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Understanding depression and ways to treat it

Post Date - Sep 28, 2023

More than one in every 20 U.S. adults suffers from depression every year. We know that depression can make you feel isolated and alone, but at Ascend, you have a team of people supporting you. Here are some ways to better understand and deal with depression.

How do I know if I’m depressed?

It may be hard to pinpoint what exactly caused your feelings of depression. While you may only experience the symptoms of depression once in your life, you could be depressed if you experience all or some of these feelings daily:

  • Sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness
  • Frustration, restlessness, irritability
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Issues concentrating, remembering, or making a decision
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Headaches, stomach issues, chronic pain
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

You should never attempt to diagnose yourself. If you suspect you may have depression, reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options.

What causes depression?

A variety of things can cause depression, and no reason is a “bad” one. Depression is often accompanied by stress or anxiety, which can be spurred by intense life challenges like the loss of a loved one, a relationship ending, or a life-altering injury or illness. It’s important to note that these are not the only causes of depression; even positive life changes can lead to depression, like a new baby or a promotion that increases the stress in your life.

Genetics also play a role in developing depression. If a close relative of yours has been diagnosed with depression, it does increase your risk of being diagnosed as well. While depression is a serious mental health challenge, there are several pathways for treating it and its symptoms.

What treatments are available?

The most important thing to know is that reaching out for help is OK. Family and friends will be happy that you came to them for support. Depression can be isolating and make you feel like you are totally alone; being around people who love you can be the first step to improving your mental health.

You may feel like you need additional support outside of family and friends. Your healthcare provider can connect you to a mental health professional, like a therapist or psychiatrist. These professionals can prescribe specific treatments to lessen the symptoms of depression and get you the help that you deserve.

If you or a loved one are in a mental health crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24/7 at 988 or 800-273-8255.

How can I support someone with depression?

One of the best ways you can support someone who is struggling with depression is to support and help them in getting treatment. They may feel too overwhelmed to seek this help themselves. Be patient with them, validate their pain, and suggest that they get connected with someone who can offer specialized support. Here are some specific ways you can offer help:

  • Listen to them
  • Help them in managing mental health appointments
  • Suggest activities or outings they used to enjoy

Remember: The best thing you can do for someone struggling with depression is to be there for them!

At Ascend, your mental well-being is a priority. Connect with us today to join our team.


1 National Institute of Mental Health, Major Depression Among Adults (accessed December 2016): hƩp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/staƟsƟcs/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml

2 WebMD, Common Causes of Depression (accessed December 2016): hƩp://www.webmd.com/depression/common-causes

3 Center for Disease Control, Mental Illness: Depression (accessed December 2016): hƩp://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/basics/mental-illness/depression.htm

4 Mayo Clinic, Depression: Supporting a family member or friend (accessed December 2016): hƩp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-condiƟons/depression/in-depth/depression/art-20045943