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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
A Basic Guide to Depression
The article is one of a series of articles about depression by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). For more information about this condition, please review the "Find More Information About" section at the end of this article.
What is depression?
Experts believe that there are many factors that cause depression. Chemical and nerve cell disturbances within the brain, sometimes genetically inherited, play an important role in depression. Other factors can include losing a relationship or a loved one, stressful life events, another medical illness, drinking too much alcohol or abusing drugs.
Depression has also been linked to changes in the seasons. This type of depression, which usually occurs in the fall, is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Researchers believe SAD may be caused by decreased sunlight as the days shorten.
How is depression treated?
There are many antidepressant medications that work to restore the balance and effectiveness of chemicals and nerve cells in the brain. These medications help people feel and function better. Some of the newer antidepressants (called serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs) have fewer side effects than older kinds (called tricyclic antidepressants, or TCAs), and they can begin to work after two or three weeks of use.
Psychotherapy is a series of private talks with a psychiatrist where a person discusses the feelings, thoughts and behavior that cause difficulty. The goal of psychotherapy is to help people understand and master their problems so they can function better. It can help a depressed person change negative thought or behavior patterns.
Whether caused by chemical and nerve cell imbalances, emotional events or seasonal changes, depression can be diagnosed and effectively treated.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Tampa Bay
813-878-2906 - www.dbsatampabay.org - PO Box 340572, Tampa, FL 33694