Psychologist Questions Depression

What causes depression in some people?

I am a 27 year old woman and I can feel certain symptoms of depression including the gloomy feeling throughout the day. What could be the cause for this condition? Is it a temporary state or permanent?

9 Answers

Major depression is a widely used diagnostic category but there is increasing dissatisfaction with its performance. The diathesis-stress model is an alternative approach that does not require the (sometimes arbitrary) imposition of categories onto the spectrum of depressive morbidity. However, application of this model has not been well explored and its consistency with available epidemiologic data is uncertain.

I urge you to seek professional help to answer some of your questions.
Depression can be induced or triggered by both physiological changes and overwhelmingly behavioral/emotional events. Depression can be temporary, acute or chronic as well as mild, moderate or severe. Depending on severity treatment can be CBT, medication and/or TMS/ECT or a combination of them.
The cause of depression can be caused by a number of factors. I typically encourage people to see a medical doctor to first rule out any medical explanations. Depression is very treatable and the duration and severity of symptoms vary for each person.
We all have times of gloom, as long as it goes away quickly. If it lingers on for weeks at a time, then you could use a therapist.
Most likely this is temporary. Most of the time this is a result of negative thinking. Thoughts cause feelings and not situations as most people think. Buy Dr. David Burns book, Feeling Good and learn more.
There are many causes for depressive symptoms, that usually come out to situational versus dispositional or brain chemistry causes. The thing to remember is that the brain always interacts with and can change with changes in our situation and environment. So we can't just say its nature or nurture when melancholy or sadness can often be the result of the loss of a loved one and could be nothing more than grief.

The question of whether or not it will persist has to do with those factors including your family history, how many relatives have struggled with depressive symptoms with no apparent environmental cause and how much this has happened in your life before. A mental health professional will take a history to help determine to what extent this is situational. Whether it is an ongoing clinical depression or not, there is always hope. If it is a clinical depression, there is always help best with a combination of medication and therapy. I've seen many people do well with just medication and some do well with just therapy. But keep in mind that the therapy needs to focus on specific tasks and skills that help to alleviate the symptoms, while the medication has to be manageable by your body. There is always hope.
Your question has many, many answers. Some are physical, some are psychological, some are combinations of both. Do go to your Primary Care doctor and have a checkup. If no obvious cause is found, make an appointment with a mental health practitioner - psychologist or psychiatrist.

Good luck,

Dear Madam,
Your concern about your symptoms and mood show an awareness that is commendable. Not knowing your background nor history of your symptoms it would be inadvisable for me to speculate. I would suggest you find a licensed Mental Health Professional like a licensed Psychologist or a licensed Clinical social worker to address your concerns regarding your symptoms and gloomy feeling. Upon evaluating you, they would be better able to answer these pertinent questions.
Take care.
Dr. Sonpal
As you know depression stems from a chronic feeling, often backed up or generated by a thought. Sometimes the thought is indescribable, but still it is a belief about yourself, others or the world. Whatever the thought, it is a lie, unless you create a self-fulfilling prophesy. It's your job to identify the lie (i.e. "I am worthless;" "I'm a fraud;" "I am unloveable;" "The world is unsafe;" or "I dare not trust anyone, lest they leave me,") Next, from where or who did the lie come? Is that source worth taking to the bank? Can you convince yourself that the source is wrong? Will you?

You have to act counter to the lie. You may have to risk taking chances, since taking chances has its pay offs as well as risks. You may have to risk giving your heart away even if there are no guarantees (and work on the traits you have developed that could push someone away). You may have to risk going for broke to achieve something, so you can see you are not worthless. You may have to give up criticizing or controlling others so that you don't worry so much that they judge you.

Depression is only permanent if it goes untreated, and I do not mean medication.