National Depression Screening Day is observed on Oct. 7 every year to create awareness among people on the need to make an informed diagnosis.

In the U.S alone, roughly 40 million adults struggle with depression or anxiety. While depression is a very real and treatable illness, myths, misunderstandings and stigma continue to be barriers to treatment for many. Understanding the facts about depression, on the other hand, can save lives. Here are a few facts that can help those who are suffering from the illness.

1) No Reason: While people become depressed for what seems like a "good" reason, there isn't necessarily a reason for clinical depression. The chemicals in the brain that are responsible for mood control may be out of balance causing you to feel bad even though everything in your life is going well.

2) Combination of factors: While the causes of depression aren't completely understood, it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, such as an underlying genetic tendency toward the condition and certain environmental factors that can act as triggers.

Having a close family member with depression increases the risk of depression, which suggests that genetics plays a big role. The rates of depression are also higher among those who have a history of substance use. Other factors linked to depression include brain chemistry imbalances, hormones, seasonal changes, stress and trauma.

3) Imbalances in the brain: Another reason for depressions is the imbalance in the neurotransmitters that impact mood regulation. This includes dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. The theory is that having too much or too little of these neurotransmitters can cause (or contribute to) depression.

4) Anxiety: Anxiety and depression disorders are closely related. Nearly 50% of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

5) No single treatment: As per studies, there is no "one-size-fits-all" treatment available for treating depression, but common treatments include antidepressant medications, traditional forms of psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). However, the mainstay of treatment is usually medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two.

mental health, depression
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