Depression affects 1 out of every 4 people.  For some, it can be a mild case of the blues resulting in slightly lower energy or perhaps a sensation of feeling “blue.”  For others, however, it can result in a life-threatening situation which requires medical attention and cannot be treated alone.

The first step to understanding depression is knowing what causes it.  Here are some of the most common reasons for why people can become depressed.

Substance Abuse

In less serious situations people who drink or consume drugs occasionally can experience feelings of anxiety and dips in their mood the morning after a long night out.  This is because alcohol and certain drugs are depressants and drain the body of essential chemicals which produce happiness and feelings of contentment.

In more serious situations, however, a person can graduate from having the occasional party to developing a full-fledged dependency.  Once a week becomes once a day and before you know it, these people are completely hopeless and trapped in a cycle of addiction.  This lack of control and power over their lives send them into a depression.

When it comes to curing this type of depression, the only thing to do is seek addiction treatment.

A Recent Death

When a relative or someone close to us is lost it can send a person into a state of loneliness and disbelief. Depression is normal and part of a grieving process.  If the depression lasts for more than 3 months, however, and makes it so a person is incapable of going through normal everyday tasks such as getting dressed, going to work, and taking care of themselves, this stretches beyond the realm of grief, and should be explored by a medical professional to determine whether medication is required.

A Divorce Or Breakup

Losing a partner can be just as devastating as experiencing a death.  Some people might say it can be even worse than a death since the person you have lost is still around.  Having to see them or going through the reactions of knowing they are now sharing their lives with someone else can be a terribly depressing experience.

People who have become recently single and find themselves depressed should explore counseling or take up a new activity. It’s important to remember that it is normal to have feelings of sadness or loss after a breakup, but that it is important to take action to move on to a state of acceptance so that you can allow happiness back into your life again.

A Chemical Imbalance

Some people have legitimate chemical imbalances in their brain and need to be given specific medication to regulate their moods. These people can have periods of helplessness and isolation regardless of whether everything in their life is going well.