The short version: Depression has many possible causes, including stressful life events and biological problems like inflammation and hormone imbalances. Any given case of depression might be due to some of these causes and not others. Some people have long-standing mild depression (dysthymia), but more often depression comes in episodes; these usually go away on their own in 3 – 12 months. If you want your depression to go away sooner, there are lots of things you can do: life changes, diet, exercise, therapy, supplements, medications, and high-tech options like transcranial magnetic stimulation. Different options work for different people. If you try one option and it doesn’t work, move on to another. Your doctor will work with you to start with safe and easy options, then escalate to stronger and more difficult ones if those don’t work; the whole process will involve a lot of trial and error but should result in something that works effectively and consistently for you. Some options might seem too hard at the beginning (eg if you’re very depressed you might have trouble maintaining an exercise routine), but might get easier after you’ve tried other options (eg you start with medication, that makes you feel a little better, and then you can try exercising). Once you find something that works for you, continue it for at least six months to get through your current depressive episode, then consider whether you want to try going without it, or whether you want to continue it indefinitely.
Depression is a condition marked by low mood, low motivation, persistent negative self-talk, and countless similar and related issues.