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Depression is a common mental disorder, affectingmore than 300 million people of all ages globally. It is characterized by bouts of sadness or low mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities which were once pleasurable, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite or sexual interest, feelings of tiredness, and poor concentration.At its worst, depression can also lead to suicide.

Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations that the individual experiences on a day to day basis. The low mood must stay for at least 2 weeks and must affect the individual’s social and occupational functioning in order to be diagnosed as depression. However, Depending on the number and severity of symptoms, a depressive episode can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.

Worldwide, there are certain risk factors that make some more likely to get depression than others.

  1. Gender:- Depression is two to three times more common in women

  2. Economic disadvantages, that is, poverty.

  3. Social disadvantages, such as low education.

  4. Genetics:- If you have someone in your immediate family with the disorder, you are two to three times more likely to develop depression at some point in your life.

  5. Exposure to violence.

  6. Being separated or divorced, in most countries,especially for men.

  7. Other chronic illness.

Living with depression, especially if it is of long duration/chronic or recurring, can make you feel exhausted, overwhelmed and helpless.These feelings can often make you want to give up.It can even impair your ability to perform the simplest parts of daily living. However, these are signs and symptoms of depression.

It is an illness of the brain that usually requires some form of treatment. It is important for you to recognize this, to take the illness seriously, and to take good care of yourself. There are various forms of treatment which enhances your mood, improves your functioning capacity and prepare you for future such episodes. Pharmacotherapy and various forms of psychotherapy for depression can make the difference to your life.

Beat the stigma against mental illness!!


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