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Shedding light on depression


What can depression look like?

Depressive disorder (also known as depression) is a common mental disorder. It involves a depressed mood or loss of pleasure or interest in activities for long periods of time.

Depression is different from regular mood changes and feelings about everyday life. It can affect all aspects of life, including relationships with family, friends and community. It can result from or lead to problems at school and at work.

Depression can happen to anyone. People who have lived through abuse, severe losses or other stressful events are more likely to develop depression. Women are more likely to have depression than men.

Although there are known, effective treatments for mental disorders, more than 75% of people in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment. Barriers to effective care include a lack of investment in mental health care, lack of trained health-care providers and social stigma associated with mental disorders.

There are effective treatments for depression. These include psychological treatment and medications. Seek professional care if you have symptoms of depression.

Physical signs:

1. Headaches
2. Back aches and chest pains
3. Easy fatigue
4. Digestive problems
5. Dizziness
6. Lethargy
7. Changes in appetite and sleep

Psychological signs:

1. Persistent sadness
2. Loss of interest
3. Guilt
4. Impaired concentration
5. Hopelessness, worthlessness
6. High emotional sensitivity
7. Reduced motivation
8. Suicidality

Myths v/s facts about depression

1. Myth: Depression is sign of weakness
Fact: Depression is a treatable medical condition and not a character flaw

2. Myth: People can "snap out" of depression
Fact: Depression is not a matter of willpower or choice and instead requires professional psychiatric help.

3. Myth: Depression will "go away on its own", "treatment is not necessary"
Fact: Depression can worsen, impact quality of life and prolong suffering if not treated in a timely manner with medicines and therapy

4. Myth: Depression is "not a serious health issue"
Fact: Depression has deleterious effects on one's emotional well being, relationships, work or school and physical health

Dealing with Depression

1. Seek professional help
2. Build a support network
3. Practice self care
4. Establish a routine
5. Identify and challenge negative thoughts
6. Engage in pleasurable activities
7. Set achievable goals
8. Avoid self-isolation