property belongs to which house. People’s lives are not that clear cut. A boundary in your life should reflect where you end and where the next person begins. It is a matter of owning your own life. You make your own choices, have your own opinions and choose when to say yes or no. Having these boundaries show you what is not on your property, which means you are not responsible for another person or their choices. Personal boundaries will help you keep the good thoughts in and keep the bad thoughts out. The most basic boundary setting is saying the word “no”.

It is so easy to be pushed into doing something you really don’t want to do or don’t have time to do just because you don’t want a negative reaction from the person asking. But, how does that make you feel? Usually you feel frustrated and maybe angry.

I used to have a hard time saying no because I didn’t want that negative reaction from the other person, which was typically a close relative. Saying no to someone I am not emotionally involved with is no problem for me, but it may be for some people. I like myself much better when I say “no” and mean it. Words let others know that you exist apart from them, and that you are in control of yourself. They also define your property when you communicate your intentions such as “I like this but don’t like that”.

Sometimes boundaries can become such a tough issue that some geographical distance is necessary, which is simply removing yourself from a situation. This gives you time to replenish and nurture yourself. There are times when you might need a temporary boundary to allow yourself some emotional distance from a situation. People who have been in an abusive situation particularly need to find a safe place to begin to heal. Taking good care of yourself on a physical level is extremely important before you try to deal with a psychological problem. You need to be well nourished, well rested and have some leisure time without responsibility.

What is Chronic Depression? (Mental Health Guru)

Smile and the World Will Smile With You

Self-Help Ways to Treat Depression

There are some simple things you can do to help pull yourself out of depression and turn off that negative dialog.

  • If you don’t think you are joyful, happy and successful,then you won’t be. Practice thinking on a positive level even when you don’t feel that way yet, and you will come to believe in the possibility that you can be happy.
  • Smile at everyone and people will smile back at you. There is no arguing that smiling has been shown in research to have positive psychological and physiological effects. Just try it.
  • Immerse yourself in reading books, magazines and articles that help you adopt this new positive attitude. Also, watch films or listen to music that inspires you and encourages you to change.
  • Change your actions by changing your routine. That will help you break away from some of the things that probably added to the depression. Doing things differently will help you start thinking differently.
  • Change your environment around to make it look more cheerful. Try to create a physical space that inspires you to want to change.
  • Try to find a friend that has the type of attitude you want, and learn from their example.
  • Another great way to change your attitude is to do something to help others in need. It is a very good feeling to help someone or give someone something and enjoy their gratitude.
  • Let your friends know what you are doing and ask for their support to help you change. The more you can feel like part of a group the more likely you are to feel happier and more successful.
  • If you have a church, get some free counseling.

Don't Quit Trying!

If you need more help, get a counselor or the help from a mentor as they will probably have new ideas to help you grow. If you want to hear someone say “poor baby”, call your mother. However, if you really want unbiased help to change, get a counselor or mentor, and they will probably have a new perspective for you. They are not emotionally involved in your situation, so they will have a different perspective that will probably help you overcome your depression.

Remember changes of character do not happen immediately. Give yourself enough time and room to make changes as they become comfortable for you. You will find that the depression will lift. If your results seem too slow, don’t quit! Try to have some patience and allow time. You are worth it! Sometimes we take two steps forward and one back, but we are still one step ahead of where we were.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi MG,

    I really don't know why some people get depressed more than others, even with a similar lifestyle. I have wondered if some people have less brain chemicals, like dopamine or oxytocin. I know these chemicals are kind of "feel good" chemicals. I guess I would have to do some research to answer those questions. Thanks for reading and for your comments, MG.

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh emge 

    11 months ago from Singapore

    What a wonderful article on a taboo subject. You explained everything so nicely. I really don't know how depression grows but I suppose it's got something to do with the mental makeup. People who have lived a sheltered life may be more prone to it. I really don't know.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    10 years ago from Sunny Florida

    fucsia, I agree and think professional help often is the best way to get to the bottom of your depression and find a way to climb back up. I think manual work is a great idea. Think of the pleasure of watching flowers bloom that you planted, and so forth. Thanks for your comment.s

  • fucsia profile image


    10 years ago

    Depression is sometimes impossible to overcome without professional help, but sometimes (especially if it is just a period of sadness) we can overcome it with our forces. One important thing, I think, is to do manual work, where we can see our results, and give us a few goals, easy to achieve, but not trivial .... like writing hubs!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Petra, I appreciate you writing about your experience. I am glad that the medication is working so well as sometimes people don't tolerate some medications very well. I think sharing your experience may be helpful to others. Thank your so much for your comments.

