What is depression?
Depression is a common mental health condition that affects people in different ways.
Did you know?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 20 adults suffers from depression globally.
It frequently manifests differently in people who are younger or older, or who come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.It can be categorized into mild, moderate, or severe forms of depression.
This condition is different than feeling blue or having a mood fluctuation due to difficult situations in our lives. In its moderate and severe forms, depression can have a significant impact on the functionality and quality of life of an individual.
How can depression be present?
Of many other things, depression affects our minds, bodies, and actions. Some of these may be signs that one is struggling with depression.
- Constantly feeling low/down/upset/miserable, especially in the early hours of the day
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of interest
- Maintaining concentration is difficult.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless, some may feel suicidal.
- Feeling guilty and ashamed.
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling drained of energy and losing power to do things that were previously possible
- Sleep deprivation, difficulty falling and staying asleep, or even both
- Weight loss and loss of interest in eating or lack of appetite
- Loosing interest in sex
- Having physical symptoms, such as an upset tummy or headaches
- Awakening early in the morning, which is unintentional
- Feeling upset, angry, restless, or agitated.
- Lack of interest in self-care and looking after yourself
- Decrease in functionality at work and/or home.
- Presenting as irritable and agitated when approached by others.
- Isolating self, not going out often, and withdrawing from friends and family.
- Reduced in cleaning the home, bedroom, or even cooking at times.
- Avoiding and isolating away from partner and intimacy
- Presenting with non-specific physical health problems, especially with the digestive tract.
What about anxiety?
Depression can sometimes be present with anxiety. This is common, where one worries about the past, present, or future. These worries are often excessive and don’t go away. It often affects the mood. Depression and anxiety can exist at the same time.
This condition is treatable and there are several options for treatment. There are self-help methods such as exercising, mindfulness, and many others that are helpful. There are talking therapies as well as medications that can help with depression.
Please consult with a medical practitioner if you feel you are suffering from depression. If you are affected by this article, are suicidal, or know someone who is suicidal, please consult your doctor or call 999 in an emergency.
Further reading and references