Feeling sad or “blue” can be normal, appropriate and even necessary in response to a setback, loss or disappointment. Depression, however, is more than feeling sad. Learn more about depression, types of depression and what you can do to feel better.
If you are depressed, you may:
The primary types of depression in women are:
In most cases, depression does not resolve on its own. However, it is extremely treatable—80% of individuals who seek treatment for depression makes a full recovery.
Adjusting your habits can help you with depression.
Get adequate sleep—at least seven to eight hours a night. Try going to bed at roughly the same time every night and getting up at roughly the same time every morning.
Most health experts agree the best way to treat depression is with a combination of therapy and medication. However, treatment plans vary from person to person.
Depression is caused by abnormally low levels of chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Other things that may contribute to depression include genetics, low levels of B vitamin folate, burnout, chronic stress, difficult life transitions, grief and loss, certain medical conditions and traumatic events.
You may have a higher risk for depression if you:
Depression can happen to anyone, but is diagnosed slightly more often in women.
Depression often occurs with conditions like chronic pain and diabetes, and after a heart attack or stroke. It also can be triggered by perimenopause and menopause.
Once you experience depression, there’s a 50% chance you’ll become depressed again. If you’ve experienced two episodes, there’s a 70% chance you’ll become depressed again.
If left untreated, depression can be devastating. An estimated 1% of women with a lifetime history of depression will eventually commit suicide. What’s more, depression is a risk factor for other medical conditions, such as heart disease and osteoporosis. It may also affect the immune system.