All About Depression
By Lauren Corbett
Sorrowing Old Man (‘At Eternity’s Gate’) painting by Vincent van
What is Depression?
• According to
depression is “a medical
illness that causes a
persistent feeling of
sadness and loss of
Causes of Depression
It is unknown as to what
exactly causes depression.
However, there are a few
factors that contribute to the
• Hormones: The body’s
balance of hormones can
• Biological differences:
Those who suffer from
depression have physical
changes in the brain.
• Neurotransmitters: A
person’s mood is linked to
these brain chemicals.
• Inherited traits: Depression
can be genetic.
• Early childhood trauma:
Permanent changes in the
brain can be caused by
traumatic events during
• Life events: Certain events
can trigger depression like
the loss of a loved one.
Symptoms of Depression
The most common signs of depression are:
• Sadness or unhappiness
• Irritability or frustration
• Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
• Insomnia or excessive sleeping
• Difference in appetite
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
• Suicidal thoughts
• Crying spells for no apparent reason
Symptoms of Depression (cont.)
• Depression affects each
• A few factors that may
play a role in how
individuals are age,
gender, and inherited
Types of Depression
• Major depressive disorder – a mixture of
symptoms that hinder one’s ability to sleep,
work, study, eat and enjoy once-pleasurable
• Dysthymic disorder (dysthymia) – long-term
(two years or longer) symptoms that can hinder
normal functioning or mood.
• Minor depression – symptoms that do not meet
the full criteria to be major depression and lasts
for two weeks or longer.
• Psychotic depression – severe depression and a
form of psychosis (delusions, hallucinations).
Types of Depression (cont.)
• Postpartum depression – women experience
this type of depression after giving birth when
hormonal and physical changes and new
responsibility such as caring for a newborn
may be overwhelming.
• Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) –
depression during the winter months, when
there is less natural sunlight.
• Bipolar disorder (manic depression) – Mood
swings – from extreme highs to extreme lows.
Cures for Depression
Medication used to reduce
the symptoms of moderate
to severe depression.
• Psychotherapy (talk therapy,
counseling): Talk sessions
where patients learn the
causes of depression and
ways to treat their illness.
• Electroconvulsive therapy
(ECT): Passage of electrical
currents through the brain.
ECT is usually an immediate
• Hospitalization and
hospitalization may be
necessary if one’s
depression is very severe.
Partial hospitalization or day
treatments can be another
cure as well.
There are a number of resources
available for those who suffer from
depression, such as the following:
NDMA Depression Hotline – Support
Suicide Prevention Services
Depression Hotline: 630-482-9696
Suicide & Depression Hotline –
Covenant House: 800-999-9999
U.S. Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
2013. Photograph. Fox News. By Jonathan Serrie. FOX News Network, LLC,
14 June 2013. Web. 7 Dec. 2013.
Gogh, Vincent V. Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate'). 1890. KröllerMüller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands. Van Gogh Gallery. Van Gogh
Gallery, 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
Grohol, John M., Dr. "Telephone, Hotlines and Help Lines." Psych Central.
Psych Central, 8 Dec. 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Depression Causes." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for
Medical Education and Research, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Depression Definition." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for
• Mayo Clinic Staff. "Depression Symptoms." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for
Medical Education and Research, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
• Mayo Clinic Staff. "Depression Treatments and Drugs." Mayo Clinic. Mayo
Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 7 Dec.
• The National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression." National Institute of
Mental Health. National Institutes of Health, 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
• N.d. Photograph. Keystone Clinical Studies, LLC. By Keystone Clinical Studies
Staff. Keystone Clinical Studies, 2012. Web. 7 Dec. 2013.
• What Causes Depression. Dir. Greg Knopf, Dr. Youtube. Youtube, 3 Mar. 2012.
Web. 8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InNhDfDfl5c>.