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A Depressed Woman covering her face with a sign


Depression comes in several levels and many forms—from major depressive disorder (MDD) to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Depressive episodes are also a symptom of mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder, and personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder (BPD).

What Causes Depression?

There is no one single cause of depression or MDD. Some of us begin experiencing depression after a major life event, such as divorce or the loss of a loved one. Others may feel constant overwhelming hopelessness regardless of our circumstances. That said, there are some factors that can indicate a higher risk for developing depression:

  • Genetics and family history
  • Brain chemistry
  • Stress levels
  • Nutrition
  • Addiction and/or substance use and abuse

How to help someone who's depressed

It's natural to want to reach out and help a family member or friend who is experiencing depression or a mood disorder. That said, when it comes to depression, it's not always obvious what you can do to provide support. Friends and relatives of people with depression may stay quiet out of fear of stigma. If you suspect a loved one is depressed, there are many things you may do to help.

Here are some articles and resources with tips for assisting a friend or loved one who is depressed:

How to Convince a Friend to Go to Therapy - These four tips may help you encourage a loved one to reach out to a therapist.

What Is Depression and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)? There are several consistent symptoms of depression. Find out what they are.

The Connection Between Depression and Chronic Pain - Here's how our emotional responses to mental distress such as trauma and depression can manifest into physical symptoms, such as chronic pain and fibromyalgia. 

What Are the Levels and Types of Depression? How the levels of depression are defined—from mild to serious depression—as well as the symptoms for the the seven different types of depression.

How to Pay for Therapy - Whether or not you have health insurance, if you want to see a therapist and have concerns about cost here are some affordable, low-cost therapy options.

Am I Depressed or Just Tired?  When is extreme tiredness a symptom of something serious like depression?

Next Steps

Experiencing grief after loss is a natural response. If you need support, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can validate your experience. A mental health professional can also provide specific tips and ideas for healing from this loss. If you’d like to speak with a therapist, such as myself, consider scheduling a consultation. You’re not alone.

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