What is Depression – Causes and Symptoms, and Treatment of Depression

Most people mistake unhappiness for depression. Although it could be one of the signs, it’s not entirely an indication of it. Depression, in medical terms, refers to an illness that originates from mood, body changes, and thoughts. This disease affects how you eat, sleep, and feel about yourself.

Collectively, this mental health problem is usually referred to as major depressive disorder, which is the most severe type of depression. Being a disease that impacts many aspects of self, recognizing or acknowledging it can be challenging. Therefore, in this article, you will learn the causes, signs, and treatment of depression.

Major Causes of depression

Depression causes range from biological to circumstantial. This means some causes are linked to your nature, and others depend on things like environment and events. These include family history, childhood trauma, brain structure, or drug use.

To clarify, if a family member has ever been depressed, chances are high that you might develop it. With childhood trauma, happenings in your past childhood can trigger depression symptoms. And for medical conditions, things like chronic illnesses, pain, or ADHD can lead to depression. Lastly, a history of drug use can also increase the likelihood of developing depression.

These causes can vary depending on factors like the degree of effect, self-care, and influence of others. More so, these aspects can also influence the signs of depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

It’s worth noting that these symptoms will vary depending on things like gender or age. However, general symptoms that are common across the board include the following.

A sudden increase or decrease in appetite for food should be a significant concern to you. In most cases, it could be a sign of depression. This appetite changes lead to eating disorders like eating junk or failing to eat anything. As a result, one starts to lose or gain weight, which affects them physically and mentally. Since eating disorders are severe medical conditions, they can be a prerequisite to major depressive disorder.

Mild sadness is normal. It could result from a bad day at work or annoyance from a loud neighbour. However, when it gets to the state where it affects your thoughts or interaction with others, it could be a sign of depression. Mainly, these feelings give rise to other symptoms, such as anxiety and antisocial behaviours. When you notice these patterns, you should seek help or try to trace the triggers and avoid them.

Suicidal thoughts culminate in feelings of worthlessness, pessimism, guilt, and sadness. When overwhelmed with these moods and feelings, they tend to lose the meaning of life and get convinced that death is the way out. With the help of a psychiatrist, these feelings can be suppressed and replaced with more positive thoughts to promote recovery.

Sleep is essential to our mental health. People suffering from depression find it hard to sleep or stay awake. Again, healthy people might develop depression if they have poor sleeping habits. Therefore, it’s essential to watch your sleeping habits if you want to lead a better life. This is because sleep affects other areas, such as memory, learning capabilities, and accelerated ageing.

Managing Depression with CBT

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment technique to help you overcome depression. This strategy is built on the idea that your thoughts, physical sensations, and actions are interconnected. Therefore, the treatment approach provides a road map to identify and face your fears and negative thought patterns. In effect, you build positive habits that replace these negative thoughts. Given that depression is a disease that affects these thoughts and actions, CBT is the best treatment. Here at CBT South Dublin, we use mindfulness-based CBT techniques to help you find meaning in life and live compassionately. 

5 Websites Offering Free Downloadable CBT Resources

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, CBT has become a standard therapeutic practice in the mental health field. CBT uses an action-oriented approach; therefore, the patient contributes immensely to the success of the treatment. With guidance from the facilitator, a patient can recover quicker when involved in the process. One way in which this is ensured is by the use of assignments and self-help material.

Whereas some mental health disorders require a custom approach to treatment, other mild ones can be treated with generalized resources. Several frequently used techniques available online can be downloaded and used as templates. Students, health professionals, and patients can take advantage of them instead of reinventing the wheel. This post highlights clinically-tested and free resources that anyone can benefit from.

Free CBT Online Resources

Worksheets are downloadable templates that you can use to record or fill in the information. While you could use software to record information, the CBT approach recommends using physical worksheets such as PDFs. The following are free and clinically approved websites you can download CBT worksheets.

  1. Think CBT

There are many CBT strategies that Psychotherapists use to treat mental health disorders. With each approach being unique, specific resources are needed to ensure a positive outcome of the techniques used. Think CBT combines most of these resources and categorizes them accordingly for you. You can download them here.  

Self-directed and guided mediation is a standard CBT approach today. As such, there are pre-recorded audio, videos, and text that clients can use with their homework. These resources are easy to use and quite effective when done right. Excel at Life is a highly recommended free website harbouring most of these resources. You can download them here.

The Psychology Tools website is excellent for many things; for instance, it has tools for Psychotherapists and patients. The website has many tools in different forms. These include; information sheets, guidebooks, exercises, and worksheets. Also, it lets you filter the specific type of resource you are looking for. You can download them here.

This website is for you if you prefer to fill out the worksheet online instead of downloading blank copies. It is designed in such a way that you can fill in the information on the website or download a blank document. The resources are categorized into worksheets and questionnaires. You can download them here.

The psychotherapist customised many behavioural techniques used to treat CBT depending on the condition the patient is suffering from. However, there are behavioral techniques, such as habits, that can be used regardless of the condition, especially for the self-directed approach. Deployment Psych has planners, diaries, and other free resources to help with your recovery journey. You can download them here.