What is Depression and How Does It Affect Your Health?

Do you ever feel sad, empty, and miserable during most of the days? Have you lost interest in your hobbies or being with family and friends? Are you having trouble sleeping or eating? It’s normal to feel sad or low sometimes, but these mood fluctuation and emotion stay only for a short period of time.

However, if these symptoms stay for more than two weeks, it could be a sign of depression. Depression, also known as ‘Clinical Depression or a Depressive Disorder’, is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms and seriously affects a person’s life and to those around them. It can make daily life extremely difficult and even lead to suicide in severe cases.

According to WHO, this is one of the most common health problems affecting more than 264 million people worldwide.

Symptoms of Depression

Here are some of the common signs and symptoms that NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) has listed for a person is suffering from depression.

§ Feeling sad or low for long periods of time

§ Feeling hopeless or helpless

§ Feeling of guilt

§ Being anxious

§ Irritability

§ Decreased energy or fatigue

§ Being unable to concentrate or demotivated

§ Losing interest in hobbies and activities

§ No sexual interest

§ Changes in appetite – eating too much or too little

§ Having trouble sleeping or oversleeping

§ Lethargic and Moving or talking more slowly

§ Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still

§ Thoughts of suicide, or suicide attempts

People with depression experience different symptoms. The severity of the symptoms may vary depending on the individual and their stage of the illness.

In extreme cases, the person might experience symptoms of psychosis (hallucinations like hearing voices or seeing things).

Celebs with Depression

Indian Actress Deepika Padukone has talked about her battle with depression during the WEF 2020. The actor was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014. After that, she set up the Live, Love, Laugh Foundation to bring hope to the people in India who are struggling with stress, depression and anxiety.

Diagnosis and Treatments

There are many medical facilities that can treat depression, even in severe condition. Medications and psychotherapy are the usual forms of treatment. However, If these treatments do not reduce the symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies are also used.

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