Why do people get depressed?

What is depression?

Depression is a common disorder that is associated with significant psychosocial, physical, economic and increased risk of death.

Depression can take different forms, from a single episode over a lifetime to a recurrent pattern with few or no illness-free intervals.

But defining depression is complicated, as it depends not only on the symptoms, but also on the type of depression, its duration, how it evolves, etc.

Specialists in psychology point out that when a person becomes depressed he/she usually experiences feelings of sadness, helplessness, lack of illusion, apathy, tiredness, lack of enthusiasm, and negative thoughts, among other symptoms, which affect all areas of his/her life, seriously interfering in his/her normal functioning.

The person feels overwhelmed and collapsed by sadness and loses interest in his or her activities; he or she may have feelings of guilt, worthlessness, failure, accompanied by an inability to cope even with his or her daily chores.

Why do people become depressed?

There is no single cause; depression can occur on different fronts (family, work, sentimental, etc.) or without any apparent cause. There are many theoretical approaches on the etiology of the disease: biological, cultural, genetic, cognitive, behavioral hypothesis, etc. But they all make a distinction between:

  1. Exogenous or reactive depression: caused by external triggering factors such as stress, conflicts, losses; it usually has a more sudden onset and its manifestations are not as severe.
  2. Endogenous depression: caused by “internal” factors, the trigger is not identified, it usually has an insidious onset, with more severe and longer lasting symptoms.
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What can we do to treat depression?

Depression is one of the most studied disorders and the effectiveness of psychological treatments is unquestionable. Psychotherapy can nowadays be considered a tool of similar efficacy to that of psychotropic drugs and, on many occasions, they are used in combination. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy has been shown to be highly effective in validated studies. The proposed therapy model is defined as a directive and structured procedure, in which psychologist and patient work together, according to the model of collaborative empiricism, through behavioral techniques and cognitive techniques.