Adult Depression – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Depression is worryingly common in adults. It can occur in three different levels: mild depression; moderate depression; and severe depression. There are many tell-tale signs of this disorder, and the more depressed a person is, the more of these signs will be present in their behaviour. Depression afflicts one in four women and one in 10 men at some point in their lives. Among its most common symptoms are persistent sadness, low energy, sleep and appetite disturbances, and inability to take pleasure in enjoyable activities.Depression is debilitating for the patient and agonizing for loved ones to watch. However, when this disorder is skillfully managed, treatment is successful in nearly 90 percent of patients. This is accompanied by such symptoms as change in sleep and appetite, loss of energy, loss of self-esteem, difficulty concentrating and preoccupation with death or suicide. In some cases depressed people become irrationally convinced that something errible is happening to them, such as poverty or fatal disease. The depressed person may withdraw from friends and family, and be unable to work. In younger children, depression may present as morbid preoccupation with death and dying. Children and teenagers sometimes experience bouts of helplessness, hopelessness, and despair that are diagnosed as major depression.

Studies show that between 6 and 19% of the population will suffer from major depression at some time in their life. It appears to be a “biological” illness in that the tendency to develop this condition can run in families, that depression can occur for no apparent reason and when the person has experienced no significant changes in their life, and that the misery can resolve with medication treatment alone in some cases. Depression is a serious condition that can impact every area of your life. It can affect your social life, your family relationships, your career, and your sense of self-worth and purpose. here are several other important forms of depression. Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood involves a drop in mood in response to a specific stressful circumstance. Bipolar disorder involves low mood periods similar to Major Depression, but with periods of elevated or irritable mood as well. Depression can also occur as a biological reaction to certain physical illnesses (e.g. strokes affecting the left frontal cerebrum, hypothyroidism, pancreatic cancer) or to chemical substances (e.g. alcohol, methamphetamine, ß-blocking antihypertensive medications). While symptoms are less intense than in Major Depression, Dysthymic Disorder lasts for years. Depression in adolescents may be difficult to spot because sulkiness, irritability, antisocial behaviour, negativity and withdrawal often go hand in hand with growing up.

Causes of Adult Depression

1.Hormonal/physical changes.


3.Heart attack.

4.Traumatic Events.

5.Alcohol abuse.

6.Parkinson’s disease.



Symptoms of Adult Depression

1.Changes in eating and sleeping habits.

2.Weight gain or loss.

3.Withdrawal from friends and family.

4.Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.


6.Anger, rage, anxiety.

7.Lack of enthusiasm and motivation.


Treatment of Adult Depression

1.Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the causes of the depression and helps change negative thought patterns.

2.Family therapy as an adjunct to individual therapy can address patterns of communication

3.Creative expression through drama, art or music is often a positive outlet for the strong emotions of adolescents.

4.Medication for depression should be used with great caution, and only under careful supervision.

5.Group therapy is often very helpful for teens, because it breaks down the feelings of isolation that many adolescents experience

6.Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (called SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac). SSRIs are the medications most often used for childhood or teen depression.