More people seem depressed than I remember either growing up with, or later working with. There seem to be more factors in the cause of the affliction - I'll mention a few theories. The trend can change, but it needs us all working together to bring it about.

The things that existed when growing up, have multiplied many times over. There was alcoholism, job loss and struggles to make ends meet, couples fighting, bullying, aerosol sniffing, and other factors that led to feelings of depression or hopelessness. I only knew of one girl who died after sniffing, then after high school one guy who committed suicide. Across the street when growing up the man was an alcoholic, but I wasn't privy to that information at the time.

The older I got, the more instances of these issues grew. More issues added on. Today it's a huge gamut of reasons and symptoms, with society often to blame.

The music we listened to changed. It was pleasant, happy music for the most part, though some was all about drugs (most of us didn't relate to that, however). There were meaningful lyrics, and great choruses to sing along to. Now there are so many sad songs, sad lyrics, sad tones, and sad chords. There are so many songs of hopelessness, I'm ugly, I can't get up, let's end this, make others pay, kill them, no reason to live, loneliness, and such. These tend to drag the listeners down the same downward path, plus giving the listener a kindred buddy to support the depression. Look for and listen to upbeat music.

People tend to find others who are depressed to bond with and lament with, dragging each other down further. (The same can be said for illnesses and support groups - it can work for some, but absolutely pull others further down and create more pain.) Instead of building each other up, there is vindication for the sadness. The "sad face" reaction on FaceBook, for example, can give support in someone's sadness. If used to commiserate with others when feeling down, it pulls everyone further down the depression route. Instead of saying something encouraging to snap someone out of the sadness, it can reinforce the feelings and take the person further down.

Bullying has become a normal occurrence anymore. It used to be dealt with, though not always caught. I saw a boy, Joe, shunned from other boys, and no one would eat lunch with him. I chose to sit with him and offer some of my lunch - he rarely had enough to eat. Today, if others continue to shun certain people, make up lies and spread rumors, exclude others and such - it can lead to both depression and suicide.

People live life glorifying stars, living life through TV shows, thinking reality shows are real life, believing Hollywood depictions of life are the way life should be, and such. Instead of living lives of their own making, and being satisfied with it, people feel inadequate for not rising to the levels of TV life. Then depression may set in.

There are times to commiserate with someone in a sad time - loss of family member, loss of pet, an accident, an illness, etc. Give a hug, express your sorrow, but then - be encouraging, either right away or after a time later. Offer to help and listen. You can help use the situation to channel help for others. My friend Susan lost her son to suicide some years ago, and now is part of a support system. She gives talks to others to help in their grief and confusion. She's making a difference for others, which helps give her peace.

People feed of each other. Sadness and depression are the easy route to take in your mind. It becomes too easy to fall into the sadness.

Turn your depression and sadness around. Help your friends pull themselves out of their funks. Start building yourself up and build other up. It becomes easier, the more you do it. Turn positive thinking into the thoughts of least resistance. Instead of looking at hopelessness, look for positive paths forward to snap out of it. Look for solutions, opportunities and possibilities to make things better. Look up not down! Always come up with a positive thing to say (to yourself and to others) - you can climb out of the hole you've dug yourself into…a bit at a time until you're out of the hole.

Do things that are good for you. Get exercise. Play with your pets. Visit with and call people - get off social media and interact with people. Go to a nursing home and brighten others' days. Volunteer at schools. Volunteer to read to kids. Volunteer at hospitals. Volunteer at animal shelters. Hug people. Smile. Eat healthy. Surprise people. Do favors and expect nothing in return.

Avoid sugar, mindless eating, junk food, smoking, drugs, alcohol and such. Many of these can push the depression further.

Don't expect to be in a relationship, but let one develop at some point when everyone is ready. Pressure to date and marry can lead to depression but get rid of feelings of pressure.

Don't catastrophize - don't make yourself think things get worse in the many ways you can imagine. Don't worry about things - it makes your brain shut down and causes more stress. The more you worry, the harder it is to think straight. Just plug along, one task at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself with too much to do. Make a list and cross off but push things to another day if you can't complete everything.

Don't ask for or take anti-depressants. Make your own good thoughts to snap out of it. People get too dependent on the meds and then need to wean off slowly and safely, once the need is over. The medications do not address the root cause, but are a band-aid to the symptoms.

No what ifs, should haves, could haves - go forward in whatever path you've put yourself in and don't look back or regret. Make the most of any decision you make.

Depression is a condition in mind that compounds, doesn't want to let go and intensifies. Break the habit and cycle that is so easy to fall into. Change the path and be positive - find the positive in any situation. Then build up both yourself and others. Be positive!