Overview

Depression in adults

Depression may come out of the blue, or it may be triggered by a particular difficult event. The causes are often unclear. Those affected are overcome by a persistent low mood. They stop enjoying life, become increasingly passive, and suffer declines in performance. There are now many good therapies for treating depression.

Symptoms of depression

If you are suffering from depression, you experience great problems coping with the requirements of everyday life and maintaining social contacts. The following symptoms may indicate depression:

  • Low mood
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Loss of interest in things or activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating and taking decisions
  • Loss of weight
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation (resulting in overactivity or underactivity)
  • Thoughts of suicide

Risk factors

As with any other illness, there are factors and triggers that increase the risk of you suffering from depression. These factors include:

  • Having to meet constantly very high requirements at work and at home
  • Traumatic experiences and considerable emotional strain, even if the associated events took place some time ago
  • Chronic illnesses of family members, particularly mental illnesses
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Providing support and care to elderly family members
  • Difficult financial circumstances, low income and fear of unemployment
  • Living outside your home country
  • Worry about your children and family

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