Depression-causes, signs, symptoms & prevention


IN our country, mental disorders are often regarded with an orthodox mindset. One such disease that is still fighting the social stereotypes and is emerging out of the closet is depression. Lately, many public personalities are talking about having battled the disease. The stigma that has been attached to being ‘depressed’ is gradually shedding away and more and more people are seeking professional help for depression. So, what is depression? The first thing that anybody needs to understand about this disease is that it is not merely being in sad state temporarily. Though the term ‘Depression’ is used very commonly these days but when it is used in medical diction, it means a very specific disorder, which one might also refer to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder.
Clinical depression is when one feels sad, anxious, hopeless or pessimistic for at least a period of two weeks. The person may feel guilt-ridden, worthless and have morbid thoughts. The common belief that Depression is only a mental disease is wrong. There are physical repercussions of Depression too which drain the person mentally as well. He may experience trouble in concentration, indecisiveness, changes in sleep pattern, changes in his appetite, changes in body weight, imaginary pains in the body, restlessness and irritability. To be declared as clinically depressed, you must have at least five of the above symptoms for at least a period of two weeks. The state of Depression can be mild or severe. If the disease doesn’t last for at least two years, it is called ‘persistent depressive disorder’.
One needs to understand that being depressed or having a child who is depressed is not something one should be ashamed of. Just like any other disease, Depression can occur to anyone. People do not choose to be depressed and despite their coldness during their disease, this is the time when they need your love more than most. Always, see a doctor even if you just suspect that you or your love one might be in risk of the disease.
Many a times people wonder what exactly triggers depression. Often mental diseases are hard to understand and this complexity can cause people to misunderstand the disease. Depression can be caused due to a combination of biological, environmental and psychological factors. Though it usually begins in adulthood, more and more children and adolescents are now being diagnosed with the disease.

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