Depression Attack: Understanding Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment


Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. In Australia, it is estimated that one in six people experience depression at some point in their life. Depression can occur at any age and can affect both men and women. It is a serious illness that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life if left untreated. In this article, we will discuss depression attack, its symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

What is a Depression Attack?

A depression attack, also known as a major depressive episode, is a period of intense sadness or despair that lasts for at least two weeks. It is a symptom of major depressive disorder, a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in life.

During a depression attack, a person may experience a range of symptoms, including:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or back pain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Causes of Depression Attack

Depression attacks do not have a single, clear cause. Instead, they are the result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Genetic factors can make a person more susceptible to depression, and this risk may be passed down through families. Environmental factors such as stress, trauma, and chronic illness, can also trigger depression in some people. Specific life events such as the loss of a loved one, a major life change, or a relationship breakdown can also trigger depression.

Psychological factors, such as negative thinking patterns and poor coping skills, can make a person more vulnerable to depression. Depression can also be a symptom of some medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, chronic pain, or substance abuse.

Treatment Options for Depression Attack

Depression attacks can be treated with a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes.

Antidepressant medication is often the first line of treatment for depression attacks. Different types of antidepressants work in different ways, so it may take some time to find the right medication and dosage for each person.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counselling, can be helpful in treating depression attacks. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thinking patterns and behaviours that can contribute to depression. Other types of talk therapy, such as interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy, may also be helpful.

Lifestyle changes can also be an important part of treating depression attacks. These may include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Limiting alcohol and drug use
  • Building a support system of family and friends


Depression attack is a common symptom of major depressive disorder, a serious mental health condition that affects many people in Australia and around the world. It is important to seek treatment if you are experiencing depression attacks, as it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. A combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes can be effective in treating depression attacks, so it is important to work with a mental health professional to find the right treatment plan for you.


FAQs about Depression Attack

1. What is a depression attack?

A depression attack is an intense episode of depressive symptoms that can last several hours or even days. It is also known as a depressive episode or major depressive episode. Symptoms may include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, irritability, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, changes in appetite, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

2. Can depression attacks be prevented?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent depression attacks, but there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, managing stress, avoiding alcohol and drugs, seeking treatment for any underlying health conditions, and keeping in touch with friends and loved ones.

3. What should I do if I experience a depression attack?

If you experience a depression attack, it is important to seek professional help. You can talk to your doctor or a mental health professional who can provide you with appropriate treatment and support. Treatment may include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. It’s essential to reach out for help and not try to deal with it on your own, as depression attacks can be overwhelming and potentially dangerous. Remember, recovery is possible, and there is hope for a brighter future.


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

2. Breslau, J., Marshall, G. N., Pincus, H. A., & Brown, R. A. (2014). Are mental disorders more common in urban than rural areas of the United States? Journal of Psychiatric Research, 56, 50–55.

3. Cuijpers, P., Vogelzangs, N., Twisk, J., Kleiboer, A., Li, J., & Penninx, B. (2013). Comprehensive neurocognitive treatment for persistent depression: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(1), 203–211.