Like a sudden forest fire with no traceable origin, depression often flares up for no apparent reason. Sometimes, though, one can identify a catalyst—the lightning bolt that delivered the spark. On its own no single misfortune can fully explain why and how someone develops depression, and depression sometimes arises and lingers largely irrespective of events or circumstances outside the mind. But some painful experiences—such as the death of a loved one, divorce and abrupt unemployment—can trigger individual episodes of depression, especially the very first incidence.
Two new research projects – one published this month and another that is still preliminary – suggest why some professional football players, particularly those that get concussions, may be more vulnerable to developing depression.
For both studies, researchers focused on a group of 34 retired NFL players, aged 41 to 79 and living in north Texas.
- What Is Depression?
- What are the different forms of depression?
- What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
- What illnesses often co-exist with depression?
- What causes depression?
- How do women experience depression?
- How do men experience depression?
- How do older adults experience depression?
- How do children and adolescents experience depression?
- How is depression detected and treated?
- How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?
- How can I help myself if I am depressed?
- Where can I go for help?
- What if I or someone I know is in crisis?
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What Is Depression?
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.