  • Petra Vlah profile image

    Petra Vlah 

    11 years ago from Los Angeles

    A depression can be situational and in that case once the cause has been eliminated (a bad marriage, a problem boss, etc) the depression disappears. If the depression is cause by a chemical imbalance, than things are more complicated and require medical attention. When I had my first symptoms of depression I tried to deal with on my own; I kept on repeating “I am strong, I will beat this, I can do it, etc”. For years I refused to see a doctor until it got so bad that I could hardly function.

    I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and only medication helped; my life changed in a matter of weeks. I am still taking 150 mg of Lamictal (which is lower than the minimum dose of 200 mg recommended for long term use) and I had never again experienced the staggering highs and the deep lows which have tortured me for years.

    People are still afraid to talk about depression because of the stigma of mental health attached to it. i am glad you wrote this hub ans addressed this problem. Thank you Pamela

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Holdon, You are right about sports. Thanks for your comment.

  • holdon100 profile image


    11 years ago

    very informative great tips ,sport is good way

    to get out of Depression

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nancy, Thank you for your comment.

  • nancy_30 profile image


    11 years ago from Georgia

    This was a great hub. I enjoyed reading and learning from it.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Support Med, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 

    11 years ago from Michigan

    Pamela99, this article is great. Love the guidance herein about setting boundaries and distancing one's self, and exercising your right to say 'no!' This advice/guidance will definitely steer depression away from you. Love the 'smile' tip, I use it often and yes, it does make a difference. Great, rated up!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Miata, Thank you for your comments and I had linked your as it is an excellent hub for stress and anxiety after giving birth. That is certainly a time where you have all the hormone changes and stress and anxiety are important issues.

  • prettydarkhorse profile image


    11 years ago from US

    responsibility in your ownselves --= that's right, setting up the boundary as well. I link this to mine, this is a well researched hub Pam. Thank you, Maita

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Katiem, Thank you for your kind comments. I sure hope this hub will help people that are suffering from depression.

  • katiem2 profile image

    Katie McMurray 

    11 years ago from Ohio

    Depression Symptoms and Causes is a great resource to help suffers of depression and to help others understand it better. Bravo! Peace :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Habee, Thanks for your comment and I will add a link to your hub.

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 

    11 years ago from Georgia

    Great info! We should link our depression hubs together!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hanna, Thank you for your input. I always appreciate your comments.

  • HealthyHanna profile image


    11 years ago from Utah

    Depression is not fun to live with. But, knowing your feelings are from depression and are not necessarily real helps keep things in perspective.

    Another great hub

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I want to thank each of your for your comments. They are much appreciated.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 

    11 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Yes, indeed... great tips.

    And a smile sometimes will turn the whole day around attitudinally.

  • rpalulis profile image


    11 years ago from NY

    Lots of wisdom here, and very well written. Thanks for sharing this makes a lot of sense.

  • Joy56 profile image


    11 years ago

    this is so informative, and well written thanks a lot

  • anglnwu profile image


    11 years ago

    The first visual sums it up so succinctly--when depression strikes, joy leaves. Love it. Great advice and you manage to do so in a very friendly conversational way. Thanks!

  • Cari Jean profile image

    Cari Jean 

    11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

    Great hub! I loved how you laid out the information on boundaries - setting personal boundaries is huge! I persoanlly have had boundary issues which in turn was the cause for some of my depression. Thankfully, I worked through it with a counselor, reading helpful books and lots of prayer. Of course I still stumble from time to time as it is hard work, but I am nowhere near where I used to be! Praise God for that!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    New Child Safety, Thank you for your comments. The physical experience is isolating and that is what depressed people do, isolate, which isn't helpful. It is a tough battle for some people.

    Cybersupe, I know the monkey picture was a bit weird but in writing an article about depression he seemed to make a statement. I think there are a lot of unhappy people now because of job loss, or need desperately to sell a house that there are no buyers for, etc. Times are tough financially for a lot of people. Thanks for your comments.

    Hello, I agree with you about dealing with depression from within. There are ways to get a little help but ultimately happiness is an inside job. Thanks so much for your comments.

    akirchner, I am glad that your daughter is getting better. I know it is hard to watch someone you love go through depression and you feel helpless. At least that is how I felt when my husband was so depressed after his stroke. fortunately he is doing better also. Your suggestions are right on about taking care of yourself. In addition to the coffee I would like to add chocolate. Chocolate works for me! Thanks very much for your comments.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    11 years ago from Washington

    Pamela - great article and super advice. My daughter has had a terrible time with depression at different parts of her life and it can be devastating to watch. Thankfully, she knew the signs and symptoms and got help for it. A lot of it does revolve around keeping a positive attitude and not doing too much, overburdening oneself to be 'whatever'. She learned how to enjoy life to its fullest - which is a great lesson for all of us! Thanks for doing such a wonderful job and pointing out so many great ideas. I think coffee also works great in women to treat depression!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    11 years ago from London, UK

    First of all, Pamela, this is a wonderful article. You dealed with it very well. I think dealing with depression is that only you can deal with it, as you also pointed out. The people around can help but only you yourself can control it and eventualy it gets less and less. Wish you all the best.

