Depression is a medical illness, just like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. It is not the blues. Everyone at one time or another experiences the blues, these are normal feelings that pass with time. The feelings that are associated with depression last longer than a couple of weeks. If you or your friend suffers from depression you/they can’t talk themselves out of it, they can’t just get over it. You or your friend are not weak, you or your friend don’t have a character flaw. Having the illness of depression isn’t your fault or your friend’s fault. Depression affects the whole body. It affects your thoughts, feelings, behavior, physical health, appearance. Depression affects all areas of your life (school, work, friends, sports, etc.) Depression can be treated successfully just like any other illness. There is HELP, there is HOPE.
Depression is triggered by a complex combination of genetic and psychological and environmental factors. Genetic means that in some families, depression is inherited, or passed down through genes. Psychological makeup has to do with personality traits, and environmental factors means life circumstances. The brain is an organ of the body just like the heart, liver and kidneys. If the neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) that regulate how a person thinks, feels and acts get out of balance, the brain can get sickand the result can be clinical depression. A bad or stressful event could trigger depression; however a person can also be born with depression. It can also appear out of nowhere, when everything is going fine, at a time, when there is no reason to get depression. DEPRESSION IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!
Adapted from SAVE What to Do Brochure