Depression is a clinical condition characterized by sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness.

Depression: What You Need to Know

While everyone experiences periods of sadness, clinical depression consists of pervasive sadness and hopelessness that does not seem to lift. A significant loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, a defeatist attitude, and even suicidal ideation can be hallmarks of severe depression. The onset of depression may coincide with an experience of trauma, major hormonal shifts or deficiencies, significant stress, the effects of certain medications, other mental health conditions, or substance use. It can be hard to pinpoint an exact cause, but genetic, biological, and environmental factors can all influence the development of clinical depression.

Depressed young adult

Effects of Depression

Depression is a serious illness that results from a chemical imbalance in the body and brain. If left untreated, it can be debilitating and life-disrupting, affecting one’s physical health, social activity, relationships, and ability to keep a job. Depressed individuals may become prone to isolating themselves, increasing the risk of self-harm or even suicide.

Here are some symptoms of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Feeling empty, hopeless, or pessimistic about life
  • Feeling guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Problems concentrating or making decisions
  • Disturbance in sleeping pattern, such as restlessness or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Irritability
  • Headaches, digestive issues, or muscle aches that have no discernable physical cause and are not helped by treatment

The Stats on Depression


“Roughly 1 in 7 adolescents ages 12 to 17 had a major depressive episode in the last year.”
-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Treating Depression

Depression may be alleviated through assistive medications that allow the brain to retain higher levels of serotonin. These include medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and selective serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These can be effective in decreasing the symptoms of depression, allowing individuals to participate in other forms of therapy in order to process trauma, cope with negative feelings, and learn healthier behavior patterns.

Other therapies for depression may include Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). These approaches are designed to help individuals detect unhealthy patterns of thinking and modify their mental and emotional state. They empower those suffering from depression to make choices that can improve their well-being.

Those with chronic or severe depression may benefit from continuing to take medication as they practice therapeutic principles. Others may be able to discontinue depression medication at a certain point. Each person’s case is different, so it’s important to consult a doctor or treatment professional in regard to both pharmacological and psychosocial treatment. It may take time to determine which depression medication is best and reduces the most symptoms. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise, and healthy eating are also helpful in alleviating depression symptoms.

Featured Articles

Has it Become Popular to be Depressed?

The fight for mental health awareness has been a long one, and talking about mental health openly is one of the best ways to raise awareness. Unfortunately, one of the dangers of social media is that awareness can easily turn to glamorization. With all this talk of mental health online, it seems reasonable to ask, Has it become popular to be depressed?

Learn More
5 Ways to Respond to Depression

Depression has done nothing but rear its ugly head more than usual during the last year. It makes perfect sense, too. Most of us are scared, disconnected, and worried about the health of loved ones and ourselves.

Learn More
Putting Social Media in its Place

Social media. It’s hard to imagine that there was ever a time when it didn’t pervade almost every aspect of our lives. Personal, professional and everything in between, social media is here to stay, so we’d better find a way to live with it. The question is, how do we master our use of social media, rather than letting it master us?

Learn More


Our experienced, compassionate Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. Let our specialists help you create a road map to get you where you want to go: a healthier, more balanced, fulfilling place in life. When you call, you’ll be led through a series of questions to determine if the Claudia Black Young Adult Center is the right fit for your needs, and how soon your treatment can begin.

If you are interested in treatment for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out our convenient Admissions form!




Click below to start the admissions process today