  • CYBERSUPE profile image


    11 years ago from MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, U.S.A.

    Hi Pamela 99,

    I got a Big Belly laugh from the monkey picture, is that a sign of depression ? Great article for the times we live in today. I have heard so much about depression recently, I am begining to wonder why. Have a great day, Pamela.

  • New Child Safety profile image

    New Child Safety 

    11 years ago

    This is not only a great hub but one that is so important. Talking about depression and educating is vital. The feelings of depression and the physical experience is so isolating, hubs, conversation and continuing to 'battle' depression can help some feel as if there is hope. Thanks for this one Pamela, great job

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Ken, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Ken R. Abell profile image

    Ken R. Abell 

    11 years ago from ON THE ROAD

    This is an excellent Hub. Thank you for such a clear explanation & for providing practical advice. Great job.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Gpage, Thank you so much of your comments. I think sometimes people don't think they can ask their regular doctors either, but often they will prescribe an antidepressant if needed.

    Enlydia, Thank you so much for your comment. I think it is so important to realize you can help yourself or at least try some of the ways I mentioned.

  • Enlydia Listener profile image

    Enlydia Listener 

    11 years ago from trailer in the country

    Pam, that was a good read...and very is good for people to know they can actually "do" something for themselves...and not just feel like a broken unit that someone else must fix.

  • GPAGE profile image


    11 years ago from California

    Pamela...very interesting, informative and uplifting article. I have never heard of early morning insomnia?...I'm going to look it up on the web.....

    I have known people close to me that suffered depression and eventually got good help. The sad part is that a lot of people do not know that they CAN be helped or they just try to pretend that it is not happening which just makes the problem worse.....Anyway, thank you for this hub. Best, G

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Patriot, Your comments are no surprise and there is a lot of hopelessness in this country because of the mess it is in. I also do not believe in redistribution. Thanks for your comments.

    Amber, You are right about the intense depression being difficult to break but not impossible. It is miserable to feel hopeless and that is time to get professional help. Thank you for your comments.

  • Amber Allen profile image

    Amber Allen 

    11 years ago

    Hi Pamela

    A well written and researched hub which I've rated up. We all feel sad from time to time and if we lose a loved one or our relationship fails that sadness can be intense but depression goes so much deeper and it so difficult to break free from.


  • profile image

    Partisan Patriot 

    11 years ago

    The downs really shouldn’t last too long; my present down has lasted since November 2, 2009!

    Hopelessness and pessimism, I can identify with those; every time the SOB comes on TV which is every day I experience those symptoms, along with intense anger!

    I wish it was that simple; fence off my money. I am not in favor of redistribution so keep out of my yard! I own my life and made a choice to keep my money but Barrack Hussein Obama has chosen to take it from me and give it to those that Fiddled for the last 37 years while I was busy storing my “nuts” for the retirement winter; so I say let the Grasshoppers freeze!

    Geographical distance; removing yourself from a situation. If November doesn’t go well for us I just may look into this concept but to where? America was the last best hope for man so where to now?

    Thanks Sheri; now I’m depressed!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Prasetio my friend, Your comments are always so kind and I appreciate them so much. Thank you.

    Darlene, Life is challenging and there are a lot of problems in the world, but we are only responsible for our lives and we can have a positive impact on on those closest to us. I hope you can overcome your depression and laugh in the sunshine. You are such a special person and I wish you all the best. Thanks for your comments.

  • Darlene Sabella profile image

    Darlene Sabella 

    11 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

    Yes, we all experience this from time to time, or like me, have a serious case. Life is challenging, especially during this trying times in our world, we worry about so many things and see so much sadness and peoples' with needs, we want to reach out and help many, but the world is now too big. A wonderful well written hub.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    11 years ago from malang-indonesia

    This life so difficult. I know it caused many people felt depression. But we should not worried about that. You come up with solution. That's why I never regret become your friends, Pamela. I hope you always health. My pray always for you...amen


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    11 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Rom, You are so right. I have found that it really helps me to have interests and keep my mind busy. I'm never bored that way either.

    Sheri, I think you might me right. I didn't get into the different depressions that happen at different ages or postpartum depression either as this hub is already plenty long. I think it is tough to be a teenager these days. I know you try to keep the communication open, and she may just need to vent a little. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • SheriSapp profile image


    11 years ago from West Virginia

    Thanks for this, my daughter has been telling me she is depressed lately. I really think that her main problem is the hormomal changes that come with adolescence.

  • Tom Whitworth profile image

    Tom Whitworth 

    11 years ago from Moundsville, WV


    I think a lot of signs of depression are very similar to aging. It's very important to keep yourself active in mind and body in both situations. Good hub.


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