Depression, as it is generally perceived not just about feeling sad or down. Everyone at some point of their life feels sad or helpless which can be attributed to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression usually experiences extended period of low mood, followed by an intense phase of anxiety, hopelessness, despair and negativity. Often they complain of lethargic feeling, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite and low concentration. Withdrawing from friends and family is a very common trait of people having depression and they very often run a very high risk of suicide.
Like many other mental illness, it’s difficult to attribute any specific reasons to depression. Many famous, successful and wealthy persons who seem to have everything in their life have reported to have undergone depression. Depression can be biological, social or psychological. Some people experience single episode of depression in their life time where as many people suffers from repeated episode of depression. The extent to which depression can affect a person mentally and physically depends on his personality and behavior. As very often their perception is distorted, it’s difficult for them to acknowledge the problem and to seek help.
The risk factors worth noting that can lead to depression are –
Having any other mental illness such as anxiety, OCD etc.
Having a history of depression
Any stressful situation which can have an impact on lifestyle
(child birth, death in the family etc.)
Family history of depression
Low self esteem
Having less or no friends
The sense of having no control over the situations in life
Symptoms of depression include-
Tiredness or lethargy
Loss of self esteem
Difficult to concentrate
Loss of sex drive
Loss of appetite which results in excessive weight gain or loss
Less interested in activities which were pleasurable earlier.
Less interest in socializing
Self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Surprisingly only one third of the people suffering from depression gets treatment. The social stigma associated with mental illness and lack of awareness stops people from seeking help. Generally, depression is perceived as a sign of weak personality or flaws in character are the main reasons why people have inhibition in talking about it or asking for help. Those who seek help, 80 % to 90% of people feel better within few weeks of treatment. With the advance treatment available these days it is absolutely possible to manage depression and to lead a normal life. All we need to do is to acknowledge and address the disease in an appropriate manner.