What is depression
Depression is the most common mental disorder which is more than just sadness. It is a serious mental illness that has a negative effect on how you feel, behave, and act. Depression causes feelings of sadness for a prolonged time, with a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can also cause a number of physical and emotional problems that may affect you at work and at home. The good thing though is that depression is treatable.
How common is depression in the world?
Depression is the most common mental illness in the world. The American Psychiatric Association states that depression affects one in fifteen individuals around the world (6.7%). It further adds that one in six people (16.7%) will have experienced depression at some point in their lives.
Which gender is more likely to be depressed?
Studies have shown that women are more likely to experience depression than men, and that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. Studies by the CDC have shown that women (10.4%) were twice as likely as men (5.5%) to experience depression.
Symptoms of depression
The symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe and must last at least two weeks. These symptoms must also make it difficult for you to function properly or indicate a significant change from your previous levels of functioning. Core symptoms include a persistent low mood and a loss of interest or pleasure in activities you enjoyed previously.
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
This is one of the core symptoms of depression. A person with a depressed mood might feel ‘empty’ all the time or cry frequently or feel sad a lot of the time.
Decreased interest in activities once enjoyed
Another core symptom of depression is a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. There may also be a decrease in pleasure upon performing these activities.
Changes in appetite and weight
Another common symptom of depression is a change in appetite. You may find yourself eating lesser or more than usual. You might also experience unexpected weight loss or gain.
Change in sleeping pattern
Depression might also cause a change in your sleeping patterns, and is commonly noticed in patients. You may find yourself sleeping lesser or more than usual.
Fatigue or loss of energy
The feeling of being tired all the time or most of the time makes it almost impossible for you to perform tasks. This loss of energy may sometimes feel overwhelming.
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Depression has a way of putting a negative ‘spin’ on things. You may think of yourself in ways that are unappealing and may think you are worthless. It also becomes difficult to let go of past mistakes, which make you feel guilty.
People with depression might notice they’re having trouble processing thoughts or facing an issue in thinking clearly.
Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
Individuals with depression might think about death more frequently, or think about suicide. There could also be an attempt to commit suicide, or plans of committing suicide in the near future.
Increased or decreased purposeless physical activity
You may find yourself pacing, fidgeting, or unable to sit still because of restlessness, or the exact opposite – slow speech, slow bodily movements, and slow thinking might happen.
If you are still unsure, you can take this free of cost depression test by Mindworks Counselling and get instant results.
Depression – Causes and Effects
There are numerous causes and effects of depression. Some of the most common ones include brain chemistry, hormones, any major life events or stressful events.