AndyI can
A:

Hi Andy,

That is a very good question.

Depression can be the result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. Someone who has had depression over a long period of time, and if the depression is not the result of any specific events in their life, then the cause may be chemical. If so, then medication may be required to treat this depression. Often, those whose depression is caused by a chemical imbalance may have family members, e.g. a parent, who also suffers from depression.

Depression can also be caused by life events. For example, a loss, like the death of a loved one, or a relationship breakup, or loss of a job, can result in depression. Stress that has become overwhelming can cause depression. Being abused or bullied can result in depression. Other life events can also cause depression.

Depression caused by life events can be treated through psychotherapy, though some medication may also be recommended for a period of time.

The best way to know if you are suffering from depression, and what might be causing it, is to sit down and have a talk with a mental health professional. A therapist can evaluate you and provide a diagnosis, as well as a treatment plan for the road ahead.

If you suspect that yourself or a loved one is depressed, then I encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional. If you don't know where to start, you can check out the listings of therapists on the website of your insurance company, or ask your doctor for a referral.

Depression is treatable. Don't go through this alone!

Keep us posted on how you're doing.

Gary

Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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