Why You Can’t Overcome Depression and What to Do About It
As the most common form of mental illness of all time, depression disorders wreak havoc in the lives of people from all walks of life. According to Harvard Health Publications, an estimated 19 million American adults struggle with some form of depression within any given year.
Anyone who’s lived with this condition well knows how overwhelming it can be and how seemingly hopeless any attempts to overcome depression can feel. The good news is, in spite of its prevalence and suffocating effects, depression can be treated. Understanding the workings of this condition offers a good first step towards overcoming depression and taking the steps needed to regain control of your life.
Whether of genetic or environmental origins, depression states develop out of chemical imbalances in the brain that persist on an ongoing basis. Brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters dictate most every bodily function including a person’s mood states. When imbalances take shape, one or more bodily systems can be adversely affected.
People with a genetic predisposition to depression have a brain chemistry that’s predisposed to the types of imbalances that bring about this state of mind, while environmental causes have more to do with long-term conditioning processes, such as those that take place during childhood.
Destructive Thinking Patterns
As with any type of mindset, someone affected by depression falls into a certain pattern of destructive or negative thinking that’s based on a depression-based state, according to Wellesley College. In turn, these patterns of thinking work to reinforce existing brain chemical imbalances through their effects on neurotransmitter production.
Over time, the destructive thinking that comes with depression becomes part of a cycle that works to support and maintain the depression mindset. If you find yourself unable to break out of destructive thinking patterns on your own, this may be a sign that treatment help is needed.
Like the thinking patterns that result, depression also drives a person’s emotional responses to daily life experiences as well as his or her behaviors from day-to-day. Someone struggling with depression may start to avoid social interactions or he or she may become oppositional or aggressive towards others.
In effect, these behaviors become ways of coping with the conflicting emotions and distress depression causes. Like destructive thinking patterns, these types of behaviors also work to reinforce existing brain chemical imbalances.
Risk factors for developing depression disorders can take any number of forms as life experiences and circumstances vary from person to person. Certain factors do tend to persist across the board, some of which include:
- Chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes
- Childhood trauma
- Substance abuse
- Family history of psychological problems
When to Consider Treatment
While it’s normal to have “blue” days on occasion, periods of sadness that last for two weeks or more may be indicative of a developing depression disorder. Considering the chemical imbalance that feeds into this condition, waiting for feelings of depression to pass once they’ve take root can be a recipe for even more heartache.
If you or someone you know struggles with bouts of depression and have more questions, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at 800-598-5053 (Who Answers?) for more information. Our phone counselors can also help you locate treatment services in your area.