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A Guide to the Signs and Factors of Depression

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Hunter is a Clinical Psychologist M.A. (PsyD 2023) who specializes in mood, anxiety, and trauma disorders.

Common Symptoms

  1. Mood: Depressed, Sad, Hopeless, Loss of Interest
  2. Appetite: Being less hungry than usual or overeating. Similarly, losing 10–20lbs or gaining 10–20lbs in a short amount of time, dependent on current body weight.
  3. Sleep: Sleep patterns can change. Most people with depression tend to sleep longer than they did before. Feeling sluggish and slow is common as well. You may feel like you don’t even have energy to leave your bed or take a shower.
  4. Concentration: Find it hard to think or concentrate on your work. Your brain may feel like it is in a fog.
  5. Isolation: Some people will isolate themselves when depressed. This could be staying in their room all day or rejecting invites to go out. Responding to texts or emails later than usual or not at all.
  6. Thoughts: Certain negative thoughts arise with depression. Feeling worthless or guilty about not doing things are common.
  7. Death: Thinking about death and dying are extreme forms of thoughts that occur during depression.
a-guide-to-the-signs-and-factors-of-depression

If there are at least 3 or more of these symptoms occurring and have been causing distress for over 1 month then it would be beneficial to see a mental health professional for an assessment and possible therapy to help you learn new ways to cope with how you have been feeling.

Depression is often a combination of internal and external factors that are unique to the person.

Internal Factors:

1. Genetics - there is usually a higher chance of depression if someone in your immediate family has some form of mood disorder

2. Neurotransmitters - certain neurotransmitters in the brain are associated with depression

  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Serotonin

3. Hormones - usually in women, hormone changes during menstruation can lead to an increase in depression in the weeks before and after your period

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External Factors:

1. Trauma

2. Alcohol and Drug Use

3. Interpersonal Difficulties

4. Work Stress

5. And many more!

There are several external factors that lead to depression. These factors are usually unique to your own personal experiences and what values you hold close.

a-guide-to-the-signs-and-factors-of-depression

If You Need Help:

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911. For more mental health resources, see the National Helpline Database.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Hunter

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