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What is Depression? – Symptoms, Different, Risk Factors, and More

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What is Depression?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a mutual and serious illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act. Fortunately, this is also curable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy. It can lead to many emotional and physical problems and reduce your function at work and home.

Symptoms of Depression can Array from Mild to Severe and may Include:

  • Feeling the sad or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or wish in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Appetite changes: weight loss or gains unrelated to diet
  • Sleep disturbance or excessive sleep
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increased aimless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, walk, wring hands) or slow movement or speech (these activities must be severe enough for others to notice)
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • effort thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of death or suicide


Symptoms must include latter at least two weeks and reflect a change in your previous level of functioning to be diagnosed with depression.

In addition, medical conditions (such as thyroid problems, a brain tumour, or vitamin deficiencies) can mimic symptoms of depression, so it’s important to rule out common medical causes.

Unhappiness affects about one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six persons (16.6%) will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Depression can occur at any time, but it first appears between late adolescence and early twenties. Women are more likely than men to suffer from depression. Some studies show that one-third of women experience a major depressive episode during their lifetime. There is a high heritability (about 40%) when first-line relatives (parents/children/siblings) are depressed.

Depression is Different from Sadness or Grief

The death of a loved one, the loss of a job or the breakup of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person. It is normal for sadness or grief to arise in response to such situations. Those who are experiencing loss can often describe themselves as “depressed”.

But being sad is not similar to being depressed. The mourning process is natural and unique and shares some common features with it. Grief and depression can accompany by intense sadness and withdrawal from normal activities. They also differ in important ways:

  • With heartache, painful feelings come in waves, often interspersed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and interest (pleasure) decline for two weeks.
  • When grief is severe, self-esteem usually preserve. Feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred are common in major depression.
  • During grief, thoughts of death may arise when people think about “joining” with a deceased loved one. In major depression, studies are focused on the end of life because the person feels useless or unworthy to live or cannot cope with the pain of it.

Grief and It Can Coexist For some people, the death of a loved one, job loss, physical abuse, or a major disaster can trigger it. When grief and it coexist, suffering is more severe and lasts longer than grief without it.

The distinction between grief and it is important and can help people get the help, support, or treatment they need.

Depression Risk Factors

It can affect anyone, even someone who seems to live in relatively ideal conditions.

Several factors may play a role in it:

  • Biochemistry: Differences in certain substances in the brain can contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Genetics: It can be hereditary. For example, if one identical alike suffers from depression, the other has a 70% chance of becoming ill at some point in her life.
  • Personality: people with low confidence, who are easily stressed or, in general, pessimistic, are more prone to it.
  • Environmental Factors: Chronic exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty can make some people more vulnerable to it.

How Depression Treat?

It is one of the most treatable mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% of people through depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients experience some relief of symptoms.

Before making a diagnosis or treatment, a health professional should perform a thorough diagnostic evaluation, including an interview and physical examination. In some cases, a blood test may ensure the depression isn’t related to a medical condition, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies (removing the medical cause would relieve symptoms like depression). The evaluation will identify specific symptoms and examine medical and family history and cultural and environmental factors to diagnose and plan a course of action.

  • Medicines
  • Psychotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

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