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Emotions and Diabetes - Depression and its Causes

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Depression: What is it and What Are its Causes?

By Nina Nazor

What is depression?

Depression is a serious condition that affects the body, mood, and thoughts. It is not just feeling "down” or "blue" for a few days. It’s feeling "down", “sad”, "low", "hopeless" and with bursts of crying.

Usually, depression follows a recent loss or other sad event and can last for weeks, months, or years. However, with appropriate treatment, most people get better.

Depression affects more than 18.8 million adults in the U.S. and is a leading cause of disability, missing work, diminished or lost productivity, and increased use of health care resources.

What are the causes of depression?

A combination of biological, biochemical, psychological, and environmental factors are involved in the development of depression.

Sometimes depression runs in families, suggesting a biological vulnerability.

Also, there seem to be chemical imbalances in the brain that are related to depression. There are several kinds of medications that help correct the imbalance. In this line it is believed that sunlight, good nutrition, regular exercise and stress management help restore the chemical balance in the brain together with psychotherapy and medications.

Social factors are related to depression too. For example, people who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism, or who are readily overwhelmed by stress are more prone to depression.

Finally, a serious loss, chronic illness, relationship problems, work stress, family crisis, financial setback, or any unwelcome life change can trigger depression.

However, no matter what the cause, the most important thing is to seek for professional help in order to let the person get better and improve the quality of her or his life.

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