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What is a depression

Author : Sam Saxton

What exactly is a depression and how do you recognize if you or someone close to you is dealing with one? It’s a mood disorder, where you feel passive and sad most of the day.

Experiencing these feelings every now and then doesn’t mean you are depressed, this happens to everyone. Psychologists speak of depression when these feelings persist for at least two weeks. During that period you experience a sad mood, decreased interest and less pleasure in (almost) all daily activities. Your battery seems empty,, even when you’re doing things that normally give you energy.

I think I’m suffering from depression: is that common?

As many as 20 percent of all Dutch people between the ages of 18 and 64 will sooner or later suffer from depression. You are certainly not alone. In fact, it is one of the most common mental disorders.

The relatively common occurrence of depression is partly due to the degree of stress we experience in our daily life. In addition, depression is an umbrella term for many different types as we explain below.  

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What types of depression can you experience?

When you or someone close to you is dealing with depression, it  can manifest itself in different forms. Therefore, there are all kinds of answers to the question “what is depression”? Some suffer during the winter months and short daylight hours.  While for others pregnancy may lead to pre- or postnatal depression.  There are many different types of depression.  Together with your psychologist you can evaluate which you might be suffering from.

How does depression develop?

Depression is often the result of several factors, such as:

  • Biological factors
    Genetics play an important role and unfortunately you cannot do anything about it. Depression is more common in some families than in others. In addition, women are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms as men. Hormonal fluctuations, the use of medication or alcohol and drugs can also have an influence.
  • Social factors
    Your environment can influence a possible depression. Major events such as the death of a loved one or a divorce can lead to depression. In addition, drastic events from your childhood can play a role, such as sexual, physical or mental abuse and/or neglect. And do you currently have few social connections or do you feel lonely? This can also be a trigger.
  • Psychological factors
    Finally, psychological factors can play a role too. Some people are more prone to depression because of personal characteristics or traits. So do you suffer from insecurity, perfectionism, fear of failure or a low self-esteem? Then you are more at risk of feeling depressed.

Do you have the feeling that you are suffering from depression or do you know someone who is dealing with it? You can work together with a psychologist to determine whether it is a case of depression, how it originated and what options you have to deal with it and how to improve the situation.

Do you have questions about what a depression is and whether you are dealing with it? Call us on the 020 771 7996 and we will immediately give you personal advice.

Author : Sam Saxton

Psychologist

“During certain periods in life, we just don't feel like doing anything. Don't be too hard on yourself because it's hard enough as it is!“

Would you rather have the support of a professional?

Contact one of our psychologists today without obligation. You can talk about your feelings and symptoms and get information about a suitable treatment programme for you.