What is depression?

Depression relates to a low mood that can last for days, weeks or even months. When a person feels depressed, they may feel like their life is covered by a cloud that makes them feel sad, burdened, helpless, hopeless, disinterested in life, antisocial and emotionally weighed down. Depression can affect how you feel about yourself, so can also include low self-esteem which can lead to unhealthy behaviours in an endeavour to try and raise your mood.

What causes depression?

Contributors to depression can include:

  • Challenging childhood

  • Abuse of any kind at any time in life

  • Bereavement

  • Bullying in the past or present

  • Financial issues

  • Relationship issues

  • Unhappy home

  • Challenging people in your life

  • Unhappy work environment

  • Ill health of yourself or a loved one


  • Certain medications

  • Sexuality conflict

  • Trauma

  • Loneliness

  • Debilitating Phobias


  • Extreme demands & pressure on a person

  • Substance misuse

  • Lack of purpose

  • Heartbreak


Although it is considered by some that depression could also have a genetic cause, there is no solid scientific proof to confirm this. Furthermore knowing that people can come through depression entirely, would further suggest genetics are not a prevalent cause. Just as character traits and accents are copied from parents and family, depressive mood could be too. For example, residing in a volatile home or sharing the same challenging life experiences, it would be more likely for numerous family members to be affected therefore further denouncing the likelihood of genetics being a cause.

How to address depression

When considering depression, imagine the analogy of pressing your thumb into a pillow. The pressure of your thumb on the pillow causes an indentation or ‘depression’. Once you slowly lift your thumb from within the pillow, the indentation or ‘depression’ begins to lift. Now consider this metaphor with yourself, the pressure of your thumb on the pillow causing the depression, is the equivalent to pressures of your past and/or current, challenging life events. When these events are discussed, and addressed slowly, systematically and positively, your depression can also lift.

Your first port of call therefore should always be your doctor, to discuss how you feel so that your he/she can facilitate both immediate and long term help. Your GP should be able to organise therapy such as CBT and counselling for you. If you feel very low and need to speak to someone, you should also call Samaritans on 116123.

Alongside professional help, there are many additional things that you can do to help you feel better and promote mental healing and well-being which include;

  • Exercise

  • Hobbies

  • Positive distractions

  • Healthy diet

  • Talking and spending time with positive people you trust

Living with depression can be extremely challenging, however, you are not alone. Here at Trauma Research UK, our belief is, ‘it’s not what’s wrong with you, it’s what happened to you’. With this philosophy, we believe that everyone can successfully overcome depression if given the right help and support. Read more…