Highland Springs ClinicThis article on causes of depression is sponsored by Highland Springs Clinic. Notice the warning signs of suicide and never, ever give up hope for your child. Find happiness again.

Depression is the number one primary risk factor for suicide.  There are other risk factors as well, such as substance abuse, but depression is far and away the biggest problem.  That’s true across all age and gender demographics.

It can be hard to know when someone you love needs help and treatment. Here are a few things that will help you.

Depression Can Be Triggered by Life Events

It may seem to be common sense that sadness or grief from death or other loss can lead to depression.  That’s certainly something to watch for.  But depression may also follow medical problems or procedures and even certain medications can trigger depression on their own.

Major life events can also lead to depression.  Even counter intuitive events like marriage, graduation, or starting a new job can bring a diagnosis.  If you wonder how that’s possible, remember that clinical depression is not ever a “normal” response.  That’s why it needs to be watched for and treated.

You Can’t Always Know the Cause of Depression

Watch for depression in those you love, especially your teens, but don’t expect an observable link to a circumstance that you know about.  You can’t always see what a person is going through.

New research is also illuminating the invisible impact our genes have on depression. Biological factors like the chemical makeup and structure of the brain may also play a large role in depression.  None of this is observable from the outside.  But the symptoms of depression are often quite clear if you know what to look for.

Causes Of Depression: What To Watch For

Depression manifests in many ways.  Obviously, a depressed mood that doesn’t go away is a pretty good sign.  But so is significant weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, and fatigue.

Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or regular thoughts of death or suicide are also symptoms of depression and you need to take them very seriously.

Pay Close Attention to Teenagers

If your teenager has a cough that won’t quit, don’t you take them to a doctor for a checkup?  Of course, you do.  You need to do the same thing if you notice emotional changes.

If your teen complains of feeling depressed, don’t ignore it.  You may never again get such a clear and obvious sign.  Otherwise, watch for emotional changes.  If they lose their zest for life or seem less vibrant, that may be a sign they need a checkup.

Just like with depressed adults, your teen may stop finding joy in life and the things that formerly brought them happiness.  Take that seriously.

As with physical illness, you’ll need a diagnosis and a treatment plan.  Your pediatrician or family doctor is a great place to get the ball rolling.  You may also want to consult directly organizations such as Highland Springs Clinic that specialize in depression and anxiety.