Depression – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Why Did the Great Depression Occur?

Economists still cannot agree on what caused the Great Depression. Most however have agreed that it was a combination of events and decisions that came into play that caused the Great Depression.

It has been suggested that people who tend to get depressed may have inherited a subtle chemical abnormality in their brain. This might make them more sensitive or susceptible to one or more of the life events mentioned above.

• Persistent sad, anxious or empty feelings
• Feeling constantly pessimistic
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
• Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
• Tiredness and loss of energy
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions


Traumatic Factors
o The loss of a loved one or death of a parent during childhood increases the chance of a person developing depression in later life.
o Being abused, neglected or abandoned during adolescence.
o Traumatic experiences, such as moving away, divorce from a partner, losing a job and a family or friend break up.
Trigger Factors
o Unemployment
o Loss of a parent, sibling or partner
o Absence of someone to talk to and confide in

Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression is a type of depression that a mother experiences immediately after childbirth. It is more serious and lasts longer than ‘baby blues’.
Postpartum depression occurs in approximately 10 percent of childbearing women.

The symptoms of postpartum depression include:
• Feeling sad or down often
• Frequent crying or tearfulness
• Feeling restless, irritable or anxious
• Loss of interest or pleasure in life
• Loss of appetite
• Less energy and motivation to do things
• Depressed mood—tearfulness, hopelessness, and feeling empty inside, with or without severe anxiety.

• Loss of pleasure in either all or almost all of your daily activities.


The rapid hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy and delivery may trigger depression. After childbirth, women experience a big drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels. Thyroid levels can also drop, which leads to fatigue and depression. These hormone dips—along with the changes in blood pressure, immune system functioning, and metabolism that new mothers experience—can all play a part in postpartum depression. It has been theorized that women who are more sensitive to these hormone imbalances develop postpartum depression.

How is postpartum depression treated?
Therapy, support networks and medicines such as antidepressants are used to treat postpartum depression. Psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective treatment and an acceptable choice for women who wish to avoid taking medications while breastfeeding.
• Antidepressant medicine, which effectively relieves symptoms of postpartum depression for most women. Since breast-feeding is also important for your baby, talk to your doctor and your baby’s doctor about an antidepressant medicine you can use while breast-feeding. Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants are considered relatively safe for use while breast-feeding.
Treatment for Postpartum Depression can be as varied as the symptoms. Common approaches include:
• Creating a supportive environment for the mother
• Self-Care
• Support groups
• Counselling
• Psychotherapy
• Medication