You may have heard this question before or you may have been told that you don’t have a reason to be depressed when you went to someone you know seeking advice. Today, we’re going to find out the answer to this question and possibly debunk some other stigmas along the way. Let’s get started!
What is depression?
Well, before we dive in, we should get a better understanding of what depression is. Now the first thing you should know, is that depression is simply an umbrella term. There are multiple different kinds of depression. One of the most common ones and the one we’ll be discussing today, is clinical depression (also known as major depression).
Some common symptoms include, but are not limited to: feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities you’d normally enjoy, weight gain or loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, and fatigue. Now everyone has their off days, so just because you experienced some of these symptoms for a day or two doesn’t necessarily mean you’re depressed. If it stretches into two weeks or more, there’s a chance you may have clinical depression and in which case, I would suggest reaching out and getting help. Even if you can’t get a parent or guardian to listen, find someone else, like a close trustworthy friend or family member, who will. (NOTE: please do not self-diagnose yourself. Always get a proper diagnosis from a professional as with any mental health concerns.)
What causes depression?
Now, this is where we get to the bottom of our original question. It’s not uncommon to discover that someone developed depression due to stress, loss of a loved one, or past trauma. What people don’t consider is that it can be caused by many other things, such as abuse (physical, sexual, or psychological), conflict, other serious illnesses (mental or physical), certain medications, major changes (both positive and negative), and genetics.
Another thing to consider is that anyone can be depressed. Though it’s most likely to develop in your teenage years or in your 20s, a person at any age can be depressed. It can be triggered by one of the previously mentioned events, or it can appear out of nowhere. Even a “perfect” child from a “perfect” family that lives a “perfect” life can develop depression.
And so, the answer to our question?
No, one does not need a reason to be depressed. Though people who are under a lot of pressure or who have just been through something traumatic are more likely to develop it, anyone can be depressed regardless of their age or what they’ve been through.
One thing to remember is that one person’s depression isn’t less valid than another’s. Don’t feel that you shouldn’t reach out and try and get the help you need just because your depression was caused by a break-up, or by nothing at all. Your suffering is just as valid as anyone else’s, even if they’ve been through something worse than you have. So if you or a close family/friend has developed depression make sure to reach out and get support.