What is a depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by sadness and loss of interest. Known as major depression or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, behave, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. In addition to causing emotional and physical problems, it can also make it difficult for you to function at work and at home.
You may experience feelings of sadness and/or lose interest in the activities you once enjoyed because of depression. There may be difficulties going about your daily activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living. The good news is that it is also treatable.
Despite the existence of effective treatments for mental disorders, more than 75% of people in low- and middle-income countries do not receive any treatment. There are several barriers to effective mental health care, including a lack of resources, a lack of trained health-care providers, and social stigma associated with mental illness. People with depression in countries of all income levels are frequently misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants even when they do not have the disorder.
Symptoms of depression
In a depressive episode, the individual experiences significant difficulties in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, and/or other important areas. The symptoms generally differs in terms of severity and natured which is based on individual occupation, gender, and age group. Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity or slowed movements or speech
- weight loss or weight gain
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Furthermore, medical conditions such as thyroid problems, brain tumors, and vitamin deficiencies can mimic depression symptoms, so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
Depression report worldwide
It is estimated that one in fifteen adults (6.7%) suffer from depression each year. In addition, one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some point in their lives. The first signs of depression usually appear during the late teens to mid-20s, but can occur at any age. Depression is more common in women than in men. It is estimated that one third of women will experience a major depressive episode at some point in their lives. In first-degree relatives (parents, children, siblings), depression has a high degree of heritability (approximately 40%).
Events which triggers an individual’s emotional, psychological, or physical events or circumstances that can cause depression symptoms to appear or return are generally categorized as tiggering events. Some of the most general and major triggering events include:
- The loss of a loved one, the conflict within the family, and the change of a relationship are stressful events in life
- Recovery from depression is incomplete when depression treatment is stopped too early
- An illness or medical crisis, such as a new diagnosis or chronic disease such as diabetes or heart disease.
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