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Understand depression

Depression: What you need to know about the mental illness

If you suffer from depression, or if someone you know seems depressed, it can be hard to know what to do. There are days when the thought of getting out of bed and going on with your day seems impossible. Other days you feel so low that even falling asleep is out of the question. Depression can leave you feeling hopeless and empty — something that many people find hard to cope with if they’re battling their own form of mental illness.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and impacts 122 million people every year. Depression disorders are characterized by sadness severe enough or persistent enough to interfere with function and infrequently by decreased interest or pleasure in activities.

Depression may sometimes feel like a prison in one own's mind
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Causes of Depression

While the precise explanation for depression continues to be an unknown, variety of things are often related to its development. Generally, depression doesn’t result from one event, but from a mix of biological, psychological, social and lifestyle factors.

Personal factors which may result in Depression

Personal factors that may result in depression are:

  • Family history: Some people are at higher risk of getting depression because of their genetic factors. However, this doesn’t mean that someone will automatically experience depression if a parent or an in depth relative has had the condition.
  • Personality: Some people could also be at higher risk thanks to their personality (such as people that tend to fret lots, have low self-worth, perfectionists, sensitive to non-public criticism, or are self-critical and negative).
  • Serious medical conditions: These can trigger depression in two ways. Serious condition can motivate depression directly or can contribute to depression through the associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long run management of a condition or chronic pain.
  • Drug and alcohol use: Can both cause and result from depression. Many of us with depression even have drug and alcohol problems.

Life events and Depression

Research suggests that continuing difficulties, like future unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, future isolation or loneliness or prolonged exposure to fret at work can increase the danger of depression.

Significant adverse life events, like losing employment through a separation or divorce, or being diagnosed with a significant illness, may additionally trigger depression, particularly among people that are already in danger thanks to genetic, developmental or other personal factors.

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Common symptoms

It is important to note that symptoms must last a minimum of period of time(6 months or more) and must represent a change in your previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression.

Also, medical conditions (such as thyroid problems, a neoplasm or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression, so it’s important to rule out general medical causes.

According to WHO depression could be a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. Some of the common symptoms of Depression include:

  • Feeling extremely sad or having depressed mood
  • Changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Physical symptoms (such as headache, digestive issues, body aches and pain) that don’t get well with treatment
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling anxious, helpless or hopeless
  • Difficulty thinking, concentration or deciding
  • Low self-worth
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempt to commit suicide

Types of Depression

There are different types of depression based on the symptoms observed. The symptoms seen can range from relatively minor through to severe symptoms. Below, we take a look at some types of depression

Major Depression

Major depression or major affective disorder is that the technical term employed by health professionals and researchers to explain the foremost common kind of depression. Other terms sometimes used include major depressive episode or affective disorder. Depression are often described as mild, moderate or severe.


Melancholia is an older term for depression and continues to be sometimes accustomed describe a more severe sort of depression with a robust biological basis, where many of the physical symptoms of depression are particularly evident. As an example, one among the most important changes is that the person is frequently observed to maneuver more slowly, or to be experiencing significant changes to their sleep pattern and appetite.

A person with melancholia is additionally more likely to possess a depressed mood that’s characterized by complete loss of enjoyment in everything or almost everything.

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Psychotic Depression

Sometimes, people with a depressive condition can lose touch with reality. This may involve hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there) or delusions (false beliefs that don’t seem to be shared by others), like believing their bad or evil, or that they’re being watched or followed or that everybody is against them. This can be called depression

Antenatal and Postnatal

Women are at an increased risk of depression during pregnancy and within the year following childbirth. The causes of depression at this point may be complex and are often the results of a mix of things. Within the days immediately following birth, many ladies experience the ‘baby blues’, which could be a common condition associated with hormonal changes, affecting up to 80% of women who have given birth.

The ‘baby blues’, or the final stress of adjusting to pregnancy or a replacement baby, are common experiences, but are different from depression. Depression is longer lasting and might impact not only the mother, but her relationship along with her baby, the child’s development, the mother’s relationship along with her partner and with other members of the family.

Up to at least one in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy. This increases to 16 per cent within the first three months after having a baby.

Final thoughts

Although the information provided is helpful, there are still more to cover about depression. It can be generalized not just mentally but physically as well. The key here is to look after one’s self and be happy. If people would read a blog post like this or others, it may bring smile to their faces and lift their spirits up once again. It really never hurts to know about these.

We are going to share more on this topic in the coming articles.

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