Depression is a mental state of low mood and aversion to activity. It affects more than 3.5% of the global population. Depression affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.

Feelings of deep depression may be caused by one factor alone or a combination of several factors including biological, psychological and environmental factors. Depression affects all age groups, races, sexes and creeds. 20% of adults will have suffered from depression at some point in their lifetimes.

Although it may feel like a never ending, self-sustaining, big, dark hole sometimes, have faith that you can break free from depression.

What Are Some Symptoms of Depression?

Emotional Symptoms

  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb

  • Restlessness, irritability, or anxiety

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

  • Less interest or participation in activities normally enjoyed

  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • Repeated thoughts of death or suicide

Physical Symptoms

  • Low energy and feeling tired all the time

  • Changes in appetite or weight (eating more / less)

  • Change in sleep pattern (sleeping more / less)

  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol

  • Self destructive behavior, loss of control, or uncontrolled rage

  • May include headaches, aches, pains, digestive problems, dizziness

Affecting Factors


There are many possible causes of depression, including:

  • Faulty mood regulation by the brain
  • Genetic vulnerability
  • Stressful life events

Several of these forces can interact to bring on depression. The onset of depression is more complex than a brain chemical imbalance. It’s not a simple matter of one chemical being too low and another too high. Rather, many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells.


Individuals are affected by outside events differently. One’s thoughts determine how they will experience life, and can affect whether or not they become depressed. Some Psychological Factors include:

  • Thinking Patterns
  • Sense of Failure
  • Stress
  • Loss

More about what causes depression from Harvard Health


Depression can often be triggered by very stressful life situations such as:

  • A move
  • Divorce
  • Social isolation
  • Relationship conflict
  • The death of a loved one
  • Financial difficulties / Job loss
  • Demanding work / Stressful workplace
  • Health issues, especially a chronic health problem

Additional Resources

Take the free Self Test for Depression using CNV Detox a LA based Medically Supervised Drug and Alcohol Detox & Residential Rehab

Exercise supports brain health, hormonal function, self-esteem and improves mood which is why it’s an important part of any positive mental health self-care routine.

Canadian Author Laura A. Barton’s blog on A good article on the contradiction.

“What to do if You’re Depressed or Have Suicidal Thoughts”  By Love Learnings contributor and Clinical Psychologist Carolina Estevez Psy.D.

When suffering from depression, most people do not entertain thoughts of self harm. But untreated depression can increase the risk of possible suicide.

When things get tough and when it’s hard to cope, it can be easy to turn to alcohol and drugs to soothe or numb the pain.

Discover this Australian resource for people who are suffering from depression, bipolar and postpartum depression, and anxiety-related illness.

Discover this resource that offers guides relating to depression. See the Symptom Checklist our Journey to Improvement and more.

UBC initiative with resources, services, and programs to improve the mental health and well-being of Men. Depression info: symptoms, triggers, risk factors and more.

Australian published quick read by Orygen Youth Health with information regarding the differences between Major Depression, Dysthymia and Bipolar disorder.  2 Page PDF download.

Diagnostic Questionnaire for Depression

Published by the Depression Center at the University of Michigan

For each statement below, insert a number score:

0 = Never
1 = Several days
2 = More than half the days
3 = Nearly every day

Over the past 2 weeks, how often have you experienced or been bothered by any of the following:

1. Little interest or pleasure in doing things
2. Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
3. Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much
4. Feeling tired or having little energy
5. Poor appetite or overeating
6. Feeling bad about yourself, feeling that you are a failure, or feeling that you have let yourself or a loved one down
7. Trouble concentrating on things such as reading or watching television
8. Moving or speaking so slowly that other people notice, or being more fidgety or restless than usual
9. Thinking that you would be better off dead or that you want to hurt yourself in some way

Search for a Professional

If you scored 1 or more for any of the statements, how difficult have these problems made if for you to do your work, take care of things at home or perform at school?

0 = Not difficult at all
1 = Somewhat difficult
2 = Very difficult
3 = Extremely difficult

Interpreting Scores
How to know if you may need help:

4 or Less: May be experiencing tough times but may not need professional treatment.

5 to 14: Should consider speaking with a professional, your doctor, a counselor at school or work, therapist, or other mental health specialist.

15 or More: May be experiencing clinical depression and likely would benefit from a thorough check up and possibly antidepressant medication and therapy.