What is depression?
What causes depression?
How do we build resilience?
What can mental health professionals do to help?
What other resources are available?
What is depression?

Depression is deep sadness, so intense that it overwhelms our usual resilience and impairs our ability to function normally and happily.At its worst, severe depression can end in suicide.

In reality, depression can feel more like numb- ness than sadness. And while it can be triggered by a particular event like loss of a job or a loved one, it can also come on for no apparent reason.

We all experience sadness at different times. Most people also experience depression at some point in their lives. Most people also bounce back from depression to become more confident and successful.

The key is not to ignore it and to seek assistance earlier rather than later. It is best treated before it becomes severe.

Examples of famous people who have experienced depression include: Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, Jean Sartre, and Sir Isaac Newton.

What causes depression?

Depression has no single cause, often it results from a combination of things. Some of the more common factors involved in depression are:

  • Trauma and stress
  • Serious medical conditions
  • Relationship problems
  • Bereavement
  • Emotional avoidance
  • Child birth
  • Family history
How do we build resilience?

  • Talking with people who care
  • Learning optimistic thinking
  • Regular exercise
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Facing rather than avoiding
  • Informing our decision making

What can mental health professionals do?

  • Screening & assessment
  • Psychological education
  • Psychological counselling
  • Antidepressant medication or certain natural alternatives

Depression affects our thinking, feeling, & behavior, as well as our bodies and our relationships. People who are depressed cannot "snap out of it" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for months or years or result in preventable suicide.

Treatment by mental health professionals greatly reduces and sometimes eliminates depressive symptoms. It also increases the likelihood of greater resilience for the future.


  • It’s a sign of personal weakness
  • It can be willed or wished away
  • It is best dealt with alone
  • It will go away if you ignore it long enough
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